Home » Friends » Celebrating a Friend, Dancing with Leonard and Random Act of Kindness

Celebrating a Friend, Dancing with Leonard and Random Act of Kindness

This thing we have has been going on for a few years now.  I’m still in awe at how life’s cards get shuffled and played.  Julie has made a regular appearance on this here blog and today I feel like adding just how much I appreciate our friendship.  It’s funny.  We went to high school together but were never in the same class (she, with the brainiacs; me, with the troublemakers), didn’t do sports together or hang out together but were friendly without being friends per se.  A few years ago, I found out we were in the same kindergarten class!  Not that either of us remembers the other from then.

We had high school reunions and saw each other at those but I feel it was especially after the 150th anniversary of our school (September 11, 2005) that we really started to connect.  She, at the age of 40, had recently become a widow with two young boys, ages 2 and 3. Her story was so tragic.  Her husband was hit by a car in downtown Montreal.  It’s ironic to say now, but I couldn’t imagine what she was going through, then.

Julie and Martyne, Liette and me

Back in high school, Julie and Martyne were good friends, Martyne and Liette were, and still are, best friends and Liette and I were good friends and participants in sports – handball, basketball, volleyball.  Somehow, Julie and I have since become great friends.  I love her to bits.

After this particular get-together, we met for lunch and realised we had a lot in common.  Vive Facebook for keeping us connected.

I was shocked when she showed up at Mick’s funeral because we still weren’t where we are today.  But, having been through what I was going through, she felt compelled to come.  I can still see her walking towards me with her beautiful, warm smile and remember it taking me a few extra seconds to register who she was.  That whole unexpected/out-of-context thing.  From this point on, things changed.  We now had another thing in common. In the past couple of years we have become more than just “cultural chicks”.  (I think we just use those events as excuses to get-together because often times, the best part of our afternoon or evening is the connection we have by sharing stuff.)

Speaking of which.  This time Julie is the one who snagged a couple of tix for a show without knowing who would accompany her (yeah, right!)  Those tickets were for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM), Dance Me, music of Leonard Cohen.  After holding on to those tickets for one year, the night finally arrived.  We met upstairs from where I was supposed to park.  How in-synch are we?  Neither had her coat.  We both assumed we would eat at one of the restaurants in Complexe Desjardins (where I parked), which we did.  One of the many great things about Montreal is the possibility of making our way underground from one venue to another.  After a shared plate of calamari, our salads of ahi tuna and a glass of wine, we made our way back to Place des Arts.  What fantastic seats we had!  Row F, seats 1 and 2.

No zoom – pretty darn close

Of course, we had to do our usual “us” shot 😉

What. A. Show.  Especially since the last three ballets we saw were less than stellar.   BJM gets criticized for having no soul or emotion while being very energetic and athletic.  I beg to differ.  Obviously, the music was sublime.  The costumes were sobre, pantsuits in blacks and greys, long beige shirts and one in a burgundy dress.  Discussions were had with Leonard himself when the dance company secured the rights to use his songs and he requested they keep his personal life out of things and just focus on the music.  I think they did so brilliantly.  As in most dance creations, there are always little parts that make me wonder where the hell they got that idea from but that in the end, I care not because it is breathtaking to watch.

“Dance Me to the End of Love” had particularly frenetic movements that worked well.

At one point, one of the cast members sat on her knees, a guitarist stood behind her and she sang the sweetest rendition of “So Long Marianne”, not a dancer in sight.  So beautiful.

“Lover, Lover, Lover” was rather humourous.  One male dancing with one after another woman until he falls in exhaustion.  His fellow men come and help him as he regains his strength.

And what can I say of “Suzanne”?  It was sultry and evocative.  I was totaly entranced and was surprised to find myself with tears in my eyes.  I was a good girl and filmed nothing so all I can do is show you a snippet…   Just know that once he picked her up, her feet did not touch the ground until the end of the song.  Insane.

The did not only use Cohen’s older music.  They used three songs from his last album “You want it Darker” including “Steer Your Way” and “String Reprise Treaty” as well as the title song.

Of course they did Hallelujah… This time sung by a male singer, with the same woman offering her sweet soprano for the Hallelujas…and the dancers slowly appeared.  Just sublime.

The set, the lighting effects, the dancers, the music.  Brilliant.  Honestly, one hour and twenty minutes of non-stop bliss.  For this show, we never doubted we got our money’s worth.   It has been playing for a couple of years now, touring all over, and if it comes to your neck of the woods, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

We made our way to the exits, still wrapped in the music and the movement, the chatter around us adding to the buzz. Julie insisted we must make a pitt stop.  We made our ways to the ladies’, sure the line-up would be atrocious, but it turned out not too bad.  And suddenly I got the most intense burn that went from my back to my chest, up to my throat.  This was a whole ‘nother level of heartburn.  Julie could see in my face that all was not well and concern immediately transformed her face.  “Are you okay?”

“Holy shit this is painful,” I grimace.  “Why, oh, why do I not carry ‘Tums’ in my purse?”  I am taking deep breaths, hoping the pain will subside but it is not working.  I scare the shit out of Julie when I say, “You know, women are more likely to feel major heartburn when they are having a heart attack.”  Of course I don’t really think I’m having a heart attack but… I bend over in pain then stand upright, trying in vain to will this agony away.

The lady in front of us in the line-up turned to me and said “I do.  I have some.”  She took a bottle out out of her purse and tapped out two tablets into my hand and then a grey capsule also came out. “Take this as well.  It is charcoal.”  And I know, from my grandmother’s preference for treathing anything naturally, that this is not a bad thing to take.

My gratitude to this generous stranger cannot be suitably expressed.  I gratefully accept her gift, dry-swallowing the charcoal capsule then crunching the two tablets and continue breathing.  By the time a stall liberates for me, I am feeling better.  The pain subsides ever more as Jules and I make our way to the exits.

In the lobby, there is a sculpture that fascinates me every time I go to this particular hall.  I cannot believe I had not photographed it before.  And what did I do this time?  Yes, I did.  BUT, I forgot to get the name of the artist and no amount of Googling at this late hour is helping.  I guess I’ll just have to return and get that info.

We went our separate ways and once settled into my car found that I felt pretty normal.  Got home and shortly thereafter received a text:  “Are you feeling any better Cara? You had me worried there.”

I responded that I had me worried there!

Got another text checking up on me this morning.


76 thoughts on “Celebrating a Friend, Dancing with Leonard and Random Act of Kindness

  1. glad you found your angel in the restroom – and I know a lot of folks that use activated charcoal (Dave Asprey writes about it on the bulletproof blog too – and how it can help with a hangover).
    Enjoyed your post and so nice to have video snippets – also that is special that J is a widow too – quite a lot in common

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What an amazing show, and such a wonderful way to celebrate a lifelong friendship! ❤️ If there is one song that defines my teens it is that song, Suzanne. Thanks so much for sharing the clips from this event, and if I am ever lucky enough to get a chance, I will be first in line!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Q,

    Firstly, glad you’re alright and everything is cool. I tell you what, these young punks who go around complaining about this hurting them and that ailing them . . they should have to spend a day in our shoes. Hell, even an hour. Most of ’em wouldn’t make it. Because something always hurts. One thing, replaced with the other thing. And so it goes.

    As for the show, it sounds magnifique! And it got me thinking about these performers. Can you imagine how many steps they get? I bet they don’t wear Fitbits, because they figure . . I got mine. But seriously, the show sounds like a wonderful variety of music and performers.

    And the random act of kindness is the cherry on top. For me, it always seems to happen when I’m at my wit’s end. Letting me know it’s going to be ayt.

    All that AND the “2 Babes” shot.



    Liked by 2 people

    • B,

      Thanks. So’m I. You know I am no wimp when it comes to pain…

      It was absolutely magnifique! Oh Lordy, their Fitbits would be buzzing and throwing up fireworks. A seriously wonderful show that even those guys who hate being dragged to such events will come out smiling.

      That random act of kindness was so heart warming (or soothing, in my case, coz it felt like my heart was on fire and not in that new-love-all-is-bliss-romantic way).

      Thank you most kindly for that. These “2 Babes” appreciate such compliments 😉



      Liked by 1 person

      • Q,

        You most certainly do not back down from anything. 🙂

        I think the idea of having to wear a Fitbit- for someone like me anyway- is so that I ‘behave’ myself as much as possible. Because there is a built in reminder to do so right there on my wrist. These peeps do not have such issues.

        That’s scary, and I’m glad everything was alright. If nothing else, take it as a friendly reminder from the universe to behave yourself, 😉

        We appreciate the loveliness.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I guess I don’t… not much, anyway 😉

          I know it definitely helps me make the decision to get up and move, and take those extra steps. Course, when you challenge me, that’s a whole ‘nother thing!

          I can’t lie. It scared the shit out of me by its intensity. The worse part, is I have no idea what triggered it! We didn’t overindulge and had a friggen Ahi tuna salad with one glass of wine…. ok, we shared a puny calamari plate which was barely spicy (and nothing like the Cajun food I had last night – with not a twinge).

          We thank you for your appreciation.


          • You get knocked down and you get up again, ain’t nothing gonna keep you down. Yeah . . I know that’s a song. But it applies.

            And you are a most formidable challenger. We have ourselves a good old fashioned rivalry going as per the Fitbit. Our tilts are already bringing the heat, and it’s not even summer!

            Just be mindful of it is all. I recently have learned, much to my chagrine, that crushed red pepper flake has an adverse effect on me now. Bloating, indigestion, etc. And it truly sucks as I incorporate the stuff into so many recipes.

            Thank YOU!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • I do try… And yeah, it’s a good song, so why not?

            I cannot lie. I love our “rivalry” and bring on da heat!!

            I definitely will. Should I have Baton Rouge’s calamari again and have the same result… That blows for you! The whole crushed red pepper flakes. But can you use other methods of spicing it up? Using fresh peppers instead?


            Liked by 1 person

          • And who doesn’t love a friendly drink?

            It’s like the Canadiens vs the Bruins! Oh no . . wait . . US vs Canada! Man vs Woman! Okay . . I’ll stop . . .

            Yes indeed. And I loves me my black pepper very much. There’s all sorts of spice to be had, I shall survive.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Not us! We like more than “a”!

            G’head! Wait. Beast vs Angel!

            You shall. And this thing shall force you to be more creative…black pepper, white pepper (spicier), Sechuan peppercorns, fresh… ok, I’LL stop 😉


            Liked by 1 person

          • Of course.

            Uhhh… wait. That bears some consideration…🧐

            Jalapeños, poblanos – no wait, those ain’t spicy – Thai chili, bird’s eye, cayenne, lemon drop, scorpion…. k, NOW, I’ll stop!!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you’re feeling OK now, Dale! What a beautiful post–friendship, dance, and Leonard Cohen.
    We used to have a dance series, and we may have seen this group, but certainly not this show. Now, I’m going to have to watch for it. It sounds like something I’d definitely love to see.
    (Also, I’m glad to know you weren’t filming during the show.)
    That statue reminds me of one that’s outside a school in Philadelphia. We pass it every time we drive home from my mom’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Much better, thanks. Can’t remember the last time I was hit so hard out of the blue like that. Ugh.
      Thank you. I love sharing these kinds of posts.
      They travel a lot more than I realised! If it does come near you, yes, absolutely, you must go.
      (I used to try to capture some little bit but not anymore. I now prefer to be in the moment.)
      It is such a lovely work of art. Nice that you have a similar one!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to see (via comments) that you’re feeling okay now. Scary stuff. The show itself sounds wonderful and like something I would like to see. Judging from the schedule, it looks like I’ll have to travel to Canada (or Germany or Italy) to do so (which is not a bad thing at all!).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, thank you, Robin. It was quite scary.
      The show is definitely something you must try to see if it comes to your neck… then again, Germany or Italy sound like a whole different incentive!!


  6. Isn’t it wonderful to have a good friend, someone you can hang out with, share all your feelings, who’ll lift you up when you’re down!

    Good to know that things weren’t as bad as you first feared. Yes, bless that stranger! I’ve heard come women carry “everything but the kitchen sink” in their purses, but this time it was a blessing. I’m going to stick some Antacid in my purse right now, just in case… 😉

    Reading about your travels on the Metro reminds me our our excursions in Montreal. I do miss that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It so is. And is funny how we connected so much more later on in life.

      It was some scary feeling mostly because I felt so helpless for that moment. Water would have been good to have and I definitely did bless that stranger! I used to carry some when I was pregnant because man, oh man… heartburn was a constant companion during!

      I didnd’t ride on the Metro. It was all by foot 😉 I almost never take it, to tell the truth!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. REAL and LIfe-like. This game of cards you wrote, that turned into a dance. It’s true though, we do dance through life. Interacting with various components or elements. Everything entangled, intertwined,
    revolving in motion -sometimes harmonious, other times chaotic. Friendships, relationships, pain and joy. Life imitating art and art intimating life. You always deliver an introspective account; good sshtufffs.

    ………..Calamari will always come back to haunt you,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yessiree. Totally REAL and Life-like is my way. I was thinking of those writers I admire when I came up with the game of cards thing… I must be improving on my writing skillz 😉
      I’m glad you think so!

      And…… calamari has NEVER come back to haunt me before!


  8. So must nostalgia in this post,Dale.
    It’s wonderful the way karma has a way of bringing and keeping people together. The tight bonds forever sweetening your lives. 😍
    Leonard Cohen is #1 on my singer/songwriter/poet list. Gone too soon … the creativity we lost.
    As a former dancer, I can never attend too many theatrical performances. I love going and immerse myself in every step being shown to the audience.
    The videos are an extra bonus. Thanks for adding them and sharing your tale.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Isi!
      Karma is indeed wonderful. What once was one thing has evolved and morphed into something so much more.
      Leonard Cohen (hopefully Frank, upon his return, will hold a concert) was such a prolific artist.
      Julie was a dancer as well. I wasn’t but I always enjoyed various genres.
      Glad you enjoyed the snippets of videos!


  9. What a night you had. I hope heartburn was all you had and that it clears up. Now, back to a more pleasant subject. Leonard Cohen is one of my all time favorite artist. Sad that we lost him not long after his last concert. His son was involved in a recent PBS film/documentary on him and his music. I believe it was titled “You want it Darker”. Phenomenal. If you ever get a chance to see it, you need to. It is a tribute to Leonard. Dance Me to the end of Love is beautiful. I have my original vinyl record I bought in the late 60’s. Love, love his music and I make a feeble attempt to play and sing some. Loved your post.
    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just fished this comment out of my Spam folder! How dare WP throw you in there!.
      That heartburn was a doozie, lemme tell you.
      Leonard Cohen is/was a fantabulous artist and yes, his last album is “You Want it Darker” and I believe they titled the special the same way.
      BJM did a wonderful job putting his music to dance.
      Thank you so much. I am very glad you enjoyed.


  10. Holikadoodle….. what an amazing story, with a terrifying twist regarding your ‘heartburn’ – I was going to write that ANYTHING with L.Cohen MUST BE SUPER but honestly, the two clips I saw on YT really, really rock the baby, and the cradle, and the room it stands in, and the house the room is in….
    What I didn’t get, is the fact of you not having any water. You were in a restroom, no? Surely you could wash your hands and therefore there must have been taps… Do clear that for my befuddled brain, if you will.
    I’m sure glad that you are now well enough to have written this down and I hope you’re not doing any more of this scary-stuff.
    Isn’t it wonderful to have such a great friend too! That is one thing I’m missing very much. Not having that someone special to share the deepest secrets and scariest opinions.
    Wishing you well – this time from Switzerland where spring has also arrived with might! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • So, what you are saying then, is this is NOT SUPER, then re Leonard Cohen? Did they rocked it too much to your tastes? Or is something lost in translation…?
      I was not in the restroom, yet, when the burn hit and the woman handed me the tablets. I supposed I could have barged my way in to gain access to the taps… I wasn’t thinking straight, to tell the truth.
      It is most wonderful indeed to have such a friend. So wish one for you over there in Switzerland!
      We were greeted with a fresh dusting of the white stuff this morning. Sigh. I am so done with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh no….. ALL OF IT IS ABSOLUTELY MINDBLOWINGLY WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G….. minus your ‘fallout’. Got the thing now with the missing water supply.
        I DO so feel with you; I’m done with winter too and we have hardly had a winter to speak of! Poor girl…. Today, we saw people sitting on their balconies topless (a guy, thankfully), sockless (2 peeps), in sleeveless gear & skimpy T’s…. and we too had a apero on HH’s work-related mini-flat with balcony under the open sunshade, a cool wine and a Swiss sausage cut in slices – it was heaven. But I don’t want you to have to sigh any more….. so I tell you that I’m still hurting very much with my lumbago 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Phew! I wasn’t sure there! It was absolutely fantabulous!
          So very sorry about your lumbago. Hope it eases up big time.
          Some peeps are so anxious for warm weather, they risk getting sick!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Note to self: put antacids in your bag. I have them with my always. You never know when a food you’ve eaten your entire life will decide to turn on you now that you’re no longer 20.

    I love ballet and dance. I love music. I think I would have loved this show. *sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dear Dale,

    Glad for the stranger with the remedy. Those heartburns can be painful Sounds like you had a lulu. And Hallelujah for great friends like Jules. She sounds like a jewel. Funny how you can be acquaintances in school and soulmates years later. Taffy and Barb are that for me.

    The ballet sounds amazing. If it ever makes it here I’ll be saving my sheckles to see it. “You Want it Darker” is in the top 3 of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs. Chills. I would love to see how it was choreographed. Thanks for sharing the experience, my friend.

    Shalom and hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      As am I! It was a lulu! She is a jewel of the brightest sort. I never could have predicted it (as I’m sure you could not have either).

      It truly is and yes, save your sheckles! That album is fabulous. I wish I could have recorded the full hour and twenty minutes …(or rather simply have someone do it as I watched…)
      You are most welcome and thank you for reading!

      Shalom and Lotsa love,



  13. We have had the discussion about you and indigestion…mm ? I think a trip to see your Dr would not go amiss.
    Okay lecture aside this was a great post full of background, a great show review and a kind lady .
    Thank you for taking us along with you it was great.💜🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Andrea. We always do. Hell, even when the show is bad (and there have been a couple) we end up not caring because the important part happened before and after!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had a stomach ulcer, my gall bladder removed and heartburn during my pregnancies. This, that I had? Sacré bleu it was awful. Glad you have never.
      The ballet was outstanding as is Jules.
      🧞‍♀️👗🧚‍♀️ think I’m changing the genie to the fairy… whatcha think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anything you create, dear thunder, it’s your choice and I love it all!
        My niece had an horrific ulcer. She became a veggie.. no citrus, booze and lots of avocado. She is fab, until she breaks the diet. Then it’s reflux time again.

        Liked by 1 person

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