There is a Rumi poem, Book Beauty, in which a woman wants to be beautiful, so she take pages from the Qur’an, wets them, and mashes them into a paste, with which she then covers her face. She does this because the words of the Qur’an are beautiful, so if she puts them on her face, then she too would be beautiful.
It is so desperate and tragic, that image. But it reminds me of all the things I have put on myself in an effort to feel more beautiful, more attractive, from clothes and make up to a new costume, in hopes that this would do the trick, and I would be beautiful.
Just like she did.
We have been shortchanged by our society. We have few venues in which to revel in our beauty. If we admit to feeling beautiful, we are promptly struck down. We are fed a steady diet of airbrushed images designed to crush our sense of self-worth.
To be beautiful, we must consume. We have to shop and find the right dress. We have to go to workshops and learn more moves and work harder and be better. We never get to just be.
Except here. This dance and this practice reconnect us to our beauty and power. When we are in the moment, alive, eternal, we feel it. We feel the lineage of dancers before us.
We feel our connection to the Divine.
Our worth, our beauty, our power, they don’t come from things we buy to cover up our true selves. They come from within. They are treasures gleaming deep within our souls. Oriental dance helps us to find that buried treasure, to dig deep, to sift out our glittering truth, to bask in its soft light. To see and feel our true selves.
We can bring this treasure back with us into everyday life. We can walk this walk every day, everywhere we go.
This is a subversive notion indeed. This is what this our dance is all about. This is our true challenge.
What treasure have you found through dance?
PS Music! Taksim Trio live.
Extra! Afrodisiac – The Black Bellydance Show
Extra: Prince and the Revolution LIVE watch party : at 7pm CST on Thursday, May 14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRa8ZH_iOXo follow the link and set a reminder
Extra: The film “Free Trip to Egypt” will be streamed for free for one day only at 7pm EST Sunday May 17th and will be followed by a Q&A with the creator. Thank you Amanda! info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1328632977333048/ Tkts: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/watch-the-film-free-trip-to-egypt-for-free-watch-party-in-may-tickets-104654662914