Learning To Dance Again

It is strange to be writing here in a public space the things I can’t speak of with my nearest and dearest. For they truly are near – and so dear that my fear of hurting them keeps me from being completly honest. Honestly, I want to be in their lives – and to help them when they are overwhelmed by the trials of life. My heart can ache for them so intensely that my own heart’s ache is obscured. I can feel so for their weariness that my body carries on beyond endurance, and I only know later that I have abused its faithfulness.

Perhaps this denial comes from years of dancing through pain and exhaustion, of being so in the moment that I could transcend my very humanity. Time after time, as I lay in my epsom salts bath in the aftermath of performance, I found abrasions and bruises acquired as I danced. Perhaps I’m still dancing, oblivious of wear and tear on body and soul, or of injury to the heart whose love will never be enough.

Do I even forget to breathe? This is the question I ask myself now, and I am the dancer who in 1977 decided that every gesture must begin with the breath. Breathe out to release the gesture; breathe in to realize the power born of release. This I would practice until I was one with the spiritual impulse – at least part of the time. Later, I would teach this simple truth, and watch others reap benefits that seemed miraculous at the time. For years I kept telling others to breathe their gestures into being, guiding them forth with a promise of freedom. But while I was telling them when to breathe, my own need was forgotten – my freedom compromised.  I must make the heartwrenching decision to set them free that I might breathe again – discover new gestures. Is it time to set my own children free to dance their own dances, and perchance, to discover a whole new breathing dance of my own?

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