This morning, I needed to use my voice. Loudly.
I could feel it as soon as I woke up, so I hiked up onto the moors far away from any houses where I could shout my head off whilst dancing like a maniac. I don’t need as much catharsis as I used to when I was a young man, but oooh I do still enjoy it when the mood takes me!
As I walked back down the lane, a van slowed to a halt in front of me and the driver leaned out of his window, asking for directions. I told him unfortunately I didn’t know the place he was looking for, but offered him my phone for a moment. He already had one, so we said goodbye and he drove on.
No big deal, but the way it happened was so full of the practice I’d just been in. My heart so full and open, it came naturally to smile broadly and look into his eyes with genuine curiosity about who this human being was. All in a moment of instinct, I reached out to hold his wing mirror as we spoke, which in a way felt like touching him and crossing the taboo against physical contact that has swept the world this year. We’d only spoken for a moment, but in those few seconds, we’d really met.
Practising, in practice
Here’s the nub of it: dedicated movement practice is all very well, but we have to take it onto the streets or it doesn’t add up to much. And that doesn’t mean dancing on the streets (though it might). It means taking the inspiration you’ve found in your practice out into the world and sharing it freely, generously, tenderly, kindly, boldly, spontaneously, creatively. Let’s be a light unto the world. When we can.
I say all this with a rueful humility for all the times I have not managed to do this. In particular, the times when I’ve used the power/energy/light that I’ve found in my practice to mask my perennially compromised self-esteem, apparently making myself look good/bright/cool in subtle or blunt competition with others. It would be comical if it weren’t for the way it hurts.
However, on a good day, I know it can be done; we really can make a difference in a beautiful way. Where are your windows of opportunity?