How Shall I Keep Dancing?

You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you ~ Isadora Duncan

I dreamed last night that I was walking through a pub naked. In the dream, friends and I decided that we would discard our granny panties and be at ease with our bodies in the buff. As it goes with the strangeness of dreams, it ended with me prancing through the pub alone. My friends high-tailed it, I guess. It was the oddest thing, for I wasn’t …em…bare…assed in the least. I’ve had a few naked dreams over the years, but always I would feel horrified and then enormously relieved to wake and know it was only a dream.

I recently danced at a pub (with my clothes on) to live Irish music with a group of friends I’ve set danced with for many years. I was bewitched by the music and as we danced together, I tapped, leapt, and danced so enthusiastically, I drew inordinate attention to myself. I wasn’t tripping anyone or myself up, but I was singularly vivacious and energetic. There were goodhearted (I hope) teasing comments and laughter, but I wasn’t embarrassed in the least. Sure, there have been other times when I went crazy with my dancing, but oftentimes I’d not only have a sore hip, but sore feelings because my fellow dancers didn’t go along with me.

I’ve wondered of late how I will keep dancing. I have gathered pain in my joints from repetition of movement. And I have also gathered pain in my soul from repetition of living. “Let it go!” the guru masters tell us. And don’t you just love this one, “Let go and let God!” And then, of course, there’s this one, “Just breathe!”

I’m not hostile to letting go, letting God, and breathing, but honestly, who really lets go and lets God and who doesn’t breathe? If I let go, I won’t dance. If I let go, I won’t feel compassion and empathy that propels me to action. If I let go and let God, I am separating myself from God because then it’s either me or Him or Her. It sort of implies that I am off the hook, but it makes me feel very lonely waiting for Him or Her. I’ve been there and I know the lingo. I do believe we are in this together and I am not alone in this dance with life.

I’m going to learn some new steps then…new moves and take deeper breaths. I’ve been in my skin for so long now that in some ways it’s stretched enough to give me freedom of movement. Like a well worn treasured garment, I’ll not toss myself away. And if my friends don’t wish to frolic or boogie as I do, they’ll still be there laughing me on.

I’m like a tumbleweed and just mature enough to pull away from old roots that keep me confined. I’ll roll along, gather some new material, and scatter myself in the wind, dancing wildly.

About cynthianeale

I am the author of The Irish Dresser Series that includes The Irish Milliner and Norah, The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th Century New York (Fireship Press), two young adult historical fiction novels, The Irish Dresser and Hope in New York City (White Mane), and Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories & Desserts. I’ve written a screenplay, The Irish Dresser series, adapted from these works and I’m ready to sell! My historical fiction novel, Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters, a story about a real life Native American/French woman set during the French and Indian War and American Revolution in Pennsylvania and New York is being released in April 2023 by Bedazzled Publishers. I write plays, screenplays, essays, and short stories. I am a native of the Finger Lakes region in New York and reside in New Hampshire. I enjoy reading, writing, Irish set dancing, waltzing, walking, learning about nature, traveling, painting, baking fanciful desserts, kayaking, creating events for food, dance, and fund raising, invisible volunteering, laughing until it hurts, and dreaming about possibilities.
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