Dance, Partners

October 3, 2009

We danced that one time,
(was it Salsa?)
taking turns with the roles
naturally curious, both of us explorers.
Then talking as we drove home
reflections on the instructor, the other students, ourselves.
“I’m surprised…following was better for me.”
A clear contradiction to my normal way in the world.
And you?
Leading came with such grace – we both felt it.
Sometimes a yes is so clear, the question ceases to exist
(serving only to birth more questions)
This one stands before me now:
how is it that your lead, my follow, is our most awkward movement?
(something so natural – why are we so damn bad at it?)
Is it as simple as inexperience?  as pathological as resistance?
are we hopelessly mismatched despite all our dreams?

There is no escaping the demand for our mastery:
your expertise, your desires, your boundaries, your vision,
each day asks only more.
[It’s so tempting to think:
I could follow if only you would…]

But back to Salsa (or was it a Rumba?)
What did I learn?
…seek my excellence in the steps that are mine
…be substance to your flow (that’s how we are form)
…ask only this:  what is this beauty we create?
Curiosity, exploration – there is no other way.
How do I remember this now
with deadlines and anxieties
and the misdirections of my mind?

If the deadlines are the tempo
and our goals are the beat
and you are the lead
how do I know my part?

Those dance lessons…they weren’t Tango or Foxtrot or Waltz.
(or did we waltz, for just a bit?)
But the lessons – what were they?  Samba maybe?
I cannot recall.

But that day –
that day I knew.
And that day – we danced.
Once again, the lesson is the same:  it helps to know intent.
(It’s the music that’s the cue.)

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Megalo-

December 8, 2008

Ok, it’s not a word per se.  However, it was hard to resist.

megalo-  combining form  Big; indicating excessive or abnormal size.  Also, before vowels, megal-. 
[<Gk, megas, megalou, big.]

The only word using this combining form in my dictionary was megalomania.  This could be read as an excessively big mania, which is already defined as an extraordinary enthusiasm or craving.  But we all know about megalomania.  Let’s make some new words.  How about:

  • megalelection – the overall US presidential election process
  • megalego – really, really, really high self-esteem
  • megalobailout – yeah, that
  • megalolove – when you got a big, big love
  • megalopop – one of those huge drinks you can buy at a convenience store
  • megalick – something that is excessively nasty, as opposed to…
  • megalolick – something that only Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, St. Bernards, and really good lovers can do

Ideas?  Send us some good ones!


Writing as a Stage, Writing as an Exploration

May 5, 2008

Sometimes I write because it’s a skill I have, a tool I can use to accomplish an end. It demonstrates, draws attention, teaches, accomplishes a goal. But like any stage, there are constraints to this kind of writing. This kind is scripted: the intent is to get the words in order and send them on their way. It’s not a bad constraint – it has its purpose.

Other times I write because it’s just what I love to do, what transforms me, the way that I transform my world. Now I’m the servant. There is something there that I cannot yet define, and I am there to give it form, let it move me, dance with it, be its lover. I can’t organize it or even understand it in advance. What is created comes through the moment and action of creation, and it exists because it must, not because I willed it to be.

To be who we are, we need both. Indeed, the best writing is both these things, a marriage of our willful intent and the mystery that cannot be contained.