As the decades in my teaching profession gave way to facing the realities that form the foundation and truth of the work I chose to fill my life with, and after I realised how pointless all the pretty ‘follow your dream in pointe shoes’ posters were, which I removed from my stationary and walls, I turned to words. Its not easy to wake up from an illusion. It’s not easy to finally grasp that serving an art once so well loved and serving people in a community did destroy my soul. It’s not easy realising you are never going to change a world….not a person….not a child. Its very difficult to grasp that as a teacher of Dance and Art you do not make a difference at all. On the contrary….what you try to weave to enhance the daily living of a child will certainly not gain praise or even at best a smidgeon of recognition. What you will receive is stony silence or well placed criticism. There will of course be a student who absorbs and accepts all you can offer. And while this student(s) is greatly valued it doesn’t make up for the ache in the soul that lingers with different phases of intensity.
So one learns to accept all the negativity and one ‘replaces the insecurity that is birthed by hurt’ into something more positive. Words …words came easy to me during the duller times. They found their way into days that knew no rhythm or light. Dance movement is momentary…. Unless a camera is on you the whole time whatever is done in inspiration is totally lost on the ethers of air and wind. BUT…words are written and can be found and read and re-read and by so doing live again. Dance movements are never relived….they are always refashioned by the dancer at that moment in time. It can be inspirational and it can be devoid of all inner spirit. It is never the same.
David and Bathsheba
I remember you most of all,not because of your beauty
or the sweetness of your smile,
not because of the binding of our spirits,or the oaths and promises we took
All of these plunged us within the vortex of a passion that started with a single look.
It was none of these things that made you a burning flame,
that I have always tended in my heart, wanting you to remain.
Sometimes, when I forget the man I have to be
or the king that has to guard this anointment so zealously,
when I can forget the father my children hope to find,
when I can set free the things that holds my body soul and mind,
I recall the first moment when I beheld you from afar,
bathing beneath a full moon and the Venus star.
I long for that first meeting when I held your hands in mine,
when you spilled a cup of red wine,; and stooping, you tried to gather it with the edge of your veil,
as it slipped from your brow your eyes opening a door to my heart
my reason to assail.
Why didn’t I know then as the moonlight
caressed your chestnut hair that you and I would transgress,
hurt others and not even care.
Why didn’t we see the misery and longing of those who watched us from afar?
And when you were not near
I felt your presence following, searching through doors left ajar.
Still I remained brooding ,waiting each day for your words
that would sanction my deepest intent
inspired by love songs I whispered in silence sure of not being heard.
You gave no sign of the longing that throbbed steadily through silent days and night,
and my hopes became as tremulous as flickering candlelight.
If I were to believe that I was a man after God’s own heart
who then was he who loved Bathsheba,
held her and gave to her a life; seed to start?
If I were to believe that God walked with me
through every waking moment of the day
what perverse passion urged me to follow,begging you to stay?
If I were to believe that God would give me an answer
to this dilemma we both now know
is there a chance for the man after God’s own heart,
that for him forgiveness might grow?
There is no point in reasoning an alliance greater than our own lives,
a passion that harnessed a fate filled with regrets that came too late.
There is no point in reasoning the longing I have for you
when in my heart I know the sorrow I have caused for you.
There is no point in hoping that the child will be born safe and strong,
he will not live because I have done this great wrong.
And so I fall before Him a king at the feet of a King
as I plead for mercy and forgiveness despite everything.
Taken from my book the Eternal Flame the last in the trilogy of poems dedicated to my mother