Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Escape

Tell me: what does it mean for you to escape?

And where would you go? A shimmering white beach? The summit of a mountain that touches the sky? Or maybe a holy village, a temple, or a sacred river?

But still, I ask you: have you really escaped?


I get out of the car and walk along the sandy driveway in the velvet summer evening. Light slants through the majestic oak trees, and Spanish moss forms golden canopies above my head. My mind whirs with a thousand plans and a thousand anxieties.

I reach the front door of a renovated barn and sigh. I slip off my shoes and enter a room with warm wood floors and saffron walls. I join the other students in front of the wall-to-wall mirrors and we fold our palms and recite prayers in unison.

We offer our respects to the earth, to God, to our guru, to the audience, and then we turn to the corner of the room to offer obeisance to the deity of Lord Nataraj – the Lord of Dance.

We begin to dance, and the room resounds with the rhythm of our feet. One by one, my thousands of thoughts drop away. My worries, daydreams, plans, schedule... my excitement, sadness, anger…


When I dance Bharatanatyam, my mind washes clean. If I think about a single plan, even form a single sentence in my head, my hands slip, my feet fall off beat, and I lose my expression. It’s impossible to dance and to think.

Every moment I feel the fire circulate through my body; I focus on every moment to bend, jump, smile, and shift my gaze. Just to breathe is an adventure. Every moment is alive. I am alive.

This is my addiction to Bharatanatyam dance.

Amazing how in life so often we want to escape the present moment into an other world.

But dance is an escape from my world into the pure and present moment.

“The same stream of life
that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world
and dances in rhythmic measures.”
 Rabindranath Tagore 

Anapayani dasi, my dance guru

So please tell me now: what is your escape? 


In Love With Krishna said...

i really like this post, more maybe coz i used to dance Bharatnatyam myself.
You are right about the discipline and concentration involved.
It took me back to my dancing days, when i was more into the Bhava and Rasa part of the dance.
i would basically lose myself, or atleast try to, to the lyrics of the song, and that was actually a wonderful feeling when we used to dance to a song about Krishna.
Ur post makes me long for that wonderful feeling that overtakes u in Bharatnatyam. Sadly, i had to discontinue coz of pressure academic-wise at my school. :(

Bhakti lata said...

nice to hear your feedback about dance... I know how hard it can be to continue to devote yourself to the arts while in school.

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