“I am the joy in change and movement.” – Steve’s statement of identity from a Transformations School of Spiritual Psychology exercise.
I have always loved dancing, although I don’t always love change and movement in other areas of my life. My problem as a dancer has always been that I’m too cerebral and not as intuitive and fluid as I’d like to be, especially when learning someone else’s choreography. When I “freestyle”, I think I do better. It has to do with allowing yourself to open up and be unconcerned whether you’re “doing it right”, to just go with the flow of feeling and response. It feels fabulous to let myself move to music! I get a great sense of my biology and my emotions – and it gives my brain a much needed rest!
So what images come to mind when thinking of movement and freedom?
Water, clouds, wind, birds and bodies.
May you move joyfully through your day today, and thanks for your visit!
A song from “Miss Saigon” is running through my head… ‘a song, played on a solo saxophone…so hold me tight and dance like it’s the last night of the world’. Not that I seriously think the world will end tomorrow. Aside from the darkness and the rain (instead of snow) here in Milwaukee, all seems fairly normal.
But it raises a good question. What would you do on the last night of the world? What would you want to be doing any or every night of the world?
My husband sang that song from Miss Saigon on a recital one February, a snowy scene visible through the plate glass window behind him. The tune was a tad high for him; his sweet tenor voice seemed a little strained. He lived only another 7 years after that day.
I would want to dance with him and Steve and my children and my mother, to hold them tight and look into their eyes until there was nothing else to see.
I have been given the day off from my job at Old World Wisconsin. When the heat index is over 100 degrees, we expect few visitors to the outdoor living history museum. With my time, I imagine accomplishing all kinds of things, but in truth, I am simply sitting in front of a fan in the living room, drinking cold water. I am surrounded by books. “Savor” by Thich Nhat Hahn is right at hand, bringing mindfulness into my view, but what I am mindful of is the sun beating down on the roof next door, angling through the windows despite the mini-blinds, heating the air so that any breeze coming in feels like the blow-dryer set on High. I imagine all the sweet corn that I want to be eating next month shriveling up in the fields. The loss of that treat – roasted in the husk, dripping in fresh butter and seasoned with salt and pepper – is probably not as devastating as the loss of an entire crop to a farmer. Dust Bowl conditions may be just around the corner at this rate. We are all connected to the changes and conditions on this planet. How can we be mindful and act compassionately as a community? How can we become “solid, peaceful, whole, and well” and improve the well-being of the world through collective compassion? And can we cause a sea change on the planet before our brains are so baked that we can’t think at all? I retreat into distraction and immediately think of this song…
After the living history museum closes and I’m finished my work for the day as an interpreter in St. Peter’s Church, I’m changing out of my corset and bustle and into modern day country dancing togs! There’s a barn dance tonight in the octagonal barn. Square dancing is something that I’ve enjoyed since grade school when Mr. Maghita, the gym teacher, would call out the squares and teach us to promenade, doe-see-doe, and allemande leftwith our classmates. I didn’t even mind the boy cooties. Even better, though, was the Girl Scout square dances when I got to dance with my father. Which reminds me of a funny story….
On my 15th birthday, my older sister Sarah and I were staying with my father at the historic Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. We had just delivered my sister Alice to the University of Colorado, Fort Collins and were heading back to California. As we checked in, I noticed a sign in the lobby advertising that there would be square dancing on the patio that evening. It sounded like a perfect way to celebrate my birthday, so after dinner, we made our way out to the terrace. I noticed that there were a lot of people dressed in square dancing outfits – ladies in ruffled skirts that stuck straight out, gents with string ties and cowboy boots. I lamented the fact that I hadn’t really packed for this occasion. I also wondered why all these people had pinned on name tags with the same logo. As the music started, people started squaring up, and my father promised me the first dance and asked my sister to wait her turn (since it was MY birthday). When all the squares were completed, I spotted a rather disgruntled couple in costume sitting on the sidelines. The caller and the dance started up, and the other couples in our square, in professional regalia, started ushering and dragging my father and I around to the dance steps being announced. Finally, I started putting all these clues together and realized, to my complete teenaged humiliation and embarrassment, that my father and I had just crashed a Square Dancing Performance!! I had always thought of square dancing as a teach-as-you-go, anyone-can-play kind of thing. It never occurred to me that the hotel guests were supposed to be simply spectators! My sister was so happy that it wasn’t her birthday, allowing her to be spared this special treatment. Ah well, Daddy. It makes up for there not being enough room for us to dance together at my wedding reception in the parish hall of the church 6 years later.
So tonight, Steve & I are dancing. I’m pre-posting this because I intend to get home from Old World Wisconsin all hot and tired and in need of a shower and sleep. Enjoy your Friday night, friends! I hope you DANCE!!!