The rhythm of the dance cannot be practiced, cannot be staged,
It is only the steps themselves rehearsed at the start;
Once the music plays, and the beat begins, a war is raged,
Between the feet and the soul, the mind and the heart.
Donald Hughes, 2015
Even the best laid-out plans are often changed, often rewritten or discarded all together. As a dancer prepares for the dance, learning over and over again the steps necessary to carry out the routine, it is only after the music begins that the true interpretation of the dance is executed. The soul follows the rhythm of life much differently than the feet. We think we know what steps to take, which direction to go, or what pattern to follow, but once the journey begins, it is the desires of the heart and the emotions of the soul that begs us to follow.
How often I have thought something through, counted out the measures and the angles, only to change direction and follow the promptings of the spirit, the “music” as it were.
Early man knew this better than modern man. The Earth moves with incredible rhythm, and early man moved with it. They understood the seasons, and so danced following its lead, its changes. They were never vain or foolish enough to suggest that they were in control of the music, but only how they could connect to it. Somewhere along the way, we’ve become too confident in our feet and well planned-out steps rather than to follow the rhythm and the music, much less even hear or feel it. If we did, our dance would indeed be much different.
As the New Year begins, let us learn to listen to the music again, to adjust our own individual steps to be in- sinc with the heart and the soul. When we do, our dance will be smooth, our lives well balanced, and our motion flawless.