On my way to do something called Journey Dance in Johnson last night, I got off with a “friendly warning” for my expired inspection sticker. When I arrived at the Vermont Studio Center yoga building, I parked and then sat in my car for a few minutes, watching some other women get out of their cars and hug each other, wearing flowy-looking yoga clothes. I had on jeans and a leather jacket and the cowboy boots I bought for $30 in Phoenix. I debated. I could just go home. I was tired. I didn’t know anyone there. I wasn’t dressed for it. The drive had been nice. Maybe that was enough.
But I got out of the car, crossed School Street and entered the studio. I took off my boots and made the first of a few self-conscious comments about my jeans, wishing I had on more movable clothes. But I relaxed pretty much as soon as I was barefoot on the smooth, hardwood floor.
I had no idea really what I was in for, but it turned out to be an evening of sweating and shaking it out and connection through eyes and hearts and bodies and some tears and some laughing. There was earth, there was water, there was the fire in my belly, and a fuchsia scarf that reconnected me with the genie who is me who came out of my body nearly two years ago now and fiercely refused further confinement. There was a healing dance and a prayer dance and some raucous, soul-train-style hip-bumping and booty-shaking. There was the purring of cats rubbing heads. There was binding and releasing, sweep and reach and flow.
And there was that magic that happens when women gather, when the music goes up and the mind is overtaken by the body, when judgment and resistance are replaced by openness, risk-taking, and movement. I tucked my sweater up and under my bra and forgot all about my jeans, my hair wild, falling in my eyes. In fact, I forgot my rings, too, and had to turn around a couple of miles down Route 15 to retrieve them.
And then I drove home in the dark, glad for having said yes, reminded that sometimes you have to get out of your element in order to get into your element.