August 30, 2017

The Still Point and the Dance

Fields of Gold
by Sting
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold

So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold

Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in the fields of gold...

The Four Quartets
by T.S. Elliot, Poet

At the still point of the turning world, Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from or towards;
At the still point, there the dancer is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

Dance is movement, form, physical, spirit, creation; it absorbs the dancer into the sound, the rhythm, the pattern and colors of movement.
As a performance art form, It's hue and expression at its most intelligent; at its heart, dance is all about the slowing, the simple moment, the still point.

Inertia may initially provide that still point which the poet Elliot speaks of, but as one continues in the physical experience a dance provides, more and more what one comes to first feel, and moreover to appreciate, is this still moment in the movement, time suspended, if only for a second, by inertia before gravity prevails, forcing one back to earth.The lyrics of Fields of Gold, for example, in combination with music, explore this sublime merger of sound and meaning with movement towards a high point or note. Listen here yourself for it. The dancer most properly locates herself at its center, the fulcrum point.

Every rhythm, a dancer discovers, has a beat, a pattern, cadence in which there are pauses, a syncopation to be reckoned. It both calms, focuses and elevates one within the music into a moment so totally focused in the 'now moment' that every other awareness is obliterated. Ecstatic is the way of the dancer when becomes the dance.

August 17, 2017

What Tomorrow Brings

You're No Good
performed by Linda Ronstadt

It's been nearly a year since the Grammy award winner American singer, Linda Ronstadt let it be known that she can no longer sing, due to illness. Such a vital and enthusiastic voice from a woman who struggled in her early years and achieved fame for her God-given gift of a powerful and beautiful voice. Nowadays she accepts, as she must, her change in circumstances.

Each of us, at times in our lives, experience change; some as dramatic as Ms. Ronstadt. For some it is normal aging, for others it is illness or financial reverses. Sometimes we are in spiritual quandries; our love runs dry, we are alone, we may have even feel the loss of our rudder. For others it's depression or other losses. Every type of situation that we may face presents to us a challenge, to either move forward or to simply wither, fruits left to dry on the vine.

Either we make something of our challenges or they may come to make us. With a prayer of hope each one of us may find the courage to face our selves, and our lives in just this moment and reckon with the consequences. It's truly the journey and not the journeys' end that makes meaning in our life.