Hello friends, it has been a few weeks since I have written a MDC blog; here finally is the first of 2021. So many changes have happened in my life these last two month that finding balance had become increasingly more difficult, as an already full plate was near to the breaking point. So I took the advice I always give to friends but rarely adhere to myself. Take things off the plate. Everything is not crucial; prioritize and lose what can be lost, not forever, just enough to keep the plate from breaking or juggled balls from dropping. Whatever cliché works; and yes, clichés are just that, as the reality of them shimmer with clarity.
The truth of the matter is, nothing has gotten easier; in fact, many things are worse. Our world imploded last week and revealed the depth of our division in a way that was almost impossible to believe. Like many I found it hard to look away from the news, even as it made me heart sick. I am still fighting the compulsion, but am realizing everyday that the more I read the more hopeless life seems and how is that helpful to my belief that we are here to create goodness in the world, to leave our world a little better than we found it? So I am trying to limit, it is a fight, I am not sure I am winning the battle but I am trying.
Personal life is fraught. Joy wars with exhaustion and frustration. Fear entered the picture as beloved family members contracted the virus, and inadvertently exposed Mama Maria. All thankfully, on the mend but a scary end to 2020 and worrying start to the new year. Mama Maria as always is indomitable. Most exposed fell ill, not Maria. Perhaps research should be done on the combined power of classic comfort Lean Cuisine meatloaf, Brach's mints and the daily banana. It appears to be a magical brew, but one I still won’t be be enjoying ;).
What has been a source of joy is teaching and my students. I somehow found the time to prepare solid classes for the return of teaching last week; it is always hard to come back after the long break. Two major holidays, too much junk food, not enough dance and classes starting too soon after the New Year can make for a tough start.
Not this year, as once again the threat of COVID seems to imbue all the kids with energy and gratitude. Classes were fun and challenging, as I went all in with the let’s dance as hard as we can while we can theme. Every class was wonderful ( this alone is a rarity of some proportion), and I feel reenergized and newly inspired by these young people. I also officially joined the NACHMO challenge and feel very good about the work so far, which is to be presented in some way February 5... details to come later. This solo work will be expanded into a long piece for MDC; why not proceed with optimism.
And again, I feel the words of Alan Watts, “the point of dancing is the dance”.
We can worry, we can plan, we can try to control every detail of our life, it doesn’t matter life is the point. The good, the bad and the ugly it is all our dance of life.
I am back in the saddle so to speak. I took a some time, a little break that unveiled to me (yet again) how much I love dance. The joy it can bring, despite the frustration and outright physical pain, dance is transformative. The work so often morphs into beauty; in the present moment then gone. This beauty is the reward of a short break for me, and for Becca who has been doing all the work of keeping the site and the blog going. Words cannot express my gratitude to her as her plate is as full as mine, and yet with less time, she still manages to get this work done with goodwill and patience.
This short break gave me a rest and illuminated all of my life. Some of it admittedly glows as almost impossibly difficult. What I will focus on is the wonderful in my life: dancing students, family, friends and laughing babies. I will not ignore the hard parts, but I am done worrying about what I have no control of or say in.
As I was thinking about this midweek musing, and what I should write, I read a beautiful obituary of a young (34) man who had died from a genetic disease. Two things are so clear: he was well loved and he loved and lived fully In return. What more can we ask? There was the answer, live well, and love well.
The whole point of dancing is the dance.
May we all dance through these times as beautifully as possible, with all the grace and gratitude we can muster.