Life Surely is a Dance

In the sense that there was nothing before it, all writing is writing against the void.”  Mark Strand, 1934 –
American poet, essayist, and translator.

Sitting in front of the blank computer screen at 10.30pm on Friday night I could not think of anything to write about today.  Are you old enough to remember that when school finished eventually, we all wrote in each others autograph books?  Well the snippet that comes to mind right now is –

Head weak, brain numb,
inspiration wont come, can’t write,
bad pen, best wishes, amen.

So I am writing into the void.  No wonder the blank page or in my case, the empty computer screen, is so frightening.  This void is not my usual habitat.  I am a creature of city streets, beaches and bush. My inspiration is born in these things, and of course, family and grandchildren.

And as is always the case, I did think of something.  Today I thought of a book I have entitled Lilian Too’s Book of Gold.  It is subtitled “Wise Ways to Health, Wealth and Happiness” and contains 365 daily reflections.

Book of Gold

I haven’t even thought of this book for ages but looking for enlightenment I turned to the page for September 16.  Today’s reflection is entitled “Life is a Sacred Dance”.  And thinking about that I know that “when movements are coordinated and sure there is so much grace and when there is also music life becomes a celebration!”

Life is supposed to be a celebration but so often we get mired down into all the things, both small and large, that upset us and work together to spoil our days, so that we forget to be thankful and to celebrate all the good things in our lives.

Most of us have so much for which to be grateful.  Oh sure, there are those aches and pains that we have to deal with; those pesky neighbours or workmates; that rude clerk in the store or any one of a hundred things you can name.  And certainly, there are those things that really drag us down.  The death of a friend; a family member with a terminal illness; an unexpected bill to be paid; the end of a relationship and further afield the mine disaster currently being played out in a valley in Wales and the huge chemical fire in Canberra, among so many other things.

Many of the things about which we worry do not impact upon us personally, and in most instances, there is nothing we can do about them.  Death is something we have to face whether our own or a loved one’s.  Relationships will end either by us or by the other person involved.  Health whether ours or somebody else’s, will be compromised and we have to find a way to deal with all of these things.

But we also have to find time to celebrate our lives.  To remember all the good things for which we have to be thankful.  So today I am making a pact with myself to celebrate all those things for which I am grateful and tomorrow I shall be adding to My Gratitude List.

And to prove that Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, NZ here are some of the lyrics from a favourite song:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean

Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens

Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance; I hope you dance.






30 responses to “Life Surely is a Dance

  1. I wonder if the younger generation even KNOWS who Pollyanna is!!! Perhaps it’s time for a comeback of that show. Perhaps too it’s the change of seasons that brings us down and has us tapping into the “glad game.”


  2. I lve your gratitude list and I certainly have a had my “blank screen” moments


    • It is truly awful to sit at a blank screen at 10.30 at night knowing you have to have something posted in one and half hours. But we write – that’s what we do and so something always comes.
      Thanks for the comment on the Gratitude List. As promised, I have added to it today. 🙂


  3. Great post! It’s amazing how a simple daily devotional can keep our minds on track. I love that song, too.


    • Thanks for the comment. Occasionally when I am stuck I take out one of my books and get inspiration from that. Yesterday was the first time I had even looked at this book for years. 🙂


  4. Isn’t it dreadful when you sit down and there is just nothing interesting to write about?
    You certainly managed to turn a blank into something interesting.
    Have a good weekend!


    • Well time was definitely not on my side – 1.5 hours to come up with something to post. It is amazing how something always turns up though. Thanks for the comment. Enjoy your weekend. I am going for a walk along the beach shortly so will have some photos to share with you. 🙂


  5. We spend far too much time worrying about trivial concerns and not nearly enough time addressing the issues that really matter.

    We distract ourselves with sports, weather, and shopping . . . while ignoring the injustices of the world and claiming that we can’t do anything to change the status quo.

    As a result of our distraction, those in power stay in power . . . and “we the people” pay the price.


  6. “I Hope You Dance” is definitely a favorite of mine. Every once in awhile I sit at the computer and wonder what it is I’m supposed to write about. I much prefer the days when the words spill out and I run for pen and paper to capture them before they flee. You did a wonderful job of filling your space today, as always.


    • I too love those days when the words spill out and have to be caught then and there. But we also have the other days when we have to think long and hard for something to share.
      Thanks for the comment. Have a good weekend. 🙂


  7. “I Hope You Dance” was my graduation song. Unfortunately. I often forget to live true to it’s words. When I do I find so much more joy in my life than I thought possible.

    In response to dbdaze’s comment, yes, I do know who Pollyanna is. 🙂


  8. I’ve been thinking a lot about space over the past two days after reading something stimulating about forests, trees and birds and how birds have to negotiate space in trees and forests. So space is there for a reason.

    Sometimes we feel fearful of space in our lives, on our pages, in our ideas, in our mind. It’s interesting to wonder about……your “void” has provided plenty to consider Judith.
    I have that book on my shelf too. I must dip into it more often.
    Enjoy the sunshine today!!


  9. Thanks Lynley. The book was given to me some time ago by a friend and it has sat largely unread and forgotten on the book shelf. I shall certainly be going back to it again. 🙂


  10. Great song and reminder! We can never be reminded enough to be thankful of what we have and not take things for granted. It seems right after we are reminded, we seem to forget again just as easily. Thanks for reminding me once again!
    That book sounds lovely, as well! I love books that have daily readings in them. I finished one about a month ago and I need to start up another one. 🙂


  11. Judith, that looks like an excellent book for inspiration! Practical advice for the artist. It’s easy to gaze at the blank computer screen (or at one’s navel) and get lost in ME. Looking beyond seemed to help you today, and that’s commendable! Peace, Amy


  12. Life is a celebration…it needs to be lived in thankfulness of the good things in our lives. Just beautiful. It’s not only about dancing, we need to dance it gracefully, making sure each time we perform like its best one yet. To give our all, to enjoy each beat, to help others find their own rhythym in life. Great post my friend.


    • Thank you for your comment. For me the void is scary and needs to be filled. Usually I know what I am going to write about each day but occasionally..
      Yes life is to be celebrated. Who knows how long we will have it to enjoy!


  13. I regularly compliment strangers, I think it is a wonderful way to brighten someones day. I always dance and believe that life is to be lived, shared and celebrated. In terms of the void…I took a group facilitator class once, they told us to be ready and able to stand there for up to 2 minutes in silence. Thats a long time…talk about void. thanks for blogging


    • Thanks for dropping by. 2 minutes is a really long while to stand in silence – that’s avoid like none I have had to deal with. Life is certainly to be lived, shared and celebrated and I try to do just that.:)


  14. I love the metaphor of “dance”…. I love that song too. I made up my own kind of page about the dance that i aspire to….and turned it into a slideshow/video… I called it “may I dance brightly…..” : )


  15. Oh, Judith, I do love that song too…. : ) whoops…I just noticed that I’ve seen this post before…now that’s one terrific thing about not having such a good memory anymore….things that I’ve seen before seem new and I get to enjoy them again with a “new eyes” !… : ) And the metaphor of dance is wonderful… I wish I could live life as gracefully as I dance….but maybe this year… that would be a wonderful aspiration for me for this year…to dance gracefully in my life….mmmmhmmm…now that sounds good. : )


  16. Thanks for the comment. I agree – often seeing something again allows me to see it with new eyes. 🙂


  17. Pingback: Waltzing Matilda | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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