Practice Day 22: I Can Dance (even) in a Hurricane, If I Stand in the Eye.

Updated: Mar 25

Theme/Mantra: “I can dance even in a hurricane, if I stand in the eye”


Reading:

High Water Mark by David Shumate

It’s hard to believe, but at one point the water rose to this

level. No one had seen anything like it. People on rooftops.

Cows and coffins floating through the streets. Prisoners

carrying invalids from their rooms. The barkeeper consoling

the preacher. A coon hound who showed up a month later

forty miles downstream. And all that mud it left behind. You

never forget times like those. They become part of who you

are. You describe them to your grandchildren. But they think

it’s just another tale in which animals talk and people live

forever. I know it’s not the kind of thing you ought to say…

But I wouldn’t mind seeing another good flood before I die.

It’s been dry for decades. Next time I think I’ll just let go and

drift downstream and see where I end up.


Meditation:

Our meditation is another poem- but at the end of it, Mary Oliver finishes her lines with, “For some things there are no wrong seasons. Which is what I dream of for me.”

And I ask you to meditate on exactly this idea- this dream- that you are not out of season.

In what way does this hold meaning for you? Sit with this idea.


Hurricane by Mary Oliver

It didn’t behave

like anything you had

ever imagined. The wind

tore at the trees, the rain

fell for days slant and hard.

The back of the hand

to everything. I watched

the trees bow and their leaves fall

and crawl back into the earth.

As though, that was that.

This was one hurricane

I lived through, the other one

was of a different sort, and

lasted longer. Then

I felt my own leaves giving up and

falling. The back of the hand to

everything. But listen now to what happened

to the actual trees;

toward the end of that summer they

pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.

It was the wrong season, yes,

but they couldn’t stop. They

looked like telephone poles and didn’t

care. And after the leaves came

blossoms. For some things

there are no wrong seasons.

Which is what I dream of for me.


Physical Movement:

At some point today, find your way outside to a place where you can stand.

And feel the heavy wind blow on you.

Or the heat of the sun beat down on you.

Or the sound of the city envelope you.

What storm is brewing outside of the eye in which you stand?

Enter the fray, and then return to the eye.

Notice the contrast. Dance! What does it feel like to Blossom?


Reflection:

I think I used to always envy (at least a little bit) those who seem to never have a storm to survive. Those for whom life seems to just be smooth sailing. Truth be told, though- I don’t know if anyone actually fits that category. All of us have the storms that brew around us. Deaths. Coming outs. Lost jobs. Unexpected pregnancies. Falling in Love (the storm isn’t always a negative thing that shakes our world).

So how do we endure? How do we survive?

Sometimes standing in the center, as Brandi suggests, is the only way to keep dancing. Maybe that is true. I have been thinking differently about it lately though. I wonder.

I wonder if maybe we sometimes have to dance out there in the rain and wind- If sometimes we might have to look and feel like we are being thrown around that dance floor by an unfaced partner who throws lightning, and drops hail on us- because it grows us in a really important way.

I wonder if perhaps surviving that hurricane and blooming out of season is exactly what more of us already do on a regular basis – and we just need to remember to celebrate the growth- the blossoms, regardless of expectations and seasons. To live. To grow. To dance. To love. In spite of everything else- I think- has to be the point. At least sometimes.



Song: The Eye by Brandi Carlile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl_eNu4NUVI

Lyrics:

It really breaks my heart to see a dear old friend

Go down to the worn out place again

Do you know the sound

Of a closing door

Have you heard that sound before

Do you wonder if she knows you anymore

I wrapped your love around me like a chain

But I never was afraid that it would die

You can dance in a hurricane

But only if you're standing in the eye

Where did you learn to walk

Where did you learn to run

Away from everything you loved

Did you think the bottle

Would ever ease your pain

Did you think that love's a foolish game

Did you find someone else to take the blame

I wrapped your love around me like a chain

But I never was afraid that it would die

You can dance in a hurricane

But only if you're standing in the eye

You can dance in a hurricane

But only if you're standing in the eye

I am a sturdy soul

And there ain't no shame

In lying down in the bed you made

Can you fight the urge to run for another day

You might make it further if you learn to stay

I wrapped your love around me like a chain

But I never was afraid that it would die

You can dance in a hurricane

But only if you're standing in the eye

You can dance in a hurricane

But only if you're standing in the eye

Until Monday- Peace


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