On Sunday, we attended Cirque du Soleil’s show, Amaluna. I loved the fabulous performance, and now that I am more aware of gymnastics, I noticed how they incorporated countless extreme gymnastics moves that take much skill and practice.
For example, in one part of the show, a performer (a man) stood on his hands. Okay, while I can’t do that myself, my seven-year-old can, so I wasn’t wowed. But THEN another performer (a woman) STOOD ON THE BOTTOMS OF HIS FEET. Can you picture that? His arms were holding up and balancing not just his body but also hers.
As if that weren’t enough, they then separated their legs to make an opening through which another cast member could and did flip. The whole crew made it look easy.
Later in the show, a group of men performed on a teeterboard. Picture something like a seesaw, with Grown Man 1 standing on one side. Grown Man 2 jumps onto the other side, sending Grown Man 1 flying and flipping into the air. Grown Man 1 lands back on the teeterboard, sending Grown Man 2 airborn to do the same thing. Soon, Grown Man 3 joins in the fun and their alternately flying bodies resemble a human juggling act.
photo from the program
Eventually, eight (or so) men were jumping on the teeterboard or into the air. I noticed that when they weren’t flying through the air, they were subtly spotting their fellow cast members who were. One time, one man landed with one foot on the teeterboard and one off, and the man near him put his hands on the first man’s hips as if part of the act, but this action steadied him enough to move his other foot onto the teeterboard without wobbling.
When the men finished their act, they bounded to the edge of the rounded stage to take a bow and take in all the applause. While they stood there beaming, I looked at the performer on the stage in front of us, who happened to be the spotter who helped out. While we applauded, he quickly made the sign of the cross, kissed his fingertips, then raised his fingers and his gaze up to God in a motion of gratitude.
That stuck with me. He was doing what he clearly loved, recognized the risk, and showed his gratitude for a beautiful outcome.
Life can feel a bit like Cirque du Soleil – beautiful, sometimes crazy, sometimes risky. We move individually and together, with so much going on all around.
Maybe we don’t have acrobats flying through our legs, but we certainly hold our own weight and carry others when we can. We spot and support each other to keep our balance and get back on our mark, and together we create an amazing, breathtaking performance. I am grateful to be part of it all, and I give thanks to God for that.
I give thanks also to you for spotting me, supporting me, helping to keep me balanced and get back on my mark, and helping us all to look so good together.
Enjoy your performance today, and that of those around you!