For my birthday, The Professor not only gave me tickets to see the ballet, he agreed to go with me. This is huge, people. Just huge.

And, miracle of miracles, the only one sleeping was Aurora — though I thought I might lose him a time or two!

He must really love me.

The ballet was gorgeous. A little over-produced, perhaps, but I don’t care. (Costumes were a little wacky.) Seeing professional dancers (good ones) relaxes me. I love everything about ballet as an art form. It is so precise, so unnecessary, so demanding, and so wonderfully . . . thorough. When I see dancers in a musical or an opera, I enjoy the show, but when I see an expert ballet dancer, it takes my breath away. I love how each extension reaches its maximum — how each movement is carefully calculated from one familiar position to another and quite literally from head to toe. I just don’t see that anyplace else in art or in athletics in such an indulgent fashion.

Watching a great ballet dancer gives me hope. I can see, in the mastery that she has over her body, in the understanding that her battered toes have with the beat of the music and the way her lithe limbs respond to the demands of aesthetic perfection, that beauty can, in fact, win out in the end. I see that, though the world is full of loss, war, and pain, maybe I can still pour myself into something that is lovely and worthy, too.

It sounds melodramatic, I know, but for some reason, I think this is how Goodness speaks to me.

The Cincinnati Ballet Company does offer adult classes. I’ve considered getting in on it, but I’d be afraid to show up alone. Perhaps I need to get over that . . . .