Nov 7, 2012

Irish dance and Dixie cups

Do you dance?

A friend suggested yesterday that I dance.  "Dance angry," she wrote to me, because that was clearly all I could manage in the midst of the panic - "but dance."  The five minutes I spent trusting her directions were tiring, but they also gave me a nudge: go back to class, Sonika.  You need to move.  She put it best: "You are a whole person: spirit, soul, and body.  Don't get so stuck in your head that you forget to involve your body and spirit."

So that's how I spent an hour of my evening today - moving.  In a dance class.  And it was an hour of stamping-my-feet angry, but perhaps that was the point.  €2 bought me the rush of pushing my body as far as it can go...and then further still.  Just focus for an hour, I told myself.  Make yourself focus for just one hour - focus on nothing but turnout, speed, and height on your toes.  You can do that.

I remember that at one point, I glanced down to watch my feet working, only to find blurry edges where my toes should've been...was I really going that quickly, I wonder, or was I crying?  (Sometimes I don't notice the tears until they're already there.)

Ten minutes into the hour, my proverbial blinders (yes, this kind of blinders) were on.  My mind spun, insisted, cajoledfaster, now - you know you can go faster than that.  Go.  Stamp, up, stamp, up, stamp, treble-and-a-back.  Concentrate.  Get higher, higher, higher...

I did end up getting some good height.  On my way out the door, though, I came back down.  Reliable as ever, Grief pulled me by my leg warmers right back to the wooden floor.  As I gave in and reached for my water bottle, Grief growled a single, vindictive admonition in my ear: you're missing something.  I leaned against the wall, spent.

Because you see, Grief had a point.  Although I've been clamoring a million variations on "send me home" since last week, I have been missing something.

Changing my location won't change my reality.

Nobody gets to come back from the dead.  (Thanks a lot, Eve.)  And it's a brilliant realization on my part, don't you think?  I do.

What's even better is my new-and-improved, oh-so-logical response to this: I boomerang.  Extreme Numero Uno: unleashing my irrational-crazy-person anger on everything that moves (mostly people, but sometimes my phone, too.  Especially when it buzzes and sings in my pocket that yet another person wants to ask me how I am, or invite me over, or other such well-meaning nonsense.)

And when the storm of rhetorical questions dissolves, it dissolves into quiet tears and fragile retreats where I pull my knees to my chest and wonder, what on earth has gotten into you, girl?

There's a ridiculous permanency about death that lies beyond my comprehension.  The task of understanding facts and timelines and medicalese is a relatively simple one.  But when you want a person - not memories, the person - and memories are all you can grope for in the dark, "completely gone" is a bitter pill to have stuck in the back of your throat.

No, being home won't change anything - but it will bring me closer to the people I want.  I guess that's why I've spent a week asking everyone to please get me home.  I know that there are people who love me, who are waiting for me, and so I count the days.  Most of you know my brother, right?  My sweet boy, who dresses like the Statue of Liberty "just because" and takes pride in Dixie cup pyramids - he's waiting.
He e-mailed me this photo a few days ago (yes, he's eight and he e-mails) with a simple, joyful message: "Look - I made this!"  Dear one, I love you to the moon and back.
P.S. An obligatory note about the election: while my social views lie on Romney's end of the spectrum, I am relieved to have the promise of insurance until I'm 26.  So while last night's results don't have me particularly thrilled, I'm encouraged - ironically, by Romney's gracious concession speech - to support the president as he works to guide us toward the bipartisan goals of financial stability, security, and peace.

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