May I have this dance?
It’s beginning to feel a bit like there’s a flurry of emergence happening; like something that has been longing to come on the scene is starting to make itself known. It’s still a bit like a mist, not quite graspable. But clearly there. It’s coming into form through multiple channels. Through conversations and music and groups and ideas. Through books and podcasts and apps and television. Yeah, television.
And through healing. Individual healing. Collective healing.
Much like a lot of different futures, this one isn’t yet visible by looking at it head on. We have to see it out of the periphery. We have to be open to the idea that there is something that’s inviting us forward. We have to trust. We have to have faith and courage.
When I was getting ready for one of the men’s groups that I run, I went looking for a poem to help ground us into conversation. I found this one:
Advice, by Bill Holm
Someone dancing inside us
learned only a few steps:
the “Do-Your-Work” in 4/4 time,
the “What-Do-You-Expect” waltz.
He hasn’t noticed yet the woman
standing away from the lamp,
the one with black eyes
who knows the rhumba,
and strange steps in jumpy rhythms
from the mountains in Bulgaria.
If they dance together,
something unexpected will happen.
If they don’t, the next world
will be a lot like this one.
I love that this poem is called ‘Advice.’ It gives us a recipe to find our way to a new way of engaging with the world.
As we were discussing it, one of the men mentioned that he didn’t know how to dance the rhumba, and so he wouldn’t be able to dance with this mystery woman1. Yet the poem doesn’t say anything about needing to know how to dance the rhumba. It only insists that we chose to dance together — or end up with a world that looks a lot like the one we’re in.
This is how this future is feeling to me. I feel being pulled toward something. I don’t feel in the drivers seat. And I am pretty sure that if I follow its lead, something unexpected will happen.
I trust that the poet doesn’t mean to gender this approach to life in an exclusionary way. I can see how this poem could be read this way. It certainly isn’t my intention to exclude anyone from this conversation.↩︎