It’s a question that sometimes leaves me drawing a blank: What do you enjoy?
Enjoy? I so seldom consider it, I so seldom have time to consider it.
But other times, I know.
I know it most when I dance.
I don’t like to talk about it. Realistically it’s not something I can pursue very much anymore.
But dancing brings me the greatest joy. It lights up the world for me. It communicates the depth of human experience, it touches hearts.
At a class doing little ballet changement jumps recently, someone smiled at me and said, “You make them look so pretty.” I thought of my mum that day, and I cried.
I remember the scene so vividly: I was six, at kindergarten, and I saw two girls dressed in pretty pink tutus. I went home and told my mum, “I want to look like that!”
My mum brought me to ballet class the next week. It was the middle of the semester and the strict teacher intimidated me, but my mum would sit in class and take notes and help me learn the steps.
Then three years ago, through a particularly challenging time in a foreign country, mum said to me: “You love dancing. Why don’t you do it again?”
How could my mum have known? I cry when I think of that. My mum knew my gifts and always did her best to nurture them. She made me the gift I am today.
My mum tells me that when I was young and she read me the story of Hansel and Gretel, I cried for the children because they had no mother. Every time she tells me that I have a special kindness and sensitivity, I cry. I cry because I realise, she sees who I am. She knows who I am. And she remembers it for me, in times when I have become hardened and cold.