Today I am dancing.
Yesterday my almost new microwave stopped waving back and I was momentarily arrested in my dance moves. Things should work, I said to myself, however cheap they might be, and this little machine was cheap. But, if something is created, and packaged and marketed, it should make no difference at all how much or how little it costs me. You get what you pay for was a comment from someone and I thought about that a bit, and then found my retort.
If I, in good faith, agree to a contract, which is what I do when I purchase a thing from another person or company or whatever…. inside that contract, written or not written is a promise. If I find a bargain, for want of a better word and buy it, am I risking disaster because it IS a bargain? I don’t think so.
Anyway, I contacted the seller who was extremely apologetic and who has already organised a replacement. So, they didn’t expect it to fail, this little, cheap microwave, now did they? And nor did I.
Moving on from things, to people………
In every area of my life, I make contracts with other people. It may be that I agreed to sell raffle tickets for the local agricultural show, or that I said I would pop in this week. I might have a pheasant called Robin who expects me to throw him grain of a morning, or a cousin who needs to hear my voice as she faces illness and fear. I can’t be everywhere at once, but I can be somewhere and I can organise myself quite easily to complete my contracts if I take my eyes off myself and point them out into the world.
I have said, in the past, I don’t have time. Now I wouldn’t allow those words out of my mouth, because it is nonsense. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What I am really saying there is that I am too self-absorbed to take stock and reorganise myself.
When I was young, I danced every Saturday at a local dance school. Ballet, Modern, Character, Ballroom. I gained certificates, although heaven knows where they are now. It doesn’t matter. I know they once existed and that, apart from the bits I didn’t like, I loved to dance. As I moved through my life, my footwork got a bit rusty, but what I realised is that I can still dance in other ways. I can dance through a Saturday changeover, or when baking a cake, or when talking to a seller about a faulty microwave. Instead of dragging myself along, I can rise on my mental toes and hear the drumbeat of my heart as I move through the ordinary. Once I begin, my own voice lightens up, my laugh begins to rise and sparkle, and my eyes see only good things. And, as we all know, Good is always brighter and stronger than Bad.
Once I have practised this a bit, feeling, possibly, a tad foolish at first, I will find it more and more natural, until one day I find myself dancing on the edge of ordinariness with a wild music playing in my heart. Still feeding Robin the pheasant, still baking cakes, still making a call, or selling raffle tickets, but there is a difference and it is nothing to do with circumstances, and everything to do with the dance in me.
Years ago I had a dream that I would walk by a Waterstone’s window and see my book presented there. I hadn’t written a single word, nor chosen a story. Today that dream is in my hands. Today is the launch of the paperback of Island Wife, my story which will now be sold in big shops and small shops, ferries and visitor centres, both here and abroad, and you know the best thing about all of it?
That through reading my story, someone else may catch a glimpse of themself, and be inspired to put on their own dancing shoes.