Over the years, when I find a particularly well written bit in a book I’m reading I’ve taken to scribbling it down in my notebook. I’ve been leafing through these old scribbles recently and think it's nice to occasionally share my favourite discoveries here.
The following passage comes from a book from the 1930s (that I think may have been my great grandpa's) called ‘An Outline for Boys and Girls and their Parents’.
This old book attempts to, well... do exactly what it says on the cover. It gives an outline of the world for its newer inhabitants as well as offers a refresher for the rest of us. I found it very interesting to note that, even though life is surely very different now, much more information and ideas than you might think are still relevant today.
Those of you with extremely good memories will remember I already wrote about this book before when it explained the trouble with 'perfect circles’. But what can I say, it's a good book - and I found some more words that I like.
This time they are on the subject of dancing and will hopefully inspire you to stop being so embarrassed about looking silly and to enjoy being more exuberant and expressive in your day to day movements.
After all, we only live once and, I don’t know about you, but I personally wish more people would come pirouetting into a room…
Time is dancing
"Dancing, then, is the art of expressive movement, and, as the earth is our dwelling-place, the art of expressive movement on the ground.
Every day we walk to get somewhere, to fetch and carry, but we seldom take any interest in the steps themselves. Grown-up people generally take as few as possible in order to get from one place to another, while children leap about and twist and curl, and cover twice the distance necessary.
A grown-up person who, for sheer joy in a letter he had received, or because the sun was shining or the birds singing, ran three times round the pillar box when he went to post the answer, or pranced shouting down the road, would certainly be thought mad ; even children who bark or chase their tails like dogs, or jump for joy, or drag their feet in a slow rhythm to express reluctance, are not always encouraged.
If you stamp your feet when angry, or fling your arms out in despair, or roll on the ground with rage, you are almost certain to be scolded. If, instead of walking soberly, you come pirouetting into the room, or strut like a peacock or imitate a bear, or pretend to gather flowers from the carpet or fruit from the chandelier, it is not certain that anyone will applaud you!
Yet all these exuberant movements are the expression of some energy pushing up like the first small leaves of a plant out of the earth: life, which we still cannot define though we know so much about it."