I recently had the pleasure of watching a virtual presentation of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. They’re just one of the many performing arts organizations that are streaming dance, theatre and music for audiences during the pandemic. It’s not the same as being in a concert hall, but on a big screen it can still be awesome.
One of the pieces, “Future Memory,” was brilliant. It showcased four ballet dancers with amazing athletic ability — they made the Seahawks wide receivers look like amateurs.
These dancers moved beautifully across the stage. They were touching, undulating, sometimes moving together in perfect harmony, lifting, circling, swinging and twirling. At times they looked as if they were ice dancing. Each movement flowed into the next. Spellbound, it brought tears to my eyes.
Like most great art, this performance reminded me of the beauty of creation. It has been the winter of our discontent, as the pandemic raged across the land. Now, it’s springtime and I marvel at the cherry and apple blossoms, pink and white exploding from the long dormant winter. Deciduous trees bud and leaf out their palate of green. The forsythia proudly show their yellowest of yellows. Tulips and bulbs, scattered by squirrels in the fall, sprout in my garden. This yearly renewal brings me much needed hope and optimism.
I love to take long walks in the early morning, just as the sun begins to rise and glow. It’s quiet and peaceful. I listen to the birds singing their morning song. There are just a few other early morning travelers. With the rising of the sun, a new day is born with new possibilities.
“Future Memory” reminds me of what human beings can do. These dancers train hours every day to express the vision of the choreographer. But it also demands a synergy between performer and creator, a collaboration between artists that brings a dream into life.
If we look closely, we see this in our everyday life. Teams of workers bring new products and services into being, such as electric cars, solar energy and vaccines. It takes a village to simply bring food to our tables.
Yes, we admire great artists, performers, scientists and athletes who remind us of what’s possible. Yet, even the most mundane daily activity, like drinking a latte in the early morning, involves the unseen dance of hundreds of people — farmers, truck drivers, factory workers and baristas.
The Pacific Northwest Ballet’s marvelous dance performance reminds me to celebrate the miracle of life. Amidst the pain and suffering of this last year, we have also experienced ordinary people who have been heroes and superstars. Plain folks who have reached out to others to share their good fortune and brought comfort to those in need.
No matter how separate or different we think we are, we’re interconnected. We depend on each other, even for the simplest things.
This spring, as we experience the miracle of life, let’s bring our dreams to life.
Paul Schoenfeld is a clinical psychologist at The Everett Clinic. His Family Talk blog can be found at www.everettclinic.com/health-wellness-library.html.