Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Horror and Beauty

Behold the charming surprise John left for me in the fridge this morning, knowing I would discover it before going to work. Ah, yes - the old severed, bloody finger on the plate gag.

In my own tale of gruesome, I had two moles removed this morning. I have added the occurrence to the list of 33 new things I have to experience or accomplish before my next birthday. Call it one more sign of getting older. My blond hair may hide signs of grey, but my fair skin has suffered a few nasty sunburns over the years (never go to Vegas in June after a sun-starved Vancouver winter). Gone now is the large dark mole on the back of my neck, about which mother has nagged me for years. And while I am not bothered by this, I am saddened by the loss of the other one. It was on my back, a small brown dot that I remember adoring even as a young woman.

At my consultation with the doctor I had mentioned it almost as an afterthought, but when she looked at it closely with her little magnifying device, she saw a small darker spot in the centre, which concerned her. This surprised me and felt a bit like a betrayal by a part of myself I had always considered a mark of beauty - a tiny island against my pale skin. I always felt there was something alluring about it, a subtlety that a lover would notice and remember, like the faint red birth mark on my left leg that I’ve always thought of as a map to an undiscovered continent. A tiny piece of my body’s magic - marks that were given to me and have stayed with me all my life. Until now. Once the stitches come out (there are five, which is quite a lot, considering I only had 12 in my head after plunging my skull through a windscreen), a small scar will line the place where my mole once was, like a pair of lips that have been sealed.

Beauty is heavy on my mind at the moment, following last night’s sojourn to the King’s Theatre to see Matthew Bourne’s production of Dorian Gray. This was both my and John’s first experience of modern dance theatre (one more for the list), and while I was at first shocked at the sexual intensity (we were in the front row - I could see the sweat drip), I was soon taken away by it.

The dancers were incredible, my favourite being Aaron Sillis who played the doomed Basil, struck down by his beloved. I loved the confidence with which the dancers moved their bodies - I loved the flex and curve of their limbs as they jumped and rolled. They seemed to swim with each other, each becoming the water for the other’s strokes. My favourite scene was right after Dorian (played by the stunning Richard Winsor) kills Basil in the bath and in his shock at what he has done, begins a tortured dance as he struggles to distance himself from the blood that smears his hands, his clothes, his face. John and I also agreed that the giant disco skull during the club scene was the coolest thing ever.

I was going to write more - about rhythm, beauty, movement, desire. But instead I’m going to take some pain killers and drag the ice pack into bed.

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