- Pearl Primus
Gypsy Dancer, Stanly Meltzof, oil on gesso panel,
Cover of The Atlantic Monthly, September 1954
Have you ever experienced that foggy, vaguely dreamy state of mind between sleep and wakefulness? You know what I mean, the time where you know you're not really awake yet, but can't figure out just where you are? Yeah, that's where I've been.
Re-entry into the real world can be difficult after a much needed break from it. Such is the case in my return from Kansas City and the reunion marking the 40th anniversary of our high school graduation.
I've had a very hard time readjusting since arriving home on Sunday evening, in part because of the excitement surrounding the Graceful One's arrival later that night (home for a few weeks before departing for her new job in Georgia), but it can't be blamed soley on that.
I worried about this malaise for a day or so (malaise is SO unlike me), until I ran across the most recent post from my friend, Delana, in France, who writes about this same feeling in her beautiful blog, du Jour. Evidently, I'm not the only one who feels slightly displaced after a short trip to another place, and I'm grateful to Delana for expressing it so beautifully.
I found myself whiling away the days searching through pictures of the past weekend, reliving each and every moment with old friends I had long anticipated seeing, and new friends who had instantly endeared themselves to me.
Many things about this extraordinary weekend will linger in my mind for years. I'm sure I will revist them many times here at Smiling Heart, and I'm filled with gratitude at the enormous gift of time and talent that was shared.
[One entire evening of live entertainment was organized by two dear alums who gathered together some of the many grads who are musicians. This jam session was the best live music I've heard in years, and showed how one particular year in the life of a school can produce a proliferation of one 'type' of students who excel at something. For some years, it may be scientists or engineers or athletes. For our Ruskin High School Class of 1971, an extraordinary crop of artists and musicians emerged. I am in awe of them all.]
What will stay with me forever is the dancing.
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to dance. When did that happen? Certainly not when I was in high school. In high school, I was so afraid of how I would look on the dance floor that I was more than happy to sit out most of the dances and watch the 'good' dancers do their thing.
Somewhere between the decades of parenting and grandparenting, I cast aside the silly notion of caring what I looked like and began to just enjoy the dance. Today, while I'm no expert at dancing, I'm an ace at enjoying the dance!
I was so pleased to find that many of my classmates felt the same way. We danced like gypsies, a group of nomads moving from place to place each evening, bringing our music and drink with us wherever we went (served from the trunk of a car when necessary), and experienced the strong magic of dancing together.
The music may have been R&B, Rock, Country or Pop, but the feeling was all gypsy. We enjoyed ourselves without reservation, flying without wings and vibrating like the strings of the guitars we listened to.
Oh, my, it was fun. It's no wonder I'm having trouble with the re-entry.
Today, I hope you enjoy the dance!
The music selection today had to be from a gypsy, for whether we were dancing to Al Green or Madonna, I heard the fire of gypsy violins as I danced.
This is the Hungarian violinist, József Lendvay, playing the "Csárdás" (a traditional Hungarian dance) by Vittorio Monti. I've heard this piece played many times by many groups, but this one has the fire of the gyspy in it. Enjoy! (Oh, and feel free to get up and dance!)