Dance. Movement. Music. Grace.

I know next to nothing about dance. But I do know it’s athletic, artistic, and rewarding. Tonight two of my nieces participated in a dance festival held at a local high school. They make it look so effortless, but I have an inkling of the hard work they put into it. Homework, college applications, navigating the awkwardness of high school, checking Instagram, wondering why grey-haired old men would rather dismiss climate change than make sure it’s not a threat. Put all of that aside for hours on end and concentrate on movement, music, and grace. I’m certain there are schools that can’t afford to hire a dance instructor. We’re all the worse off for that.

I don’t know how these young folks do it. I know they’ll be glad they did. I know people closer to my age – 30s through 60s (ugh, definitely closer to 60s) – who were/are dancers. They tend to move through life more gracefully than the rest of us, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I suspect it’s akin to meditation. That person on the crowded London street who seems oblivious to the madding crowd, whose movement is never impeded.

I see it at bars in Seattle. Restaurant work is intense, grueling, and athletic. There are different forms of athleticism. For some bartenders and servers it’s a raw display of endurance and grit. With Edyn, Kenna, and Tiffany, choreography plays its part in seeing food and drinks reach the table. Music is involved throughout. One part escape, three parts rhythm.

I do this every time I sit down to write here. I open the blog intending to write one thing and then go several directions at once. That’s ok. It’s a blog, ten people in a month read it, and I’m not submitting this for publication. When I write that novel, I’m going to take out a full page ad in The New York Times and then come here to post. But it’s time to get back to the original point.

Two of my nieces danced tonight. It was a huge auditorium. We had seats in the…we were in the middle. I shot some half-assed video from my seat, and I loved the result. I was also kicking myself for not shooting the shit out of this. I should have brought an external mic and a better lens, and I should have got (I used to work Brits, I haven’t been able to say gotten since) out of my seat. None of that matters. This dance was beautiful, the song was powerful, my niece was fantastic, and I got to watch it with two mothers I think the world of.

*Compound interest is a powerful financial lesson. It applies to health, as well. The decisions we make in our teens and twenties lead to dividends (minus the inevitable taxes) or flat out punishing taxes. A tangent – reminds me of a saying my parents have always liked. You never go broke taking profits.