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Unexpected Gifts in the Storm

The winds in Scotland have been fairly dramatic in the past couple of weeks to say the least.

After a beautiful April with blue skies and warmth to justify vest tops, skirts and sandals (even to my Philly gal sensibility) we are thrown back into winds that could inspire even the Wicked Witch of the West to hunker down for a wee while. And we bemoan its changes, ‘oooooooo the weeeeathhheeer..’ we say, as if it’s normally predictable.

One thing I’ve learned about Scottish weather forecasters after 11 years; they’re all comedians. No one ever regularly can ‘predict’ the weather in Scotland, except that we’ll have it- and usually quite a good selection.

Watching a talk by Malcolm McLaren yesterday and I am reminded of this. He speaks on how we need to cultivate a culture where failure is expected, or as he puts it,

‘it is better to be a flamboyant failure then a benign success’.

To try and be unaffected by the weather, to only ever make plans when the sun is shining is severely limiting and often not possible. It is how we weather the storms when we develop our characters and discover the unexpected and the unexpected can be the biggest gift of them all.

On Saturday I was commissioned to dance at the Southside Festival here in Glasgow. Originally it was proposed that I would lead dance workshops in the ‘I Love Dance Tent’ but when windy conditions blew down the market stalls forcing sellers into the activity tents and I was asked ‘If I could dance outside’ – of course I said YES YES YES.

So whilst the winds gusted dramatically across the multi-coloured skies and market sellers in their dark anoraks hustled back and forth the ‘boulevard’ to stow their wares safely, I danced. I rode the wind in my Isadora Duncan inspired red and pink costume, conversing in the moment in movement. A space that previous was thought of as ‘dead’ was brought to life and I was told the dance was ‘epic’.

But it’s not only about dancing, it’s about being able to be in our moment and live in an AUTHENTIC way, to author our lives based upon what we feel, and to support and celebrate others who do the same.

Recent laws in America make ‘silent dancing’ illegal. It seems insane to me, that in my home country that prides itself on individualism and freedom of expression that such a thing is possible.

One of the extraordinary things to come out of this however is the outcry from left, right, and centre as to the lunacy of this ruling. Yet again dance unites. And mayhaps this ‘blip’ of legal insanity will create unity where there is division. Only time will tell.

For now, I continue to ride the winds, embrace the rain, and catch the rays of the sun when I can…

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