Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Balancing Out this Week

Women Taking Tea - Albert Lynch
Museo de Art, Lima, Peru

My daughter has been here at home with us in Weldon Spring for a few days now, on break from her ballerina duties with Portland Ballet in Maine.  She brings with her a magnificent energy, or balances out the energy somehow, in our house. I'm not sure what it is, but I love having her here.

When the Graceful One is around, my days seem to fill up with women. We gather with teachers and friends from her days with her first ballet school. We gather with relatives who want to reconnect. We gather with my circle of friends who always want to see her and pass out the hugs and the compliments. It feels warm and loving and nurturing, yes, but also invigorating, stimulating, and interesting.

Our conversations around the house have an added dimension. Our activities are sublty changed. Even our meals are different enough to take notice. The Graceful One is home.

Last night, for instance, she went to ballet class, and then stayed at the studios to observe rehearsals with the pre-professional company. When she returned home (fairly late), she suggested we watch the movie, "The Other Boleyn Girl" with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson (based on the novel by Philippa Gregory). 

We settled into our jammies and drank hot cocoa out of our bone china mugs. She warmed her aching back by the fireplace.  Her dog snuggled between us. The movie was fascinating, and I was most happy that I  stayed up late (and off the computer) to indulge that whim. Such is life with the Graceful One. 

Is it a discreet balancing of the yin-yang energy of the predominantly male household? Is it simply adding one more person to the mix? Or is it the unique tour de force that is the Graceful One?

When my daughter is around, there is a  gentle but unmistakeable mix of unconditional love, fierce protection, quiet determination, and gracious generosity in the air. I know that 'feminine' and 'masculine' energy dwells within all of us, and certainly both reside deeply within her. While she exudes the ideals of feminine beauty, there also exists great stores of strength, discipline, resolve, and bravery. Who's to say which is 'feminine' and which is 'masculine'?

What do you think?

Today, I hope you feel the energy of a special loved one in your life. (They need not be present to attend.)

When we think of ballet, most of us think of soft and pretty tutus, gentle movements, and classical music. Years of discipline, sweat, grit, and determination go into that perception. Ballet dancers are the most hard working artists in the world. Here is a glimpse at what the human body can express through the art of ballet. Enjoy! 


  1. what a heartfelt and loving tribute to your daughter -- i love your story of the energy she brings to your household. and yes, ballet dancers are tough cookies -- an elegant blend of both masculine/feminine energies released across a stage -- possibly my favorite art form.

    enjoy your time with your girl - it reminds me very much of time spent with my daughter. how lucky we are ;-)


  2. The other day my daughter said a strange thing to me; she said I felt more like her sister than her mother. I sort of feel that way too, isn't that strange? Once our daughters grow up, we become almost their contemporaries, and we are able to share more with them on a one-to-one level. Our relationships change. Of course, I am still fiercely protective of my daughter, but she is an adult, well-educated and very resourceful. And she is a lot of fun.

    So I understand your enjoying your company with your daughter.

    I love Natalie Portman...! Have you seen "The Black Swan" ... speaking of ballet? I have not seen it yet, but I hope to soon.

  3. Thank you, Amanda, glad to hear you and your daughter share the same close feelings shared by me and mine. What a belssing!

    So much of ballet is rooted in tradition and folklore, legends and shouldn't surprise me that you like it, too.

    You rock, Amanda.

  4. Oh, Jo...that was such a lovely tribute to The Graceful One. But also to you. Not only did you birth her and raise her, but you interact with her in a very special way. I have no doubt she feels it too and considers herself very lucky. In my all male household, (even the animals were male), feminine energy was decidedly lacking. As much as the perpetual smelly socks and butt humor was a rollicking good time, I can say not having a daughter is one of my few regrets.

  5. See what happens as time marches on - you will find that The Graceful One gradually becomes your mother! And I do mean that in the nicest possible way :o}

  6. Oh my! What a heartfelt tribute from the Golden One to the Graceful One... Sounds like you both are cut from the same cloth.

    Jo, you are a DELIGHT to read and makes me realize how close Cori and I have become and what an amazing treat to have a daughter.

    I have read the book "The Other Bolelyn Girl" and what a great book! Maybe I'll watch it too.

    Thanks again for a beautiful post and the pictures of the Ballet dancers were incredible too.

    Much love and peace to you today! Enjoy that extremely beautiful young woman who is just a younger you...

  7. Beautiful post!

    As you know, the whole issue of gender differences puzzles me. I have a terrible time trying to organize the world around gender.

    What I do know is that your daughter's energy is palpable even over the internet. She really IS the graceful one, in so many ways. Really glad she's there with you right now, doing what comes naturally to her.

  8. Hi Jo,

    It doesn't sound strange at all to me. I often find myself thinking of my daughter as my friend, sister, and sometimes, mother!

    Of course I've seen black swan! (smile)Very Hitchkockian! The way the ballet world was portrayed was rather exagerrated, but overall, the quality was good. Natalie Portman was VERY credible.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and telling me a bit about your daughter...she sounds a lot like you. ♥

  9. Hi Delana! I gave birth to three sons in four years before the Graceful One came along, and truth be told, I would have been thrilled with another boy. They are such fun!

    I had no idea that a daughter would be such a different experience. I now say she was my karmic reward for what I went through with the boys!

    No regrets, Delana. Your path has brought you where you are, which happens to be in a VERY good place!


  10. Hello, Katy, I can see your point. I am at the stage where I am now mothering my own mother, so I can see the continuum and where I will be someday.

    Actually, my daughter has always mothered me a bit. I think maybe she WAS my mother in another lifetime!

    Thanks for the visit...come back again!

  11. Vicki, what a sweet comment!

    Goodness, after all you and Cori have been through together, you must be as close as close can be. I've said it led her out of the darkness of tragedy and back into the light of love. You are a fiercely loving mother, and I salute you.


  12. About the porcelain mug with the hot chocolate and the dog, I was right there with you watching that movie with the Graceful One last night.
    I have two girls and two granddaughters and yes there are gender preferences. I find it so very comforting to have porcelain cups. I adore high tea. What's the reason? Maybe it is something held over from reading so much Jane Austin when I was younger. I don't know. I enjoy watching hockey and discussing sports with the boys, I like helping to organize and collect the recycling at school, but having a ballerina in the house and drinking from porcelain cups.... definitely warm fuzzies! <3

  13. Reya, I thought so much about you while I wrote this post. I see inherent differences between humans, but I think there is a greatly overlapping line between genders along this spectrum of differences.

    After all, is the courage of a mother protecting her children really any different from a warrior protecting his king? Are the tender tears of joy shed by a woman really any different from those shed by a father witnessing the miraculous birth of his child? I say no.

    Thank you for the wonderful comment, and especially for the very loving words about the Graceful One. I will share them with her this evening. ♥

  14. I'm with you, Linda!

    I adore my strong, funny, boisterous, sometimes-tender sons, but they would NEVER think of using special mugs, or putting on special jammies, or any of the other things my daughter comes up with.

    I, too, LOVE sports. But I still remember my mother taking My Twin and I to downtown Kansas City once a year before school started to shop for new clothes, and stop at her favorite tea room for high tea. The ritual of the tea itself was as fun as the actual drinking of the tea and eating of the cakes!

    Thanks for visiting and giving me that lovely memory! ♥


  15. Hi Jo. I agree with Reya about feeling Andrea's energy. Fire just below the surface wrapped in cool water. No hard edges. Everything smooth and delicate and refined on the outside. Years of conditioning and hard work. Like one long coordinated solid muscle but pretty as a lily on Easter morning. All of that would describe yang below and yin above, like the 11th chapter in the IChing--Tranquility. To me it is about the mix of energies and how they're stacked up. The combination of her parents nurturing energy with her own supreme determination and skill, years of training tempered by rare humility makes the gift to the world, Ballerina Andrea Joy. And Prima Mama Jo should always be there to tie the ribbon in her hair.

  16. Goodness, Mr. Riley, what a beautiful comment. Your description of her being like one solid muscle but "pretty as a lily on Easter morning" is so exquisitely true. I will carry that thought with me forever now.

    I appreciate the compliment about nurturing her, but you must have no idea how truly little I did in the process, serving only as an amazed observer while she took me along on her journey. It is the incredibly impressive group of teachers who knew how to stack that mix of energies within her and who deserve all the credit for forming the artist/athelete she is today.

    As for the ribbon in her hair, she hasn't allowed me to touch it since she was twelve! I do admire it from a distance, though.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and gifting me with your thoughts.


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.