The final lingering vestiges of self deceit died today. Against the incontrovertible evidence, I had remained hopeful that I had the ability to transcend my well documented phobia for dancing. Sometime between Ose O Jesu and some other Yoruba song which has escaped my memory, I realized that my rather feeble attempts at ‘dancing’ – clapping rhythmically, nodding my head from time to time, and shuffling from side to side – bore as much resemblance to dancing as a bee buzzing through the air bore to a fish swimming.. My sense of unease was worsened by the fact that it was a thanksgiving Sunday and we had to dance to the offering box. Interestingly, if the number of dancing worshippers was a significant sample of the larger community, then I am fighting a lost cause in refusing not learning to dance.
I think I have never danced in my entire life – not in church, not on my solitary foray into a night club, not at all the birthday parties I attended as a kid, not ever. I don’t remember if it was a concious decision, or if it was/still is a result of a deep seated phobia even I am unaware of, or if I have always lacked that seemingly natural ability to coordinate the limbs in resonance with external tunes, or if I just plain can’t be bothered.
I have always consoled myself by declaring that I am musing over the words of the songs – dissecting the rhymes, pondering the nuances, or sometimes inserting my own words to see if they rhyme better, or if they mean more for me that way. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I came close; days when I actually shuffled from side to side as though I were part of an invisible choir from antiquity or nodded my head and plucked strings on an imaginary acoustic guitar in tune with the song being belted out.
Today was one of them days, perhaps the huge cup of coffee I drank this morning as I stepped out into 3 degree centigrade temperatures was culpable, or it was a genuine case of shopping therapy after I ogled my latest acquisition for the umpteenth time, or perhaps it was Charlie leading worship at church, and squeezing in one of my favourite Hillsong songs… Bottom line is I almost danced, but I didn’t.. And I’m left still wondering what dancing must feel like…