He asked me. That’s how it started. Held out his hand.
For that is a man’s role.
And I said, ‘Teach me. Teach me, please.’ Allowing him the mentor’s role. The leader’s role.
And he lead. And he commanded me: ‘Don’t let go.’
‘And follow me. Just follow me.’
And I did. I followed. With some clumsiness, let it be said. But with his great clarity of intent and direction. His cues. His leaving no room for doubt. His commanding my attention. Commanding me. Running his hand across my body as we swirled. And bringing me back again. His body guiding mine. His mind commanding mine. The masculine in him conjuring a previously unfound feminine in me.
That was my first real dance.
And another man said later, ‘I was jealous’. (And, yes, it pleased me to hear of another’s yearning. Of his envy. And our beauty. Of course it did.)
For I had been swung away and reeled back in. Had moved to the sway of he who had taken control so decisively and delicately. Who spun my body away and flung it back to him and brief reunion before away again we sailed in outward bounds. Minds and hearts soaring, bodies springing and returning.
Just so my dance of a travelling life.
For it’s obvious that it was Hermes – he of language and writing and communication, Mercurial god of travel – who stretched out his arm in invitation to me so long ago. Now, eventually, after so many years of tentative stop-start steps and clumsy letting go, I’m finding the rhythm his spirit decreed, my heart dreamed and my body was designed for. Outward bound with glee and abandon, tugged back to reunions in places not my home. Journeys to and fro. Mental, physical, spiritual. The body leads, the mind soars, the heart opens. (And I go to Fez to feed a tortoise, but that’s another story.)
‘These are my people,’ I gushed ad nauseam that wonderful first-dance wedding night. My African night of abandon at the unification of Zimbabwean and Spanish families. ‘These African women,’ I meant. My people. But my people too were this Lao diaspora that surrounded me – the dancers from many lands who compulsively swing away and return again to our temporary, collective home. These ones around me who also stomp and sway to the beat of the gods. Who work – in naivete or truth – to bring great change to the world; who play and party beyond boundary, who spring away and pivot back. THESE are my people. Our bodies meet briefly again in Olvera or Paris or Ampilly-le-Sec or Lyon or Fez as we take Hermes’ lead.
And though I will dance ever more hotly with Eros and feast decadently with Dionysis, though I intend to walk ever more in step with Athena, and to reveal more of my own Aphrodite, it is Hermes who commands my steps, my head, my heart. Whose rhythms are now mine. For he invited me to dance so long ago. He asked me. That’s how it started. Held out his hand.
Finally I have learned to follow. And I’m not letting go.
[These are the thoughts of a muser sitting waterside in the Alps. The pics below are snapshots of some favourite places, people, flavours from merely the first part of my Great Euro-plus Summer 17 Adventure.]