I was so happy. Sitting in the mezzanine of the historical Palace Theater, one of what I believe are only four theaters sitting directly on Broadway. It was a perfect combination of Gershwin music played by a full orchestra and sublime dancing and choreography. As much as I love the theater, it’s been a long time since I was transported in the way An American in Paris carried me away to pure joy.
Utter happiness and joy are powerful experiences that can get us through harder times. I value those transcendent moments. But I’ve chased them for so long, not appreciating lovely moments since they weren’t absolutely amazing. For instance, watching a sunset, or listening to Emma, my daughter, tell me about her day. There is a simple enjoyment at those times that I’ve dismissed on occasion since they didn’t provide an emotional high.
One thing I did notice from the other night was that I was not expecting it. It came spontaneously. I’ve had the good fortune of attending a lot of theater lately, but watching the choreography, with the rich music and masterful sets, brought me to an unexpected place. I’ve read the reviews. Some agree with me, others not. We all find joy in unique places. In my experience living fully gives us more opportunity for joy. But it also means we feel deep pain, among other unappealing sensations. I was fortunate the other night. It was a gift. I appreciate the fleeting experience, because though I can’t literally save it, it’s now a part of me.