A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

“Happy New Yea”

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on January 1, 2009

Last night my parents and I went to the local symphony orchestra, which was hosting a “Cirque de la symphonie” night for New Year’s Eve: a symphony orchestra concert complete with a (largely Russian) troupe of jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, rope, and balancing acts.

The performance was wonderful – the music was well-chosen (we particularly liked hearing Ravel’s “Bolero” as the counter-point to a soaring, elegant aerialist), the performers were magnificent, and the symphony’s conductor was goofily charming, in a down-home Midwestern way.

We had only decided to attend the concert on the 29th, prompted by the sudden realization that we had no New Year’s Eve plans. Well, I had invites to assorted parties in Beirut (too far) and New York (too many tourists), but we had nothing arranged in Iowa. So we were delighted to realize that we all thought that a night at the symphony sounded like great New Year’s fun.

Realizing that the only seats available were in the “nosebleed” section (of the 2,735 the symphony hall seats, we estimated that 2,650 of them were in front of us) dampered our enthusiasm slightly – but not much. After all, my mother has multiple pairs of binoculars, thanks to her neighbor bird-watching hobby. And I have a beautiful pair of antique opera glasses, passed down from my grandmother when I was 11:

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They don’t have quite the power that contemporary binoculars do, but they were fine for me!

Before the symphony, we had dinner at a local restaurant, whose tables had been decorated with New Year’s horns and other items. My mother picked up one of the razzers and spun it around a few times, while I tried on the “Happy New Year” headband.

Diamond, my father said, smiling, I love the headband, but the “R” is bent back. It looks like you are saying ‘Happy New Yea’.”

Happy New Yea indeed: yea to a new year, and all the opportunities for bright beginnings (a new political course for the US; better spending habits for our citizens; stability and peace in Iraq) and endings (to the attacks on Gaza – and all the other, less in-the-headlines violations of human and political rights that occur around the world) that a new year brings.

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