The Golden Apple Dance

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of stumbling into a trio of sound- a fiddle player with fire in her fingers, a cellist with a voice dripping with tones of sweet deep molasses, and their sister, a fiddle player as well, who relished the moments of bow and string, blending in perfectly with her siblings.

The magic, though, occurred when the cellist strapped his instrument onto his front side and began playing “The Golden Apple Dance”. It was a simple song, but it drew the attention of a small boy, flaxen-haired, about 3 years old, with Down’s syndrome. As the sounds pulled him from the audience, he clapped and moved, fully engaged with the spirit of the dance. He did it  with such a joy and enthusiasm that the rest of us there couldn’t help but be completely taken in. His entire being was a gleam, shimmering with the immersion of the moment- himself joining the stage of our shared experience, unafraid.

This makes me think: what is my “golden apple dance” today? What causes my soul to shimmer? How can I dance it so exuberantly and unabashedly in the presence of my own being that others bask with me in all that joy?

As for me, today, I will be open to where the sun hits my spirit, and in that small spotlight, dance like the moment is golden.

 

Standing on the Threshold of Now

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On the threshold of now.  A door is opening. I don’t know what is on the other side. I guess it is being open to all that is that counts. The possibility of pain, hardship. The possibility of release, relief, beauty, gratitude. It is all there. And I am here.

For a moment, I step out of my own shadow. Sometimes we look at shadows as the places of our own darkness, and that’s fine, but they are also the sum of the sun and earth- proof of our own physicality. My hair blows in the wind in the late afternoon, strands of shadow on the ground are the picture show of what is. We are here. A black silhouette of ourselves moving or standing still shows it.

If I can step outside of this portrait for a moment, what do I see feel in front of me? What can I see in the long stretch of shadow that feeds into the distance? Will it be a surprise gift? Good health? Strength? Or will it be illness, challenge, difficulty?

I don’t know, but I’ll standing in that outside place for just a moment. Looking on. Hoping to be open to receive the bounty beyond the door.

 

“The Search Withholds the Joy From What Is Found” – Wendell Berry

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I had a friend stop me in my mental tracks the other day and say these words to me. I swear I was ready to run out the door and have it tattooed on my forehead immediately. The nest of the conversation that held these words was the tangled struggle many of us have as we try to “figure things out”, untie the many knots of the universe, and ourselves.

“Wow! I love and admire you so much, but you seem to spend so much of your time wrestling with so many things” was the gist of what my friend said to me. And then came Wendell Berry’s wise words from his lips: “the search withholds the joy from what is found.”

What have I already found? Can I make a list? Can I enjoy each ribbon of knowledge or experience without tangling them all up into a knotty stew? Can I slow down and enjoy some gratitude for the things I already know? The things I already feel? The things I’ve already experienced?

The answer is, “yes I can”. And, I can continue to search, but may it not take up so much of my life, so much of my time that it “withholds the joy from what is found”.