Isabel Allende on Dancing

A friend of mine recently shared this with me on Facebook, and I find it so poignant and delicious I had to offer it to you as well.

Isabel Allende’s description of the sheer letting go and reconnection/alignment that happens when we dance with abandon is just breathtaking.

“Mi primer recuerdo de felicidad, cuando era una mocosa huesuda y desgreñada, es moverme al son de los tambores y ésa es también mi más reciente felicidad, porque anoche estuve en la plaza del Congo bailando y bailando, sin pensamientos en la cabeza, y hoy mi cuerpo está caliente y cansado. La musica es un viento que lleva los años, los recuerdos y el temor, ese animal agazapado adentro. Con los tambores desaparece la Zarité de todos los días y vuelvo a ser la niña que danzaba cuando apenas sabia caminar. Golpeo el suelo con las plantas de los pies y la vida me sube por las piernas, me recorre el esqueleto, se apodera de mí, me quita la desazon y me endulza la memoria. El mundo se estremece. El ritmo nace en la isla bajo el mar, sacude la tierra, me atraviesa como un reláampago y se va al cielo llevándose mis pesares. Baila, baila Zarité, porque esclavo que baila es libre – mientras baila.”

La Isla Bajo El Mar Isabel Allende

My translation:

“My first memory of happiness, from when I was a snotty, bony, dirty little girl, was moving to the sound of the drums and that’s also my most recent joy, because last night I was in the Congo square dancing and dancing, without thoughts in my mind, and today my body is hot and tired. The music is a wind that takes away the years, the memories and the fear, that crouching animal within. With the drums, the Zarite of every day disappears and I go back to being that girl that danced when she barely knew how to walk. I beat the ground with the soles of my feet and life rises up my legs, runs through my skeleton, takes over me, takes away my melancholy and sweetens my memory. The world shivers. The rhythm is born on the island under the sea, shakes the earth, goes through me like lightning and goes up to the sky taking with it my heaviness. Dance, dance Sarite, because the slave that dances is free – while he dances.”

The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende 13

What’s your reaction when you read this? Do these words reflect your experience of wild dancing?

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