Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Yule Ball

I love dances.
Or more accurately, I love the idea of them that I hold in my head.

In all of my attendance of required dance functions throughout my life, I don't really recall dancing that much. I spent a lot of time in uncomfortable plastic chairs arranged around the perimeter of gyms. Watching. Once you learn how to turn of the part of your brain that wants, not even as much to be invited by a particular boy to dance, but simply to be invited by any living person to participate in what is going on, it's like watching a living painting.

In paintings, the artist never lets on how sweaty the guy's hands are, how clumsy uneducated feet are, how bad the Prom committee's president's brothers' band really is. No. Everything is nicely arranged in paintings. We artists work hard to make it so. Perhaps because life is messy. Because we know in real life, somebody is going home with hurt feelings, or ruined shoes, or a broken heart. We know because we saw it from our flimsy plastic chairs. We heard who cheated on who. Who couldn't handle his snuck in Jagermeister. Who accused who of being pregnant with who's baby.

But with a stroke of a brush, it can all be different. The whole scene can be the golden moment trapped forever. The moment he felt ten feet tall. The moment she really knew how it felt to be a princess. Let there be twinkle lights. Let's forget we're in a gym that may or may not have had the floor scrubbed since the wrestling championship. Or the "Regal Room" at the Holiday Inn with its 1970's carpet. We're at Hogwarts now and it smells of snow and evergreens. It's Christmas. Anything can happen.

Because art is magic.