Monday, October 19, 2009

So you think you can dance?

Actually, no. No, I don't think I can dance. I know very well that I cannot.

My natural grace is such that as I attempted some lame activity like folding laundry this evening (yes, I occasionally do that), I stubbed my toe on the leg of the sofa. Two of my toes are throbbing as I write this. I am just thankful that this time my pedicure survived intact.

But I wish I knew how to dance. So badly.

Lately I've discovered Pandora, and the world of music has opened up for me. I love music that just demands me to get up and move. I sometimes obey, and find myself twirling like mad all around my kitchen. Keep away from the living room though, too many toe-stubbing opportunities there. But as I try to move artistically, my soul longs for a little order and direction. To know that I'm following a step. So after a few moments of twirling, I shrug, and go back to my other activities.

My kids don't have this problem, of course. If they feel like dancing, they just start spinning. And giggling. And loving it. I am jealous. Somewhere along the way, I learned how to handle myself with decorum; childish freedom got buried under layers of rules. Rules like, never vacuum the floor while barefoot; you will find a way to run over your baby toe--again.

Perhaps that explains why I find cooking so comforting. As a new wife a dozen years ago, I picked up a cookbook and began to follow a recipe. And I liked the result, so I did it again. And again. And I have never stubbed my toe while cooking, not even once.

My first cookbook

As I gained confidence in my results from following the rules, I began to experiment. These days I consider a recipe more of a guideline than a rigid set of rules. But without those rules, I wouldn't know even where to begin.

The funny thing is, I have never actually taken a cooking class other than home economics in grades 7-9. I did learn some good basics from that, but most of what I know has come from devouring cookbooks and consulting the Captain's mother.

Until now.

Next week I get to expand my horizons, and take a cooking class. I am going to learn about the tastes of India! This self-taught midwestern girl is excited to learn a few more flavor rules, to draw my boundary and experimentation lines a little more broadly.

I can't wait to meet Chef Diane!

Why not a dancing class? I have actually tried. The movements just don't make sense to me, and I end up standing around feeling a little stupid. So I have resigned myself to pursuing hobbies I do understand, like the interactions between different ingredients in a recipe.

But sometimes, my feet get a little itch, my heart feels momentarily light, and I think to myself, if I only knew what to do next! Perhaps then I could avoid the accidental kicking of the sofa. Maybe someday I will be able to translate my comprehension of food science into an understanding of the art of free movement.

A girl can always dream.

1 comment:

  1. Dance, girl, dance!!! Thanks for finding me and writing on my blog and your thoughts were just so sweet. I appreciate your prayers. Many blessings to you and your family too :)


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