Friday, March 27, 2009

Schools of silver fish

Again, an aquarium shot with the blue light through the water. I'm crazy for this blue light! Since the last time I was here, the circling groups of anchovies and sardines have become a feature. You have to look closely at the tails to tell which is which, but there really is an amazing difference. The aquarium put up a sign that tips you off.
The tiny fish gleam as they circle and circle and circle, parting occasionally to allow a predator fish to pass. It was a form of dancing and also a demonstration of unity. As when the sanderlings wheel together in their flights above the Bay, I wonder again who leads the dance and if there is no leader, how do they all know what to do?
Tonight we watched the American Masters program on Jerome Robbins. It made me a little sad, but happy, too. I was happy to see so much good dancing (Susanne Farrell, Tanaquil LeClerc!) and see Baryshnikov and Peter Martens again. We heard from mature versions of so many of the dancers, singers and actresses who worked with him. These were gems set among the sadness of the several professional names he tried on the trip from Rabinowitz to Robbins, the testimony coerced from him by the House Un-American Activities Committee, his wish to be married and have children when he loved men, his unquenchable and terrifying perfectionism, and the not-completely-successful attempt to reclaim his Jewish heritage (so strongly rejected in his youth) by creating the ballet Dybbuk, among many others sad things.
To watch him move throughout his life, and to see how he came to ballet through modern dance was a real revelation to me. I was much more familiar with his Broadway musical work that with his ballet work with Balanchine and his companies.
And of course it made me ponder again the immigrant experience, which so many newcomers are undergoing now. And how it seems they very often fell they must reject the old worlds for this one. This one, with its many graces and imperfections.
And of course, looking at a lived life like this, I questioned again the poor use I have made of my own possiblities and gifts. I've had a nice life, and one that was relatively easy. But I feel it would have benefited from more focus and concentration, and less frittering. But I seem to have made an art of frittering, fits and starts, collections and beginnings.
Well, at least the stock market seemed a little happier today. And Rafael laid down the sod for the smaller lawn, and the bark chips around the manzanita, ceanothus, Spanish lavender, lemon thyme, rosemary and some other stuff I have to look up the name again. Sigh. I'll try to post a picture.

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