I skipped posting a blog entry yesterday. We left town at 10:15 in the morning and drove to Chicago for a matinee at the Lyric Opera. Then we went out to dinner with my newly legal daughter and didn’t return home until midnight. That is my official factual excuse and reads kind of like the ones my mother used to write to my teachers in elementary school. “Please excuse Priscilla’s absence from school yesterday. She had stomach flu.” The end. Oh, but last night was wonderful. I was aware of so much, and now I’m just not sure what to share, where to start, which story to begin. If I had brought a camera with me, I might just present a series of abstracts and let you fill in the rest. I didn’t bring a camera; I brought myself. The data is in me, the images, the sensations, the concepts. I am full and perhaps trying to stay that way. If I leak a bit of the experience, will I lose it somehow? If I try to distill the essence of the evening, will I vaporize much of what I so enjoyed? Am I allowed to carry my life around like a secret? Of course, I’m allowed. The real question is, do I want to? Why post and share and write and tell? I sometimes hover between bursting like a pinata and hording like a dragon. What do you do with the precious value of living?
Smile. I’ll start with that.
Driving the Interstate with Steve, holding hands and laughing to Garrison Keillor’s radio broadcast “A Prairie Home Companion”. Finding an alternate route on two-lane highways through the fields when we found the Interstate was closed in one section. Settling in the upper balcony under a golden ceiling to listen to the virtuosity of a live performance of Baroque music. Closing my eyes to the modern staging of Handel’s “Rinaldo” and imagining powdered wigs and candlelight. Imagining what it would feel like to have those glorious high notes, trills, and runs burble out from my own mouth. Watching my daughter talk about her life, noting her gestures, her warmth, her composure, marveling at her maturity. Tasting truffle oil, mushrooms, garlic, Sangiovese, gnocchi, gelato – savoring and exclaiming pleasurably to one another in mid sentence. Talking to the hostess about her Italian family, the recipes, the home country, the history. Speaking words of love and support and appreciation to my daughter, noticing the shape of the space between us. Riding home in the dark, so sleepy, so content.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
― Thornton Wilder