Empty Nest -Whimsical Journey to Survive and Self Actualize
A way to survive the empty nest and a "cracked "relationship with a fun daily challenge of new experiences, reflections, sources, and some biblical guidance. I hope this blog which offers a fun journey to survive by trying something new, either vicariously or by doing, will result in a survival tool kit to replace the past familiar doing, giving, and/or incorporating the interest of your child or your long gone love interest, with some new self interest(s).
Riverdance is on its 20th year of touring
and I have never seen the show! I love to watch dance (see Day 193-Pilbolus & Day 90-Nutcracker ) so I thought that it was time to see why this show has had such a
long run and get my Irish fix on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. My son was home, so
even though he needed a push to go, we both were amazed at the show. I
overheard several people say “I thought it would be good but did not know it
would be this good!”
Russian Dance, Flamenco too!
I first saw Riverdance on a television PBS special about 10 years ago. Back then, I was amazed at the skill
of the dance and loved the mixture of tapping with ballet but nothing compares to
seeing it live. This show started with a
foggy stage and the classic haunting flute as the men, and then the troupe, preformed
the iconic Irish tapping with military precision.
The whole show was intense with the pulse of the drums and the electrifying
rhythms from the dance. At times the tapping was so fast that my ears almost
could not keep up with the pace. As the
dancers upper bodies remained still,
your eyes are drawn to the legs and feet with entertaining amazement. (My
thighs ached as I watched them and I couldn’t help but wonder how many calories they burned as they danced).
The show had a balance of music and dance. In the song, “The Heart’s Cry,” the lead vocal
had an angelic pure sound.
The Irish sound was beautifully harmonized with the other singers as they sang
about love. There was also plenty of the
traditional Celtic sounding music with uilleann pipes, fiddle, drums, flute and saxophone.
( see show clip here).
Men duel with styles, American vs Irish
The show took
the audience on a ride from the Irish coast to Spain, Russia, and then America.
There were two brilliant Flamenco dances by soloist Marta Oritz Duesto. Her hand and upper body moved like waves in contrast to her pounding feet. The Russian acrobatic men dancers
reached amazing heights as they jumped and the girls twirled faster than a top.
The most fun was the men’s dance that dueled the looser jazzy “American style,”
against the tight “Riverdance style” of
I particularly enjoyed the intensity of the all women dance, “Anna Livia”
and the all male dance, “Thunderstorm." This show with its energetic rhythm (either from the tapping,the drums,or the
music) made a perfectly amazing St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I see why Riverdance has entertained for 20 years!
( Be amazed by Riverdance from March 17th to 19th at the Benedum Center as part of the Cultural Trust events or on tour).
was gripped with great wonder and awe. And they praised God, saying over and
over again,”We have seen amazing things today.”
My first experience with the music of the British rock band, Pink Floyd,
was in college. I was not a “rock
and roll” girl but a disco queen in college
mostly because I loved to dance. One of my roommates gave me head phones and I listened to the entire album of “The
Wall”laying down in a dim lit room. I could not believe the musical experience with the voices, sounds (laughter), and
instrumentals. I assure you that no drugs were involved but I was taken on an escape, a relaxing ride, and I
was hooked on the band. My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from A Little Golden Book, reminds us to “use your
imagination” and that is just what I remember doing that day in my college dorm as I was immersed in the music. I was
excited to see if Brit Floyd, which is a
Pink Floyd cover band, could capture
Pittsburgh Public Theater held an event to support The Children's Home of Pittsburgh and the Lemieux Family Center before the second night of the musical "Daddy Long Legs" at the O'Rielly Theater. This organization which offers adoption services, a pediatric hospital and a day care for medically
fragile children, seemed like the perfect charity to combine with this
play. Daddy Long Legs is about an orphaned girl (Judy), who goes to college because a generous anonymous trustee (Jervis) finances
her studies. This musical is really about Judy's educational, social, and personal growth, and her secret to happiness.
As noted in Day 198-Winter Park, Florida, it's been 15 years since I visited the theme parks in Orlando and back then my son was only 5 years old. At that time, it was an exhausting
Disney World experience keeping my son entertained in the long lines,
finding food that he would eat, and avoiding an over tired child meltdown. Even with all that, I was still joyous when experiencing my son’s Disney excitement. This empty nest experience was new. I was playing as
an adult and I chose Epcot so that I could travel around the world in a day.
Since February and March in
Pittsburgh can be the perpetual rain and gray sky months, I say fly south for
some beauty. From Pittsburgh there are reasonable and sometimes down right cheap
direct flights to Orlando. However I
have not been to Orlando since 2002 when I did the Disney thing with my 5 year
old son. Like most, I associate Orlando with Disney parks and endless exhaustive
walking but my friend introduced me to a
lake community, Winter Park, Florida. It’s 7 miles from Orlando and a small gem offering so much beauty in a quaint
town with lakes, museums, peacocks and more.
I have to admit that in my world ice cream is a basic food group. My opinion is
not based on any nutritional science but based purely on my love for the stuff (see Day 10- Brewery and Ice cream). I cannot pass an ice cream establishment without indulging! Therefore, I have
no problem following the wisdom of my blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Bookthat suggests,“treat yourself.”On this Fat Tuesday, the last feast day
before the Lenten fast, I choose to have my feast with an ice-cream shake at
the Milk Shake Factory.
As a kid, I always loved talk shows like the “Johnny Carson Show," which is now "Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel." On occasion I enjoy the Late
Show with Stephen Colbert. Therefore, when I
heard about a comedy/talk show with some locals: the Mayor, Bill Peduto;
Pirate's announcer, Greg Brown; and WQED’s, Rick Sebak, I thought that I would
venture to a new place, the Oak Theater, and see what it was all about.
My Blog inspiration book,
Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book reminds us to, “use
your imagination.” The dance company,
Pilobolus does this by pushing the
limits of creativity and imagination to
tell a story with movement. I
experienced this company in the 80’s as a high school and later as a college dancer. I loved how
they contorted, formed, and molded, the
body with an element of pantomime to express feelings and to tell stories with humor. This show, Shadowland, uses dance and shadows formed by the body, by its parts (hands, feet and legs), and by the
collective dancers, to produce an explosion of
screen images. These images, are far
better than the bunny or bird shadows that we all have made to amuse