She was of a freckled complexion that suited her well in the way she was dressed. Nor did she try to hide the fact that the freckles extended deep down on her breasts. To the contrary, her deep cut dress was not designed to hide anything. She was proud to be herself just the way she was, and stood tall with her red-brown hair tied high, rather than it hanging down loosely. She had a faintly exotic, Hungarian, and down to earth kind of look about her. She became a puzzle in that sense that became constantly more complex and intriguing.
I felt lucky to be in a dance with her that made it quite acceptable from me to 'drink in' that wonderful sight before me, with looks that might otherwise be construed as staring. Dancing allows this deeper inward looking with an unfolding embrace of her, that was constantly broadening. It struck me that this is what the dance might have been intended to evoke, breaking the barriers of the universal apartheid of so-called civility.
It seemed to me in the flow of the dance, that the 'deeper' I looked, the more I found an echo of myself unfolding in her, an echo of our common humanity in which we stand side by side with one-another as human beings, so that I found myself enriched by her expression of it. For a moment I dreaded the thought that the dance would end, after which the normal apartheid would resume that covers so much of the world's social scene.
I wondered, while we danced, whether the universal apartheid, that made no sense at this moment, had been invented in distant ages in order to prevent this kind of echo of ourselves in the flow of 'touching' one-another, and in the deep satisfaction that it stirs within the sense of wonder, which is resulting in the profound realization that we do indeed all stand side by side as human beings. The broader unfolding of this realization would have endangered any imperial structure. It seemed to me that the death penalty had been needed in ancient times to enforce the apartheid in its early stages. It seemed to me that the death penalty was later relaxed when the apartheid had become self-enforcing in countless different ways, just as the Brahmanic genocide became apparently a self-enforcing impetus in distant ages, in India.
The woman who I danced with, told me between songs that her name is Maria-Ilona. She invited me to continue to dance with her for a few more songs. I told her my name with a smile, and assured her that one more dance would be "heaven," and then another, and still another, and that they would cement that heaven in place in my memories. Her smile, in reply, lit up the dim of the dance floor.
It seemed to me that our dancing was happening not on a dance floor, really, but in Helen's lateral lattice of human hearts, all linked to one-another by strands of love, through which we find a reflection of ourselves in one-another, as we share a common universal humanity, and a common universal human Soul, that come to light in us in our unique individuality. It seemed as if the flow of our dancing was carrying us ever deeper into an aimless exploration of ourselves in the flow of the light of these fibers of love of the lateral lattice.
At the end of the sixth dance we returned to the little table to where Sylvia and the Spanish man, who gave his name as Alejo, had just come back to, themselves, equally as exhausted as we were.
"That's the trouble with this place," Alejo commented. "It wears a fellow out." He suggested that we might all find the atmosphere more relaxing at "Aladdin's Palace" down the street, where the music is quiet, and the atmosphere more intimate, and conducive for conversation. We all simply nodded.
Alejo was right, Aladdin's Palace was quiet. What the Temple of Unrequited Love lacked on decor, Aladdin's Palace had in abundance. We entered an oriental world that spoke of a thousand tales of sun drenched deserts, gilded palaces, snake charmers, pirates selling priceless treasures for a song amidst adventures in silk, interwoven with images of flying carpets. The music fitted the atmosphere created by the decoration. It took one out of the present into a magical realm of a distant age, that existed only in the shadows of imaginary tales. The drinks, though, were from the present world. Still, the Grand Marnier seemed exotic enough to apply to both worlds.
"Let me tell you a tale," said Sylvia, "in which the kind of dancing that I had experienced here, would have made a world of a difference."
Maria-Ilona suggested that the place we were in, was perfect for storytelling.
So it was that Sylvia leaned back, and began by saying that her story appeared to have been from an equally distant age, though she had heard the story being told quite recently in a theatre in China. She said that the story had come to mind while she and Alejo were dancing. She said that her tale is about a tragedy that resulted from the lack of a wider vision and has something to do with one being able to see both sides of a coin, before its face value can be determined.
"That's the issue here in our present world," she said, "isn't it?" She added that this is something that very few people are able to do, or do well. She said, the tale has something to do with that, and with the goodness of living and its fragility.
She told us the story. -- The tale is that of a woman who had married a princely man, both by stature and by intelligence, and also by his manly looks and strength. But the man was not a prince. He was a soldier, and as a soldier he was killed in war, like many others, in countless wars. However, the woman who mourned for him, carried their child. In time the child was born and grew up in her arms and became a beautiful boy, wrapped in the tenderness of her care and her love.
As the boy grew older, he displayed evermore of the attributes of his father, so that the woman's love for him became the very reason for her living. She longed for no other love. Her life was fulfilled in the happiness of those years.
Then came the years of famine. The boy was twelve. A great migration began that many people undertook in the hope that they might escape the worst of the famine. She and her son were among them. One day, in the throng of the escape, her son was stolen from her side. Many children were stolen in those days, to become laborers for somebody else.
Grief-stricken to the deepest recesses of her soul, the woman refused to marry again. She had many suitors, since she was attractive as a person and still young, but her heart was too heavy with grief and fear. She feared that she would not survive another lost love. She felt it would be better not to love again, than having to bear the pain of loosing once more all that she had lived for. Instead of marrying, she made it her quest to find her lost boy.
As the years passed, however, her fading hope weakened her heart. She became more and more hateful and trusted no one. She hated especially the people who stole. Unfortunately, as the times were hard, many people resorted to stealing from one-another. Indeed, she herself had suffered hunger on several occasions, when thieves had broken into her home and had stolen her living.
As time went by the villagers set up patrols to protect themselves from the thieves, nor did they deal kindly with whoever got caught. One day, the woman herself encountered a thief. She confronted the man on the spot, right in her own cottage. She screamed at him, but realized there was no one nearby to offer her help. Without wasting a moment, she confronted the man in a rage of up-welling anger, and grasped a knife and thrust it in him without thinking. It all happened in a flash of a whirlwind of uncontrollable emotions. Moments later the man lay on the floor in pain, grasping at his stomach, gasping for air, asking her for forgiveness. As she kneeled down to him she noticed a birthmark under his left ear, that identified him as her son. She saw the birthmark as she lifted his head off the floor to give him a cup of water, which he had requested. The birthmark was uncommon. It was the same as that of her son. She embraced her son while he died. She knew she would have embraced him for his whole life, even as a thief. She would have cried for him, and let her love heal him. Now she could cry no more.
|| - page index -
|| - chapter index -
|| - Exit -