Learning is Not Just About Learning New Things but is About Discovering Something New Within the Things You Already Know
In my memory I am swirling, round and round, across the floor. My legs are tight together and only the points of my toe shoes move; minute motions that propel me from one corner of the studio to the other. My arms are held in, crossed at my chest. My hands still soft and lovely. My head whips round, round, round, with my feet. But different. Not that even one two one two one two. But a holding and a snap. A holding and a snap, as I hold on to that one spot with my eye so that I will not feel dizzy at the end of my spinning. My shoulders hold strong. My back is straight.
I read a writing the other day. It was about learning. Learning and perfecting. Getting it right and thinking that you are done. And it made me think about dancing.
And so here I am spinning across the floor again. Dancing like I danced before. My feet now bare and the dance a freeform of music and movement. But still familiar and set in my bones. I have perfected this. What I am doing here. This movement. This spinning across the floor. I have perfected the technique of it. But not truly. Because there is always more. There is always more to learn. To discover. To be challenged by. There is always the possibility of a sweeter line. A tilt of my head that captures the movement of my shoulders. The grace of my back held straighter and stronger still.
There is the essence of the dance. The art in the movement. The nuance. That subtle feeling that can't be taught but that just comes forth from the artist and fills the space.
That keeps growing. I keep growing.
I am no longer a dancer, but still I am a dancer. And so I understand this. That we never stop growing. That even when we have perfected the movement there is always more. There is always a next step that we can take. There is always something new that we can glean from what we are doing. There is always something else to learn.
I believe we stop growing when we stop learning. And so stop being an active participant on our lives. Learning is not just about learning new things but is about discovering something new within the things we already know. Within the things within ourselves. It would be sad for me to see anyone choose to shut such opportunities down and decide they have learned it all. To me you can never know it all.
I am swirling and spinning. With such joy. My back is straight and strong. My technique is perfected. But still, it is new this time. There is a freedom to this movement on this day. I have reached a new place in my artistry. A new level of understanding of my performance. Of my craft. And of my self.
The layers can be peeled back forever.
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