• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 10


In the theater as a child I sat immobilized,
knew that I would never be taken again
if I misbehaved, disgraced my grandmother.
When the orchestra’s first notes emerged,
I was hooked—this was my initiation, my own
overture. My body wanted to move, but it could
not. Exuberance flooded every pore, every cell
seemed to dance. Still as I was, still as the child
I had always been, I was whirling—across
the stage with dancers who had just emerged,
across verdant fields fired with Black-eyed Susans,
themselves buoyant in the breeze. There was heat
and cool wind, movement and suspension,
there in that seat, in the St. James Theater,
in 1964, in that still child, unstilled, fully alive.