Dance to Your Own Music

by Christine Sarno-Doyle


I am dancing today to my own music. How freeing that is.  I love the sound. The tempo. The simple rhythm of my life.  If I ask you to join me, will you try to lead? I don’t wish you to lead. You may dance alongside if you wish to your own song as long as I may continue to hear my own.


Dancing is integral to life.  I know that today.  I dance all the time: through my days, through my challenges, my tasks, my growth, and in and out of all my relationships.  The dance movements are an ebb and flow, a give and take to life, which at their best gracefully move us along and inspire song.  At their worst they give rise to discord.  We are meant to sing. 


I was totally unaware of just how important my music was to the harmony of my life.  I sensed a beat and heard muted tones from time to time, but that melody was constantly drowned out by the boisterous and unruly clangs of instruments played by a barrage of self-proclaimed musicians.  


I didn’t know my music was so important and I couldn’t hear my music, so I never danced.  I reacted as I attempted to keep my balance being pulled around the dance floor unexpectedly swung and flung over shoulders and around legs in entertaining and dramatic fashion.  The tempo quickened and slowed and I adjusted accordingly.  I was always following someone else's lead. 


I am the musician and the choreographer of my life. 

Henry David Thoreau:  "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."  These words struck a chord, although I remained emotionally detached from the ideology.  I never grasped the principle that I had a drum of my own.  I do today. 


Bus # 2

What is evident to some and not so evident to others reminds me of story.  A story that I dub Bus # 2


It was a day trip to New York City at Christmas time with friends and co-workers.  We departed on designated buses 1 and 2 and arrived at Rockefeller Center on the corner of 6th Ave, Avenue of the Americas, and East 51st Street.  There was no itinerary.  It was a day of living each of us could take at our own leisurely or expeditious pace. 


We de-boarded under the impressive Radio City Music Hall marquee, and as we did a spokesperson greeted each of us, wished us a good day and gave one directive:  Be back at this location at 6:00 for re-boarding. The buses leave for home at 6:30 sharp with or without you.


Nine hours later, we gathered on the corner under the Radio City marquee.  Conversations abuzz with stories of the day: The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. 


Abruptly, four exasperated co-workers walked up to us and said, "Where did everybody go?  Why did everyone take off without us?  How did so-and-so get to the Statue of Liberty?  No one told us we could go there!" 


I was stunned.  No one told them they could go there?  No one told them they could leave the city block of Rockefeller Center?  Four adults remained within a limited perimeter for an entire day because no one told them that they had permission to leave.  Was the information disseminated on Bus #1 different than that given out on Bus #2?  Even if it was, as adults weren't they able to discern and make decisions for themselves?  I was perplexed and I felt sorry for the four who clearly did not see what was evident to the rest of us. 


I distinguish between Bus #1 and 2 only to help with the analogy.  Because everyone else on the number 2 bus did just fine.  -  I may have been on bus #1 that day, but I've ridden on Bus #2 most of my life.  Unaware of my prerogatives, ill-equipped to accurately discern information in order to compose a viable itinerary, I lived emotionally for most of my life within one city block.  Be it ignorance, fear, guilt, or shame, I lived waiting for someone to tell me I had permission.  I was in awe wondering why others were able to travel far and wide with such ease and little baggage.  


I never take any bus with a number 2 on it, and I moved off the block.  I am taking in the sights.  I am dancing to my music and feel in harmony with life.  I am on my own but not alone.  


Listen to your own music.  Move to your own beat.  Step to your own drummer.  Compose your itinerary, and if you're not back by 6:00 you'll find another way to get where you need to go.



July 2011