Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sweet Moments When Fate Shines Down on You

Last Wednesday, I finally returned to work at the Museum of Contemporary Craft and got into a conversation about the things we are gifted with from our elders. Do we save them or use them. Is it destroying them if we create art with them, or are we transforming them, giving them a new life? I am referring specifically to the monogramed hankies that I have from my mother, mother in law, and two grandmothers. When Gabby told me she was making a quilt out of those delicate hankies gifted to her by her grandmother, that she would use to enjoy  summer picnic,s it made me ask myself that question. Do we hold on to them as they were, preciously stored away, or do we use them? My first thought was, OH NO! you will ruin them, and then I realized that they have no life in them, as they lay closed up in the drawer somewhere. The next day, I decided to use one. As I readied myself to attend a dance performance, I selected one with the monogram "F", my mother's hankie, and placed it into my purse. When I went to get my ticket from my calendar for the evenings performance, I noticed that it was going to be danced at the Newmark Theatre, the same theatre I had carefully chosen the seat on which to have plaque installed on the armrest to honor my mom.  When I looked at the ticket, my heart skipped a beat, as I realized that the ticket I was holding was only a few seats from the one I had dedicated to my mom. As I walked downtown to meet my friends for dinner, I had butterflies in my stomach in anticipation and hopes, that one of the other six members of our group held the ticket for the seat I longed to sit it, seat H-5, H for my mom's last name and 5 for the day she brought me into the world. Sure enough, when I asked, someone had the ticket and was happy to switch with me.

 I entered the Newmark theatre with a feeling I could not quite name. I held the ticket preciously in my hand, as I awaited entry to the theatre.  I sat in the seat, our seat, and gently fondled the plaque on the right armrest, and read the inscription with reverence and love. I thought about the hours, too many to count, that my mom and I spent at the theatre, enjoying the ballet, throughout my childhood and into my teen years. I wondered if she would have liked this performance, that was rather dark yet powerful. I caught a whiff of perfume from another patron in my row, which made it hard for me to breathe, and I remembered how the smell of my mother's perfume always bothered me. Smell is such a memory trigger. As I became engage in the dance, I thought less about my mom, but held onto the arm of her seat just the same. I left not knowing if fate would look down on me, and wondered if I would ever have the chance, the gift, of sitting in that seat again. None the less, the seat and the plaque, the memory remains. As I write this, I have the ticket sitting next to me, on my armrest at home, although only the stub remains, I am saving it just the same.

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