“What funny dances we perform!”

(From October, 2008)

I haven’t found the dance I want to dance the rest of my life yet.  And what funny dances they are that we perform and what strange dreams fill our days!  My dance right now is to ride my bike around in circles and slap pieces of meat and vegetables on slices of bread.  When I’m not doing that, I clean up after people who eat overpriced pizza and drink overpriced beer.  And then I windex glass tables for an hour every night after the people are gone.  How funny our lives are, and how strange they would seem to us from afar!  It can seem quite meaningless at times, but in that, I think, is where the only beauty lies.  There is no meaning save that which is created by the ways in which we interact with others.
And beyond our interactions with others?  There lies the emptiness.  The quiet thoughts of solitude, the night-fears, our dreams as we lie half-awake in bed as the two worlds of our existence meld seamlessly together.  We dance around this emptiness, arms and legs twirling, our heads thrown back in a quiet pleading towards the heavens, the sun and the endless moving stars.  And though this abyss is all around us, kept off only by the interminable interlocking webs of our entangled social networks, it is only in the eternal recurrence of this abyss that life has any real beauty.  It is the feeling of wonder we have when gazing upon far mountains; it is the chill when a strange familiarity arises, beyond words; it is that which compels us to smile and laugh when some strange process has brought hope once more to our conscious minds.  And out of this emptiness, as cold and dark as the space that lies between the most distant stars, there come words to hang breathless on our tongues, that are whispered between men in secrecy…and so God arose from this emptiness, and with him too the spirit, the soul of man; the spiritual teachers history has made famous lived inside the abysses that exist between the material relationships of men; they breathed the cold dark air of space, and they knew that what they knew was not for the everyman, though he too would benefit from their knowledge.  Man is too smart to allow meaningless in his life; he creates meaning out of necessity, but more so out of a strange desire to abhor the emptiness, to fight back the inevitability of death and eternal recurrence.  We may be meaningless specks of dust in a vast cosmos, but that does not mean our lives cannot be beautiful and full of laughter; it does not mean our lungs cannot breath the still air of the abyss, it simply means we must be prepared for it.  We must not gasp, lest we drown in our own insolence and ignorance.  I wish to breathe this air, and within it find the laughter of my soul.

“And so!  Do you see? The grand realization of the circus?  Will we watch this show, or become a part of it?  And so I say that this is nothing more than a puppet show for fools and actors.  Shall we be the fool or the actor?  No! let us dance, the dance of Krishna, across these meager puppets, these that are filled with nothing but pomp and circumstance!”

Maybe one day all of us will find our own dance to dance, and we will dance across the world, and we will not twirl and spin away from the emptiness, but dance within it, and finally realize the beauty of life, which is not communicable in words, which is not available to our mundane consciousness, which is not accessible to others except maybe in those strange fits of love or action that pull two people briefly into the same dance, in the same space of emptiness.  We have forgotten the emptiness; we fill it with our cities and our thoughts, with our self-importance and our reason.  We take mystery to make profit, lies become truths on the tongues of the many; we see the emptiness only in depression, only in suffering.  We see the sick and deranged writhing in their emptiness.  But we have lost its beauty, we have lost its capacity to create wonder and joy.  We fear the suffering and so we think we fear all that comes with it; really we fear only meaninglessness, we are afraid of life without purpose, life without action, life without result.  And so we dance the dances that others write for us; we dance along with them, endlessly avoiding the abyss, content in our self-importance, happy with the dance that we share with others.

But let us dance our own dance…


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