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Relaxing into the dance

Grasses dance in the meadows.
Grasses dance in the meadows.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Great dancers are great because of their passion.

~ Martha Graham

Sway with the wind.
Sway with the wind.

Everything in the universe has rhythm.  Everything dances.

~ Maya Angelou

When was the last time you danced?  Is it something you do often?  I don’t think I do it often enough.  It’s been almost a month since I last danced.  I read a couple of things this morning that reminded me I should dance regularly.  Daily.  Maybe even twice daily.  Dance is good for the soul.

The water of the creek does an undulating dance.
The water of the creek does an undulating dance.

I’ve heard or read that dance is considered the song of the body.  The poets and mystics and many other wise folk have all invited us to dance.  Hafiz suggested you “cast all your votes for Dancing!”

The rain dances with the hibiscus.
The rain dances with the hibiscus.

This morning, after a long bike ride, I started to do my yoga practice, but felt too tired (and sweaty because it is hot and sticky sauna outside) to do it.  I rested a bit, and while I was resting, my brain remembered that within my collection of yoga and exercise DVD’s there is one called Yoga Dance Trance (with Shiva Rea), and my body was happy that my brain remembered this because dance was something I felt I could do.

The zinnias dance in color.
The zinnias dance in color.

I popped in the DVD, and I danced.  They say to dance like no one is watching, and I think that is very good advice.  However, even when I’m home alone I tend to dance as if the world is watching.  I have moments when I relax into it, when everything drops away and only the dance exists.  Those moments rarely last long, and like all relaxing moments, the harder I try to get it back, the tenser I become.  Relaxation doesn’t come with force.

The trees dance in the woods.
The trees dance in the woods.

Henry Miller wrote:

The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death.  By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis.  One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly.  But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life.  The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression.  To relax is, of course, is the first thing a dancer has to learn.  It is also the first thing a patient has to learn when he confronts the analyst.  It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live.  It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender.

Dancing at the edge of the lagoon during a super high tide.
Dancing at the edge of the lagoon during a super high tide.

There it is.  The secret to dancing.  Full surrender.  So that’s what I did.  Eventually.  I listened to the music, swaying, shifting, and then finally, full out dancing.  All of my self-consciousness fell away.  It felt good to be free of that burden.  I wonder why I carry it around with me.

The sweet gums and goldenrod do their autumn dance.
The sweet gums and goldenrod do their autumn dance.

My body, like most bodies, enjoys movement.  That’s why I walk and cycle and practice yoga.  Movement is a way of expressing joy, of connecting the body back to the mind and the soul.  And dance, I think, is the ultimate celebration of joy, life, our bodies, and our spirits.

The meadows are buzzing and humming with dancers.
The meadows are buzzing and humming with dancers.

Join me if you like.  A little dance to celebrate the day or the season or the moment.

Yellow dance.
Yellow dance.

The groove is so mysterious.  We’re born with it and we lose it and the world seems to split apart before our eyes into stupid and cool.  When we get it back, the world unifies around us, and both stupid and cool fall away.

I am grateful to those who are keepers of the groove.  The babies and the grandmas who hang on to it and help us remember when we forget that any kind of dancing is better than no dancing at all.

~ Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons

Changing dance partners. (This leaf has danced with a tree, the wind, and the water. If it comes to shore, it will dance with the earth next.)
Changing dance partners. (This leaf has danced with a tree, the wind, and the water. If it comes to shore, it will dance with the earth next.)

 

 

 

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

14 thoughts on “Relaxing into the dance

  1. I work out almost every day, but thank you for the reminder to dance more often. I danced so much at our daughter’s wedding, and it was great. I do Zumba sometimes, but the instructor I really like at my gym had to give up her class. I will have to remember to dance around in my kitchen more often. 🙂
    Great quotes and photos, too.

    Like

  2. <3<3<3!! (trying to find different ways to express my love of your photos) 🙂
    I should dance more. I used to dance a lot before I was married, then I married a guy that well…you know. 😉 Sometimes I put on a CD, but not often enough. Maybe I should change that. Coming into the cold months, I don’t get out as much, so the exercise would be good.

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    1. My guy doesn’t dance either, Eliza. Or not much. He’s very self-conscious about it. Between the two of us, we have self-conscious very well covered. lol! Thank you for the love. 😀 I feel the same way about your photos.

      Like

  3. Beautiful thoughts, beautifully expressed. In particular I like the leaf picture and the goldenrod and sweet gum picture. I dance often around my apartment, usually because something strikes me on the radio. The song goes “you got to sing, like you don’t need the money, love like you’ll never get hurt, dance like nobody’s watching–it’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work.” Here’s Garnet Rogers, who wrote it–singing it at an interview back in 1992: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_vXsnke8DM

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful, wonderful reminder to us all Robin – thank you!

    I used to dance with Orlando very often, before Siddy came. O is a cat who likes to dance! He has his particular favourites and so I would often have music going and we would boogie ….. I would boogie and he would be carried about making pleased sort of harrumphings and gurglings and purrs………… When Siddy came O retired to the top of the fridge and no more dancing was done. Siddy is learning to dance for treats, but that is not the same as boogying to great music is it? Now that O is down on the floor once more, maybe we might resume dancing again…… Your post makes me think we must!!

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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