• Peace means something different from ‘not fighting’. Those aren’t peace advocates, they’re ‘stop fighting’ advocates. Peace is an active and complex thing and sometimes fighting is part of what it takes to get it. Jo Walton

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The Other Dancer

(Welp, I’ve been pretty pants at updates for a while, haven’t I? Let’s fix that.)

Today’s service involved a sextet of dancers.

As I watched them perform, I was particularly drawn to watching one of them, whose brow was slightly furrowed with intense concentration as she paced out the steps on bandage-wrapped feet. Hers were not the poised toe-points of the younger women who seemed to have trained in ballet; keeping going was a matter of concentration and deliberate choice, rather than easy stage smiles and perfect arcs of arms. More than once, she pirouetted the wrong way, or otherwise fumbled, in small ways, the steps. I could see her watching the dancer in front of her, to check her timing, her flow, to correct for her lack of fluency.

And there she was, nonetheless, dancing. Part of the troupe.

There were times when she knew all the moves perfectly, flowed and danced with them, never quite as limber, but still clearly skilled; there were times when she was awkward.

And she danced.

If I danced, I would be like that woman, rather than the most skilled of her troupe. I saw in her moments of fumbling echoes of my own awkwardness with coordination, my likely autistic motor confusion. I leap more like a kangaroo than a gazelle.

And she danced.

She danced, in much the way that I do not dance.

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