One day I found a book about ballet and something in me stirred a little. Probably the Ballerina…
When I was homeless I used to do a lot of dumpster diving behind bookstores. I found tons of reading material; magazines, old, musty hard-bounds the store took in exchange for credit and couldn’t sell, romance and spy paperbacks.
A lady at Border’s in College Station, Texas caught me once, and told me not to do it anymore. I said I wouldn’t but did it anyway. She caught me again and then realized she wasn’t going to do anything about it, so then I had a free pass.
When I was going out for band in fifth grade I thought about playing clarinet and made the mistake of telling some of the guys in the neighborhood.
Well evidentially clarinet is not considered a manly instrument, so to stop the faggot, momma’s boy, pussy, taunts I took up the snare drum.
Not that I was exactly sure what a faggot was, but judging by the tone of voice the older boys used, it wasn’t anything anyone would strive to be.
Ballet was considered so far out there in la la land, that I didn’t even know it was possible for boys or men to like it.
I was a little surprised when the book moved me emotionally.
Now some people say there are high arts and low arts, and some say everything is art. I tend to side with the high and low argument, not so much as to form, but in the ability of something to transmit the ideas of God. For instance certain sentences in the Bible; so beautifully written and conveying such beautiful ideas, they stir you. Other writings that come from man’s thinking, well that is good and yes, I can relate to that, but they don’t move me to higher ground.
Painting is the same way, some Monet’s well oh my goodness, God’s light is coming through that haystack. While others you say, that is a pretty picture, or that is a political statement; that kind of thing.
That is the thing about ballet, all that beauty and graceful movement combined with the lovely music, when I watch it now I rise to a higher ground; I come away lightened somehow.
I think there is a ballerino body in me somewhere. I am athletic and strong, however I am also 30lbs over weight, I believe the word is fat. Louis Haye said extra weight is about protection, no wonder we have an obesity epidemic, who feels safe? Well the funny thing is I am starting to, and I feel a strong urge to express my love of God through dance.
These days letting culture norms inhibit and shame me doesn’t happen to much, in fact, I often fight against them. But it still goes on; I remember asking a group of girls in church what the word was for a man who danced ballet, (That is how little I knew about it) an older boy came by and said the word was, you guessed it, faggot. Some things never change.
Anyway, can a 50 year old, overweight, redneck eventually come to dance Swan Lake at the Met? I don’t see why the hell not.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!