Thursday, April 28, 2011

On with the Dance!

"On with the dance! let joy be unconfined..."

- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

This one is for all of us currently dealing with the soggy weather, the flooding, and even worse storms like tornadoes over the last few days.  

If anyone can make us feel better about truly nasty weather, it's Gene Kelly. Hollywood lore has it that Mr. Kelly was truly sick and running a high fever when this scene was filmed (hence, the added reference at the beginning of this scene). And yet, there he is having the time of his life, jumping in puddles, kicking up water, and singing and the rain. I want that passion.

I pray that we can all find a tiny bit of this spirit within us as we assist our communities in recovering from these weather woes.

I heard from so many people yesterday responding to my post on "The Dance" (not just here on Smiling Heart, but on facebook and email, too) that had connected with the idea of dancing that I decided to spend more time on the subject.

When I thought a bit more about the subject, I wanted to touch on the idea of finding passion in our 'dance'.  If we are to agree that we all dance (in a purely literal sense, I think it is innately born in us...even babies dance, with or without music), and the earth dances to its own rhythm, and the universe itself dances; expanding,contracting, arching and spinning, then should we not honor this miraculous dance with our passion?

We know passion when we see's in a performer who connects to something within himself/herself to convey more than mere words or melodies or steps or songs,

...a photographer who captures more than the mere light and shadow of a subject,

...a teacher who refuses to give up on a difficult student,

...a mechanic who treats a car with the care and respect of a doctor tending a patient,

...a first responder who runs into the building everyone else is running from, elite athlete who gives up a good portion of a 'normal' childhood in order to train,

...or the coach or trainer who inspires and teaches that athlete (or John/Jane Doe) to attain his/her goals,

...a writer who endures solitude, writer's block, criticism, and rejection in order to share his ideas,

...a mother who changes the course of her own life to help her child,

...a scientist who dedicates years of her life to researching one tiny organism,

...or a seamstress who spends hours making the inside of a garment as perfect as the outer garment itself, though no one but the person wearing it will see it,

I could go on and on. It seems lots of my own friends are filled with the passion of their own life's dance. (Did you recognize yourselves? You know who you are.) Have they been blessed with this passion? Have they chosen to create that passion? I wonder if there is a difference between the two.

As the noted American author, educator, and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, wrote, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

That's just another way  of saying we need people who dance with passion, right?

Today, I hope you find the passion in your dance...and then share it with others! 

No one will ever accuse soprano Anna Netrebko of lacking passion. In this aria by Franz Lehár, "Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiß" (My Lips Kiss with Such Fire), she brings the audience to a frenzy with her obvious passion. In a most literal way, it carries her to another dimension, and she becomes Giuditta. Lord Byron himself would be thrilled...her joy is unconfined. 

This production is part of BBC's Proms series from 2007. Whether you are an opera star or a country music fan, a man or a woman, young or old, this performance will wow you. Enjoy!

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