Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Dance

When I decided to start this blog it seemed to take forever to carve out some time to get it going, but
the most difficult thing was coming up with something to name it.  Every time I thought I had found just the right title, it was not available.  This went on for weeks until I was starting to think that it isn't just all of the good band names that are taken.

Time passed, adversity reared and again I revisited the idea of this blog, still unable to find a working title that didn't seem trite or corny or too much of a cliche.  This time I was looking for a phrase or a concept that could personify my vision and reflect the overall goal for the blog and what I hoped it would evolve into.  I tried so many different phrases and variations on variations.  Finally today I stumbled upon a quote by Mikhail Baryshnikov that summed it all up for me: "I do not try to dance better than anyone else.  I only try to dance better than myself."

Of course this is only part of the story.  I received a message today from a Helium writer, Ganelle Davis, saying hello, responding to something I'd said in my last message to her and asking me to take a look at her latest article  "How to be a blessing to others."  I didn't want to put off reading the article because I knew time would pass and it would get pushed way down on my list of things to do so I decided to go straight to it.

I first "met" Ganelle via email when she set a message me thanking me for a craft article I did on "How to make a bible cover."  To me it had just been another empty Helium title that needed filling and so I filled it.  But to Ganelle, it was something else, something she connected to and made her feel compelled to tell me about it.

She began her note by telling me how much she had enjoyed reading my article and went on to tell me a little about herself.  She closed with the words: "May god continue to bless you, just as your writing has been a blessing to me."  It's not everyday you write something that evokes that kind of response, especially not something that would seem as unassuming as a craft article on making a bible cover.

She sent me another note a few weeks later, but I was out of the country and the message got buried.  We've corresponded a few times more since but it was today's message and the reading of her article on "How to be a blessing..." that compelled me today to finally come up with a name for my blog and get busy posting.

I decided to look for quotes that might inspire me and started with those about adversity since that seems to be the prevailing theme in life that brings us all back to where we started again and again and again.  After several pages of great quotes (see I had several saved to my account with the "add to chapter" feature (registration is free!) but I hadn't found anything that really spoke to me and could help me in my quest to finally name my blog.

It was then that I noticed in the lower right margin of the page there was a little box with suggested quotes by topic and decided to click the link to the motivational ones.  It was there that I found the quote from Baryshnikov, one of the greatest dancers to ever take the stage.  ( I still remember the scene in White Nights where he cons Gregory Hines out of some money by doing all those successive pirouettes.)

The quote, "I do not try to dance better than anyone else.  I only try to dance better than myself," is perfect for me both as a former dance student and as someone who wants to be her best possible self and it is the perfect starting point for this blog which aims to address some of the issues faced on the path of being one's best self.

So as I close this initial post I would like to say thanks, Ganelle.  Today you were my blessing.  

By the way, that is me dancing at the Rock and Bowl last summer in the photo above.  I had only gone to listen (my other half is behind the drums way in the background) and was wearing these clunky platform shoes that I had to take off to be able to dance.  Swing dancing is not my forte and I do it so infrequently that I always have to be reminded of how to do it.  Good thing all social partner dances have basic patterns in common!