I’m meant to be writing about something that makes me happy. Something, in fact, that “makes (me) ache because it's so beautiful / feel so small in its vastness / implode with wonder.”
It’s Monday night and that is the PERFECT night for writing about this because every Monday night I am completely BUZZED and sitting here on my patchwork quilt just humming with energy. Cause Monday nights I go Swing dancing. This is what Swing looks like:
I can even do some of those moves! At, like, half the speed. Swing developed out of the energetic Charleston footwork that was a huge craze back in those decadent, devil-may-care 1920s. The partnered version kind of developed into Lindy Hop, which is the variety of Swing that I do. It’s names after Charles Lindbergh, who ‘hopped’ across the Atlantic in his plane. Yes that’s a crazy thing to name a dance after. No, I don’t know why.
Anyway, Swing is fantastic. It’s my favourite. It’s a partnered dance (but everyone swaps and shares partners) and the man (the Lead) gives the lead, and the woman (the Follow) follows. It’s a little like Rock’n Roll, a style in which I was once told “The man’s job is to do the thinking and make you look pretty. You are his dolly. Do what he tells you to.” An old-fashioned dance in some ways, but this is complementarian roles at their very best, and it is gosh-darn, helzapoppin’, crazy breathless fun.
So after an evening of getting spun round and round, counterbalanced, swivelling and kicking and scootching and hip-popping, giggling cause it’s just MAD and hilariously awesome, I’m high on endorphins, damp with sweat and half in love with everyone in the room. And then, then I jam down the stairs with waterbottle in hand, burst out into the cold Wellington night and have to put my coat on. Then I spring and hum all the way up the road swigging from my bottle and trying to swivel on the gritty concrete. Up Webb Street and left down Willis and then up, and up and up, past the concrete once-avant-garde council flats and the stately Philosophy centre, the shops, the terraced houses, the sweeping curve of Raroa Road with its triangular park and gnarly trees and war memorial, with big band tunes and smooth swinging jazz filling my head and the Southern Cross turning slowly over Brooklyn Hill.
“Victory to the Working Classes” is spray-painted on the road. It makes me giggle every time I see it, and since I’m more and more bourgeoisie every day, that’s really not what the anonymous sloganeer had in mind and the irony just gets to me and makes me laugh harder, nearly loud enough to hear over Sinatra-in-my-head.
It takes me half an hour and that half an hour is my time, to crackle and pop with endorphins, and sing, and enjoy the peace of the night and stars, sometimes even pray. I climb the set of seven zig-zags that takes me to my door.
And the sky is darkened as I ascend the stair.
There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven,
And a god among the stars; and I will go
Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak
And humming a tune I know....
Night makes me happy. Stars and dancing make me happy. God makes me happy. And I stand on swiftly tilting planet, and don’t ache, implode or feel small. I bubble over with happiness and surprise my flatmates. It’s probably obnoxious. But Monday is the best night in the week.
- Current Location:bed