I remember standing quietly watching the pounding bodies in rehearsal.
The school was cold and hollow, but the dancers seemed to be the only place of life and possibility.
When I joined the school I made sure I became part of those rehearsals.
Perhaps I thought it would somehow cancel out the deafening sound of alienation and otherness.
Warmth and sweat of a moving body was instinctual. Survival. Not intellectual.
And it worked for a while. Movement was my home.
But the teacher was mean and stood me up in front of my fellow dancers and humiliated me.
You are fat, you are ugly, you are a ringleader.
Those words stuck. Like bleeding leeches for way too long.
Those words ousted me from my own body and hence from my home.
For long afterwards I lived inside a body with no fire.
A broken spirit. Convinced it was gone forever.
But the embers were there. It took a chance meeting, a hit show and following an instinct to see them burn again.
I now know that nothing can truly extinguish what is eternally there.
It transcends what we think or feel.
It can just seem like it vanishes into the wind like a phantom horse.
I am older now and my body has changed. I sometimes feel its fragility, that it is no home for the fire that burns within it.
That my spirit brings it close to breaking.
But when I dance, and the tiny hand of my daughter slips into mine as she too flails her body to the music
I sense that the flame passes, from body to body, igniting each one to dance until it can dance no more.
I think it does go on forever.