For years, teachers and later professors, encouraged me to write. I was embarrassed and flattered and then later burdened by the expectation that I had to be outstanding if I were to write anything at all. I think I'm over that now. I recently read this in Rhonda Britten's book Fearless Living:
"It is our ability to be ourselves that allows our uniqueness to shine. To live with intention and be ourselves, we must be ordinary."
I finally understood what that meant. My soul had come home.
And, so, during my "walking" Just 10, I planned on pondering the wisdom in celebrating all that is ordinary about me and what to write. Of course, I wanted something deep and profound. At the very least interesting and inspirational. My head had other plans. I kept hearing pieces of an old hymn but couldn't really remember many of the words. "Dance, Dance where ever you may be. I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. . . blah, blah blah . . .where ever you may be."
I tried to metaphorically "flush" my head so I could get back to more profound thinking. That blasted song kept interrupting. I gave up. I let the pieces of the song "swirl around my bowl of thought." The rhythm of the tune fit perfectly with the cadence of my step. I was having fun, stepping to a lively tune with only broken memories for lyrics. It may have been all the endorphins my walk was generating. I loved the idea of comparing life to "the dance." Sometimes it's a waltz, occasionally a steamy tango. A lot of the time, I'm clunking across the dance floor with two huge, awkward, left feet. And that's just the way it is.
Being ordinary is the only way to really get out on the dance floor. Trying to be something I'm not or setting the bar so high with expectations is crippling. When I do that I'm stuck sitting on the side lines, waiting to be asked but no one ever comes. When I forget myself, long enough to enjoy being ordinary, I find myself out in the middle of the dance thrashing around like a wild woman having a wonderful time.
The only writing that matters to me is a writing that is grounded firmly in the ordinary bits and pieces of my life. I'm never going to pen the next great American novel and it's pretty doubtful that I will become a household name known for a witty and erudite national column. I can write about what I know, the ordinary things in my life, for the pure and simple pleasure of it. For whatever it's worth, I share some of my writing here because I enjoy doing so and the words flow naturally. Whether or not it's good or better yet, outstanding, doesn't really matter any more. The Lord of the Dance has turned on the music and my feet are out on the dance floor.
I was curious about those lyrics and am pasting them here. I got them from the following site:http://www.irish-song-lyrics.com/Lord_Of_The_Dance.shtml
Lord of the Dancewords by Sydney Carter, music traditional
I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth:
Dance then, wherever you may beI danced for the scribe & the pharisee
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)
But they would not dance & they wouldn't follow me
I danced for fishermen, for James & John
They came with me & the Dance went on:
I danced on the Sabbath & I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped & they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!
I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body & they thought I'd gone
But I am the Dance & I still go on!
They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that'll never, never die!
I'll live in you if you'll live in Me -
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
Chords: KEY C
Background: The lyrics for this version were adapted from a song called "Simple Gifts" by Sydney Carter in 1963. The music is a 19th century Shaker tune. Read more Lord of the Dance FAQ.