Day 19: The Actual Dance. “There is a dance. A dance that one day each and every one of us will dance. . .. When it is my turn to dance, I want to dance with the person I have loved most in the world; and if it is her turn first, I want to be her dance partner.”
These are among the opening lines of the play. And of course, “The Actual Dance” is a play. It is also a metaphor for the ritual we go through at the end-of-life. It imagines a beautiful, elegant ballroom filled with everyone you have ever met, ever known and ever loved in your life. It suggests that among those “watching” this “dance” include “generations before us” and maybe even “generations yet to come.”
The Actual Dance portrays or imagines an elegant and lovely good-bye. It starts at the instant the possibility of death becomes a possibility in our mind. It never really ends. (More on that in another blog.)
In reality The Actual Dance is a ritual that is not real except that it is. Or at least it was for me. I have come to understand from others that it is for them as well. As we engage in this unique and ultimate task, we some sometimes need to be somewhere else. That place is where The Actual Dance happens in a different reality – a different place perhaps created in our minds but as real and as tangible to us as anything or anywhere else.
There were moments in my journey and as portrayed in the play where one moment I am in Susan’s hospital room and the next I’m somewhere else, watching the musicians who are going to play the music for our dance mount the orchestral riser.
As I said yesterday I often found myself “being alone” – the stark and elemental terror of being with Susan as she would take her last breath, I need to leave the reality of the moment and find somewhere else to be. That place I will describe tomorrow, but it was real to me and I now think it is “real”
In reality, a ritual that is not real except that it is. It is the place we go to when we think we can’t do what we know we have to do.
Stat of the Day: Brest cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide with 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. This according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Task of the Day: Start a “sacred time” practice. Every day some time to imagine a “safe place” for your being or your soul. Where do you go if you need to confront the unimaginable in your life. Talking about or even acknowledging that there is a “place” we go and feel as a sacred moment is difficult.
Resource of the Day: A wonderful web site by Jeanine Walton called Healing Now with alot of information about spirituality and imagery
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.