Grace. I think about it a lot. As a dancer, of course, but also as a human being.
Grace is a funny and amazing thing. People talk about it a lot, yet often have trouble defining grace. Grace is often the very definition of ineffableness, of the inexpressible.
Still, if we are tuned in, we nearly always know when we are in its presence.
So, as I join in a Jazzercise class this morning, I decide to view my fellow movers for illumination about grace. What they remind me of is that grace takes countless, perhaps infinite, forms: some that we might expect and some wholly surprising.
To me, the several dancers who are the moms of young children in the babysitting room are moving today as red. Dancing highly vigorously, at times even aggressively. Reflecting their passion? Their desire to release pent up emotions (and, ok, maybe burn calories)? Regardless, they are young and fit, and the vibrancy of their movement displays the nimbleness and agility we associate with physical grace.
Then there are a number of folks dancing blue. These dancers are assiduously following all of the moves and the “rules” of the instructor. And, yes, there is a grace in that sense of order, uniformity.
The instructor appears green to me: lithe, fluid, kinesthetically articulate, humorous, confident, happy. Her finesse and elegance are what most folks would probably agree constitutes grace.
The woman next to me dances purple. She doesn’t move super vigorously: She is grounded, steady and smooth. When she gets too tired she grooves a little in smaller, but cool movement. Yep: graceful.
Then there is the orange dancer. I have seen her before. She is older and muscular. She always stands in front in the corner. Her being exudes joy in being in class. She sings the lyrics to the songs and dances in rhythm and, like the purple dancer, adapts movement if she fatigues. She keeps moving ’cause she loves it. Another embodiment of grace.
Who isn’t here today is the main instructor, the inspiration for my rainbow theory. She is golden. She is a good dancer, sure, but more than that, she is joyful and funny and adaptable. Her enthusiasm and verve radiate in her movement and light up the room. To my eye, or soul, she most clearly exhibits grace. Inside the dance studio and beyond.
For the rainbow of grace that dance displays is mirrored in the rainbow of grace that the universe offers. Everything from the numerous, luminous displays of kindness of that main dance instructor to the scarlet grace inspired by people’s passions to the quieter, elegant one provided by the gentle doe with her fawn out on the marsh just now.
Everywhere we look and listen, the rainbow offers itself to us to drink in. And to feed. A vast array of grace, a veritable rainbow.
Photo credit: Joel Callaway