After non-fiction night at Inescapable Rhythms, I stood out in the parking lot with Meghan Dahn and Kristin Kostick, talking. We heard an animal move through the tall grasses that grow alongside the nearby railroad tracks. We stood silent for a moment, then a breeze swung down through the tress, and we decided to call it a night. As I drove down Park Road toward West Hartford, I slowed for a group of police cruisers, lights flashing, that made a circle around some crisis. I swear, lit by the red and blue lights, I saw a big animal, either asleep or felled.
The temperature dropped from forty degrees to twenty. I took my eldest daughter to see Fantasia at the Wadsworth. I loved the film as a boy but I really didn’t remember most of it. I thought, as I watched with my daughter on my lap, This is a mature movie, in the sense that it’s grown-up. Whimsical, even silly at times, it never panders. The formation of life on Earth, all the way to the end of the dinosaurs, set to the Rite of Spring? (Is this the Disney movie creationists forbid their ignorant children to watch?) The pagan, at times mildly erotic bacchanal set to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68?
Watching the selections from The Nutcracker Suite, I wondered if maybe Fantasia is the reason I enjoy those pieces—"The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies," "The Chinese Dance," "The Arabian Dance," etc.—so much.
And there, nostalgia combined with a deep pleasure in the present. My memories and the light weight of my little girl, and her delight, and knowing that after the film my wife would be there with my youngest and the four of us would enjoy the rest of the day together.