Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Loss for Words..

I’ve started two or three blogs over the past week, but I kept hitting a wall. I would get rolling on an idea and then find myself distracted by other projects. By the time I returned, my train of thought had already passed through the station and I was left on the literary platform, ticket in hand, with no place to go.

Such was the case again last night when I settled comfortably in front of the computer screen, staring at a blank piece of cyber paper, and trying to sort out what was going on in my head. After several hours, I downed the last of my glass of wine and headed to bed, once again verbally empty handed. I posted something to that effect on my personal Facebook page and was bolstered this morning by a writer friend who said much the same thing. No consolation for either of us, I’m sure, but at least we knew we had company.

When these things happen, I retreat to what makes me happy and that is looking at great singles skating. Though I love pairs and dance, my heart is drawn to the solo performances that transfix and transform. I fired up YouTube and started looking for my favorite competitive performances from the past: Janet Lynn, Peggy Fleming, Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss, Dorothy Hamill; Michelle Kwan. Paul Wylie, Scott Hamilton, Kurt Browning, Brian Boitano, Toller Cranston, Robin Cousins; yes, even the very troubled Christopher Bowman at his best; of course, John Curry. I looked at a few favorites from today’s skaters, too. For a time, I lost myself in the art and sport of figure skating.

During this period of mental escape and total transportation, I also discovered something important about myself. I realized I was seeking videos where the performances did not have commentary (my apologies to my commentator friends who may be reading this). I enjoyed the purity of the skating and the music. It seemed to be just the skaters and the ice. They were in their zone with no one else to distract them – not even the judges. No words exchanged, yet volumes spoken in a few fleeting and fascinating moments.

When I finished my cyber-voyeuristic journey, I found myself inspired. Great art and great sport motivated me. What I saw has been chronicled by others many times, but for me, it was almost beyond words..except for the 400 or so I’ve just shared with you.


  1. Interesting that the absence of the spoken word unleashes the written word. I need to ponder this.

  2. I'm not a writer, but I whole heartedly agree with your list of "inspirational" skaters/skating performances. But you need to add one more to the list, that really moves me to no end: