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different strokes

The treat this past Saturday was riding my bicycle down to the overwrought Paramount cineplex, to go to the opera.  I was lucky enough to get a returned ticket to this sold-out event: Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment,” in a brilliant production from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.  Live, on screen.  

You sit in the movie theatre in Toronto – and all around the world – as the stage manager on the giant screen says, “Maestro to the pit, please.”  And watch the conductor stride through the backstage halls of the Met, emerge into the pit, acknowledge the applause in that vast glittering hall, and then turn to the orchestra.  And we’re there, in the pit with him, watching the faces of the oboe players and the cellists as they play the overture.  

And then the curtain rises and we are practically on-stage, watching the singers in close-up.  It was spectacular, especially in this production, which was brilliantly directed, acted and sung. At the intermission – after we’ve had the treat of Renee Flemming interviewing the stars, literally as they walk off the stage – I saw an elderly European couple unwrapping giant sandwiches.  We all had a breathtaking artistic experience for $20.  What a fantastic innovation this is.
Later that day I confronted another artistic experience, which took my breath in a different way.  My son decided to show me his new tattoo, his fifth.  It covers all of one side of his right leg from knee to ankle.  I reeled backwards in shock.   It was the most hideous thing I’d ever seen.  “How can you mutilate your body in this way?  Carve this into your flesh?  How are you going to get rid of it when it’s an embarrassment you no longer want to live with?”
He was hurt and angry.  “Tattoing is a culture and an art form,” he said.  “It’s artistic expression and I love it.  This isn’t the last.”  And we left it there.  It’s his body.  To mutilate as he sees fit.
You know, the cinema was packed for the opera but there was almost no one under the age of 25.  I guess the kids are all out pursuing their own forms of artistic expression.  And ironically, my bet is that my son’s was a great deal more expensive, on Saturday afternoon, than mine.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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