When the Heart-Mind is Grieved, Turn to the Body

Whenever my heart is really aching, and I feel so weary of this world, I take to dance.  I turn my body into a prayer.  I fling it around the room in shapes that make sense within, even if they look completely bizarre.  

My heart is hurting today, as I am, along with all of you, grieving the tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  Which happens to be my home state.  I think I will be dancing for most of the afternoon.  

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I Believe I Can Fly, by Jason Lee

This morning I had an extra toddler around for a few hours, and I threw on some Gorillaz and Olive turned to her BFF Ophie and said, “Let’s dance”.  So, we had a little dance party, and they were excellent heart-opening dance partners for me.  

Tonight, I will go to dance class, and for the first time in six months, my beloved teacher, Dudley, will be leading the class.  I was prepared to cry through the whole class anyway, tears of joy that he has been brought back to us, but now I think the tears will be two-fold.  

I am not suggesting that a bit of dancing on my part will make anything better, for this country, for the families who have lost children, for anyone trying to make sense of this horror.  But I do believe, that when children’s lives have been taken, that we have to live braver ones in their stead.  The fleeting nature of our lives, and our own loved ones’ lives, have once again been revealed to us.  We must respond with lives that love bigger, risk more, and hold faster to that which is good.

Perhaps you have two left feet, and you’re going, “Yeah, yeah, dance on, lady.”  You don’t need to move a muscle to do what I’m talking about.  What I do believe is the best thing to do, in the face of tragedy, is to something that makes you feel truly alive.  This could be writing, reading poetry, riding your bike, playing your drums, making love to your partner, watering your garden, hugging your dog.  Turn off the news, and feel.  We are grieving, as a nation.  For me, that means I dance.

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5 thoughts on “When the Heart-Mind is Grieved, Turn to the Body

  1. Oh Rhea…It was so weird because I took the day off of work to have a upbeat me day, and I’m driving home and hear about this story unfolding and even though it happened across the country, it felt like it happened at my school. We always tell our students, outside may be crazy, but here in our classrooms, you have a safe place…I can’t say that anymore…Oh, dance for me my friend and lets hug and kiss our little ones like there’s no tomorrow.

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