Saturday, June 16, 2007

Just Dancing . . . the story

And so we start. Staggering into the future by writing about the past. It seems that was just yesterday I started this career, this life thing that I’ve been doing for lo these many years. Just yesterday, I was a child who spent my life in an internal dialogue. I learned early that I would have to figure things out for myself. I’ve been constantly amazed at how things turned out as a result of my decisions. Now as my life’s flight is looking to land, I realize the enormity of what is coming. The finality.

Ah well, the topic is just dancing, not me, so lets get on with it.

Tunes play. The day gray and cool. Order is my play. I think if I try and put things into some semblance of order that I’ll calm down and be in control. But actually what happens is that by getting myself to work, I actually get to work.

So here we are and where to go from here is the question?

One summer night in El Cajon dance spot called Park Place, I discovered the difference between a dancer and a person seeking social solace from dancing. It was contest night and the buzz was on. I had been walking from my place on 2nd street up to the bowling alley where Park Place was for several months, at least, once a weekend. It was great. No one at home to report to, Jace had moved to Santa Barbara and Karen was history. And finally, I could go dancing any time I wanted to.

Rock and roll. Although the bar was small, the band made up for it by playing tight and just right for free style to the max. I’d forgotten how good it felt. Rum and coke, a little smoke and wham bam thank you mam.

I can never get enough of the movement, the slip and slide of the rhythms and our bodies in superglide.

So I’m hyped, ready to go and happy to just be there. And that’s when it happens. A couple are standing out towards the center of the dance floor waiting for the band to start. They’re talking and looking around. So I saunter over. “You two going to enter the contest?” I ask.

She looks at me, her smile fading into a mild look of concern as she realizes that I’m actually talking to them. “No, . . . I don’t know.” she says as she looks at her companion. He turns his back towards me and says, “Hey, there’s Sid.”

And they both walk away.

Meanwhile, and earlier at a different bar, a lady named Susan had pointed out to me that she appreciated my willingness to dance but she really liked the way that guy over there was moving to the music. Broke my dancer’s heart. Same as when I got embarrassed by two of my students seeming to make fun of the way I used my hands as part of the dance. My way of using a frame, hippy that I was.

And then there was that chat in class with Teresa where she pointed out that if I didn’t move my shoulders when I danced the cha cha, I wasn’t really dancing cha cha.

So, on the outside looking in has always been the way it’s been.

In the other room, I can hear the tv. Terri watching last night’s tape of the Dallas game. And I am here trying to find the direction I need to go to get something done that is worthwhile. It is hard to pinpoint what that might be. And then I have to develop a belief that once I've gotten somewhere I’ll actually have gotten somewhere.


I can fix sad roses . . ., she says

And her smile confirms
Like rain on the earth
That indeed sad roses
Is familiar turf.

But it’s not so easy
This task in my mind
The world with its roses
Is definitely blind.

They’re scentless you see
And sad for a reason
These roses I give
No matter the season.

So it isn’t the wilt from
Stem to the hilt
Nor the mad range of
Colors that drives me so sad.

But the lack of a scent
And the image it recalls
That hammers at my heart and
Raises all my walls.

I can fix sad roses her smile supposes . . .

As she arrays them in a vase
Then turns and pauses
At the frown she can see
Is still on my face.

So she takes my hand and
Pulls me in a way
That suggests dancing
As we begin to sway.

And it’s then that my senses
Pick up the scent
Of timeless embraces
And memories well spent.

I can fix sad roses.
I can her voice murmur . . .

And her smile is my smile as we waltz down the aisle
And the laughter we hear
Is from children at play or a family gathered
‘Round the tree on Christmas day.

And the roses are real
Red, white, and yellow
And the music is moving
And her touch smooth and mellow.

And its night on our porch swing
In a light breeze
And the roses are shadows . . .
With a backdrop of trees.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jack and Jill O'rama

Jack and jill contests in dancing have a long and some say down and dirty history. I know at least two guys named Jack who claim that they invented them. And I know quite a few jills who learned that the best way to win one of these storied events was to follow her jack anywhere. But, of course, that's not what I'm writing about today. Today everything is all squeaky clean, and held in a very expensive modern hotel ballroom. The dancers all take lessons (or teach them) and stress the importance of honoring the rules. Oh yeah, one of those Jack's who claims to have started it all, he's still around judging today's contests.