The Dance. . . We as participants. . . .

                         The Dance. . . . 

There is a dance that our feet learn to do when first we stand up.  That dance is learned well, for even when our legs 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 ones often need to be altered.  And if they are, we either 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 feel sorry for ourselves or worse, give up.

Very few give in and learn new steps, perhaps slower ones.  The new dance though is alien to our self image and we are certain the new steps will be laughed at. Fortunately others do not remember our old steps as we who danced them.  In the  fashion of Fred Astaire, our memory tells us we 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.  We soon find 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 without our learning the old dance first.

artwork by 
Claudia Hallissey

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