The Dance of Life Prose by Estelle D.
There is a quote by Frederick Nietzsche, German poet and philosopher, which goes something like this: If these Christians want me to believe in their God, they are going to have to sing me better songs. They are going to have to wear, on their faces, the Joy of the Beatitudes. They are going to have to look more like people who are being saved. I could only believe in a God who dances.
Always, I find this quote challenging. Nietzsche, an atheist, expects to see, in fact needs to see something different in those who profess Christ. I do believe in a God who dances and not only that, I believe in a God who invites us to dance with Him. This dance I call The Dance of Life. Life is like a dance and many parallels can be drawn between the art of dance and the art of living.
Firstly, life is like a dance in that it is meant to be embraced and lived gracefully. Just as in a dance it is important to know when to move in and embrace something and when to twirl away and put a little space between ourselves and that which we embrace. It is important to know when to see something through to the end, to remain committed or when it is expedient to twirl out, to have some space or even to cut your losses and move on graciously to the next stage of life. Imagine a progressive barn dance.
Secondly, when dancing it is important that someone takes the lead and that the other follows. If this does not happen, we just stumble around and trip each other up. So, in life sometimes we will be called to take the lead and at other times we will need to follow. Remember that those who lead should not do it harshly and those who follow should not do it blindly but that each party behaves in a way which compliments the whole so that life can unfold smoothly.
Sometimes we just don’t feel like dancing. We are tired. We feel flat and life weighs heavily upon us. So, some strategies for the dance of life.
We need to listen for the music. It will be there. It is the music of the Universe. That One Song!
However, we will never hear the music if life is a cavalcade of constant complexities, bursting with busyness and saturated with stress. To hear the music we need to quieten our lives and still our minds. The music is best heard in peace and solitude.
Once we have heard the music we need to listen for the rhythm or the beat. This is all about balance and harmony in our lives. This balance is different for everyone and it will vary in different situations and relationships. We have different relationships with different people and the type of relationship will determine the balance, harmony, rhythm and define what style of dance is appropriate.
Sometimes Life will be a waltz, gentle, tender, romantic. Sometimes passionate, full of life and fire, think Latin American. Sometimes something groupy, like a square or bush dance. Sometimes we will all link arms and dance together and life becomes a line dance. And sometimes we will need the courage to dance alone and this is the most beautiful dance of all, because then, we dance in the unseen embrace of a loving God.
Having heard the music and recognised the rhythm, the next step is not to be a wallflower in the dance hall of life but to accept the invitation and begin to dance. The art of dancing is liberating and an abandonment of the soul to the joy of living. May your dance be graceful, joyous and passionate.
Shall we Dance?
2 replies to “Poetry, Prose and Parable.”
Estelle, I love what you have written here. My own relationship with dancing has been a love/hate one. I love to dance but am often so self conscious when given the opportunity to do so that I have failed to do so. I even took dancing lessons at one point of my life but because I didn’t go to dances, never got to practice the dances that I learnt. I didn’t go because I was too shy to ask someone to go with me and because my memory is so bad I have since forgotten those dances I learnt. I have often thought that Jan and I should take dance lessons together and start going to dances when we retire – maybe we have left it too late though.
Of course, all of this literal dance thinking transfers across to the dance of life for me too in various ways.
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Hi Chris. Love your comments. Appreciate that you read my ramblings. It sure is time for a catch up.