love letter to myself

by erika

Dear Erika,

So tired, you. But get up anyway. I have exciting news!

You’re still alive!

This (thing that is taking all of your time and emotional resource) doesn’t kill you!

OK. Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you why I really took pen to paper…to remind you that you are a dancer. Yes, the other stuff pays the bills and helps take care of your kiddo, but you are a dancer. Do you hear me?!?!? And you are not dancing. You are giving too much away. Yesterday you sat, left over right, and you remembered the want of your heels as they lifted from the floor, the stable shelf of your ribs as they buoyed your still-healing heart, the breath that makes your body enunciate “spiral” as if that word held the magic of the world (it does). Simple and infinite, simple and infinite. That’s how you feel when you dance.

And yet, you, you with this one life and this one chance in this body, give that energy away like it’s infinite. simple and infinite. It is not. Just because it’s easier for you than most doesn’t mean it’s simple. Or that it is not draining your reserves. How do you prioritize this thing that helps you kneel and kiss the earth? This thing that makes you YOU in this lifetime? This thing that is yours without anyone else’s approval or parade? What would you say to your students, a beloved, about what matters? About their matter?

Listen, lovey. No. You didn’t get on the map (not like you thought, not like they told you). You didn’t even leave the wings in some cases. But listen to that–you didn’t leave the wings–that means you still have them, those feathered friends who have carried you this far. It doesn’t matter where you fall in all the timelines in posterity; we all die and are all forgotten. That’s the gift. We are all forgotten–which means that nothing you do right now will not be remembered anyway so WHY NOT DANCE? Or whatever it is you are afraid of or too busy for or or or…Use those or’s to row you to the middle of your heart pond. Sit here with me. Close your eyes and practice. Here that buzz? That life electricity? That’s not just the dragonfly by the lotus flower, it’s your true purpose. And you’re no good to anyone without it.

I sure do love you, my little octopus. Now keep at least one of those three hearts for yourself.


82 year-old Erika