While I haven’t written here in a while, the truth is I have been writing a lot recently. My life is taking a shape more familiar, as though I have finally begun to settle back into that part of my bed that knows my form and habits. Questions I knew the answers to but needed to hear aloud were asked of the people who held them and answered to my expectations. The only reason I hadn’t sought them before is because I had no interest in doing so, there was no road less traveled by more interesting than the one I was on. So I took my time, enjoyed the sights until I came to the next fork. And here, down that next leafy, untrodden path there seemed to be something worth exploring. So I stopped and asked the crossroads my questions, knowing that the road I had been walking would soon been declared under construction, indefinitely. I had already started to turn, so there was no slamming of metaphorical brakes, no curse of surprise at this change in direction. I was simply walking, without an intended destination, simply seeing where the path might lead. So I turn again and walk on, a new piece of the same journey.
It begins where all my best journeys begin, with that deep-rooted love of movement, with dance. That’s the first familiar shape, one that brings great contentment, yet only seems to ever whet my appetite for more. Last week, from Sunday to Saturday, I danced four times. It was much earlier, however, when this crossroads first came into view, though barely recognizable in the distance at the time. Dancing became words, words became letters, emails, messages, texts. This new friend and I have three separate, unique conversations going on in three mediums and have exchanged well over 40,000 words. At this point, that’s an understatement, we were nigh that when I sated my curiosity and checked 5 days ago. So far the only thing we’ve discussed that we don’t see eye to eye on is cheesecake. Her disappointment almost ended a blossoming friendship (I jest), but I diplomatically pointed out that it would make us better friends, for we would never argue over the last piece and at any party where they served cheesecake, she would never have to feel guilty about taking a second piece; she could just have mine. Thus I soothed the savage beast. There are other differences, but as she and I haven’t approached them in our discussions, neither shall I here.
Needless to say, I am intrigued by this new path, which I am slowly strolling along. For now, a friend to walk beside who loves the same books, movies, music, poetry, the beauty of the outdoors, hours spent in coffee shops, dance. She lives about an hour and a half away, which fosters the written contact that we are both enjoying. It is rather Zen, this road less traveled by, so far just a being (gerund, not noun), of mutual respect and interest in sharing our thoughts. I look forward to spending time with her in person off the dance floor, as we have yet to do so for more than a passing moment to catch our breath. I don’t attend dances to converse. The future is unwritten, the past irrevocable.
As I mentioned briefly, this return to familiarity and comfort as well as the new direction of my attention stems from a return to dance. Since the workshop that renewed my interest, I have made it to “the city” to dance three times, making it once every other week. A week ago Sunday was a West Coast Swing dance in Spokane; Tuesday I taught my class, as I do weekly; Friday I invited a student to come dance with me on my lunch break, something we’re going to do weekly, on Thursdays; and Saturday we had our community monthly ballroom dance, with a much more satisfying and well-balanced turn out than we have had in ages. If things go as planned I will be dancing at least twice a week with a trip to dance in Spokane no less than once a month and likely twice, as well as attending the monthly dance. It will mean a difference from dancing 4-5 times a month to dancing at least 11. I would prefer more, but it’s a vast improvement. Twice a week I will continue to spend more time teaching than dancing, but that is equally something I enjoy doing. The one on one lessons/dancing on Thursdays will be the most rewarding, as I have the opportunity to really focus and teach a student to be the kind of dancer I’m used to and enjoy dancing with, something that I have as yet been unable to do or find in this town. There is no romantic interest there, simply teacher/student and love of dance. That’s a hard thing to explain to people outside the culture, as dancing with someone frequently is often mistaken as romance.
In other news, work on The West Wind continues and hopefully will prove fruitful once I release and market it, providing a means to move on to doing more of what I love and less of this corporate white collar labor that leaves my soul aching. I’m still aiming for the stars. Can’t hit what you don’t aim for.