I sit alone in the early morning hours before the world outside beckons the world inside to take the stage for the quick tempo dance that is our daily performance. Windows all around me atop this tower in the sky I now call home frame mobile snapshots of a city already awake and attuned to its unique sounds. The music of four-wheeled instruments rushing to and fro across the intersecting keyboards down below rise seventeen stories to enter my glass home in the sky. I’m not ready to join the city’s chorus, preferring to enjoy my morning soliloquy in my mind’s auditorium, thoughts rhythmically swaying, picking up the tempo and nearly tumbling into each other before slowing and finding my own unique rhythm, an interpretative dance meant only for me.
In life as in dance, timing is everything.
Years have played out where I have accepted both leading roles and bit parts in the various performances that make up my life’s program. At times I’ve been the understudy, others I’ve been the one behind the scenes prepping costumes to ensure not a stitch is out of place. Butterflies in my own stomach as much as those taking the stage. I’ve rushed to my seat amid the sea of red velvet backs, already having pre-selected the one to give me the best vantage point as the lights dim and the curtains begin to sway in a dance all their own. As my loved ones take the stage ready to share their passion and dedication with the world, I catch my breath and will my body to remain seated. I urge my mind to quiet the yearning to take the stage though not alongside them…instead I wish to shadow them, softly whispering words of encouragement, reminding them to forget the audience and the bright lights and simply enjoy the dance.
That is truly what it’s all about after all. After the curtains close and the auditorium is empty once again, we are left with a stage all to ourselves. We choose our next role. Our next performance is up to us. We will be our own critic. When the moment arrives, it will be up to us to choose whether we step into the spotlight or retreat from its heated glare.
My hands don’t hold the program revealing my future act and neither do yours. Often I find myself on an unfamiliar stage thrust into a role for which I never auditioned and think…why here, why now? Why has it taken me forty years to find my passion for writing? Why now and not after a few more acts, possibly when my children are older and I have more time? Why haven’t I always truly listened to the music and enjoyed the performance instead of rushing through it already envisioning a future act? Why during the most trying moments in my past when I longed to exit stage left did I remain on that stage?
Why have you?