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The dance

November 15, 2009

Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another one walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

—But who is that on the other side of you?

TS Eliot, The Wasteland

My step-dad sat me down the other day and told me that the person you marry is tremendously important. He said that the people who he and my mum mix with are completely different to those who he and his ex-wife mixed with, and different again to those who he mixes with when single.

This got me thinking about the dynamics we create in relationship. Each relationship I have with each person (romantic or not) brings out different aspects of my personality. The world that J and I have created, as a couple, is one that distincly reflects certain parts of us; those things we have in common and then those areas in which we are completely opposite, and that tension of interacting parts creates this little world that we live in quite happily (for the most part), but that wouldn’t exist if the parts comprising it were different.

It also brings out something that is neither him nor me– a completely separate entity that has nothing to do with us and yet everything to do with us.

I went to a 5rhythms dance group tonight. Aside from reviews (I’m going back to Soulmotion instead (if I can stay up that late) because 5rhythms has too much structure for my liking), there was something that I found interesting.

How different my alone dancing was to when I danced with others, and then how different these others’ dancing was to when they danced with other others. It makes complete sense if you look at human beings like balls of energy, or like balls of light, or even like a chemistry experiment. Where they cross over each other, a new colour, or energy is created that is neither one nor the other, but a symbiosis of the two. A chemical reaction. New substance created. Alchemy. Irreversible change.


I have spent my whole life avoiding relationships… even in dance class when we’re told to partner up I conveniently have a shoelace that needs tied, or a bathroom trip that is absolutely necessary, and then when I get back everyone is paired up so I go alone, thinking about how lucky I was to escape. Interacting with other people usually bothers me. After a while I get slightly better at it, can dance with others for a few seconds or so, but it still confuses me, brings me outside myself, makes my brain wonder what they are doing smiling at me like that and waving their hands around and, for the most part I am not happy with the worlds we create, so I back off, twirl a bit, dance to the other side of the room and then close my eyes to avoid any more near misses. Dancing with others, for me, is nothing like dancing alone, spinning through the room, weaving the energy together, stirring it up, mixing it up, twirling people around and then disappearing across to the other side. Like a rolling stone. No moss on me. But rarely, very very rarely, something magical happens– there’s a reaction (not of irritation for once). Time disappears. When that happens I am both inside myself and in the other person and in that third all at once. Alchemy.

Seeing how that third appears, I am beginning to understand where the role of relationship plays in the grand scheme of human evolution. Dare I say that I think that without this, we may not have gotten to where we are. That third, whatever it may be, is such an important part of our humanity, and yet we don’t really notice it. It’s just there, egging us along, pulling us together and then pushing us apart, weaving stories, weaving intents, creating archetypes and then dissolving them back into the nothingness that we came from.

And seeing the few Thirds that I have had a part in creating (Third is different to third, by the way, the latter having a numerical value and the former often having a numerical value but not always as can be seen in group situations), seeing how random it all is, and how risky it all is, and how rare it is to have a third that works (like sex with a stranger– what are the odds that it’ll actually be good other than the exhilaration factor), let alone a third that blows your mind and opens you up and encourages you to grow and to move and to create, I realise how grateful I am to have had as many as I have. The friends I’ve met randomly in strange places and the groups we have formed. The tribes, now spread out across the globe. The full moon parties, and the big communal dinners. The philosophy clubs, and the crossword puzzles in the mornings. The salsa dancing; the road trips. The writing.  The poetry. The art.  The sex. The anger. The love.

All of it.

Thank you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2009 20:05

    Beautiful post. I love SoulMotion too.

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