Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Precious

I have a cedar chest in my bedroom that’s packed full of yearbooks and dried flowers and graduation robes and notes from my favorite college classes and other things I can’t currently list or even remember that I still have but clearly need to keep forever-and-ever-amen. I have similar personal-history flotsam and jetsam filling more than one cardboard box in my garage. The Boy (usually) refrains from saying anything about the presence of these boxes or the weight of my cedar chest as he knows it’s futile. I fall into the Wonder Women keep-it camp.

But from among all the things I have collected throughout my many years—and a good number of which I insist on carrying with me from state to state, house to house—what would I consider my favorite? What’s the most special? What do I truly treasure? And what was its fate? Do I still actually have it in my cedar chest or in one of the garage boxes?

The further away I get from the age of the new students I take under my wing every fall, the more I realize that teenagers are for the most part still very much children even when they’re in college. If I were to say that to my 14-year-old self, she would be quite offended, of course. So I won’t say it … I’ll instead claim that though they’re technically not from childhood, my pointe shoes qualify as my favorite childhood treasure.

I always loved my leather ballet slippers, but nothing could compare to the joy and pride I felt the first time I tried on a pair of Blochs. Going to pointe class always made me feel willowy and strong. Successfully executing a pirouette en pointe was exhilarating. Coming from pointe class, I was always giddy and flushed. I didn’t drink in high school and maybe it was because I had ballet … it was a pretty potent high.

I still have my shoes, my gels, and even some lamb’s wool in a little blue satchel I made in one of my classes in middle school. I can’t remember the last time I actually opened the lid of my cedar chest to look at the satchel or its contents, but I know it’s there and it makes me smile every time I think of those pink satin remnants of my teens. I toy with the idea of trading my lunch hours for a Tuesday/Thursday Ballet I (slippers only!) class just to see if I can somehow get back into adequate shape to put my pointe shoes on at home and maybe do a relevé or two in the kitchen … but I always chicken out. I think I like preserving the mental picture of myself as a graceful, lithe young ballerina: I would hate to have that picture replaced by my own personal version of “Dance of the Hours” from Fantasia.


super jane said...

I never knew you were a ballerina, but I can totally see it! I bet you were amazing! You should definitely do those classes. My guess is that you would surprise yourself at your ability and still-present grace.

kaycee said...

Do. It.
Do it do it do it.
I remember that after ballet flush. Do it. You will love it.

Wicked M said...

You should totally do it. Please. I do not think you would regret it for even one second!