Inspiration Prompt: “For A Dancer”

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

The line from the song is from Jackson Browne’s “For A Dancer”:

Just do the steps that you’ve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another’s steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone

For me this song will always bring thoughts of my grandmother. When I first started taking bellydance lessons and, later, dancing in public, my mother was horrified. It seemed so graceless and tawdry to her… but grandma sat straight up in her big La-Z-boy reclining throne, like a bright-eyed bird, and snapped at mom: “I always wanted to be a dancer! I think it’s great. Let Chris do it if she wants.” Everyone just looked at her with their mouths open, and that was the end of that.

So as Grandma (whom we called Moo) became more and more chairbound, I would go and get into full costume and dance for her at her house, and usually bring some sparkly tiara or shawl for her to wear too. She would clap and “dance” in her chair with me, and it was… words fail me. It was just wonderful.

So when I first heard “For A Dancer”, on a local independent radio station, it immediately made me think of Moo – this was before she passed – and that hit me so hard that I had to pull my car off the road at 11:00pm and cry, because I loved her colorful, tenacious spirit so much, and she was failing.

ImageI learned many things from my grandmother. She taught me how to be fabulous. When I was a little kid,  maybe 6 or 7, she let me wear lipstick (probably just a snidge) and drink highballs (I didn’t learn until much later that I was getting “drunk” off of grape juice and 7-up)… some of my earliest memories are of getting ready to go into stores with Moo when I was very young. She’d put on her own lipstick, then dot some on me and say: “You never know when you’re going to meet HIM.” Then we’d sashay into the store, ready to slay the men of the world with our beauty. Left hand on hip, right hand swinging as we walked. Man, do I miss her.

Here’s to Moo… I don’t have any 7-Up, but I’ve got some grape juice and club soda and I think we can call that a highball tonight in her honor. I’d better go put on some lipstick… you never know when you’re going to meet HIM. :}


12 thoughts on “Inspiration Prompt: “For A Dancer”

  1. You had great luck to have such a strong and modern grandmother. This is a gift that should not be underestimated.
    This reminds me a bit of my grandmother. She was born in 1905 and had seen so difficult times I can never imagine what she had to go through to be able to provide for her family all her life long.
    Unfortunately she died when I was child of only 10. I never really had the chance to learn directly from her how it is to be that strong and disciplined and outspoken when there was need to be.
    Only very much later I discovered she was not that unique. Lots of the women of her generation were tough cookies. They had values and ethic standards that today are not longer common. They were reliable, hard working and they required and they deserved respect. And they stood for their opinions without letting others run them over.
    They would make veritable role models in a lot of aspects for us modern women as well.

    • Well said. 🙂 I was lucky to have her with me until well into my adult life, and to be able to spend quality time with her! I’m so sorry your grandma passed when you were young, but I’m glad you got to meet her. There are so many women of that and the following generation who just had to “make do and make it through” incredibly difficult circumstances. They are certainly an inspiration to me. But then, so are we! xoxoxo

  2. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 81: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

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