Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Spirit SeekI suppose dance is a good means of building one’s confidence. You learn from imitating after the teacher to slowly watching yourself move – and being comfortable with it and that reflection of oneself that seems all so familiar yet distant – to eventually feeling the move of your body, the way your joints twist and turn, the tingling yet bearable pain when the muscles are stretched, as well as the natural rhythm that seems to have been implanted in you from the very beginning. At last, you learn to take off, by yourself, on your own, and begin to search for a true expression of yourself where one’s unique strength, spirit, and persona dash forth.
Like a kind of bodily voice.
But little did I realize how little attention one truly pays attention to oneself (or could it be just me?). It’s one thing to stand in front of the mirror and go through the daily routine of light make-up or hair-do fix up. Certainly way different from the numerous wash ups during bathroom breaks when oftentimes the next appointment scheduled or the previous discussions occurred still occupy the mind that while one is seeing oneself, one isn’t truly seeing.
But dance allows one a chance to come face to face with that body that seems only too familiar yet too awkward to be one’s own.
Above all – to come face to face with that mind and soul behind the nature’s physical built, and to discover that mind and soul even if at times they may be too hesitant to really express themselves forward.
Then there’s the effect of music.
At dance class today, some slow, ballad-like R&B tunes were played. It’s been years since I listen to R&B’s even though they once were favorites in high school.
When the music began to fill the studio, a warm sense of nostalgia and freedom suddenly welled up inside. I seem to again remember all the bittersweet days of an adolescence filled with confusions, fear, stress, challenge yet meanwhile development of one’s confidence, value systems, and beliefs.
The many many many bus rides home after a long day of classes and after-school club meetings and the unspeakable weight of gloom hanging over one’s head when all there was looking forward to after getting home was a 2-hour nap and another 6-hour studying (if not an all-nighter to crank out an essay or cram for next day’s bio exam). As well as the many many many bus rides to school when the yellow-green school bus roamed across half a Taipei on many, many cold, rainy mornings.
And the dim, fluorescent light that kept me up when trying to catch a bus ride home after a talent show/concert/drama/play/dance party on Friday evenings.
With R&B streaming in my ears.
Like adulthood, adolescence isn’t anywhere rid of worries, fears, doubts, or times to second guess oneself. But the difference lies in the seemingly infinite opportunities and surprises that lie in the road ahead that keeps one always in faith, always hopeful, and always looking forward to whatever there may and is to come.
Have I lost all that along the way, or have I just grown to be cautious because of too many unexpected turn-outs in life that at times wound and shock and hurt me?
Or have I simply seen too many others around me trip and fall that I’ve come to doubt if goodness would always lead to a great end or if a good will or intention wouldn’t always be returned with appreciation?
Where has all the daring spirit gone?
Has it simply been rubbed off throughout the tear and wear of years or has it simply taken a temporary sanctuary somewhere deep down, awaiting to be thrust forth again?
Staring at myself in the mirror in the dance studio, I really want to know. Really, really want to know.
梅ちゃん at 12:29:00 AM