The Visit

She came to my door: a fairy crone – or a fellow dancer. She had met me before – so she said – a few years back and, being in town, determined to look me up. Could she come inside? Had I time for a visit? I was taken aback; made nervous by the stranger’s sudden appearance – unprepared for her boldness. Even so, her assumption made it impossible to do anything but invite her in.

The woman, who was now looking older than I had at first supposed, walked across my studio floor and seated herself on my old green couch. She, herself, was in green, and she perched herself like a lively wizened sprite against the cushions.  Her back was straight, and the cloth of her garments fitted her aging body like a kindly flattering glove. She was hardly beautiful, but her features compelled my gaze – confused my perceptions. Despite my feelilng rather at her mercy, I was curious – wanted to hear her story – wanted to trust and follow the mystical thread that had led her to me. I listened to the curious voice as it threw out elusive information about her own dance history. She spoke of dance motifs and Labanotation, and I couldn’t help mentioning my father and his faithful adherence to the motifs of Adolpho Best-Maugard. I also remarked on the motifs discovered through practicing Airth and the circle of exercises that utilized these motifs. Her eyes grew brighter, and suddenly I knew I had hit on her purpose. Her request that I show her was hardly surprising. She was on her feet. I was on my feet. My mild protestations had no affect.

We faced one another at the center of the room, and the light of the day spilled through the skylight and over our bodies. Her thin lips curled in a catlike smile of expectation. I was under her spell, and the tiny ripple of resentment inside me quickly dissolved. I was obedient to something I hadn’t the presence of mind to resist. Slipping into teacher mode, I led my presumptuous student through the familiar “motifs”, finding that I still had the strength for it, and the words to describe. There was even some vague pleasure in my body’s response to the old warm up:  the rise and fall of weighted breath – the power of the pendulum in motion. Perhaps the circle protected me even as I shared it’s magical properties.

She was slower than I – this woman in green with her transparent skin and her transparent eagerness to receive what I had to offer – and never quite matched my rhythm. I found myself missing the easy connection experienced with former students  She had questions, which made for several interruptions. Yet she moved like a dancer; her slowness had more to do with determined assimulation than lack of ability. Later as we moved to the floor, our improvisations almost allowed connection. I found myself going through motions – willing to feel that mysterious thread that connects and unites. For her, all was well; she was enjoying immensely the whole experience. I kept complying, even playing the keyboard as she danced her interpretation of my awkward notes. She called the notes beautiful; claimed they summoned childhood memories of times when joy prevailed. I nearly saw inside the woman then. Her purpose seemed less strange and my co-operation less subjective, but still, I felt no thrill that told me we were guided by the self-same source.

It was only today – with my visitor long since departed for who knows where – that I felt her presence as a blessing. Moving alone in the skylight’s glow, I sensed new resolve in my gestures. A palpable energy filled my room and the music from yesterday’s unfelt rapport was as beautiful as she had pronounced it. Unconscious then, I was fully conscious now. Her joy then was my joy now – the circle complete.

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2 Responses to “The Visit”

  1. Kendall Says:

    The kindness of strangers–yours to her, hers to you. That wonder.

  2. leiflife Says:

    To let the good of an experience unfold when it will; this is a challenge. Sometimes the wonder has to be realized later – perhaps unveiled through creative means. Thanks for being with me on this journey.

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