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Learning to dance the slow waltz - Part 1

In a recent online retreat we were invited to reflect on the rhythm of our lives.

I am aware that I currently feel out of step and out of rhythm. There is so much to learn! Becoming a professional artist takes dedication and focus.

My natural tendency is to try a lot of different things, flitting between different activities. I choose workshops because they sound interesting. In a class, I often do my own experiments rather than follow step-by-step instructions.

On the plus side, I can see connections between things that other people may miss and come up with unusual solutions; on the flipside, there are a lot of unfinished projects cluttering my space, making it even harder to focus on just one thing. Some projects fail because I do not know my materials well enough…

While I was contemplating what my days have been like since I have retired, I had the vision of a dance floor.

I saw myself hovering at the side of the dance floor, straining to identify the music that others were dancing to. I watched all the other dancers doing their moves, unsure of what I was supposed to do. Eventually, I stepped on the floor and tried a few steps– anything to get me moving: A little bit of chachacha and rumba, a few steps of Viennese waltz thrown in, followed by the tango, foxtrot and finally some freestyle.

There were so many dances to choose from. All were interesting in their own right. I had fun at times, yet I was aware that my moves did not create the beautiful dance I had envisaged when I let go of my paid job. I felt clumsy and uncoordinated.

When I prayed about this, I saw an outstretched hand: There was an invitation to dance a slow waltz through a noisy, boisterous crowd. Others wanted me to join their conga, and a part of me would have preferred a more energetic dance like the jive – but as I learned to ignore competing voices and followed the lead of my dancing partner, a path opened up through the crowd. I was dressed differently and moved differently but finally felt comfortable in my skin. I had found my own unique rhythm and style...

I am currently unpacking what practicing the slow waltz looks like in my life and art…


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