The Dance

For over a week, the hearing in my right ear has been muffled, because, due to an error, there is Vaseline jammed in my ear canal. It was my error and that’s all you need to know.

Last night, soon after I fell asleep, the phone rang. As is my habit, I lifted the receiver and held it against my right ear. Someone was playing the recorder very loudly, I recognized the tune as Lord of the Dance.

“That’s too loud. That is too loud,” I shouted into the phone.

The music continued at the same volume.

Oh, it’s Trish. 

I had forgotten that she had a white plastic recorder. Trish is my older sister, and as a schoolgirl, she studied the flute for a year or two, but each summer she had to return that instrument to the school. She must have received the recorder as a present or bought it with her babysitting money.

Last night, Trish wanted to make sure I couldn’t turn a deaf ear, as they say. She wanted to let me know I was being a Crabby Appleton with my ‘Tis piece and my comments on December. When we were kids, we watched Tom Terrific cartoons and Crabby was one of the characters. His signature song included:

“I can’t stand fun for anyone.

I think good deeds are sappy.

I laugh with glee, it pleases me, when everyone’s unhappy!”

Kudos to the writer of that ditty.

I had been thinking of my sister. I keep a picture of her on the fridge. She’s smiling, knee deep in the Gulf of Mexico – the beach is convenient to her apartment. She’s holding a boogie board over her head, has a big smile. When the camera clicked, it caught Trish in a moment before she turned to catch a ride on a wave.

Trish died eleven years ago but I talk to her whenever I want.

So it was a dream. I guess.

This morning I thought of Tina, someone I loved when I briefly lived in London. She also passed away too young – seven years ago. I couldn’t attend the memorial service in Cornwall, so a mutual friend, Sue, sent me a program as a memento. The program included the words to Lord of the Dance, as everyone was to sing along. Sue told me that when the time came, everyone belted it out.  Tina loved to dance, I love to dance, we danced together for a while.

I consulted with Sue as I wanted to store the program, she called it a pamphlet, in the pages of Winterson’s book The Passion. I loved Tina, I love the book. Sue said she was sure that Tina would approve.

The Lord of the Dance refers to The Passion, the one in the Bible. Does the book refer to that The Passion? Not that I recall so I’ll have to reread it. But Winterson must know all about The Passion from her evangelical upbringing. Maybe she even gave a sermon on it. She could have just named the book Passion, so I think the title has a deeper meaning.

Funny thing is, I wrote a piece two years ago and made reference to that book. Nothing to do with that other Passion, just with my own. Last week, an on-line journal out of Dublin (and everywhere) accepted it for publication.

If last night was all my subconscious, that is awesome, and if it was something else, that is even more awesome. I have a subconscious, I have my own reality, but where am I?

In The Dance.

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