A Dancer’s Double Death

Dear Clients and Friends,

After a particularly poignant session with an injured ballerina, she casually quipped, “Well, you know what they say, a dancer dies twice.” I nodded in agreement and replied, “Maybe more than twice.”

Martha Graham was the source of that quote and she was speaking to something very raw and real for anyone devoted to a life of bodily achievement. She was also evoking something so embedded in the human experience that it surfaced in my mind as the ides of March took hold on Friday and raged against the tides of spring.

We have this wish when we enter into a period of hardship that our life should right itself without any kind of loss or sacrifice — that good times should resume with no scars to show for it. Or if we must have scars, they can, at the very least, have the decency to be resolved with botox.

But nature is not like this. So much has to die and decay and desiccate before the floods of spring runoff coax the dormant seedlings to renew.

It’s a shaky time of push and pull — transcendent warmth, brutal storms, high winds, and soaking rains. It requires enormous presence and the willingness to let go of the weather we experienced yesterday to embrace and prepare for that which will become today.

Just like the trees who lost their branches in the storm, we cannot, nor would we ever, turn away from the buds that will burst forth on those that remain. But how easy it is to steep ourselves in longing for better sensations, that we miss the chance to bloom right now as we are.

Can we be like that dancer striving for perfection and know that progress can’t go on forever? Can we die over and over again to the parts of us that have dried, that are hurt, that are stuck and cultivate the humility required for the rest of us to unfold?

Spring is a complicated season.

And it is one of a thousand reasons that we need each other to be reminded of the beauty about to burst forth no matter what condition the winter has left us.

I look forward to seeing you all again as we renew.

With folded palms,