Dancing into Beauty
Beauty was on my mind this morning. Not my physical beauty, which I often think is faded and fading at this phase of my life. I was mulling over the discussion my daughter Tarah and I had last night about writing an eBook on beauty. She’s an expert on hair, skin, nails, make-up, and fashion. I, however, am not so much the expert. For me, physical beauty doesn’t rank up there as a goal for which to strive. However, I am focusing on inner beauty. (Don’t we all when that outer stuff starts to diminish?) Aging comments aside, what shows up on the outside does reflect what’s on the inside (regardless of how young or old you are), and this morning I continued to think about beauty—emotional, psychological, spiritual, and intellectual beauty.
I know that when I don’t nourish my psyche, I don’t reflect much inner beauty. When I work too much and play too little, I feel the furrow in my brow deepen, I see the circles under my eyes darken, I feel the tense clench of my jaw. I felt my positive psyche ebbing this morning, so I turned on the classical music station to get some lovely melodies floating through the house. It was too early for music, and NPR’s Morning Edition was news—politics and talk—and that wasn’t cheery at all, so I knew I had to do more. I often nourish my psyche by gardening. It’s a dirty job, and I love it. I have neglected it lately because of my perpetual busy-ness, but I felt a deep desire to get my hands dirty and clean up my consciousness.
An hour later when I came inside, the voice of the man emanating from the living room startled me until I remembered NRP was on. I was ready to head to the shower, when the talk ended and the music began—Ravel’s Bolero. I dare you to sit still while listening to Bolero. I dare you to walk out of the room and ignore the lure of Bolero. It cannot be done.
(Go to this Web site and try it: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=Ravel%27s+bolero&x=0&y=0.)
I stood in the living room kind of floating to the music for a few minutes. It was then that I remembered beauty—inner beauty. I’m not much of a dancer. That is the epitome of an understatement. It’s so pitiful that I won’t even try when my sisters or my kids are nearby. I can’t take the laughter. Inner beauty looked around the room this morning and no one was there. I began to sway to the music. And then I began to move. I started dancing. In my mind, I was dancing the tango with Al Pacino, kind of like in the movie Scent of a Woman, except he wasn’t blind, so he kept looking at me and smiling. Of course, the music in Scent of a Woman is much more suited to a tango, but hey, I was in imagination land (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBHhSVJ_S6A).
As I danced, I forgot my furrowed brow, I forgot the wrinkles around my eyes, I felt my jaw unclench. I twirled and whirled and swayed and felt the light pressure of Pacino’s hand on the small of my back. I know that in reality I looked like this:
Beyond reality, in my imagination, I was light, airy, wispy, like clouds, or butterflies, or flowers. The saying “Dance like no one is watching” came to mind. I felt that inner beauty and I danced like no one was watching. During that dance, I captured the essence of beauty. Bolero and Mr. Pacino took only a few minutes out of my day, but I began it strong, light-footed, and beautiful.