The teachings of a broken fingernail
Hello, Beloved Dancers.
I hope this finds you well on a beautiful Friday afternoon.
Last Sunday, while I was dancing a beautiful duet, I noticed my self-consciousness come up. We were dancing closely, focusing on the way our hands moved together through space. (Whispered aside: I’ll admit to some vanity with regard to my fingernails. 😊. Ridiculous, I know, but there it is.) As we danced, I witnessed myself worrying about whether or not that one broken, nubby, down-to-the-quick finger nail on my right hand would be on prominent display. I tried to nonchalantly hide it. It was a small worry, but a worry that distracted me nonetheless. Here’s the thing: approximately 3 seconds after I actually noticed my self-consciousness, I dropped it entirely because that’s not where I wanted my focal point to be. And so I shifted all my attention to the beautiful dancer before me. I let go of my little worry and focused instead on the lovely hands of my duet partner. And it was glorious! The feeling in my body shifted; subtly, but in the right direction. I went from a gently held tension, to a wonderful sort of melting in my being. And that’s what I want. That’s what I’m after. If I extrapolate to the bigger world, I wonder how frequently I’m concerned about myself and how much better I might feel in my being if I could shift the awareness to others, to the big, wide world around me. Something to ponder. . . . .
I’m very much looking forward to dancing with you on Sunday.
And I’m pleased to report this sensational line-up for the weekend:
Saturday: Jennifer Burner
Sunday: Claire Alexander
Here’s a stunning little poem for you, a beloved favorite, from Hafiz.
It happens all the time in heaven
It happens all the time in heaven, And some day It will begin to happen Again on earth - That men and women who are married, And men and men who are Lovers, And women and women Who give each other Light, Often will get down on their knees And while so tenderly Holding their lover's hand, With tears in their eyes, Will sincerely speak, saying, "My dear, How can I be more loving to you; How can I be more Kind?" --Hafiz
Of course there’s this: I’m sure we can expand the meaning and invitation inherent in the poem to all people, not just our lovers. For surely the world needs a little more loving kindness right now.
So much love,
(P.S. I pray nobody asks to see my aforementioned fingernail as it’s a middle finger sort of thing. Heh heh. It’ll grow.)
Random bit of loveliness from the author Frederick Buechner:
"If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."
- from Now and Then