Photo Credit : Jane Stockdale

C. Elliott

Photo Credit : Jane Stockdale
Photo Credit : Jane Stockdale

Wild Horse



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.

C. Elliott