The Dance Of Life
By Benjamin Major
One day two lovers were taking
A walk alongside the riverbank.
When, past the next bend in the river,
Beside a tree, they saw an
Odd looking man sat cross-legged
On the ground, all alone and laughing.
His eyes screwed up with laughter.
His thin frame shaking with the delight.
Ignoring their initial impulse to
Keep away from this strange little man,
The couple walked on by him.
He barely acknowledged their presence,
But kept on laughing by himself,
Swaying like corn in the sun.
“Morning there,” announced the walkers,
“What’s so funny?”
The odd man glanced up at them,
Eyes streaming, mouth as wide
As the very river itself.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” He replied, in-between chuckles,
“I was just looking. Really looking,
I have looked for so long I can hardly help but laugh.
“I have been looking at the river for days.
Look how it brings water from the
Mountains and brings it here
So I can put my feet in it.”
He laughed again, his whole body vibrating.
He picked up a leaf that was travelling
Downstream, and held it before the walkers.
“Look,” he exclaimed with bursting joy,
“Look at the veins on the leaf.
They channel energy to all parts
Of the leaf so that it can get on with
The business of carrying out the world’s
Single most important chemical reaction.”
He dropped the leaf back into
The flowing stream, waving to it.
“Goodbye little leaf.”
Everywhere, things are moving
From their centres, seeping out, spreading,
Dancing and whirling around.
It’s like the universe is waltzing.
Yet there is an opposite force
That yearns for structure and consistency,
Aims to stop the seepage and the
Spreading, desires order and choreography.
This inwards and outwards tension
Between order and chaos,
This cosmic tango,
Is the source of
The strange crossed-legged man
Erupted into another laughing fit,
Beamed up at the walkers,
“The river, the leaf veins, its cells,
All are transmitting energy.
Should I go on, deeper and smaller?
Underneath, the fabric of which
All is woven is no more than
Vibrating strings of energy.
So, when such an intricate dance
Is being played out before my very eyes
How can I help but laugh
The walkers, at this point a little stunned,
Laughed uncertainly, about to respond
When suddenly the remarkable
Little man began shedding tears
No longer of laughter but of
Chronic and cavernous sadness.
His smile turned to a frown.
His eyes spoke of utter despair.
Tears began to pour down his cheeks.
“What now?” asked the walkers.
“Oh, I’m so, so sorry,” wept the man.
“I just remembered that in the five minutes
You have been stood up there listening to me,
Many, many acres of life-filled
Forest have been felled with nothing
But bare earth left in its wake.
I can’t say…
How each tree….
Leave me now I have to mourn.”
A dance between pure joy and deep sadness.
Such is the lightness and weight
Felt by those who see God