The Dance

The freedom to enjoyably move in cadence with the music on the dance floor…and just let go! The freedom to be out there, in the middle, on the edge, with a friend, with someone who shares your love, and feel comfortable just being you…dancing! Visualize it. A song begins which sings to your soul, forces your fingers to rhythmically tap on the table while your feet pick up the beat and bounce on the floor. Even in your chair your body begins to sway as your head follows the music which is now filling your living spirit. Expectantly smiling anxious dancers take to the floor and become one with the music, lost within the moment. I would love to join them, but something is holding me back. What is it? Why do I linger in the audience?

I hear my thoughts through the music. I stand alone within the crowd of pleasant faces and energetic bodies, to absorb what I witness; mesmerized by the complexity of the simplistic. Engulfing thoughts waft me ever further into my being, the music fills the room and mixes with a recurring vision, and I linger. I linger as my mind continues its journey into my desire for which there seems no contentment to fulfill. The sounds delightful and merry, the sights playfully entrancing, while the flow and rhythm are exquisite. I long to be there, on that dance floor, feeling what they are feeling, relaxing and enjoying as they are enjoying, filling my existence with joy. A longing desire I have toted in silence for many years, initially suppressed by outside influences, now suppressed by inner influences, continues to coax me into this environment. I love it! Many share their friendship, support and excitement; it brings me happiness. They know my longing and delight in my wanting, they share the same.

Why then do I fight myself to return to this place of wondrous joy? Why must I buffet the waves of uncertainty to bring myself back into this enchanting place? Accepted and invited to return by many, wanting to repeatedly share the experience, I often negate the urge to venture here. I love being here. I crave to be here…there…out there. There is so much more than the dance…for me. There is so much more than the music, friendship and joy…for me. There is so much more…and it brings me sadness. To love to want, but cannot achieve. To love to feel the joy, but leave only partially fulfilled. To love to move as freely as they, but I cannot.

The ying and yang of life’s desires and realities are likened to the thirst of the weary traveler who stumbles upon an oasis within the heated desert sands. Beauty fills his eyes as he approaches with renewed conviction in anticipation of what he is to find. His thirst intensifies as mental images form. Coming closer the gentle winds play with the lushness of the vegetation and heighten the vivid visions of the delight which is soon to be his. Haphazardly stumbling through the bordering grasses he is filled with the anticipation of respite from which he has come to experience. Birds flutter from the ground to the neighboring trees as the wondrous aromas fill his senses; it lies before him. Falling to his knees with a joyful shout of glee he begins to partake of the trickling flow of water. Cool, moist and refreshing, he drinks, then pauses for breath…the trickle ceases. In despair he waits huddled before the opening, praying for more, aching for its return, poised to drink. Sporadically it gurgles forth, but is equally sporadic in the duration of its flow. The scenario continues repetitiously as the sun and moon cycle above. Patience and Frustration collide. Despair and joy intertwine. His thirst is partially fulfilled. Persistence and trust become an ally.

I thirst for the dance. I thirst for the freedom of movement to perform the dance, to move in cadence with the music which entices me, to feel the sensations of relaxation and achievement, to share those moments with myself and others, to satisfy this longing. I thirst for the ability to float upon the floor in effortless motion as beautiful music fills the wanted appetite of every sense. Flowing, turning, pausing, changing directions in perfect synchronicity to the music while mimicking its elegance with the movements of my body and soul; I want that. I’ve worked, struggled, fought and dedicated so much time to achieve some fragments of this desire, but my thirst is only partially quenched. At times it was there and I felt the exuberance of its presence. Still, more frequently, I remained frustrated by my seemingly ineffective efforts to perfect the movements. Torn between the having and the have not, I too wait for the trickle to return. When will I have gained enough from that trickle to continue onward? When will I be satisfied? Persistence has been with me, but when will I develop the patience and trust within to understand the process more completely? When will my optimism over shadow my pessimism? Will I ever come to the point of satisfaction in myself that I no longer strive to think and move as another, but rather afford myself the opportunity to explore my own potential and creativity? Perhaps I have, for I’ve posed the question. Perhaps that also is the beginning of the new path which affords me far greater rewards and achievements, and thus affords me a higher potential for success in acquiring what I truly long for. So it seems I have choices.

My efforts to this point have included much instruction on how to move as others do; and rightfully so from where I began. I have benefited greatly, my life is much richer for the efforts, but my thirst remains only partially quenched. I have attained many skills and movements which I once believed were unattainable by the likes of me. What a welcome surprise and gift. However, in all that I have gained, something important is lacking. I continue to lack the inherent freedom of thought for independent purposeful movement, which is coordinated with the description within my mind, as to what I long to feel and express to myself and others in this regard. I strive for the ability to flow with the motions and emotions which I sense from the perceived music, and not feel I have to make excuses. I strive to gain the ability to be “just me” on the dance floor and discover the potential of my choreography, my uniqueness, and remain inconspicuously hidden within full sight of those who observe.

While the ambition is loftily and initially seems to pertain to the formalized conception of “dancing,” release the thought and expand your description of the word. Can we not equate the mere act of our movements through our everyday existence as dancing? Don’t we enter onto a dance floor everyday of our lives? I think we do. It is what our minds want us to believe, how we perceive our world and what we do with it. For those of us with an impairment, perhaps it would be more beneficial for us to consider our daily movements a dance. Perhaps then a certain grace within the movement would be implied. Instead of swaggering forward and accepting the results, shouldn’t we instill some pride and motivation to demand more fluidity and purpose to our movements, thus improving what we perceive ourselves to be? The others will think what they may.

I shouldn’t concern myself as much with the perceived thoughts of others, what label they may place upon me or what I perceive them to be perceiving. If I can find the ability to take this step in my mind, at least in part, perhaps I will gain an increased freedom in allowing myself to venture further into myself, and just let go of some of that baggage which weighs me down. I tire of toting it. Perhaps then I’ll achieve more of that desire for which I long to behold. Perhaps then I can simply dance the dance…my way…and find more of that joy I so desperately desire.