Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Swan Lake Melody to Dream By

When I was a child I loved listening to Swan Lake.
I would sit in my room on my rocking chair close my eyes and dream a story to go with the music and the title of the record.
To this day I love music like this where you can close your eyes, know nothing about the story line and let the music speak to you, so you could make up your own story to it. Then I would dance to it all the while dreaming I was a swan and terrible things were happening around me, storms, wind... I had to fly and get away.

We had the big LP's and I cherished them because I loved the RCA dog they drew on each one.

My radio console was similar to the one in the bottom right hand corner . It had the radio on top and then the record player in a drawer you had to open to play.
Sometimes the bulbs in the back would burn and my Dad had to buy new ones and I guess this is why one day it just disappeared.
Everything disappeared in my house and I had nothing to say about it.

My grand mother had a radio, similar to the one on the left and she had it till she died, a long long time.
I didn't think to take it after she was gone but it wasn't the same as mine.

I watched a Swan Lake Ballet once on TV and to see how the ballerina transformed herself from a bird into a human was just so beautiful and enchanting, it left an ever lasting impression on me.
I believed everything I saw on TV and heard on the radio was happening right there and then.
No one told me about recordings lol

One day I kept hearing the same songs over and over and I thought......
well maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea to be a singer if you had to spend all your time at the radio station singing those same songs over and over and over again.
This got me thinking that people wouldn't do that for no amount of money. lol

I remember how mesmerized I was with Disneys' stories and cartoons.
Then they brought the man himself to the Mickey Mouse Club and I remember thinking
what a wonderful person he must be to do so many nice things for kids.
I wished he was my grand father cause he even looked a bit like him.

I thought my Grandfather was a Saint.
One day I asked my Grand Mother if he was and she cracked up.
I never heard her laugh so hard while she went telling every one what I thought about her husband . lol
But to this day I think he was a Saint because he was so nice to me
He had deep blue eyes which sparkled when they looked at me and he never lost his temper.
I was shy, so I never liked to sit in anyone's lap but when it came to him I would gladly climb up into them and we'd both sit like two peas in a pod.

Every day , when I was around 2, he'd sit at one end of the table, configuring something on a pad with a pencil ( he was an engineer by training) and I'd sit at the other end of the table in my high chair.
Then he'd stop and look at me and smile cause I was watching him like a hawk.
He'd make up a nonsensical name for me.

One day he said:
Kunya. Then he pointed to his fore head and then then to the table to show that I was empty headed . I thought this was funny and couldn't wait to see him every day to call him and do the same thing back always in such good humor.
My Grandmother would get mad at him and say:
Look what you are teaching her!
She does this only to you! and he'd laugh.
I did it with such relish, they thought I would break my finger banging my forehead and the table with my little finger.
When he died I prayed so hard that he went to heaven to be with the beautiful Angels.

The night he died, he came to my bed just as I was going into dream land. I opened my eyes and there he was smiling.
I closed my eyes curling up on my side, thinking Grand Pa is here. I can sleep now.
The next morning I told my Mom and she told me she was making coffee and turned around and he was sitting at the table like he always did.
He said in a nonchalant way: Mary! Bring me some coffee.
She said: Ok Dad and turned around to pour him a cup but then remembered he died and turned but he wasn't there.
I think he came to say good bye for the last time.
Both my Mom and I were surprised to have the same story to tell about him, the same night.
I never missed the Mickey Mouse Club with Annette.
They didn't put too much stuff out on TV to over whelm you but just enough to make you want more and to learn from them.

My Mom always put me to bed at 7 pm and I would always complain because
Disneyland would come on. So she would give me a treat by saying ok you can watch it but then up to bed.
The rest of the evening they had to listen to
I want some water. I want to go pee. I'm hungry. Anything not to sleep. lol

This must have been quite irritating to go through every night for them.
Eventually my Mom would come in and lie down beside me and tell me she knew how to hypnotize me so I would sleep. She proceeded waving her fingers in front of my eyes saying:
You are getting sleepy. Your eyes are getting very tired lol
After 10 minutes I'd open them and giggle and she would too pretending I tricked her into believing I was asleep.
But when she did it with the cat, she succeeded. The cat would always fall asleep.

My kids???
My kids never had bed time.
We would sit and read and play until I fell asleep and they'd still be wide awake. lol
But bed times were less stressed cause we stayed together.
I would make up stories off the cuff and they would laugh listening to them.
Then the next night they'd say Mommy, tell me the story you told me last night lol
And I would not remember what it was but some stories were so good I wish I taped them, cause even I enjoyed making them up.

I remember one I told them, about the Pick Nose Kid.
They laughed and laughed listening to it and I'd love to watch their eyes grow big.
It was just like Christmas every night.
Their cheeks would grow rosy and the eyes would sparkle.

These cherished days are my diamonds in the sky.
I collected so many of them over the years.

Today I still love Swans and the ballet.
They are powerful elegant and gentle birds.
Their faces look stern like they have something to say and
yet like the ballerina with her soft wings,
you would hate to watch them fly away.
I could watch these birds forever.
Life is a story, a melody, to dream by.

Have a good one.:)


Anji said...

That was a beautiful post. When I went to ballet school, to dance the dying swan was my ambition, then when I learnt to play the 'cello it was my ambition to play the music! I was never good enough at either.

It was interesting that your Grandfather came to you. The day my father died about 10 years ago my daughter Dom was very upset and cried a lot. The next morning she was fine and told me that he had come to her in a dream and told her to stop crying. She was very comforted by his visit.

Diana said...

What sweet memories you have! Most of mine are gone now. The details anyway. Your grandfather sounded like a special man.
I do remember making up stories for my kids too! Did you see the movie "Black Swan"? We didn't like it at all. I was just wondering what you thought about it.
It was fun reading all of your memories! Love Di ♥

Gattina said...

What a nice post full of memories ! I have seen The Swan lake in the theatre and I think twice at least. My parents were Opera freaks and took me with them far too early so now I have an overdose of Operas and Ballets. But this ballet I really like.

George said...

I still have an RCA Victor LP of Swan Lake. Over many years it has acquired many scratches, but I still enjoy listening to it.

Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories with us.

A Lady's Life said...

Anji So was I. He came and it was like he belonged there. I loved my Grand Father and was very sorry when he died.

A Lady's Life said...

Diana _ I forget a lot of things too but sometimes they just pop up into my head and I remember.
With music esp Tchaikovsky, you learn to let your self go.Get absorbed by the story of the music and its strange when in the end your story is close to the story in the head of the composer and I suppose this ballet was the same sort of thing. You are born innocent and then you are exposed to the world.
The world consists of much blackness and to understand it or to get a person out of a black situation , you have to yourself venture into the abyss. The thing is, are you strong enough to pull out, come back or do you get sucked in and die as well?
My grandmother always said dirt does not attach itself to a clean waxed smooth surface It blows off.Our Arch bishop warned us kids never to look at evil, because once you see it, you will never be the same again. Of course we all went to see the Exorcist at that time lol but then I understood what he meant.
The White Swan was such a surface.
In order to get the part she had to look at and to feel what it was to be dirty, to lose innocence.Survive surrounded by ugly people.
Once you get dirty, it is hard to become clean again.Its like a Dorian Gray picture. Same sort of story.You need an Angel to help pull you out. You need strong beliefs. Most of us are weak.

A Lady's Life said...

Gattina I have always loved it but I have never been to the Opera. Its mostly on TV that I've seen it and then not every ballerina can dance the way she is supposed to.
The one here on my blog is soo good.

A Lady's Life said...

George - I wish I still had all my old things but my parents never valued anything old. It was always about new and better.The old they would pass on to other people.

Diane said...

I love hearing about your memories! I, too had a wonderful experience when My Grampa B died. I was always afraid of him. He was in the last stages of Parkinson's when I was born, so I knew him only as an angry-looking man. Which wasn't what he was like at all. I know it bothered him that I was so frightened. After he died, I saw him on the stairs in our home and he wasn't scary-looking anymore. I wasn't afraid of him. It was a wonderful, special experience. I'm so glad to hear about yours. Your blogs are always so uplifting!

A Lady's Life said...

Diane, My Mom had parkinsons and she thought the baby was my first son and my first son, who helped me a lot to care for her, was a nazi. She hurt his feelings because she raised him and loved him so much and he her.
But I explained to him that she sees him as Nick so she still loves him.
My baby boy had to be my Mom's baby sitter instead of the other way around. He never knew her when she was nice and was robbed of a grama. But she admired him when he was born when she was still herself.We all took turns watching her because otherwise I would have died doing it alone. She needed eyes to be on her all the time.