Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2009. Mattie was featured in this photo driving a ride-on car. A car which Mattie named, Speedy Red. Mattie became so ill and then we learned that he was dying, that we never had the time to fulfill a "Make a Wish" request. So instead, because Mattie had always wanted a ride-on car, as his last wish, my parents bought him this car. Speedy has many memories for us and I recall riding in the passenger seat with Mattie, as he was learning to drive. But Mattie was a natural driver, he just understood the mechanics of driving. Mattie drove Speedy Red when he was quite sick, usually with oxygen attached to his nose and a pain pump attached to his chest. But during his down moments, I would carry him outside to get some fresh air, and ride Speedy around. Speedy brought him joy and excitement in his last days and made us forget about cancer for just a short while. Since Mattie died, Speedy has been sitting on our deck. We had Speedy covered in plastic, but sitting idle and in the elements for two and half years, Speedy was in very bad shape. In the past, I considered donating Speedy, and I also considered putting Speedy in storage. But today, after assessing Speedy's poor condition, Speedy was dismantled and thrown away. This was a hard decision, one which I couldn't watch or participate in. Though I have been able to donate other things of Mattie's, Speedy was not something I could part with or donate. So tonight, our deck is without Speedy, and the car has left a huge void on our lives and deck. Peter saved the steering wheel and horn, and those things remain with us.
Quote of the day: Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~ Chinese Proverb
We spent a good portion of the day cleaning out our deck and balcony. They were both a mess, filled with bird seed, shells from bird food, and obviously a host of other things. After the clean out, we then painted both spaces. Needless to say, we are both physically exhausted tonight after today's project. The funny part is the more projects we take on, the more I realize needs to be done.
This evening, I went to see the ballet, Alice in Wonderland at the Kennedy Center with Ann and her family. This is a world premiere of this ballet, performed by the Washington Ballet. As I was watching this ballet unfold so many things were going through my mind. But the main one was that I felt this was very Wizard of Oz like! In fact, when I got home tonight I read the choreographer's (Septime Webre) notes. Mr. Webre wrote, "I have chosen to create a prologue to this adaptation of Lewis Carroll's work by presenting a fictionalized version of Alice and her odd-ball family members, who reappear as other characters throughout her journey in Wonderland (for example, Alice's overbearing mother becomes the Queen of Hearts and her kooky twin sisters become Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum)."
As we know is true, this same presentation of a dream occurs in the Wizard of Oz, where all the characters in Oz are based on Dorothy's real life relationships in Kansas. This was only one of the many things that struck me. I admit that I am a traditionalist and I prefer very tradition ballets, where there is dancing, beautiful scores, and a plot. A plot that usually involves emotional content and gets one to look introspectively. Alice in Wonderland is a tale that has been transformed into a ballet, which is geared really toward children. The character of Alice on stage tonight had SO much energy, it almost became overwhelming to watch her. It was one acrobatic feat after another, almost geared toward today's generation that expects non-stop movement and activity. I know we live in a fast paced world, in which our entertainment unfortunately follows suit (art imitates life). But I am saddened to see this frenzy and chaos move into the world of ballet. An art form which to me is beautiful and special and when it gets muddied with acrobatics, stunts, and cirque du soliel type floor routines, I get upset.
The audience loved the performance (and I realize I am atypical, since I usually do not gravitate to that which is popular) and I included the Washington Post's review below of the ballet as well. Despite getting a good review, what struck me immediately about the article is there is VERY little discussion about the actual dancing in the performance. That is because there is a whole lot more going on than dancing.