Eleven pirouettes. Ten is unheard of, but ELEVEN?! The film White Nights from 1985 features Mikhail Baryshnikov performing this impossible feat to settle a bet between his character and the character played by fellow dancer and actor Gregory Hines.
No matter how many times I've watched the video clip, my heart leaps into my throat as I count while the incomparable Baryshnikov spins.
Life's challenges for me, are measured to a scale of eleven pirouettes. Functioning in a chaotic world after the untimely deaths of my Parents? Eleven pirouettes. Quitting smoking cold turkey? Eleven pirouettes. Learning to paint in middle age? Eleven pirouettes.
Each time something seems insurmountable, there is Mikhail Baryshnikov, in front of my eyes, proving ON FILM that nothing is truly impossible. Dogged determination, discipline, whatever it takes; eleven pirouettes are possible. Not easy, not even for one of the greatest dancers on the planet, but possible.
We have many "eleven pirouette" challenges these days and our world is reeling. There are multiple wars with their inherent humanitarian crises, Covid 19 continues to be a spectre in our lives and let's not even think about the economy.
Still Baryshnikov spins in the video clip, proving that "impossible" is only a word.
I can hear you saying that we can't stop wars on our own, no matter how desperate we are that they end. No, we can't. However, we CAN do our utmost to make the world a bit better, even if it's only in our own neighbourhood.
At the height of the pandemic, we were told to "be kind". (WHY did we have to be TOLD?!) Still, we were a bit more kind, patient and forgiving. We got through days of lockdown having empathy for those who were struggling. We waved at seniors through the windows of their nursing homes, delivered food and treats to friends. We proved that we could accomplish eleven pirouettes when we had to. We collectively took a deep breath and just got on with it.
Whatever challenges face us in the New Year ahead, we are capable of handling it. We are strong and brave enough to stare "impossible" in the face without blinking. There is no choice; no backing out or being unwilling to try.
Time for a deep breath as we head into 2024. Heads up, arms out. Let's spin, bravely counting to eleven.
Thank you for spending this time with me,