Dance of the furry tails

Posted on June 17, 2010


Sometimes a person just wants to look at something pretty. This is definitely that sort of morning for me. In case you’re having a morning like that, too . . .

I have a new hanging planter filled with fuchsias, meant to attract hummingbirds.  The blooms remind me of ballerinas sur les pointes.

Their red and black tutus would be perfect for the Firebird Suite. Here’s the Firebird herself.

Then we have the corps de ballet.

Then, well, it’s mixing metaphors, or at least mixing ballets, but we also have Odile, the Black Swan.

When I was ten or twelve I had a whole collection of ballet albums–cardboard-covered books of records, each in its own sleeve.  At the front, richly illustrated pages told the story of the ballet and described the choreography of the classical production.  Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Firebird Suite . . . I loved those albums.  I wanted to be a ballerina, to leap through the air with astonishing grace . . .

By the time I was in college I had discovered Martha Graham and was more interested in what we called Modern Dance.  (Martha herself never, ever, called it anything but contemporary dance.)  I think Martha would like the other hanging basket on my deck.

I’m not sure, as it is rather flamboyant, and Martha was all about a certain spare elegance. The Dance of the Furry Tails may be over the top.

On the other hand, it was Martha who said:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.

(Attributed to Martha Graham in the Wikipedia article about her life and work)

So there.  Do your work. 

Both the planters were a gift from Louan, because I wouldn’t let her buy gas for the trips to Traverse City. We will be making a number of those trips, as cancer has been confirmed, and an army of Friends of Louan are mustering for the campaign to root it out.  We are filled with hope and fierce determination.  Louan herself is the General in charge of this enterprise.  I am the Designated Driver. 

On our way back from Monday’s trip, we stopped at Altonen’s Farm Market for a bit of spiritual refreshment.  Louan bought some herbs for her garden.  Then she spotted those furry tails—neither of us knows what they are called—and nothing would do but that I should have some. I am inclined to think she was wise. Then we spotted the red and black fuchsias and as there was still room in the car . . . 

I think there is a lot to be said for the therapeutic value of beauty, particularly the exuberant variety so perfectly expressed in the dance of blossoms in the breeze, sun on the water, and furry tails on the beach.