I watch my daughters spin, spiral, turn, jump, leap. Gliding by on silver blades. One has just now mastered a move that requires her to make her skate boots form a 180 degree angle. Called an inside edge. Why there isn’t a more elegant name for something so beautiful completely baffles me. I find myself moving in rhythm to the same music that seems to propel these young skaters in continuous motion- they look like snowflakes caught up on a gust of winter wind. Light and airbound. Leaving me entranced. Hypnotized. And I wonder at the capabilities of the human body to propel itself into motion as if it were a winged creature while I sit here grounded on the bleachers trying to stay warm.
This moment. This rare chance to breathe. I have brought my computer, true. I had readings to catch up on. But now that I am finished those, I find myself again: enraptured. Not that I wasn’t distracted by the movement below me at ice level, before. Steady concentration pulled from every fiber of my being was what I needed so as to get to the last line of my final reading of the day. So as to finish that last word. Then I could finally lift the head. But here I am again- bent over this awkward piece of equipment writing prose. I do not wish to lose any more of these precious moments, but there is so much to capture. If not in word, in memory. I find myself tap, tap, tapping out the words anyway- writing it all down here on this open, inviting page, even as I balance this ungainly laptop over my crossed knees. But this writing is slow going- for my eyes are constantly drawn back to the movement. To the graceful, lithe frames moving in stark contrast to the hard, white ice below them.
It is poetry.
Poetry in motion.
And I wonder if life can reflect these rare moments of poetic pause? Can we find time in our days in which to stop and listen? In which to stop and breathe? In which to marvel at the wonder of it all? Can life reflect even these rare and perfect moments in spite of the directive pushing us ever onward toward task and routine and habitual action? Is life capable of living out poetry and prose in its everyday language?
These days and weeks and months and years I’ve spent: they have sped by me like a locomotive bound for destinations much too far away. To where is that train going and why so fast? Inside those days and moments, life has demanded that I: move it or lose it, shake, rattle and roll, get on with it, hurry, speed up. The warnings are rarely to slow down and savor. To stop and listen. To enjoy.
Sometimes we just have to ignore life and listen instead to the heart.
The blades cut swathes in the ice, sounding clean and crisp. The air is chill- I reach for my hat, my gloves. And I lean in closer to see if I too can feel the wind on my face. For in my mind, I am one of them.
A dancer moving to the music of her life.