SOMETIMES I DANCE
(from Within My Illusions)
Sometimes I dance in the moonlight,
Soft in my skin,
Fluid on my feet.
Limbs brush through the cool night air,
Painting new maps
In this territory
Between earth and sky.
Sometimes I linger in the rain,
As though its liquid would seep into my pores
To replenish me.
The weight of the water
Pulls me down,
Holding me in a space
Where I can’t help but remember.
Sometimes I bask in the sun,
Dressed in black and too warmly for the weather,
Absorbing as much heat as I can stand
As my left arm stretches up
And over the back of the chair.
Face tilts up.
I lift my feet off the ground,
Extend my right leg,
And that movement
Sets me gently rocking.
Cradled in the perfect balance
Of motion and stillness,
A thought arises:
I only wanted to stop my soul from dying;
I never imagined what it would feel like
I don’t know where I go when I sleep, but mornings often feel more like a returning than an awakening. Some days when I open my eyes and look around my room, I'm met with the thought, “Ugh, back here again?” And then there are days when I look out the window at way the light changes as the sun makes its way across the horizon, and I remember the improbability of being alive as part of this complex, dynamic system of the universe. Somehow, through billions of years of subatomic motion, an infinite dance of molecular formation and recombination, two cells joined to create me. And ten months later (I stayed in the womb as long as possible), I emerged both fully formed and just beginning.
Sometimes I like to imagine zooming out and looking back down on Earth, an improbable masterpiece, teeming with so much life: emerging, growing, dying, decaying in movements beyond my comprehension. From this perspective, it feels like a precious gift to be a part of something so magnificent. Mary Oliver's questions often linger in my mind: “What does it mean that the Earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it?”
I wonder, What does it mean to be alive on the planet right now, in this moment? Perhaps it is a happenstance of timing. But what if we were born for this moment? What if everything we've ever experienced has led us to be perfectly poised to be here now?
I invite you to celebrate this day with me, not as a celebration of me, but as a celebration of Life and the opportunities each of us has to participate in Life's unfolding in our own unique way.
We're here. We're alive. What shall we do about it?