Monday, May 28, 2012

Mag 119 — the dancer



Her beloved apartment was a six-floor walk-up in one of the older buildings near the park. The stone masons who toiled to craft the impressive slabs that distinguished it from the nearby structures composed of brick and wood were the same craftsmen who built the grand, sweeping curved drive leading to the marble conservatory across the river. Her great-grandfather was one of them.

"How will I know when I've made it to the top?" she had asked her father once when she was a nine-year-old ballet student dreaming of fame.

She remembered her father's reply. "It isn't important how high you go, Sweetie. What's important is that you live your life so that you can always hold your head high."

Now, years later, she enjoyed nothing more than gazing out from her window over the tops of the row of cherry trees at dusk, admiring the angles and patterns they cast on her small dance studio across the street.

Written for The Mag: Mag 119 that inspired with the above photo prompt (House At Dusk, 1935, Edward Hopper).


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18 comments:

izzy said...

Oh I love this! not walking up all those stairs- but Dads lesson!

Fireblossom said...

Oh I never saw that ending coming. This has a marvelously old fashioned feel, sort of 1910-ish to me. But then again, the dance studio could be there right now. Anyway, love that you plumbed a whole life, really, from that picture of a building, you Old Postcard maven, you.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...nice...a wise father you know...and i love that she followed her own passions as well..a dance studio...inspiring little dancers i think is up there near the top...smiles...

jane.healy said...

I had to think what a walk-up was for a moment!

I liked this prompt and love the person looking wistfully (I have decided) out of the window.

Enjoyed this response - have you recently changed the lay out? I'm seeing lots here I don't normally see.

Kutamun said...

Delicate story ,Lydia, finely wrought. Thanks

Rob-bear said...

Structured with the precision of a stone mason.

Wise as thoughts of a father shared with his daughter.

Truly, she made it to the top, on both sides of the street.

But as W. B. Yeats rightly asked, "How can we know the dancer from the dance?"

Little Nell said...

How lovely to read a story of success and a father’s wise words echoing down the years.

Helen said...

What a 'heartwarmer' ... so true.

susan said...

This is a large and wonderful story in a very small space.

DCW said...

So many of us found a slight sadness in this picture. Happy to hear your positive approach.

hedgewitch said...

I agree with Fireblossom, this is definitely full of historical overtones and atmosphere, but has universal meaning. It's funny how we remember those sorts of statements from our childhood, and only later realize how wise they really were. My grandfather, for instance, who raised four kids during the Great Depression, once told me, "You're never poor if you have food to put on the table, and good people to eat it with."

Condolences, Lydia, on losing your cat--its always hard, even when they are old and ready to let go.

Lydia said...

izzy~ Thanks, and I agree about the stairs, although it would be really good for me!

Fireblossom~ The painting gave me the feeling you describe, so that must be the mood that prevailed in the write. Loved the title Old Postcard maven!

Brian~ I agree that it is up there near the top. Always did think that teaching ones passion served a higher purpose.

jane~ Wistfully or peacefully....that was the sense I got too. Hopper is so great.
No, I have not made new changes here for about 7-8 months...glad you found some of 'em!

Kutumun~ Ah, I like that you described it as delicate. Thanks.

Rob-bear~ Love that Keats quote, and it is perfect here. I agree that she made it to the top on both sides of the street!

Little Nell~ Thank you. He would have been a lovely dad to have had!

Helen~ Thanks much. :)

susan~ What a marvelous thing for you to say. Thank you.

DCW~ I have not read others and will not until Tuesday so it will be interesting to see the slant of sadness you mentioned. Thank you for your visit and comment.

hedgewitch~ Thank you for the condolences...they mean a lot.
This Hopper painting did have that sense of history for me. It seemed very east coast to me.
Your grandfather's quote if so wise and warm. I will remember it, I really will!

Tess Kincaid said...

Life affirming and lovely...

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, yes! The wonderful father gave her wings!

Bee's Blog said...

Wise paternal words remembered by a loving and much loved daughter - nice one.

Lydia said...

Tess~ Thank you so much...for your comment and the beautiful prompt!

Tumblewords~ Sweet thoughts!

Bee's Blog~ Your comment is much appreciated.

M Riyadh Sharif said...

A simple word of wisdom from parents can change the whole world around their children. Sweet piece of story, Aunt! ♥

Lydia said...

Riyadh~ Thank you for being here to read and leave such a sweet comment. ♥

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