The Dance or The Dream

Last night I braced myself for the questionable pleasure of watching my sixty-five year old self in a television interview on MPB. This weekly program is Southern Expressions with Ron Brown interviewing various artists in the Mississippi area. It was supposedly to be my night. There would be dancing in addition to  questions and answers in an armchair setting, but knowing myself, I knew that the whole kit and kaboodle would be a dance. My mirror has prepared me for the shock of seeing someone much older than the inner self with her endless youthful dances. So, yes, I braced myself, only to find that, for whatever reason, there would be no dance. I had been replaced by two very pleasant and talented photographers.

Confusion was my first reaction, than embarrassment at the thought of friends and family members who were watching also. As though I was in some way responsible for the absence of me  before their expectant eyes.  When they phoned I declared my ignorance of the lack, then joined in laughter at the jokes life plays upon us.  I hung up to watch another show from some years back during which I am interviewed about my father. I observed the graceful older woman speak of her artist father’s egocentricities, his absence, and his needs as an artist. She laughed affectionately over her father’s strangeness and her freqent childish denials of  him, and I flinched at this gracious version of the truth. I watched to the bitter end, still missing the dancer I had braced myself to see. Apparently there was reason for bracing myself, just not the reason I had supposed.

My eventual sleep was beset by a dream: the kind of  dream one watches from outside.  The main character was a woman with a persistantly violent husband. She suffered his assaults, making loaf after loaf of homeade bread to appease him. Finally he saw her attacked by another man, and his violence ceased, to be replaced by compassion. The woman gathered the countless loaves, some hardened by age or mildewed, some fresh and still edible. She carried them all to the front porch of the house, and threw them over the edge and into the water. Large turtles came swimming up to devour the bread.

This dream dances heavily through my mind: a constant stream of potent images. I begin to believe that this is the dance I should brace myself to receive.


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4 Responses to “The Dance or The Dream”

  1. Kendall Says:

    How disappointing. I suppose you were too shy and self-effacing to call and ask them if they’re planning to re-schedule. I hope some friend or relative of yours WILL call them and ask. Maybe it’s going to be shown next week. Could be. Out of common decency, they should have told you. But maybe they have just rescheduled, not cancelled.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Thanks, Kendall, for understanding. I did call, and sent an email, too. But no response yet. I’ve been wondering if the water situation is in some way connected. With all that frigid weather, pipes froze all over Jackson, to such an extent that they couldn’t keep up with it. It’s a declared emergency: with limited water use and the need to boil any water to be consumed. It is unusual not to reach anyone at MPB, so I am extending to them the benefit of the doubt. I am sure the interview will air at some point.

  3. xristophoros Says:

    Leif, happy to join this conversation! You’ll let us know when the program airs, right? I went looking for it, and found, on MPB, audiotapes of you and siblings. Not what I was looking for, but it was a treat to hear all of you. May I share?
    It’s a really excellent series of podcasts,

    • leiflife Says:

      Christopher… Glad to find you here. I am so new to this, but I kind of think you have answered a prayer. I started all this with the idea of accepting this electronic means of
      sharing. I hoped to leap over my tendency to isolate and protect. So… Yes share what
      you find and I am honored to be linked to your blog. I will see if I can figure out how to
      link you with mine. I look forward to visiting your blog. By the way, Vanja and Christy just called. It could be that Bryce Leif is on his way.

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