Symbols

Jan. 18th, 2009 02:34 am
waverlywindsor: (Default)
[personal profile] waverlywindsor
Think of an item or symbol from every day life that could stand for your mother, father, spouse, best friend, or other person who is important to you. If you don't want to use someone from your life, pick something that you think needs to be symbolized. Write about why that symbol stands for that person or thing.




Toe shoes. My old, worn-out and broken in toe shoes. The ones torn up and the inside of the toes stained with blood. They smell. They're ugly. And if I were to put them on right now? They'd feel comfortable and like they belonged on my feet.

These shoes symbolize everything about me, my life, my mother, my friends...everything we all worked for to get me into the academy at the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice. Time. Determination.

My mother worked her ass off at two, sometimes three jobs to pay for my tuition. To keep me in leotards and shoes. For train tickets so I could come home for holidays. She let me go at eight years old, to go to school and to dance the way that she thought I was meant to dance. I was eight. I lived in New York until last year. Twenty years. She basically gave up twenty years of seeing her only child on a daily basis. She settled for phone calls--when I felt like talking to her. For letters--if I could bother to write. Of course, once I actually graduated, I saw her more often, came home a little more frequently but the truth was, my life was in New York, not Dalton's Corner.

I look at these worn out, used up things and I see all the hard work she put into giving me the chance to dance the satin right off a pair of slippers. And these are just the the pair I kept. There are so many others I threw away.

Then there are my friends. Greg and Mia and all the rest of them here in Dalton's Corner. The ones I went to grade school with. Mia who was always my penpal, who wrote the longest letters in the world to fill me in on everything I was missing out on. Andy, who I'd flirt with when I came home--every last one of them cheered me on and welcomed me back and when I'd leave again, they saw me off. Matt and Julie spent their honeymoon in NYC just so they could see me dance in the chorus of a show. Greg, Marsha and Ham used to take road trips to come see me.

They bent over backwards, tired themselves out, put their cars or their wallets to the test just to spend a day or two with me. Never complaining, never feeling as if they put more effort into our friendships (even though they really did at times). I look at these shoes and I see all the good wishes they had for me.

I look at these shoes.

You know what? If it hadn't been for all of them, there is no way I would have danced long enough, hard enough, to wear out even one pair of toe shoes.

These nasty, ugly, smelly shoes symbolize love. A lot of love.
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July 2009

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