For the beautiful Ange, now dancing across the sky in your twirly skirt, big smile and magnificent heart.
Within one minute of taking the photo of this badge in the car I’d lost it. It was tiny and perfect, retro rather than vintage, all the same perfect. And I lost it.
A perfectly crafted metaphor? Perhaps yes?
I had wandered the final shop in the street after a long breakfast, talks with passing puppies, smiling broadly though masked. Mick and puppy Betty headed to the car, slowly checking each blade of grass.
Before Clunes we’d been to the Talbot Market. Chocolates, plants and a lovely pre-loved silk jacket. More talks with very old puppies who sat heavily on the toes of their very old human valets.
A perfect day amongst full length people with stories and wild walking ways. You’ve been to markets. They are refreshingly the same, regardless.
I took the photo of the badge I’d bought, while in the car as we bumped along country roads. I watched as the beautiful blur of trees marked the horizon and roads edge. You must soften your gaze to see both and each, in contradiction.
I shared the photo to the girlfriends who join me every day for a dance. Dancing has kept me going through some incredibly brutal times, moments when I could hear the cracks forming in my heart.
Dancing every day was a consistent marker, at 6pm for 40 minutes, for three years now. The beginnings of the pandemic. This was the time I reached out hoping someone would dance with me, and my girls did. Every day.
I didn’t fully realise I’d lost my Dancing Queen badge until the next day, though a knocking could be heard somewhere. I would have shown my dancing queens that night. But we didn’t dance that night. One queen was going to the movies and the other queen didn’t feel well.
Obviously I am a queen too! I could have danced on my own, like that scene of Diana from the Crown. But I couldn’t feel the glory of the chandeliers. So I didn’t. What does it say when we choose not to hold our own hand and dance? Dog tired!
Tired because the day before the day before had been an emotional and physical wrench as we removed every item from our kitchen. Preparing for the renovation had taken twenty years of putting up with it, one year in the planning and a day to complete the damage. The kitchen had already been put up with for many a year before we bought the place.
We’ll do it one day we said. But not now. We had a new home after completely renovating the old one we had just moved out of. We had kids to raise, business to sort, stories to create, dreams to catch and life to be lived. We’ll get to it. Eventually.
There is not a time, ever, that dancing does not make me feel good. Only not doing it.
The last few weeks of dancing every day as a trio were haphazard. Sometimes duo, occasionally solo, other times not at all. Things were changing, had changed. There were other friends to see, partners and pets to pander, flowers to make, family to attend, pandemic to avoid and walks to be had.
Was I losing my Queendom? It’s strange to think of 6pm without my queens.
And I realise that 6pm was my mothers favourite time to talk on the phone with me. Or was it my favourite time to talk to her? I miss her most days, mostly at 6pm when there is no dancing. She loved to danced, and talk, at 6pm. The day ending, transition to evening begun but not quite set, possibilities remain. Like dancing.
With life askew for so many reasons, and no kitchen to sit and ponder in, I turned my attentions to finding that badge. I twisted the bin upside down and boogied through it. I must find my badge of honour and dance.
It wasn’t in the bin, or the car, or my studio. It wasn’t in the laundry where the kettle is now set up to quieten our unquenchable thirst for tea. It wasn’t in my pockets of the day before, not in my big bag nor my little bag. Not on the buffet or the dresser or the bedside table. Betty hadn’t swallowed it, she was still breathing easy. And she loves to dance too. Dance play jump type of dancing.
On the verge of giving up, and with no more places to look, it appeared. It was on the carpet by the bed. Sparkling like a disco, ready to rock. Right in front of me.
I sat it on the coaster by my bed, the one that reminds me to make a cup of ginga tea before the dance, or after, does me good.
I’m ready to hit the dance floor, again, as always, every day.