To Become A Dancer

One of the articles in Dancing Toward The Future (IC#32)
Originally published in Summer 1992 on page 62
Copyright (c)1992, 1996 by Context Institute

To become a dancer so late
To be determined so late to become
A dancer is to become part
Of the dream of the humble heart
Determined to dance to the beat
Of this one dawn becoming day
Caught by a great blush and throb
Of laughter at such a becoming
Such a desire to become a dancer
In the sense of one moving, clumsy
With effort, yet effortlessly becoming
The limbs of the old tree bent
Out of shape and dancing, leaf-bare
On a windless day before snow,
Becoming the bent shape of itself ­
That sort of dancing, of sensing
With alert heart the snow-blurred
Motion or natural pause of tree
And of woman too, weary
And trembling with effort near
The aspen fence or morning barre
Stretching to become what she is
Or may be, laughing down at legs
Wrapped in woolly snow; grim,
Laughing and determined beyond pain
So late to translate at last
Life into life, the shared beat
Of laughter and grief into motion
Part of the dream-game I dare you
As the reddening curtain rises
The grand jeté of dawn
And silent-as-snow applause rise
To celebrate one so modest and arrogant
Who dares so late, laughing,
To become a great dancer,
That is to say
To become, in a sense, one with the dawn

From The Ripening Light, published by Gibbs Smith, 1989

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