Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dance Me

(The amazing Jack Vettriano's beautiful depiction of 'Dance me to the end of Love')

Airports are such poignant places of passage, of arrivals and departures. The man clutching a bunch of yellow roses ... the proud young couple cradling a pink swathed newborn ... the eager children with noses pressed to the glass ... the young man with dreadlocks immersed in his ipod, but still checking his watch every few minutes ... And then as the swarm of arrivals pour through the security doors, all around me exclaims of joy, names called out ... hugs, laughter, excited chatter. Our physical arrivals and departures feed each other, together, a whole and balanced affirmation. Life at an airport is singular of purpose, unanimous and kindred.

Standing there last evening amidst a sea of people, I was struck by the unifying emotion most discerned on the faces of those waiting. It was one of mostly happy expectation. I was awaiting the arrival of my husband, the beautiful man I’ve been married to for thirty-three years.

We’ve come to understand, to grasp the pattern of each other’s quiet spaces; to know and accept the complexities of the other. We know the rhythm of the dance that is us. We dance slowly sometimes ... barely moving ... cradled cheek to cheek, heart to heart. We dance as May Day dancers do, holding ribbons in hands that intricately weave together in a circle of play. We dance by ourselves at times, each alone, unseen. We dance as the tango ... intense, soulful mirrored actions, responding to each others’ tiniest nuance of movement. And, many times, as Al Pacino said in 'The Scent of a Woman', "If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on", we have just tangoed on.

My husband, Gem, has been away for a few days to officially accept a wonderful new position at a university in a city six hundred kilometres from where we presently live. It is his dream job and he has worked very hard to achieve it. We will be moving, packing up our life after thirty years here. We will be saying goodbye to our beloved children and grandchildren, our friends, to the house which is imbued with our veracity and presence, and to a community that has become a part of us. I will also be saying goodbye to the hospital where I have worked for more than twenty years; to the amazing co-workers who have become such a large part of my life.

I have been vacillating between grief and joy. There is a running under-current of fear, too, and of anxiety. The texture, fragrance and presence of so much. My feelings, at first, like fisted hands packing snow ... compressed in layers of cold, hard sadness. My hands are opened now, gently cupping ... soft, amorphous.

When writing to my best friend of many years about my well of feelings, his reply contained the following:

'As you go about life, you will sometimes see a great chasm. Jump! It is not as wide as you think.'
I am jumping ... heart first. And, the dance continues ...

Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

(Leonard Cohen)

1 comment:

  1. I feel your anxiety, and I especially grieve for the distance that you will put between you and your family. There are compensations, however, to being a long-distance grandparent. You get to make long visits where you can actually become a part of the household for a while. Such visits have a different texture than the afternoon-long or day-long visits you may have experienced in the past. Also, your talents and warmth will easily enable you to make a new home, and a dream job is worth moving for! So go ahead and jump!