Yesterday, I had a series of small adventures. I think small adventures are important, when you can’t have large ones. (And I’m far too busy for large ones right now.)
While walking back to my office from my final class of the day, I ran across a book and bake sale, everything $1. So I bought three books and three cookies: a book called Women Artists in History: From Antiquity to the Present, since I know very little about women artists in history and I feel as though I should know more; Huysmans’ Against Nature, since I don’t have a copy; and Ann Patchett’s What Now?, based on a graduation speech she gave at Sarah Lawrence, since that’s exactly the question I’m asking myself nowadays. That was the first adventure. (I told you these are small adventures, right? But even small adventures count for something.)
About a month ago, I had bought a ticket to Boston Ballet‘s Romeo and Juliet. After buying those books and cookies, I went back to my office and finished some work, then went to the bookstore and bought myself a book on writing memoir and a collection of A.S. Byatt short stories. (Little Black Book of Stories, which I’m looking forward to reading.) So by that point I had five more books than I’d had at the beginning of the day. But I was really waiting for time to go to the ballet.
At about 6:30, I took the T to the Common, then walked up Washington Street and stopped in a restaurant called Bina, where I had a brie and apple sandwich, and a cappuccino. I also bought myself a tiramisu truffle for later.
Then, I went to the Boston Opera House, which is one of my favorite theaters. And there it was: Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by John Cranko (who is always amusing), with the gorgeous Prokofiev score. I had a wonderful seat, and the ballet was perfect. And I got to watch people during the intermissions. And I bought myself Pinot Grigio in a plastic cup.
Afterward, I walked back to the T and took it out to the suburbs. But where I changed from the green to the red line, I saw a band playing in the subway station. It was called Me vs. Gravity, and the members were four teenage boys. They looked like this:
And you know what? They were good. Here is their one and only video (so far) from YouTube:
Yes, I want to live in the country. But there are adventures that happen only in cities, and I do appreciate those. I actually missed a train because I wanted to listen to them. Then, I hurtled through the darkness, over the Charles River (which is about where I ate my truffle), past Harvard, out to the last station, and then down the dark highways.
I want the large adventures, and in between them I want rest. And a home to rest in. But in the meantime, I have the small adventures.
(There is nothing quite so clarifying, I find, as spending time with genuinely high art: ballet, opera, the sort of art you see in a museum. I don’t know why that is, or why popular art, which I love, doesn’t give me that sensation of mental clarity. But high art does it for me: like being in the Alps.)