Sunday, November 21, 2010

Room To Dance

"The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we sense them. The least we can do is try to be there." ~ Annie Dillard

I forgot, I always do, that performances make me cry. An orchestra tuning up can make me shed tears and watching my children watching art (in big, grand halls) fills my eyes and my heart.

But really, what touched me the most was something entirely unexpected.

I think the ballet company we saw is used to much larger venues. Their dancing was beautiful, their leaps seemed to linger in a way I've never noticed before (like little commas hanging in the air) but something also felt muted. The stage felt too cramped. As I watched closer I saw how often accidental fingers grazed the props, how too many times paths crossed too closely. Slight bumps, not-quite stretched limbs  - I could feel what was being held back.

It was magnificent (don't get me wrong - I gasped out loud more than once) but I felt the promise and power not displayed, more than the beauty of what was shown.

It made me think about what is hidden when there isn't enough room to be all we have in us to be. And what it means to create space for others to be that. How maybe sometimes bumps and brushes and things withheld aren't due to lack of talent, but to lack of place.

I kept wanting to lengthen my arms for the dancers tonight, to see them leap with all the air they needed. I wanted to see the burst of capacity I could feel just beneath the surface.

How many times have I interpreted grazing, a collision as a personal affront rather than seeing it as potential? As a body pleading for room to soar? To be who they are trained to be, made to be?

It made me think again about making space.  How do I tune my days to see beyond how it impacts my margins and create more for those around me? How do I dance with them and give them all the room they need?

"I know nothing, except what everyone knows ~ 
if there when Grace dances, I should dance." 
~ W.H. Auden


deb said...

I didn't realize you had a new blog..
so happy to find you again thru Emily.

lots to catch up,

hope you are well.

emily wierenga said...

oh misha, first of all, i love annie dillard. so that was a wonderful start. and then, the idea of providing a place big enough for others to be their most in, their best in... making sure we give our children room to dance, room to breathe, to cry, to do art in... yes. this, our job as mothers. to step back and watch and pray, and applaud with all of our strength. peace to you, sister. e.

Helena said...

Beautiful, Misha. As always. I love the idea of space, for breathing, for being... I love having space and giving it. I love what you wrote.
(And I also cry at performances. ALL the time! I just went to two this past week and cried my happy heart out.)

Heathcote Safari said...

Made me think of my role as a leader ... thanks for being thought-provoking in the very best of ways!

Chelle said...

This is so deep down beautiful.

Hi I'm Sarah said...

How do you give space without thinking always about how that is rubbing up against your boundaries?...I have been pondering this since my twins were born. Wrestling with the losses and the challenges they have brought to our family, to me personally. To love them often requires such a whole other me than I have ever been,it is truely beyond me. If I try alone to give what is needed, I hurt with the loving and the giving. I also burn out. I am learning that it hurts less and is more freeing and productive when I intentionally lay it all down, the effort to try and be noble etc., and give up trying and forget myself to entrusting the my needs to God for their sake. Amy Carmichael writes this..."If she is willing to forget herself and live for that little child, something new springs up within her; she does not understand it, but those who watch her know that all is well.....May they be inspired by the constraining love of christ and 'The glory of the usual." The something new I have found is actually a someone new...Jesus. He steps in a does it through me as I rest in the wings and watch His beautiful love pouring out of me to them. Then I am free in my weaknesses, more myself than before because I have simply allowed goodness to pass through me nurturing me as it passes out towards my kids and because I was in the wings and Jesus is such a gentleman, freedom was had by all and all have been loved.

Misha Leigh. said...

Sarah - Love those thoughts - thank you!

Thank you all for the thoughts back. This is a big one for me. One I know I will probably be writing about more.