At our local markets, where we shop each weekend, there’s a stage area which is just a large square and a play space for all the kids running around.
Sometimes it’s used as a display space and every now and then there’s a performance. Last weekend, an elderly gentleman stood alone on stage singing old Irish ballads, unaccompanied. He was singing to raise money for cancer research, a noble cause. I thought he looked so forlorn really, standing there singing these old ballads into a microphone. He’s been there before and I’ve seen him with a friend playing an electronic keyboard to help him along. His friend wasn’t there this time and I had to wonder if perhaps, being people affected by cancer, he wasn’t there for the saddest of reasons.
How much more noble then was the singer’s performance? I’m imagining, of course. There’s no way to know.
Alice was with us on Saturday and with all the enthusiasm of a nearly two and a half year old, jumped up on stage to dance. To ballads.
The crown on her head is a paper crown I picked up (from Hungry Jacks!) a few weeks ago when I was driving home from Sydney and it’s been rolling around in the backseat of the car waiting for her. The moment it was placed on her head she declared herself Queen Alice. Where that came from no one knows. Who can understand the mind of a two and a half year old? Remember the pumpkin she befriended? Yeah. That. Kids are weird.
At the playground at the markets she introduced herself to anyone she met as Queen Alice, pointing solemnly at the crown on her head. Adults in turn greeted her as Queen Alice. She had Instant Loyal Subjects.
And then she danced. Wildly and happily. I watched her and didn’t think there was a sense of performance. I think she had no real sense people were watching. Nearby an elderly woman sat in a wheel chair, blanket across her lap, and smiled, nodding in time with the ballads. Alice swirled around and around, doing her bit to raise money for cancer.
What a trooper.