Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Go ye now in peace and know that the love of God will guide you"

The week after Thanksgiving is one that means a lot to me. For several years it was the week spent rehearsing in the Marriott Center for the folk dance Christmas Around the World concert. I still find myself counting the days of the week by what is going on at rehearsals that day. Monday is decorating and setting it up, Tuesday is more set up and a run-through in the RB, Wednesday is the ever-disastrous tech rehearsal, and Thursday is dress rehearsal. That just leaves the elementary school show Friday morning and the three shows over the weekend.
I'm going to the concert this year. I haven't been in awhile. I'm surprised by how many memories come back. I am caught off guard by how much folk dance was and still impacts my life. For so many years my dreams revolved around the hope of touring the world with the team. It never happened, but I've been blessed in other ways. Lately, however, I've been really missing the chance that I never had. They are going to China this year. I looked at some team pictures online. I used to dance with the girls in the pictures. I dated the boys. Why am I missing when my teammates are there? My AP English teacher was right, life isn't fair. You don't get everything you deserve.

I remember reading a poem in high school that still strikes me. It is A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes.

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

What happened to that dream? And why won't it go away? I'm not unhappy with my life or the road that I'm on. But I can't forget the years and sweat that I put into that dream. I just never know if the dream was never realized because of macro-political decisions by the faculty or if I simply wasn't a good enough dancer. Funny that I still wonder. I think that it is on my mind now because of the upcoming concert, the quiet daily life that I lead that has no music or dance in it, and because I'd like to change that.
I don't know what happens to deferred dreams, but mine don't leave. I am making plans to do arts again. But it is so strange that I would still love to step into any girl on the team's little red boots and perform Hopak at Christmas Around the World just once.


Jeni said...

Rachel, my friend, I am sorry you are in pain. I guess we always appreciate what we don't have, but it must be difficult knowing exactly what you are missing! I thought of that Phil Jackson quote as I read this: "don't let your successes go to your head... and most certainly don't let your failures go to your heart." You keep chasing those dancing dreams, you will succeed. You are a determined girl when it comes to what you want- I know because you have the discipline to be a doctorate student and a regular marathoner!

Rachel Eddington said...

Don't worry Jeni, I got over it. I went to the concert, loved it, and was also simultaneously so grateful for the other opportunities that I have had that could have never been in I had still been in folk dance. Thank you.

evieperkins said...

Wow, we are sisters. I was just looking through your blog and wondering when/if you were going to post again, only to find the exact same poem I used in my last blog. I'm going to miss having you around. You should definitely blog about your life in Yellowstone.