When I was a junior in college I took Modern Dance 1. I was beyond terrible. I have this brain thing where everything gets turned around and I can’t mimic something I see, only something I feel. Even in conducting I’d need my teacher to move my arm for me to learn the patterns, I couldn’t just do what he modeled. To this day I can’t keep a 4-pattern going straight without extreme focus. In dance class I was always going the wrong direction and knocking into people or worse. But the one thing I learned in Modern Dance 1 was flow. For some this came easily, for me, well let’s just say it was a heightened sense of gratification when I finally, only once, got the 4-minute dance sequence we’d been building to move fluidly ON THE LAST DAY before we switched to a new one. But no matter how hard it is to design and internalize the sequence, that physical sensation of momentum – the exit of one motion being the jump into the next – is one of the most beautiful, human, alive things I’ve known.
And some days, it’s the only thing that gets us through. Today was one of those days and “flow” got dialed up to the level of an extreme sport. I’ll spare you all the details but that it involved the watching of two different families of children not my own, the running of three different errands, feeding Meredith in the front seat of the car at one point and fresh out of the tub while Jacob finished bathing at another. Also she got only one short nap today, I got no lunch, and my couch is a mountain of groceries at the moment. BUT my kids are in bed and I am settling in for a comfy alone night, which feels like really amazing dessert. When I noticed how it’d felt like a dance was as I walked down the top stairs with the freshly-jammied babies and noticed this morning’s jammies in a heap at the top of the bottom stairs. At 8:00 this morning Mike & I dressed them on the living room floor and I ran out the door with them. We swung in for quick dinner at 5:30 and then back out to two more errands, and when we got home marched straight to the tub and then to bed. Those poor little people didn’t even see their house today. But they did good, and we danced it.
Reflection #1: Good thing these days don’t happen often. Reflection #2: Dancers gotta be strong.
Oh, and how could I forget the best story of the day? I was checking out with a cart full of heavy groceries at Sam’s. Jacob and his 3yo buddy were in the front seats of the cart and Meredith was in the Slingling. I was arranging with the cashier to have an assistant grab me a bag of potting mix and take it to my car since my cart and my hands were full when I looked down to retrieve a credit card and saw that my blouse was unbuttoned halfway to my belly. Kept my poker face, shifted Meredith’s sling front and center, and told myself it’d been hiding the gape all along anyway. Though maybe that is why everyone in the store was so helpful: My “no big deal” face was lying and my shirt was telling the real story.