I have to thank all of you, faithful readers, for today. Joe and I were knee deep in The Tudors DVD set when it came time to get ready to go out to see Don Carlos, an opera broadcast to our local cinema. I said to Joe, in hopes he felt the same way, 'I'm not so sure I want to see a five hour opera today.' Joe's voice was full of relief and he said, emphatically, 'Neither do I!.' We were just about to settle back down and plop in another DVD when I realized that I didn't have anything to write for Rolling Around In My Head. Staying home would mean that I'd have to sit at the computer and dredge up something to write. Daily blogs require daily inspiration or daily experiences. That's a tough order to fill some days.
So. We went to the opera.
First off, it was terrific. Simon Keenlyside is a favourite of mine and he was brilliant in his performance. But besides that three distinct things happened while at the theatre. Three things that cheered me and made the fact that it was light and sunny going in and cold, dark and snowy coming out, OK.
Our seats weren't together. There was another couple between us. She was in a power wheelchair, he sat in the companion seating. Joe was just on the other side of the husband, I was this side of the wife. We got chatting and they were a friendly couple. At one point she said something to him, something I couldn't hear - not that I was listening because I wasn't, I just noticed her lean into him. Then quietly and gently he took her leg, the one closest to him and crossed it over the other leg. She gave a deep sigh, a sigh that said, 'Ah, that feels better.' It was such a lovely thing to do, and it was done with such love - as if it had been his privilege to do for her what she needed done.
On the first intermission we went out into the lobby. After going to the washroom, I wheeled myself around and Joe walked beside me chatting with me about the movie and about the 'lady' who sat next to him cracking her gum during the performance. Then I notice a father with a small child who had Down Syndrome. The child had just taken a bite off of his fathers huge mustard covered pretzel - the kind they sell at movie theatres, the bigger than your hand kind of soft doughy treat. Mustard smeared over the boys face and his father knelt down and with great gentleness wiped the mustard off his little boys face. A natural loving act. Done as if it has been his privilege to do something loving for a boy he adored.
During the last act an elderly man got up. It was a struggle for him but he was ably helped by a younger man who we'd all figured out was a paid assistant. The young man was loving the opera and thereby just loving his job that day. He got up and helped the old man stand. Once the two canes were in place the man started to walk towards the exit. The young man made to follow. Without a word spoken, the performance was on after all and these two had class, the older man signaled to his assistant to sit down and enjoy the opera. About fifteen minutes later the old fellow was back having done whatever he had gone to do. He sat back down and glanced at the young man and gave him a grin. A grin that said it had been his privilege to give something back to the young man who was usually in the role of giving.
It was a lovely time out at the opera. The music was sumptuous, the acting incredible, the audience engaging ... with the exception of the gum cracker who left at the first intermission ... and all in all it was a great time.
A time we'd have missed if I didn't have a blog to write. I'd have stayed in, on the couch, watching DVDs and eating microwave popcorn. Not that that would have been a bad thing, just that today was better.
So from me to you, 'thanks'.