Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Metaphor of the Dance

Once upon a time there was a young couple who agreed to be dance partners for life.  They vowed to only dance with one another until in death they parted. They danced on their wedding night; they danced on their honeymoon. During the early years of their marriage, they danced frequently. They explored many forms of dancing. They dirty-danced; they waltzed; they tried acrobatics; they speed-danced; they slow-danced; they danced between classes; they danced in the morning; sometimes they danced all night.  They knew that the marriage dance floor was undefiled.  Dancing seemed to be part of the glue that kept them in sync.

As time went on, one of the partners apparently could no longer hear the music. Dancing became unimportant.  As a matter of fact, dancing seemed to be no longer fun, but had become a chore and an obligation.  So there would be offered occasional obligatory dances.  The one partner would say, “Let’s just hold each other like we used to dance,” but it was confronted with rejection with the response, “Oh no, I know what that will lead to – more dancing.”  The question was asked, “Can we at least talk about the old dance steps?”  That, too, was received with rejection because the dancing conversation had become stressful.  They could watch Dancing With The Stars or various forms of professional dancing, but there would be no more frivolous dancing or experimentation in their relationship.  The one partner who had become uninterested in the dance agreement became hurt when they realized the other partner was dancing on their own.  When that became an issue, the partner with the desire to dance started watching other couples dance and that, too, became irritating to the uninterested partner.  They felt if their partner needed to self-dance or even watch other people dance, it was a perversion.  Yet, they did not see that their partner was crying out to dance and the only one who could fulfill that desire was their partner.  Somehow, abstinence of the dance was not a perversion.  The attitude was that your need to dance is not my problem.  Yet, the partner was the only one who could satisfy the dance need without violating the original vow.

So, the dancing slowed down to an occasional crawl.  There was very little pep in the steps.   Eventually, one of the dance partners lay stricken on their death bed.  The other cuddled up next to them and whispered, “You were the music in my soul and the best dance partner ever.”  The rhythm was gone and the music faded and there lay two old wrinkled bodies with only memories of what it was like before the devil stole their dance.

Written by Bishop Gabriel Abdelaziz