Not long ago I heard a CBC program that focussed on the importance of celebrations -- music, dance, both alone and together. My heart smiled! Ecstatic dancing has actually been a way communities have helped their members out of depression -- dark periods of withdrawal, melancholy.
"Life for me is, on good days, a wild and gently rhythmic dance. Moreover, I believe we are danced by life and are not, as we often pridefully assume, the directors of the dance.
I haven’t always seen it this way. One evening, over twenty years ago, it was getting dark as I was driving home from a workshop with Robert, an acquaintance and fellow student. That drive became a turning point in my life.
The sky was ragged—ominous, black clouds were scudding across the heavens, matching my state of mind. I was talking about my relationship, the communication challenges, the misunderstandings, the hurt. Robert was driving, and without even turning to look at me, said “You see life as a struggle, don’t you, Jill.”
Robert’s words startled me, and I realized that yes, of course, that was often the way I saw and experienced difficult times, and more generally, life itself: as a struggle, a battle, a fight. It seemed obvious to me, and I had never questioned it. Life as a struggle implied working hard, trying your best to survive, to come out on top.
So when Robert said “You can also experience life as a dance, you know, Jill,” something cracked, and through the fracture I could see a pale light.
Driving home with Robert that day, it was still dark, and would get darker, but there was a golden sliver of luminosity on the horizon that evening in Germany: life can be experienced as a dance, rather than a struggle."
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