Dance slow, dance fast
hand in hand
at once with all there is and all there’s been.
Feet placed, head lifted, feet flying and
all at once we take
our turn being led by and leading the world.
Dance well, dance quick
head up, wits and eyes and finger’s tips alert.
Alert to speak, alert to glance, alert to catch.
Alert to touch, alert to balance. Alert to fall,
to crash, to death. Alert to life. Life
to live. A dance to dance slow and fast
and when lost in place and lost in time
I’ve found my time here to be akin to a dance of sorts. I don’t really have any idea how to dance in any physical or artistic way – for clarification – but I can’t help but feel that I’ve learned something of the art in my time abroad.
I take the hand of my life abroad gently, tentatively at first. I let it lead. Guiding me through this country which is loved so well. To the Head of Howthe, to Galway Bay, and to the theatres of Dublin. Not passively, I follow its lead through these spaces and times. I take what I can from the dance. When to let the spark of excitement ignite – to dance fast – and jump with glee at the beauty appealing to some innate quintessence carried by both myself and the landscapes I dance through. When to sit, patient, and listen – to dance slow – to the experiences of those – as in Derry – who love their home but remember the tragedies which befell it only too well. When to become lost in a moment of music and vibrancy – to dance like a madman – and, well, dance like a madman at the Rosin Dubh or the Workman’s Club.
As tourists we play amateur ethnographers. We would be fools, however, to think that any bit of culture that we experience can be taken away from their place of rest. The time I spent in Belfast – for example – can only serve as a memory which will only dance with me long enough to feel the essence of the history present there; to feel the lives of others for only the briefest instance. Forever sitting in my mind as flashes of incomplete insight.
Some brief thoughts on complex concepts,
Until next time,