Lisa and Vincent, a plain postcard with their names written on it

by Olivia K. Goode and Aliset



Postcard that reads: Greetings from California. Different scenes are depicted in each of the block letters

Dear Vincent,

Even writing that seems strange. I'm teaching at a children's ballet in Los Angeles — me, a teacher? Yes. I had a knee injury last summer. I was remembering the first ballet you and I ever saw. All the others said It's not possible. Or There's no way. But you, you never said anything was impossible for us. I should have known then. You were far braver than I would ever be.

You're probably wondering why, after all this time, I've contacted you. The music's stopped, Vincent. I'll likely never dance professionally again, and I've had to look in the mirror more. I don't always like what I see. I was unkind to you, and thoughtless, and I've caused you some deep pain I can only hope has healed.

Forgive me,
Lisa

 

 

postcard reading: Greetings from New York. Old fashioned, with famous buildings and flowers on it

Dear Lisa,

I’m sorry to hear of your injury, but happy for the opportunity it’s become for you. I can imagine how your students look up to you. Samantha is still likely to break into spontaneous glissades walking down the corridors. She’ll be delighted I’ve heard from you. You’ll forgive me if I don’t share your postcard with her. That you’ve come to see yourself differently is growth, but for her … it would be disillusion.

Illusions. We all see what we wish to sometimes. I am beginning, with Catherine’s help, to see myself through her eyes. Though I do, at times, fear she sees what she wishes, as well, I believe I am healing. Catherine sends her best wishes. Be well, Lisa.

Vincent

 

 

postcard of a ballerina in a pose, superimposed on a close-up of a ballerina's toe shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Vincent,

Injury … it’s a risk we all run as dancers. I simply had a longer run than most, starting so late in my career. The first time I danced in toe shoes, my feet bled. Then I learned to think around the pain, to make it part of myself and over time … I just stopped feeling it. Of the twenty girls in my classes, struggling to not to pirouette into each other or into the walls, maybe two will make dancers. They’ll never have the partner I had, though.

Which girl was Samantha? I can’t remember. There were so many children when I visited – many more than when you and I were young. Please tell her not to glissade in bare feet; the floors are too rocky.

As I look out my apartment window, I can see the moon, silver and full. I’ve seen it every night of my life, in all its forms. And tomorrow the sun will rise. Be well, Vincent.

Lisa

 

 

postcard of the NYC skyline with the moon huge behind it

Lisa, The moon is ever changing, but some things in life are more constant - even when they wish to change. Samantha – whom you called by name, whose hand you held – was the worshipful dark-eyed brunette sitting to your right. The one you promised to teach to dance, but never did.

Perhaps it is better if we do not learn to dance through our pain.

Be well,
Vincent

 

 

 

postcard of a giant redwood tree in California, a little boy looking up at it

 

Dear Vincent,

There were so many children, and I've known so many more since then. It's on the tip of my tongue to write Father wouldn't have let me teach her. Except it's not – entirely – the truth. Father wouldn't have welcomed me ... but I shouldn't have offered. You never met my first dancing teacher, I don't think – she was a Helper, but claustrophobic; she never came below until the moment she met me at the gate with my suitcase ... after. She taught me this is not a thing to do by halves, that one either gives oneself over to dance fully, or risks being forever a dilettante.

Your Samantha deserves far better than someone who's gone through life as I have. I may have learned to dance through my pain, but that's a lesson I don't want to teach anyone else.

Be well,
Lisa

 

postcard of the old subway station under City Hall in NYC, beautiful brickwork and arches

Dear Lisa –

Please forgive the curtness of my previous postcard. After I sent it, I had to admit I’ve also been guilty of “dancing through the pain” – of hiding and burying my pain, denying it, and denying myself, until I caused even more injury to someone else.

Sometimes in life we must unlearn our lessons. Through Catherine – for Catherine – I am learning to release my regrets, to remold them into dreams. Those dreams we are making into a new reality, a new life. I sense you are beginning to learn this, too. I hope so. I wish you nothing but happiness, Lisa. We all deserve that.

Vincent

 

postcard from a lookout over the Pacific ocean in San Pedro Harbor, California

Dear Vincent,

You? Curt? Never, not even when I deserved it.

When Alain was sentenced to Federal prison, when it was all finally over, I knew the truth of what your Catherine had said: the music had finally stopped. I'd spent years dancing – dancing through life, in and out of commitments, never letting anyone become too close for too long. Life with Alain was a life of shadows and half-truths I never dared examine too closely. Until now, when I've had to.

I see a new serenity in your postcards. Catherine has set you free to fly, to dream dreams that are possible and necessary. I could never have done that for you.

Be well,
Lisa

 

 

 

postcard of an overview of Central Park, trees with buidings behind

 

Yes, Lisa,

I wonder if you know how right you are. What Catherine has done for me, what she’s given me, no one else could have ever achieved. Her strength, her resilience, her wisdom, her love, surpass everything. New worlds of possibilities open for me each day, thanks to her.

She’s just leaned over my shoulder and reminded me that everything she is to me, I am that for her as well. And I hope soon, Lisa, you will find the person who can be all this for you.

All our best,
Vincent and Catherine

 

contact the authors:
Aliset - lady_rainey(at)yahoo(dot)com
Olivia K. Goode - ok_good_ok_fine(at)yahoo(dot)com

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