Dance

Passion peaks and wanes, conflagrations
cannot burn forever, yet if tempered and fed,
a gentle glow is maintained, steady heat,
protracted afterglow;

If we could always remember this moment
now, just as we are, tensions resolved
in baptismal sweetness, life would be
a dream; but we do not, and for all I know,
humans lack the capacity for sustained
euphoria, always something, anything
to pull us into crisis, individually
or collectively;

The young will live forever, the old
hold tragedy too vividly, death
stalking at every turn, and if
the middle way seems ripe
for embracing at middle age,
those days are subsumed in children
leaving home or careers revealing
themselves untenable and we,
with empty hands shaking out
residual memories and thoughts
and habits not readily put aside,
do not easily welcome acceptance
as a viable alternative;

And so we begin again.
At any stage of life. We recommit
to living with each sunrise, and
as the day spreads its magic
and mayhem, we learn to dance.
And we learn to love the dance.
As we learn better how to love.
And that in itself unites us.

 

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.
―Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018)

33 thoughts on “Dance

  1. Love and passion are two separate entities though both are considered pals. One evolves slowly and the other just flares up and dies a natural death…even the ‘after glow’ of passion hurts…euphoria and happiness meet a similar fate, former is like conflagration and the latter keeps the heart warm with its ‘gentle glow.’ Learning to dance and loving it at the same time is not liked by everybody yet some steps introduce us to life! And it goes on…very thought-provoking Bela. Love the imagery and the thought. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective on these complicated emotions, Balroop. I think we all possess our own definitions of love, even if passion seems to conjure similar sentiments between most of us. I remember my ex-husband, the one who cheated on me while I was quite far along in my second pregnancy, saying, “There all all kinds of love” in response to my question as to whether or not he loved her. He wouldn’t elaborate, and that really confused me. In the end, he was addicted to the romantic, I think, or to sex at least.

      Yet this poem rather explores a broader question than a simple one-on-one encounter, even if that encounter lasts over two decades, as has my current marriage. One can immerse oneself so fully in the ecstatic – through varying channels, including spiritual ecstacy – and I can’t help but wonder why we cannot sustain the euphoria, even though I know it’s impossible. I don’t think I’m alone in this, either, which is why I write about it, I guess 😉

      I interviewed a psychopharmacologist back in my radio days with regards to the human drive for ecstacy. If you follow this link and scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see a red book cover and the show is available to listen to: http://johnsonintuitive.com/radio-interviews/

      Aloha, Balroop – and again, a pleasure to read your comments here. ❤

  2. Dear Bela,

    I loved those closing lines, and I quote :

    “And we learn to love the dance.
    As we learn better how to love.
    And that in itself unites us.”

    What is that which blocks most of us to learn ‘how to love….’ till we are sufficiently old? Ironically such heightened awareness comes at our life’s stage when energy and creative ability are in retreat.

    Great perspective Bela.

    Shakti

  3. Quite superb, dear Bela, one of your very finest, it seems to me. H ❤

    Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, but neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

    ― T.S. Eliot.

    1. Hariod, as always you are too kind. I’ve never seen that Eliot poem, though he was one of my favorites when I was young. I love it, thanks for sharing! Trusting all is well in your world. ❤

    1. I agree. I’m a dancer, for sure. Though there are those – one in particular I know personally – who prefer to go it alone. In this woman’s case, she just knows her potential to hurt another and doesn’t want to do that. I accept that we will hurt one another occasionally – that’s just life. But the good far outweighs the bad. Aloha ❤

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