There is a dance that our feet learn to do when first we stand up. That dance
is learned well, for even when our feet no longer dance, our phantom feet
remember the dance. They itch to dance. And under penalty of death we
think, we stay with it. If we decide to learn new steps, the old steps often need
to be altered. And if they are, we think we are not needed for our dance or we
feel our steps are not noticed anymore and are taken for granted. Either way
we may feel sorry for ourselves or worse, give up. Very few give in and learn
new steps, perhaps slower ones. The new dance feels alien to our self image
and we are certain we will be laughed at. Fortunately others do not remember
our old steps as we who danced them. In the fashion of our admired dance
stars, we skimmed the floor and swept others along with us.
And that is the kicker. When one is aware that a new step is needed, one is
aware also that the dance is soon ending. How to do it gracefully, with a
sweeping dip that barely touches the floor, takes a nimble body and mind.
Most of us do it with the tentative steps we learned when first we learned
to dance. For the vision might still be sweeping, but the body falters. And
before we know it, the audience's attention is riveted on younger feet still
learning new and beguiling steps. We shuffle off the floor. Our dance is over.
And we are never the wiser that the young feet doing the new dance could
not dance at all had we not learned the old dance first.