"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dancing in the Streets


She was on the sidewalk catercorner from me as I waited at the five lane stoplight, waiting to turn left. It's not unusual to see these kids on street corners, holding signs for various businesses, but she didn't fit the mold.

She wasn't wearing a drab and wilted Statue of Liberty costume and waving a sign offering help with taxes. She wasn't listlessly push-pulling a tall pole covered with bright signs inviting everyone to come to this open house or that blow-out car sale. She wasn't staring at the ground and flapping her sign as though it were stuck to her hand and she was trying to get it off.

This girl was dancing.

At first I reacted as I almost always do: with pity, and wondering about the circumstances that would bring someone to need money so badly they're willing to stand that exposed, and to do whatever is necessary to draw attention to themselves and the business they're representing.

My pity quickly turned to intrigued curiosity.

She seemed to be completely absorbed in her dance, and radiated a fierce clean energy. Petite, pale skin, dark unkempt hair. Clothes looking like they'd been picked blindly from the floor and thrown on without thought. Even with a knee brace (How, for someone that young?), she moved fluidly to a choreography clearly well-practiced. She dipped and bounced and spun and marched and pounded the air with her fist in perfect rhythm. She waved the sign (for pizza) as though it were an important prop, an integral part of the dance.

I found myself moving, just a little, to her rhythm, even without the beat of the music only she could hear.

This intersection is one of the busiest in our county. All too often, I find myself stuck at the light there. I'm usually taking deep conscious breaths well before green glows and traffic begins moving, especially if I'm at the back of a long line of cars. On this day, I was at the front, and wishing the red would stick. I didn't want to move away from her super-nova presence.

While I won't know the circumstances that brought my dancing girl to that street corner as a human billboard, I do trust in her ability to get herself eventually to the destination of her dreams. It's simply impossible, with that much dancing in her soul, for her to be stuck anywhere she doesn't choose to be.

Photo from Google Images

18 comments:

Wanda said...

Oh, yes...may she dance all the way to her highest aspirations and beyond.

Linda Myers said...

You honor her with your writing.

Mark Lyons said...

I, too, am often intrigued by those people. On one occassion, I saw two young kids on opposite street corners in an apparent competition...each trying to out do the other with the twirling of their signs and their bodies.

I loved the story...and it would be nice to know her's as well.

Love you
Mark

kario said...

There are a couple of born entertainers up here that wave their signs in a seemingly secondary effort to their dancing. I love it! It is infectious.

yaya said...

It's good to enjoy your work! I hope she has more in her life than pizza dancing, but atleast it's giving her a purpose, a job, and an excuse to dance! We should all be as happy in our vocations.

Pam said...

Locally,we have a costumed termite that's not half as interesting!
I enjoyed reading this Deb and I'm sure the young lady would be thrilled to think she had given you such cause for reflection, simply by her enthusiasm and willingness to entertain. Good on her and you too, for your acknowledgement.

DJan said...

Well, are you going to find out who she is and interview her? I can't wait!!:-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my gosh!! That is AWESOME. People like that make me smile. So cool.

Retired English Teacher said...

I certainly hope you are right. I too wonder about her circumstance. I hope her future is bright. I can't help but wonder why she isn't on a televised dance contest rather than a presidential hopeful's daughter. It seems this girl could use the break, and it appears she also has talent.

Barb said...

I have a feeling the World will be her stage. (At least I hope it will.) Great character sketch, Deb.

Facing50Blog.com said...

I never fail to be super impressed with your writing. I found this an intriguing and excellent post. It made me want to find out so much more about the girl.
So, when are you going into full time writing? I'll be your agent!

Niki said...

her circumstances leave me unsettled...her energy, I pray, drives her to a good place.

hearts in autumn said...

I loved your comments and wishes.

Your blos site makes me smile and feel good about life.

You are inspiring.

Re the dancing girl.... wouldn't it be great if we could all free ourselves from the self consciouness that keeps us from dancing?

Keep writing and feeling. You are a source of goodness and of light.

Amber said...

" It's simply impossible, with that much dancing in her soul, for her to be stuck anywhere she doesn't choose to be.--

love that! I hope she always has it. How great her life will be. :)

We have those kids all over here too, and we always tell Wyatt he will be out there soon enough... 'cause the boy gotta work! lol

:)

patricia said...

This made me happy! =)

Katie Gates said...

Wonderful! And I know what you mean, too, about those moments when you don't want the light to change from red to green because you are witnessing something so different and -- in this case -- life-affirming. Sounds like this girl knows how to spend her moments. Good for her! And good for you for sharing her joy through your writing.

Lilith said...

There is a young man here who dances on 178 st, up and down the street, all kinds of weather and this guy can dance. He's free. I envy him.

deborahjbarker said...

What a beautiful cameo you have painted Deb. Your opening line could be the beginning of a novel and I love the title. I hope this girl dances her way to better things and her stop at the street corner was short. Perhaps she was there just to make you smile!