Invitation to The Dance

I tell myself and others that response is a lovely thing. I am dancing this blog into the world, and by so doing, opening myself to the return gesture. As the flow moves out, so does it return, and I summon the courage I will need to keep dancing, to rejoice in the interactive dance that I have been lacking, to welcome the life that bubbles to the surface as I dare to dance.

In the eighties, I was in the full flow of my dance, not holding back, despite the joys and demands of motherhood and occasional frustrations with the dance world. While living in New York, I performed at The Theater of The Open Eye, Dance Theater Workshop, Eden’s Expressway, and various lofts. I was also a member of the Feminist Writer’s Guild, meeting every two weeks with other women writers to read aloud and receive response. Here is one of those early poems in prose form:

For me, dance is ephemeral, flying out from immediacy. And I am that immediacy. Bound, I am rebounding. Leaning into temporal states, I am set free. My temporal state contains my weight, in flesh and muscle, bony frame amassed around the circle of my breath. Released, the circle turns and flows, creating force invoving mass immediately surrounding. Movement is born. Not to be contained, each movement gives itself, kissing the air and vanishing, forever free. I cannot think that what brings joy now, must be caught up, insuring me of future joy. For I am changing, turning with each breath I take to new beginnings. Forward into the midst of turmoil let me pass, for I am not alone. And you? Will you come too, to let your breath roll over edges, lose your  balance and regain, begin again. Your love assures me of your dance. You will come too. Now, you and I, we are the saviours of ourselves, and none can grasp our movement, pin it down, nor analyze its unique form. In truth it has no form, unless that form be truth. So shall we dance?

Was that younger me courageous or foolish, with her bold declarations of freedom, and her assumption that others  would want to share her dance? Was she promising something so nebulous that others would be more confused than thrilled by the possibilities she proposed. It doesn’t matter. She was a blythe spirit, and I love her for it. She was fully alive, sharing the dance of the moment. As I am now…


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4 Responses to “Invitation to The Dance”

  1. Margareta Sarring Says:

    I’m still listening, and I love your 80s persona, trying so hard, and working so hard. I looked up the FWG but didn’t find much. Can you help?

  2. leiflife Says:

    Margareta, thank you for your listening and response. Yes, she did try hard, work hard. Poor darling… As for the FWG. I didn’t find much either.
    I remember seeing an announcement in the Village Voice, for writers
    interested in joining the guild and sharing writing. We were divided into
    smallish groups according to location. After that our group was on its own, to meet in each other’s homes twice a week. I wrote a great deal of poetry that year.

  3. Kendall Says:

    Ah, the FWG! I was on the steering committee 1978-1981. The Steering Committee published a monthly newsletter, we met once a year to make plans and explore visions for women’s writing, and we supported branches in major cities in the USA: New York and San Francisco of course, but also Milwaukee, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Detroit, New Orleans, Minneapolis–cities that also supported women’s book stores with readings by women writers. Remember them? In 1980 Andrea Canaan and I toured the USA doing a two-woman show of our monologs and poems as a benefit for the FWG. The FWG, so far as I know, is now defunct. Most of the women’s bookstores have closed. Since the internet developed, there hasn’t been a need for a printed newsletter with ideas about feminist publishing opportunities. But I think the many writing groups that the FWG encouraged did result in a great deal of writing that might not have otherwise come to being.

  4. leiflife Says:

    It was an amazing time. Wasn’t it, dear K? The world was churning with new possibilities for woman. The door was wide open, at least in New York.
    And we, who were so very ready for it, benefited greatly. Thanks for your

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