Monthly Archives: February 2019

Anna Karenina: A Ballet

Anna Karenina.jpg

How do you pack an 800-page Leo Tolstoy novel into a two-hour ballet? Well, The Joffrey Ballet was able to pull it off in a unique fashion in their World Premier of Anna Karenina. It is the longest novel that I have ever read and vastly unforgettable in so many ways.

The ballet opens with these huge train wheels on a screen and lots of fog.  When things clear, a train guard has discovered a man who has been hit by the train. Anna and Vronsky are on the platform and have witnessed this tragedy together. It is prescient.

Anna Karenina is married to Karenin, a statesman many years her senior.  She has met a young, handsome officer named Vronsky and an affair quickly ensues between them. It is an openly known fact as they travel around Russia together.  They even live in Italy for a while as a couple.  A live opera singer sang during the ballet for a couple of scenes.  Her voice in the background during a steamy love scene left us all spellbound.

Anna slips back home on a couple of occasions and we see her husband, Karenin sitting in his office.  He realizes that she has returned home when he looks and sees her in their son’s room.  Both times, he blocks her interaction with the child and has the governess take the boy away, much to her dismay.

Anna, Vronsky and Karenin are entwined in one dance which reveals the pain and struggle of the love triangle.  Anna is overwhelmed and becomes very ill.  We see both Karenin and Vronsky standing over her sick-bed. Vronsky realizes what the affair has cost her and finally pleads for Karenin’s forgiveness.

Ultimately, after being given morphine to numb her pain, Anna Karenina sees no way out of her dilemma.  We see these huge train tracks being laid down and we see a light coming from an approaching train.  Anna walks towards the light with the wind fiercely blowing her hair. She dies like the man did at the beginning of the ballet.

Towards the end, there is a gravesite with many crosses as all mourn Anna‘s death. I saw one father in the audience consoling his young daughter because she was trying to understand why Anna threw herself in front of the train.  Personally, I think the story was a little too advanced for young eyes.

Some liberties were taken with the novel’s plot and there was some buzz about that during intermission.  One woman shared this with me so I relaxed and stopped fact-checking on my phone to compare what I was seeing to the book, itself. The ballet closes with a young, married couple dancing because they are so in love. They were fortunate enough to find happiness with each other, unlike the tragic Anna Karenina.

Lynn M.                                                                    February 24, 2019



February: A Poem


February? We think of pink,

When hearts search for that missing link.

To align with a pointed love,

That resembles a flighted dove.

Mid-month, there is Valentine’s Day,

Those loved ones get to have their say.

And, we honor Black History,

So young ones have no mystery, 

About who did both this and that,

Having this, their pride won’t go flat.

Black History is all month long,

This hefty info keeps us strong!

February 2019


Awaiting Recognition!

There are times in our lives when we are looking for something from the outside that we already have on the inside.  Buried deep inside of us are those seeds that are awaiting our recognition, sometimes known as “our calling.”

If we study our journeys, we can see that it is right before our eyes.  We can ask ourselves, “What am I most comfortable doing?  How do I spend most of my leisure time when no one is making demands?  What comes to me most easily and naturally? 

Those questions can point us in the right direction as we seek our purposes and missions.  Our queries continue as we make lists and note our most dominant actions.  Here are some things to ponder.

Do I find myself drawing and sketching?  What am I sketching?  Are they designs of buildings or perhaps designs of fashions?  Am I writing?  Do I have a journal that I furiously protect from the intrusions of others? Do I find myself giving advice to others on a regular basis?  Or, is there a sport that takes hours and hours of practice as I seek to perfect my game?  Do I like to repair things or are am I the one who organizes everybody else’s things around the house?

The answers to these questions can help us to find our passions.  As the old saying goes, “Do what you love, and the Mercedes will follow.”  With this awareness, career choices would come a lot easier and fewer dollars would be spent on tuition costs that are spent in the wrong areas or disciplines.

If we slow down and look around at the things we hold near and dear, we will see the seeds of our divine purpose.  Instead of trying to please others’ ideas for our lives, we will clearly see what we have been put here to do. Then, we can pour water our newly, discovered seeds.  They have been sitting there for a long time simply awaiting our recognition. So, cultivate them.  Preen them.  Cut back the weeds and watch them sprout upward into new growth!

Lynn M.                                                     February 16, 2019

On Track?

Image result for train tracks silhouette clip art free

We must remind ourselves that it is still close to the beginning of the year.  There is plenty of time to look at the promises that we made as we vowed to make fresh beginnings in the New Year.  We can ask ourselves during this second month of 2019, “Am I on track?  Am I on the right track to achieve what I am setting out to accomplish this year? Am I mindfully setting down new footprints in the sand or have I already fallen back into the old, familiar territory?”

According to the groundhog who did  not see his shadow, spring will be coming sooner than we think; so we need to be ready. The birds have already begun to sing in the wee hours of the morning and they surely know nature’s plans.  We don’t want spring to burst forth and find us still living amid last winter’s drudge.  Nor do we want to be caught behaving as if it is 2018 and encompassed in yesteryear’s rusty angst.

We want to be in tune with the new wonders that are around the corner.  So, we should continue to get rid of the old, unnecessary things of the past that have served their purpose. Otherwise, they simply become weights that will hinder our movement. We want to make way for the new and awesome things that the universe has waiting.

So, take a moment and look down at the ground.  Locate the tracks underfoot and make sure that everything is in alignment.  Check to make sure that all is truly in divine order. Pull on that train whistle and shout, “All systems go!” and chug-a chug, chug right on down the track!

Lynn M.                                                                                         February 9, 2019

Truly Frozen!

See the source image

As I look out across this winter wonderland, it has become somewhat surreal.  We are not viewing a movie.  This is real-time Chicago that is being held in the grips of Old Man Winter.

We are reminded of our dependency on both our infrastructure and our utility companies.  We realize how co-dependent we are as we lean on each other for comfort and reassurance.   Yes, we are fragile and dire circumstances reawaken us to that fact.

We know from our history lessons that  Rome was not built in a day but once it was built, it all eventually came to a crashing halt.  So, it would behoove us to cling tight and hold on to our faith as we ration out our resources and look out for our neighbors.

We should take nothing and no one for granted because we see how quickly it  all can float away like debris down a river.  Perhaps we are being nudged to go back to basics.  We must scale down, get rid of some of the fluff in both possessions and in arrogant, haughty attitudes. Over time, none of it will count as a little more than a hill of beans.

We should reapply The Golden Rule and truly do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  If we can reign ourselves in, cut back on the unnecessary things and treat others well, then we can unfreeze our hearts.  We can come out on the other side and look forward to a budding spring encased with a warmer heart.

Lynn M.                                                                                                     February 2, 2019