Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dancing with abandon

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. ~William Stafford

My dearest E.,

You love to dance! Did you know that? You begin to dance when you hear the sounds of anything that remotely resemble music, even my whistling, or tongue-clicking sounds. But most of all, you begin to dance most animatedly when you hear your favourite songs from PHDC cartoon channel... Or your much-loved Mozart CD in the car. Or, for some reason, "Jingle Bells" drives you wild and if you were capable of moving onto a dance floor in a club, you would do so in a flash!

You have created a funny, little dance movement which you employ most times- a wiggling of your little butt, a sway from side to side which increases in velocity with the rhythm of the music, a head movement not unlike Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles (you must have "soul" to do this!). Sometimes, you also oblige by shaking your shoulders. I love to watch you dance.

You dance with abandon, happiness and free spirits, and it makes me wonder when the last time was that I had danced the way you did. It certainly has been quite some time. But you will excuse me, sweet pea. And as you grow older, with the weight of responsibilities on your shoulders, dancing with abandon may not come as easily as it used to. However, this is not to say that I will never do so anymore. I have learnt, once again, to dance in my heart because you have re-ignited that passion in me when I look at you.

Your grandmother (my mother) told me that when I was a child, about the same age as you, my passion for dancing blossomed and continued into my teens. I was always inclined to put on Tchaikovsky's Blue Danube and start dancing in the hall (My parents live in a reasonably big house, with a big spacious hall, perfect for dancing!) Sometimes, I would knock over things, accidentally stub my toe on the foot of the coffee table, crash into the TV cabinet- such wildly did I use to dance. Over time, my passion for dancing softened (and was not helped by ballet classes too- it was meant to teach me some grace and poise, but that didn't exactly take off, as your mother still remains somewhat klutzy to date) and as my seriousness grew, the dancing faded. The only dancing I ever did after that was in clubs! And that kind of dancing is no rocket science.

You came along, though...and I learnt to dance again. Mostly, I learnt how to dance in my heart, and to live life like a process of dance, with many chapters and phases- sometimes a sarabande, sometimes a gavotte, sometimes a waltz. Of late, I have been learning how to dance your dance style, it looks somewhat comical, because I am an adult, and you are a baby, and everything a baby does is too adorable, cute and sweet for words- whereas as adults, we bear the brunt of ridicule and mockery.

But in my heart, sweet pea, I hope you will never forget how to dance (and by dance, I don't just mean a physical dance with fancy wavering arms and shifty feet and all: I mean, dance within your thoughts, weaving them through your mind and consciousness) when you grow older, and that you will always look at it as your personal means of escapism, or catharsis, if you wish, to allow you those few moments of abandon and freedom.