Sunday, December 30, 2018


Life in the Front Row

My family and I stopped buying Christmas presents for each other many years ago.  Instead we give part of the money we were spending on mostly stupid stuff to organizations we support, and use the rest to treat ourselves to a concert or other venue during the holidays.  This year, we splurged on front row seats to Cirque Du Soliel’s “Volta.”

We started our holiday tradition with Cirque’s shows with “Quidam” in 1996, which starred a Hayward, Ca local.  It has always been a great treat to be in that front row, to be so close to the performers; close enough to see the joy on their faces as they perform impossible feats along with the seamless teamwork and magnificent talent from all over the world that makes the evening so magical. The shows may differ in act, plot and story, but the consistent theme is the wide-eyed “oohing and ahhing” we audience members do at everything.

This year, we were again in the front row smiling, laughing and clapping at the unicyclist and his partner who were doing crazy acrobatics while they circled the stage at breakneck speed.  And then it happened.  Just as they hit the curve in front of us, the cyclist lost control sending the unicycle flying right at our heads.  Fortunately, our daughter was quick enough to catch it, and as the audience of thousands let out a collective sigh, she calmly rose from her seat and placed it back onto the stage.  As the act resumed, we were all assured that no one had been hurt and the only casualty was a glass of spilled red wine.

Of course, I am thinking what does this all mean?  Well, I decided that it was a good example of living life in the “front row.”  It is where you see things up close, where you can reach out and touch and in some cases, be touched, and where you can feel.  Sure, the front row has its risks but it also has the most vivid and memorable rewards.  It can cripple you with sadness and bring you back to immeasurable joy. You can’t always be prepared for it and have to take it as it comes, but that’s how life is.  It is the raw and the real.  It is the place where the wine gets spilled and everybody ends up just fine.

So be it physical, metaphorical, spiritual or virtual, I hope you go there as often as you can. I hope you smile and clap and stomp your feet.  I wish you the joys and excitements of life in your “front row” for the New Year and always. 

Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte
Copyright © 2018 by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte
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