Again the sadness… And again the reluctance to write this blog. I am also exhausted from yesterday’s grandmothering, and don’t really want to try to figure out why.  I want to bless it and move beyond.  Yet I find myself wondering if the expenditure of energy for child – for children – has been going on so long that I think no other way is possible.  Has this become my main purpose? Have I finally given up on personal fulfillment? Do I stil feel as though I am stealing moments for creative pursuits? Now that I do have more time, I am am lacking in energy and will – depressed, almost, by time speeding by, running out as I bumble my way through the days.  I still feel on call, as I did as a young mother, struggling  to keep the dance alive. But then, the fire of determination was fiercely present, and the discipline established during the pre-motherhood ballet years kept me going. I evolved the “barre” to suit a more free-form style of dancing – and maintained the daily exercises no matter what, even if it was often only in my mind. I became a mother at the age of twenty-one, so for most of my life I have juggled my need to create with the necessities of motherhood. I suppose I do not know any other way, but, dear God, I am tired.

It has been a balancing act, and at certain times I have felt successful. As a younger woman, I was idealistic, even conceiving of a purposeful way: a technique to follow and to teach that would balance divergent forces and lead to greater freedom. This was Airth, based on the balancing forces of air and earth, breath and body, spirit and matter. I maintained my faith and devotion for a great many years, and during those years the dance expanded into various other forms of “dance”. I realized Airth through writing, drawing, sculpting, painting, and  music. These later developments have definitely eased my way into my senior years – taken the strain off the body while continuing to fulfill my need to dance. But, there may be a down side to this. The physical dance – performing and teaching – connected me with others on a regular basis, whereas, all the other forms are practiced in solitude. Isolation becomes a way of life, except when it comes to family. And family doesn’t give a damn if I ever dance another dance. They love the me they see – expecting participation regardless. One can be crying inside for a different sort of interraction: that which can only take place between peers. Yet one can continue to play the part of sister, mother, grandmother, and cousin, and no one knows or cares. One is accepted exactly as one is, and lacking challenge, the dancer begins to die. Tired as I am, I don’t really want her dead.


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4 Responses to “Gravity”

  1. Kendall Says:

    I don’t want her dead either, Leif–not in you, not in me. But I have no answers. I can only be with you in the questions. Difficult, very difficult questions. Keep asking them, and I am right beside you, asking also. I hear you say, “Dear God, I am tired.” I hear you. I nuzzle up to you via the computer and say yes, yes. It’s like that.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I have read somewhere that the question is the answer – possibly in my own writing. I do know that the asking of them brings some small relief – and an odd sort of hope. And it is so very good to have a companion in one’s asking. Dear tired buddy… I pray for your courage and your peace in these difficult times, as I pray for my own. I can almost hear great aunt Lily Lorraine say, “Bon Courage, mes petites.”

  3. Gel Says:

    Your writing really speaks to my soul. Though I’m several years late to read this and probably you are in a different place than when you wrote this, I feel a lot of resonance with your questions and expressions. Just thought i’d let you know your efforts have helped me today.

    • leiflife Says:

      Hi Gel… I went back and reread “Gravity”, and though I still struggle with some of those same questions, I think that I have made some progress in coping. I have also found great relief in the use of fewer words, and in letting photographs speak for me in mysterious ways. Bless you for sharing my world. It always helps to discover empathetic souls. I have never stopped dancing, but the dance does ebb and flow…and find new means of expression.

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