As you can imagine, I never made it onto the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at Disney World. I read over and over about how it was family-friendly and smooth and easy, but I took one look at the people hurtling through the air and screaming, and I knew I wanted out. This doesn’t make me proud, or does it? There is stepping outside your comfort zone, and then there is putting your body in unnecessary stress to do.. what? Prove a point? My family doesn’t bug me about it. I’m the only one who bugs me about it. I can do heights and planes and boats and trains. I can do mountain tops and hot air balloons and helicopters. I CAN do speed. I can’t do spinning and I can’t do loss of control. I can do this dinosaur ride, although I was shaking before it:
I guess it remains to be seen what it will take to get me on even a kiddie roller coaster. I know there’s something out there, to jumpstart the bravery and tear down the wall. I know it. It doesn’t seem to be love or doughnuts, because I’ve tried both of those things. It doesn’t seem to be alcohol, because it remains to be seen, mostly, what it will take to get me to drink!
It’s like how after the biggest full-body workout of my life – giving birth – I was brave and unafraid of pretty much everything, for awhile. Planes and trains and vomits and pains. “Pain don’t hurt,” I said, channeling Patrick Swayze in Road House.
All of my life there has been a wall and a divide, in between doing things fluidly, and doing things only passably, if even so. It all started with our Drama Club Banquets, every spring of high school. I was “only” in stage crew, and running crew at that, but I got invited to the banquets. I’m sure I was more of a dancer as a child, the way I am now when no one’s watching at home – save for Cassidy, Scarlet, Des, Athena and Penny – but somehow, that stuff changes in adolescence. I lost my mojo. I was always stiff and awkward, at BEST! That’s if I got out of my chair! Stiff, awkward, and all too aware of my own movements. It was at that banquet, freshman year, when the veil lifted and the wall evaporated. I could not stop dancing.
I had no idea where it was coming from. All I knew was motion and melody. Even when the lights went up and people started gathering their belongings, I danced all the way to the parking lot, where my mom picked me up. What had changed? Was I changed? Was it for keeps? Well, yes and no. I was changed in that I knew what I was capable of, but would the veil fall back down and would the wall clamp back down? Of course, many times over. Even now, it still happens. I haven’t found the magical formula. Sometimes I can’t reach it. I can’t lift it. I can’t.. do anything. I can’t. It seeps into nearly everything I do.
Math blocks and writer’s block. Writing until it stops. Photos until it stops. Love & affection and restaurant choices and movie theaters and more and more dance floors and work and emails and simple RSVPs and gift giving and exercise and meditation.
It must be a heart thing. Sometimes it’s wide open and sometimes it’s clamped shut. Mostly it’s somewhere in-between, toggling back and forth through the elements, experiences and moods. How do I lift the veil and evaporate the wall?