Learning, Mindfulness, Relationships


swing dance feet

He walks the dog while I pull on tights and boots. He leads me to the car then drives us through mist and rush hour traffic to a studio were a purple chandelier glitters in greeting.

We stumble through box step and salsa until motion from inside carries us like small waves lapping. Slow, quick quick, slow. His elbow lifts just enough to suggest an invitation. I twirl once around a maypole of light before alighting one beat shy of our next shared step.

The instructor praises us on our gaze. He can’t know our determination to master seeing. We speak across night, three years of two homes, voice as proxy for proximity. When we are together, we sometimes sit near each other and pluck up the threads of formerly disembodied conversation and spin them around the shape of us, looking, looking. We fill our stores with images that will warm us later. These eyes are accustomed to bridging the gap.

On this polished floor, our bodies have a new exchange. Slow, slow, quick quick. While I listen through his skin for the lead, it’s his eyes that signal our direction. These lessons build on a language we already speak. When parted, we fall into step. When still,  we are dancing.


1 thought on “Frame”

  1. Now in the nineties desert night
    —my lover’s my wife—
    old friends, old trucks, drawn around;
    great arcs of kids on bikes out there in darkness
    no lights—just planet Venus glinting
    by the calyx crescent moon,
    and tasting grasshoppers roasted in a pan.

    They all somehow swarm down here—
    sons and daughters in the circle
    eating grasshoppers grimacing,

    singing sūtras for the insects in the wilderness,

    —the wideness, the
    foolish loving spaces

    full of heart.

    Walking on walking,
    under foot earth turns

    Streams and mountains never stay the same.

    from Gary Snyder’s Finding the Space in the Heart

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