TODAY I DON'T FEEL LIKE DANCING

November 10, 2016

This morning I woke up in a world I don't quite recognize, and for the first time in a long while I don't feel like dancing.

The idea of heading to the studio as if it were an ordinary day, seems like an impossible task. I have to teach a large group of children tonight and between now and then, I better figure out how to mask my utter dismay, confusion and devastation.

 

I've showed up at the studio for years, day after day, and taught through difficult break-ups, medical scares, personal turmoil and too many sleepless nights. When i get in front of the class and begin to teach I tell myself to focus on one movement at a time. There's comfort in minutiae. As long as you preoccupy yourself with the immediate task in front of you, you temporarily forget all the other things you can't make sense of, and can't control. This has been my saving grace. This, as a teacher and artist is what I've clung to with religious fervor since my very first class.

 

Today, I don't feel like dancing. I don't feel like explaining. I don't feel like standing in front of people pretending that one step at at a time is going to fix this. Because the truth is something feels broken, and It's going to take time to feel like it can be put back together.

 

 

I once saw a picture of a beautiful piece of pottery, made even more beautiful by the long golden crack running down its length. The caption said that Japanese artisans fill the cracks with gold because they see beauty in something that is damaged. What a beautiful sentiment. Perhaps as a country of immigrants, we will all learn to see each other as the gold that bonds the fragile porcelain of our States together. I hope we will, because the alternative is waking up every day feeling fear and hatred, and that's not much of a life.

 

I became a citizen in 1999 and to the dismay of my parents I've always been clear about that fact that this is home to me. I own my own business. I've formed relationships with people I care deeply about, and my English vocabulary is dangerously close to surpassing my Italian. Today I have to Skype with my Italian father, who will no doubt be looking for some insight into the state of my adoptive country. I have no answers.

 

So I turn to my routine: turn on NPR, make coffee, type out some emails, feed and walk my dog, hug my boyfriend, text my mother to check in, wash the dishes, shower, grab my bag, drive to the studio, put on my flamenco shoes.

 

I'll find solace in the predictability of rhythm; In the certainty with which my body responds to a beat, a voice, a feeling. There's comfort in these tasks. They make sense.

 

That's a start.

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