Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Dance Continues

I take a break from writing to engage. In the end of the semester, in preparations for my birthday party - the square dance ( we play music, we all danced: kids families, lots of dancing, swirling bodies filling the dance hall)
- christmas, new years. Friends and family visiting. Writing is a stepping back and observing and naming. To name is to know and understand and Becky (Becky Heaver, sister-in-law)and I were considering last night at diner. I think about the start of the semester and the exciting possibilities. How to engage my students in a way that excites them as much as music, or dance, or my connection to the river excites me and feeds me. I am about to fax to my sister (for use, maybe, in a project she is giving her students at Ole Miss) a few pages form Rufuge, by Terry Tempest Williams. She writes about her observations of egrets at the Great Salt Lake. "we have lost track of time in a birdwatcher's trance," she writes. "Egret plumes like French lace billow in the breeze and underscore their amorous play. One egret rises, the other follows. ... The egrets stagger their leaps—one lifts, one lands, one lifts, one lands—and the dance continues.”

Another writer Ester de Waal (I will check on this later but I write quickly while my guests are in the kitchen. Voices float up through the floor boards.) speaks of walking as a dangerous practice. We pick up our foot and momentarily are balanced on the other. We reach forward and are momentarily out of balance. Then in balance again as we transfer out weight. Gracefully we remain upright. Grace keeps us from falling. Then we begin this whole precarious process again. And repeat it again and again. In balance then out of balance. In balance. Out of balance. In balance...

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