Earlier this week Hubby and I went to Hamer Hall for the Czech Philharmonic. It was magnificent.
A night out for me means making effort. Taking time to get ready. Wearing my favourite red lipstick. Putting on impossible heels and fine stockings. This night also meant a new lace pencil skirt, my much loved vintage blazer and my husband’s hand to hold.
What I love about going to events like this is the dynamic audience it brings. Elderly couples, partners, families, work colleagues.
Being there with time to spare is the name of the game. Glass of sparkling wine in hand, I like time to watch fellow theatre or concert goers. There is the inevitable celebrity, but it is not them I am watching. It is the everyday people.
Young, old and in between waiting for the polite toned bells and voice to announce doors are open and patrons can now be seated. The poetry of people. The dance of a lobby-full of people moving to their allotted entrance door. Hushed tones and quick final sips of the pre-show or intermission drink.
Theatre going middle class know how to knock back a drink in record time. Intermission is short and cues to the bar long.
What I love as much as the music is the people. The elderly audience members. Some with walking frames, or sticks, others with an arm to hold, slowly walking to their seats. Bent bodies and shuffling feet. The child clutching the ear of a beloved soft rabbit toy. Her father’s head bent low to talk to her. A young couple embracing, oblivious to those around them. I stand, glass in hand among them all. Watching. Listening to the hum of hushed conversation. The fading laughter as friends enter the hall. And there am I. Neither very young or very old. Standing, still able to wear higher then high heels, still straight backed, sucking in my stomach. Taking it all in.
I am alive. My voice says in the quiet of my head. I am alive.
We none of us know how long we are here. But we know when we are alive. When we are able bodied and strong of mind. Not all of us get that. Not all of us manage life to an old age, dressing well and going to the theatre. None of us know what life holds. Plans and dreams unused.
We are thrown curve balls, plans go astray.
Could have, would have, should have.
When I go to the theatre, a concert I am confronted by my own mortality as I watch people young and old. And by that of my family. Terminal and cancer are familiar words to me and mine. But there is no battle for us. No brave fight. There is just life. Lived as best it can be.
There is life.
We go on living, even as we face death in all its guises.
I go on putting on my finest clothes, lacing my fingers with my husband’s and sitting with other patrons. I dance the lobby dance. Drink the intermission drink. Am part of the poetry of people.
Life may not be what we hoped. It may not be what we planned. But it is ours for the taking. It is ours for the giving.
It is ours for the living.
I received tickets to the Czech Philharmonic for a promotional blog post done in July. This post was written in response to my own thoughts. It is neither sponsored nor promotional in intent.