Susan's Blog

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reason Is Something You Feel In Your Belly

The reasons — the reasons that we’re here… –Earth, Wind, and Fire

When people would say to me, “Things happen for a reason,” I used to nod politely but I would feel annoyed. What’s the reason? Who decided that I needed this thing to happen?

I’d think that, and then deep down, another part of me would knock knock on the hard walls of my brain and say, “You know you believe it.”

So let’s say things happen for a reason. Maybe I like to think it because it comforts me. It makes my life have a kind of meaning. Funny to call it “reason,” because it really has nothing to do with reason. Things happen kind of organically, taking an unpredictable path. Things happen by feel, really. But then you realize that they are connected! We make sense intellectually about something we feel intuitively.

Nat, Max, Ben. Why were they born to me? Totally random, eh? Yes, but — ? Why was I born to them? I feel like they form a complete Boy Unit, for me. They are each so different, that I get a different and satisfying experience with each one. But that is so egotistical, to believe that they were assigned to me to teach them, to make me happy. Because the thing is, I learned from them. I learned how to be a mother, how to think for others, protect them, put myself aside (at times) for their sake. They told me when I had to do that, and I had to listen.

Things are never what you think they’ll be. I was wondering what exactly led me to the Baby Bellies, to come up with the idea that I could teach? And teach bellydance, yet! To little girls. Chutzpah! Hubris! But somehow, it worked out. And yesterday, I tasted the fruit of my labor: they had a stellar performance.

This was a different recital from our usual. It was not a group number. Each one choreographed a bit of the song “Habibi Ya Einy,” sung by Nourhanne. They stopped at a certain, undefined point, but I could tell when each one was done. It was, of course, symbiotic. We just felt it.

I would announce each act, with the curtains drawn, and then the curtains would open as the music swelled, and either the girl would come dancing in, or she’d already be there, center stage, when the curtains parted. There were about fifty people in the audience: all the parents, some grandparents, some curious girls, and a classroom of Extended Day kids. [In this picture, they are taking their bows, all together on the stage.]

There were five acts in all: Hannah en pointe; Elize spinning; Eva and Kaisa as the Ocean Goddesses [the name changed yet again!]; and Julia and Sophie doing their original dance step where they begin as two bumps under a set of veils. Also, Kaisa decided to improvise at the end! I could not believe it. They are all so talented, and I’m not just saying that. They really learned! I really can teach!

My point, however, is that depression led me to look for a way out; this led me to bellydance; bellydance led to a whole new way of thinking for me, a new way of looking at my body, movement, music, creativity, and being one with — something.

This led me to teach, so that others could feel the way I do. I ended up learning from them, to feel the way they do. I learned all about playing, about just giving yourself over to whatever comes into your head at the moment. Dress up the stuffed dogs in hip scarves. Wrap yourselves in veils and become a bride. Change the name of “the camel” undulation to “the Figs” because your stomach looks like Figs the dog’s curved stomach. Laugh when your teacher does a shimmy, because her butt shakes! It’s all in the day in a life of the second grade girl.

I moved to a new level of being one with–, from them. Playing is exactly how you do that. You forget YourSelf and you just plunge into It. I sound corny, saying, “Children teach us as much as we teach them.” Well, I’m not saying that. I’m saying they teach us much more.


Amen. My kid has already taught me more than I ever expected. Things do happen for a reason. People come in and out of our lives for a reason…or a season or a lifetime.

— added by Liz on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I can't comprehend, but deep down believe, that I was given my asd son for a reason, and vice-versa, too. I once heard a priest say that there are God-made coincidences. While this feels bigger than a coincidence, I've come to truly believe this, too.

When my son was baptised as an infant, we were given a banner that said "first name, middle name, you are a gift of God" that we hung in his bedroom. It was the first thing I'd see every morning before waking him up in those tough years before his diagnosis, when his behavior was inexplicable, and even more importantly, in those tougher days right after his diagnosis. I needed the reminder that this child was a gift. Having that reminder, daily, proved to me that the banner was there for a reason, and he was given to me/us for a reason.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, June 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm

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