Have you seen the man dancing with that hulking, dangerous chunk of metal? The first time I watched, I asked myself, "Why? Why would anyone choose to do that? Where did he even come up with the idea?"
Then I couldn't get it out of my head. Who would choose a machine for a partner? And yet, he found a way to "make it work". Like Dancing with the Stars, a seasoned pro led an ungainly teammate through and beyond the other's limitations. This ballet dancer gracefully bent around the digging claw and then let it carry him.
I found him to be an odd inspiration, yet so very apt. Don't we writers get the same questions? Haven't you heard the voices of doubt saying, "Why? Why would you choose to do that? Where did you even come up with the idea?"
It doesn't help to explain that we had to get it out of our heads. And though I choose the laptop machine to mine ideas, mine are the typing fingers curved like metal digging claws, even though I am supposed to be the seasoned pro, the ballet dancer.
Which ever partner I am, leader or follower, I still am the one to set ungainly words into my unique dance. But how limiting to use words to express the graceful rhythm of thoughts. How sad to see their steps falter on screen or paper when in my mind they float with perfection, bending to my will and carrying my dreams.
We know words to be dangerous, hulking chunks of mettle, but still we choose them as our partners. Ballet with a Backhoe. The dancer dares and so do we. We do what seems illogical to others and yet we've been given our chance, our time, our call.
When next you think you "can't "or "shouldn't", remember the ballet dancer. Remember too, his valiant and uniquely personal ballet. With, of all wonderful, crazy, creative things, a backhoe. We too are already Dancing with the Stars. We just haven't yet looked past the judges' table to the cheering crowd beyond.
Causes Teryl Cartwright Supports
United Methodist Committee on Relief, American Red Cross, Heifer Project, American Cancer Society, Doctors without Borders