Goodbye Bash.

To paraphrase Spider Robinson, “Think of the best party you’ve ever been to. Now double the fun you had. You would leave that party to come to this one.”

That was the party I was at last night. There were musicians jamming all kinds of music and people dancing to it. There was a fire going out back and people from all walks of life talking to each other. Inside were two tables groaning with food, and my new crush, Rob the Master of Alcohol. I spent my time moving from place to place, because every place was the best. I danced my heart out to some really good blues and some very skilled tabla playing. I discussed eco-density with a hairy young man who calls condos ‘monkeyhives’. I ate some very good spinach dip. Some time around 1am, I helped teach Kim’s son to make bannock over the fire.

I don’t think I’ll be at a party that good for a long time to come. It was so good I stayed until I had to come home on the night bus, and the party was still raging.

Last Dance.

I could see there were more cars than usual parked outside Sanctuary. In the windows, I saw tealights gleaming. Inside, women stood in hushed groups, under dimmed lights, stretching and trying small shimmies, throwing off the stiffness of the day. I saw faces from the past, women I danced with over a decade ago. Almost everyone was more resplendent than usual: Brighter colours, more veils, louder coin belts. Party clothes for the last dance.

As we warmed up, I felt the differences. Emotions were close to the surface and even though Kim really held it together, joking as usual, there was an edge to her of raw grief. No wonder. She is the High Priestess there.

We had a kind of physical prayer for the space, moving as the music dictated us, connecting to the past through that wonderful old wooden floor. Although there was a part of the class that was reserved for that, the whole class seemed to me to be a prayer. Can you remember the last time you laughed and cried at the same time? I did.

Normally, there’s ‘The Eight O’Clock Dance’, where some of the students bring in a song they love dancing to and we all dance to it. It’s not always Middle Eastern, either. This last Thursday, there were so many CD’s that the Eight O’Clock lasted a good 40 minutes. The music was exactly right: Songs to celebrate. We finished every song with a big cheer, but we were tired by the end, because we were giving every song our everything.

Kim chose the last-last song, and I had wondered what it was going to be. I shouldn’t have wondered. Kim loves “Walking on Broken Glass” beyond reason. We were so tired, so sweaty and wrung out that by that time, a lot of us had stopped belly dancing and were just dancing dancing. Some had their inner rockers coming out. Others swayed as though they were ballroom queens. I saw some two-stepping. We were all beautiful.

It was perfect.

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