Do you remember that book, A Very Young Dancer, by Kill Krementz? Apparently it was quite an influential book for all my sisters and me. I was looking at a copy while we were visiting my sister last weekend, and it's especially interesting to read again as an adult; the little girl in the book danced the part of Marie for George Balanchine in his version of The Nutcracker, for Pete's sake! What a dream come true! This book inspired me to take ballet lessons, which I pursued well into high school. But dancing en pointe is an insanely painful experience, and while I still love to dance (I love barre work especially and wish I still had time to take classes), I don't miss the pain aspect at all.
Anyway, I noticed in the book's photographs that, in Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker, Marie (who was always known as Clara in our version of The Nutcracker, growing up) and the prince leave The Land of the Sweets in a little walnut-shell boat. Why don't they have that little boat in the current production? Much better than a sleigh, in my opinon.
Well, I've got walnut shells. We pick them up in our neighborhood where the squirrels drop the shells, already halved, so we don't need to struggle with a nutcracker (New Yorkers feed walnuts to squirrels. And our dogs wear coats and Halloween costumes. Yes, it's a different world out here.) and lightly spray them with gold spray paint to make little walnut ornaments like the ones my Grandma used to make. Out came the hot glue gun, some toothpicks, and glitter. Now we've got a little flotilla of walnut boat ornaments. Or is it an armada? I have no idea.
So Merry Christmas! I'd like to give away a handful of walnut boats to celebrate the holidays, and if you leave a comment I'll do a quick drawing sometime in the next couple of days and hopefully sail a boat in your direction to arrive right around Christmas.
Thanks for coming along with me on this little 2008 journey. You float my boat!
(Sorry. That was a terrible ending.)