I woke this morning to gray light coming in through the window. The lingerings of a dream, more a memory, resonated in my mind.
When I was attending college in my early twenties, I always made sure to sign up for a dance class. Dancing offered me a reprieve from myself and my life. At that time, my life wasn’t all that enjoyable—it was chaotic and predictably unpredictable, and not in an oh-I’m-having-fun-kind-of-way.
Sometimes I would reserve a studio in the afternoon to dance alone. This one time a friend, really an acquaintance, stopped in looking for an unoccupied piano to play. He was a phenomenal musician.
That day, when he found me dancing alone and himself looking for a piano, was a day I will never forget. He asked if he could play while I danced, and, for whatever crazy reason, I said yes. We were able to thread a connection between my dancing and his music.
At that time in my life, I was more concerned with what others thought of me than anything else. To spend time with another person as I was, to be truly open, especially dancing in front of them without others to camouflage my movements, was a spectacular demonstration of trust and risk.
My dancing encompassed the whole studio floor, lost in the sweet melody he played on the piano. I felt free. Open. Connected to someone in a way I had never experienced before. He never judged me. He believed my dancing was exceptional and his music complimentary.
Soon life changed course, and I found myself on another journey that didn’t involve college or seeing him. When I did see him again, he was suffering emotionally, due to his father’s illness, and I was unable to connect with him beyond giving my heartfelt thoughts.
I hope things are well for him. He presented me with a gift that day in the dance studio. He showed me what an hour of freedom felt like.
I believe we all collect moments, slivers of time, that alter our perception of the world and ourselves. Eventually, we gather enough moments and recognize we need to change, or, at least, recognize that we want to do something different. We may cultivate enough willingness to take a risk, try something new, reach a hand out to someone who knows more than we do.
That day in the dance studio, dancing to his magical playing, was a small sliver of time for me, which then led me to other moments, collecting as I went, toward a different way of living. Life is less chaotic and not so predictably unpredictable.
My thanks go out to him.
Originally posted October 2, 2105. Posted now with edits. I’m in the process of transferring my writing from an old blog that’s no longer in use.