Saturday, August 12, 2006

class #3

I'm loving this salsa class. It's way outside my comfort zone. Not because it's too hard. It is challenging but doable, completely outside my normal routines. No namedropping, no names, well name tags but I barely look. It's strangers in a room, defined only by dance. The familiarity grows by the round and round routine, judgement by rhythm and touch. Some guys I'm so happy to see again. Their moves smooth, grip firm. Some my heart goes out to, struggling along, we struggle together. Week to week, there's a change, so a guy and I so terribly awkward and off step last week, are thrilled when the moves come together this. It's exhilarating as we work it out. Today for the first time, really starting to dance. Not stuck in which step is what and where do I go next, but giving in to the sway. For someone particularly like me, giving over to someone else's lead, a true pleasure. It's pure movement, and pure joy. Doing without thinking. My aha.

John likes to hike. The thought throws me into tantrums, I can't, it's too hard, I won't be able to. John's patient. urging me along, wanting me to love it like he does. But I never do. I hate the initial anxiety. I hate the climb with it's unknown quanities of difficulty and duration. I feel relief when it's all over and done I don't get to the aha. John loves man against mountain. For me, it's rhythm and routine.

I love the anonymity. We focus on the steps and new moves, rotating partners every couple of minutes or so. No idea what any of these people do for a living. And I don't want to know. Margaret and I having coffee this morning, commiserating on the dreaded question. And what's next? With the implied What're you living on? It's the creator's prison, to once have dazzled, to dazzle again. Sure it's fascinating and fun but it's hard as well, going forward without a road map. I'm at my worst when someone asks, "And what do you do?" I sputter and mumble. No matter how full my life with rewarding engagement, I can't describe it easily, and resent how badly that makes me feel in conversation. I'm at my best with my conscious mind out of the way. Doing without the thinking. And that's why these dances classes such a joy. It's not why, or when, or the endgame, it's all about this moment now. And doesn't it feel great.

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