Tuesday, July 22, 2008


There was a figure silhouetted against the empty stage, the amber lights revealing just enough shape to give a viewer an idea of what they saw without actually revealing any kind of defining detail. The steps were slow and the dance uncomplicated, there were no grand gestures, merely elegant poses being rotated through as if the dancer were merely a figurine on the top of a music box, aged into lethargy with broken keys. It was the perfect audience, blind in its unmistakable absence, the best kind of audience: none. No judgments, no presuppositions to what the dance should be, no guidelines or boundaries of music or plot. Simply the dancer and the music heard in their head. A figure darkening the performance lights simply because of its theatrical opacity.

As the figure moves from center stage back, the lights follow it, revealing a network of tight ropes across the back drop, a web of modern art these multi colored strings. A bend of the arm, sweeping towards the empty seats reveals a flash of color to the unseeing eyes, a red ribbon ensnares the outstretched wrist. Whether invisible to the eye before or merely unobserved, the red string stains the dancer with a trace of heart-blood and humanity.

It mounts the first rope, stepping confidently from one floor of existence transcending into another above it. And so this game of cats-cradle is played, between the dancer and fate. The journey upon the tight-rope requires balance, dignity and grace otherwise in the figure's clumsiness it would tumble from the ascending web to the hard earth, wings of fancy broken. Intersections come and ago amid the myriad of slender colored pathways, whether hesitant or not one path leads to another, the pathway unpredictable as the dancer reaches heights beyond the lights' reach backstage behind the closing curtain.

It is here, held back from sight for all but the performer, that the last rope is held taught high above the stage, the last journey among the colored lines, this red line withdrawing and receding from amid the surrounding darkness, this blood red ribbon. It is here the performer has striven to end, upon the highest line, it is here in the open aired darkness the figure clearly sees for the first time, wrapped around every limb are red strings like the one visible upon its wrist, soaring into the darkness above, life lines, every one of them.

The tight ropes which had seemed so daunting, which had demanded so much strength and gentle consideration, the pathways that seemed so narrow and difficult to transverse seem suddenly murky and slack in the shadows beneath the ascension. What was seen as haphazard designs in the light were given perspective in the clarity of individual faith within the darkness, the red harness lines wrapped around the figure glow in the darkness unseen on stage for the light provided for the understanding of others.

For Clarity of Those Left in the Light:
It is in the darkness that the truth we reach for is grasped, because there is no other light to see by. It is what we find when we don't know we're looking, when we simply take the journey and, in happenstance form, follow the roads we're given into the darkness above the ill lit stage. It is there, away from the unseeing eyes of others, we can see for ourselves that while we struggled to keep ourselves upright—we were being carried the whole time.

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