How do we know when we're dancing?

the return itself is a journey: we are forever returning from the places we've been.

How do we return from a transformative escape beside our loved ones? Changed, yes. But what if we find ourselves fighting the return? Craving a return from the return? How do we adjust to life as we know it before we left? Michaix offers us some guidance.

We've left and we've touched freedom and now we return and are concerned about a loss of freedom. But if we return to the dancing body, the environment matters less, the tune and our dancing partners matter so much more.

So we shrink our worlds and quiet the noise to allow ourselves to maintain focus, and stay connected to the body, and return if and when we experience a misstep. If we can remember the tune, great, get back to dancing and remember what Alan Watts said: “Life is a dance, and when you are dancing you are not intent on getting somewhere… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”

If we can't remember the tune, we return to our partners and search for a new dance that conjures up similar feelings of freedom. We must start by calling attention to the need for a dance.

I'm struggling with this idea of return and clamoring for all the residual feels resonating through the day, all the fragments of freedom that remain from this trip. I am fighting this return.

So what of the dance, then and now, there and here? I'm reminded of Cormac's quote: “Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a chap is dancing. Could be a number you’re not familiar with.”

Maybe instead of trying to return to the dance then, I need to work at recognizing the new dance of our return to now. And if I can't catch the tune, I need to watch my dancing partners and allow them to lead.

Maybe I need to also understand that the return doesn't happen all at once. A part of me is still there, some of me will remain there. This is why I love swimming in foreign bodies of water: the immersion symbolizes an exchange. The same reason I love buying salt on our trips and drinking salt water from these places first thing in the morning. In the same way breathing in air from our foreign breathing partners forever alters our patterns and internal workings, the water leaves behind an essence, it provides a path back, it preserves the possibility of return.

So just dance, why not? If walking is the dance today, so be it. If breathing or swimming is the tune, let it be. The return is not a finale. It is not sudden and never complete. The return itself is a journey: we are forever returning from the places we've been. And I am grateful to be returning and dancing with these partners.