SOL#31 Last Dance

Remember Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”? Signature disco hit of the ’80s? It starts off slow with a hint of melancholy, then builds to a stirring crescendo of fever pitch “dance now, die later” emotion. Now as I describe it, I realize how much I love this song and all the memories it activates.

It’s March 31st and we’ve reached the end of this daily writing challenge. How will we go out? Dancing and singing? Strolling and contemplative? How do we see ourselves now? What changed?

I am currently out of my comfort zone. Today I’m on a mountain, high up where skiers’ paths cross and one lift leads to another. Let’s be clear: I do not ski. I have tried a few times but it never became my jam. My husband and both sons ski, though. So taking the big lift all the way up with my husband and our 11 y-o, I finally admitted to being scared.

One piece involves just riding on the 4 seated lift, high above snow covered slopes. A second aspect is more complicated and difficult to convey. It has to do with belonging and purpose. I’m up here but without skis or the ability to ski. Do I belong here? Where may I tread without endangering myself or others? This of course leads to all manner of inadequacies that surface just from feeling out of place.

At the same time I notice that it means a lot to my husband for me to see what he sees, to take in the magnificence of these Alpine panoramas I will never view from the valley. It means a lot to him that I see him with our son, conquering the slopes with remarkable grace and speed (although I will probably not see them actually, I have a picture in my mind’s eye.).

So being here is both humbling and enlightening and in this way, a fitting close to this year’s Slice of Life challenge. I leave this month’s work both humbled and enlightened, grateful for the many lessons and generous connections. Thanks to so many of you who have made this trip incredibly rewarding and instructive.

15 thoughts on “SOL#31 Last Dance

  1. What a perfect comparison between physically and mentally challenging yourself and being out of your comfort zone. We taught our three daughters to ski when they were little and they are skilled skiers as adults. I go along to be part of the experience (and remain out of my comfort zone since I started skiing as an adult) so I totally get why your husband wanted you to experience the mountain. You may not be flying down the mountain on skis but you’re still brave in my book!

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  2. I loved your title and it drew me to open your post. Yes, it’s important to see, really see, what others see. “Humbling and enlightening” is how I feel reading these posts every day. Thank you for yours. Glad you took the lift up to the top of the mountain.

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  3. No I don’t remember “Last Dance” but I have heard of it. ;-P I love picturing you on top of an Alpine mountain – what a lucky place to be for your last slice! It’s very heartwarming that you went up there to see the place your husband loves so much. Thank you so much for suggesting I get involved in SoL. I had a wonderful time and it has been extremely inspiring. 🙂

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  4. I love that phrase “humbled and enlightened.” I will carry that forward. I also appreciate being reminded of “Last Dance”_ it calls to mind all the Sweet 16s and school dances where that song played after a long night of fun! I love the idea of dancing off into the sunset today.

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  5. There is love and bravery in being on the mountaintop with your family, because of them, for them, even when you are scared and rather be somewhere else. I am glad we made the connection though writing and finding out we are both Aspire alumni.

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  6. Humbled and enlightened indeed. What an apt metaphor you have found for this writing journey. I hope you are enjoying the magnificent views even as you wonder if you belong. (Also, for the record: I cannot bring myself to enjoy downhill skiing, either. Sigh.)

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  7. I read yesterday’s post and feel that you finding yourself up on this mountain is symbolic of so many things! I actually think you might craft a longer piece about it- about identity, travel, striving, how strangers see us, how family sees us, what we need to do to see ourselves in a favorable light.
    And I love the realization that it is important for your husband, that you see what he is seeing, and that you see him and your son in conquering this marvelous place.
    Thank you for the pleasure your writing has brought me this month!

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  8. It has been such a pleasure “meeting” you this month through your slices. New places are exciting and scary for me too. The mountain is my comfort zone, but I think it’s so important to put myself in places where I’m not so comfortable. Traveling does that for me. Meeting new people. Writing. Reading. I hope that you’ll continue “slicing” on Tuesdays. I’ve learned so much from you.

    I have been thinking about one of your posts from earlier this month pretty much daily. The one where you challenged each of us to try to write something about race during the month of March. I loved that post. I’ve been slicing in the form of comics, and I’ve tried and tried to meet the challenge via a comic – I’ve got drafts of things, and I’ve been reading, reading, reading mentor texts from authors who do great work addressing racism via comics – but I haven’t published any posts yet. I don’t feel ready – and it’s partly because I’m not sure where I fit in, in conversations about racism. I’m learning and doing a lot of listening. Even though I don’t have a product, yet, to show for it, I am so glad that you pushed us all to work toward it. I’ve learned so much.

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    1. Thank you, Beth, for being a great thinking partner. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to ask yourself some really tough questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed your comics this month and have been inspired by your follow-through. I hope to stick around for Tuesday SOL. If and when you have something you’d like to share or to just chat, you know where to find me. I look forward to staying connected.

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  9. Such a great metaphor! Thank you for sharing your vulnerability, not just today but throughout this month and before! And…I am working on getting my thoughts together to write about racism. It is hard. It is scary. It is uncomfortable. But necessary! Know that I am continuously learning and reading and discussing…

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  10. So glad to have “met” you, Sherri during this month of writing. You have challenged, lifted, and encouraged my thinking with your insightful posts and kind comments. I haven’t forgotten your challenge to write about racism. I didn’t want to be limited by a month timeline for such an important topic and it continues to sit with me. That is the power of words to ignite a fire, and I am grateful for yours. Thank you.

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    1. Same here, Paula. I’ve enjoyed applying your quick write strategies into my slicing this month. Thank you for wrestling with the topic of racism on your own timeline. What matters is that the wrestling happens not that you produce a thing to show. Please reach out if you’re looking for resources, ideas or just want to chat. I’m on Twitter quite a bit: @edifiedlistener. Be well.

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