Dance

December 21, 2007

I was not built with a dancer in mind. I’m short, bottom heavy, easily tired, and a complete wallflower entirely lacking in tempo. This is something I accepted from an early age, and haven’t thought much about since. I danced, sometimes, as a child, closed up in my room, very late at night once my parents were well in bed. I can remember how it felt, but know nothing of how it looked. I danced, very drunkenly, as a young adult, as a flirting mechanism. I didn’t care how it looked, and now, mostly don’t want to think about it.

I dance, sometimes with Shawn, a clinging rocking. It hasn’t happened in a while, but this is unsurprising as our disparate musical tastes lead to very little of listening to music together.

This year, for us, there has been distance. There were months of fruitless fertility treatments, and the sorrow that wedged in. There were months of trying to find the right medicine and continuing to be ill. To be honest, I still am ill. The medicine is still imperfect. I haven’t cycled in several months, and I can feel it in every muscle. I can’t do much, but I can knit.

When Shawn and I first talked about going out for an anniversary dinner, somewhere he could wear his suit, I scrambled for ideas of what I could wear. After the cost of a suit, buying a dress wasn’t practical. I have a nice white, pink, and tan dress from Igigi that was a Christmas present last year. It’s a dress that could be fancy or could be casual, depending on the accessories and context. But what to do for accessories? The earrings and necklace fell into place, but those alone weren’t enough. So I decided on lace. An heirloom-ish piece to commemorate the moment, the day, the seven years. I brought the dress to the yarn shop, and picked out something that matched perfectly, brought home the yarn and set to work. I learned quickly the needles I had weren’t well suited, so I bought needles when I had the money.

And I knit lace, for the first time. I tried to weave our love, weave us, closer together. And I made a mistake, and I spent hours trying to fix it, and it wasn’t quite the same after. But as I went on, it became less noticeable in the row after row of fabric. And as I became more accustomed to lace, and the pattern, my fingers felt like they were doing what could only be described as dancing. Left, spin, dip, right, left, left, spin, dip, right, right, right, spin, left. And there is an emotion that bubbles up, the way I remember it doing with dancing as a child. A connection to the now, the past, the future. There is so much in this dance, so much in the weaving.

I know that no amount of knitting will bring us closer. That my drive to make warm things for the ones I love, or make things that represent a love, will not instantly fix or protect things that are damaged. I know that the distance is at least half myself, the pain an impenetrable layer on the surface of me. And maybe this dance is one of longing and desperation as much as it is one of love and symbol and history. But to not do it, the emotion would sit so still inside me, with no release, and in that release, in the dance, there is freedom and life. In its absence would be silence and death.

So I dance, for myself, my marriage, my past, my present, and our future together.

So I knit.

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