I danced for thirty-five years, long ago, in a past life, or what seems like one. My pointe shoes hang in a closet now, tattered, pink satin ribbons dangling downward like distant memories.
These days I just dance in my head, and I dance on paper with words. Getting started is always the hardest part for me, the biggest challenge. I want to just wake up, turn on the laptop and watch my fingers ravage the keyboard. And I get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. But today, when Peter Jennison’s War came up on my Pandora stream, the building energy of the drums and bass made me realize that was no more realistic than pulling off a clean triple pirouette without warming up. This wasn’t a new revelation, but one that I forget over and over.
The music today made me want to start moving. To start moving. It was about beginning the process, not jumping into the middle of it. I see now that I’ve been so focused on getting to the center of the slick, maple floor that I’ve forgotten how to place one hand on the barre and just begin. Without looking ahead thirty minutes, or even fifteen or five, worrying about getting there: in the zone.
Now my fingers have done a few demi–pliés, by writing these paragraphs. It’s only a start, but that’s OK. I’m ready to write today.