She said her name was Alaya, a name given to her by her “teacher” because it sounded like something “beautiful and flowing.” The sound of the name her parents gave her, Iris, didn’t suit her, she said.
Which makes me rethink my own name: Pam. Because come to think of it, my name sounds like a big, old rock, an unmoving lump. Pam. My name isn’t flowing, like Alaya’s. It’s not fair. I think I will change it to “Stream.”
I met Alaya at a “meditative dance” class. I was dragged, I mean, invited, by a new, and already, dear friend (who I now think may be half out of her mind, like the rest of the people in that class.)
Meditative dance – to me, that’s an oxymoron. I can’t concentrate on my dance moves if I’m busy meditating. Who could? (Of course, for me, meditation means it’s time to think about what I’ll be having for lunch and whether or not it’ll involve chocolate.)
Another problem with meditative dance is that you have to dance in a circle, holding hands. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that when you’re holding hands with someone for longer than 10 minutes, hands tend to sweat profusely. This makes me start fantasizing about the moment I can, finally, wash my hands.
Then, just as I was thinking I’d make a break for it or maybe sever the cord to the CD player, the sprightly, white-haired gentleman on my right turned to me and said, “I’m so glad you are here.”
“Enjoy it while you can, old man,” I thought to myself.
So, of course, when the two-hour torture session, ahem, dance class, broke for a break halfway through, I ran outside for dear life, screaming something like, “Take me into the light. This is most god-awful class I’ve ever had to suffer through. Oh, the humanity.”
And because this was incredibly irreverent on my part, since after all, we were dancing in a “sacred space,” the Goddesses decided to have me trip over a rock and fall onto my shoulder, possibly dislocating it for the rest of my life.
But that can’t be as painful as meditative dance.
Because it got worse.
I was forced to be a “house,” arms held high so I could open up my “roof” to the new season of spring. Then, some of us were instructed to dance into the middle of the circle (without tripping over the lit candles, of course) to our “source” and “sprinkle water” over our bodies to be “renewed.” Then, the others gently placed their hands on our backs.
Afterwards, one woman said she felt “comforted by the supporting hands on her back.” Funny – what I’d been thinking was, “get your sweaty hands off me.”
Guess maybe I deserve the name, Pam. My spirit is not beautiful and flowing, like Alaya’s. But maybe that’s o.k. We all have our strengths. Mine don’t include pretending to be a house.