When my niece was in 6th grade, she asked her teacher about the constant whirring sound she was hearing in the ceiling above her classroom.
He said, with a wink, that it was the hamsters, who lived in the ceiling of her school, running and running and running, in their little hamster wheels, to keep the lights on in the classroom.
She missed the wink.
I missed the wink, and for a few days both of us were mesmerized by the vision of thousands of hamsters, running, to create a vital source of alternative energy for her school.
It was only when I wondered aloud about the intricacies of this innovative and cutting-edge method of keeping the lights on, that my ever intrepid partner Glen, steered me back to reality.
When I am in that delectable state of surrender,
When I am waiting, noticing, and following the dance that is emerging, both from within me and outside of me,
When I hear the sounds of the world around me: a dog barking, someone talking on their phone, a baby crying, the clicking of the computer keys, the birthday party next door, someone making a deal with someone else, across an ocean,
I understand that it is me who is the hamster in the ceiling, running.
I understand that it is the dancers, painters, singers and writers who are the hamsters in the ceiling - running and running and running - making sure that the lights stay on.
Let’s be the hamsters right now, you and I.
You know, and I know about the fear and the greed that is taking hold of The United States at this very moment.
You know, and I know that this fear, this greed, has the potential to strangle and twist our humanity into something unrecognizable.
Let’s be the kind of hamsters that are willing to do the work of keeping the lights on, so that when it is dark, we can use that time to rest and dream, with ease, contentment, and tranquility.
I’ve got my hamster running shoes on, do you?
I’m gonna start my run how I always start my run these days:
By lying down on the floor to give my nervous system a rest, as I wait to be moved by a dance that I cannot understand, and will not know until it begins.
"May we all move freely some day in bodies that are authentic and vulnerable and valued."
— Margaret Harris, one of my first ever dance students, who began dancing with me 13 years ago when I first started teaching, who now lives in Wyoming, and who I miss terribly.
Thank you Margaret.
As I begin my hamster run this morning by lying on the floor, feeling my body against the earth, waiting to be moved, I will let this prayer wash over me, imprint on me, and descend into my bones.
Your Dance Mission for the Week is to put on your hamster running shoes, and wait.
Lie on the floor, notice your breath, and wait until you are moved to dance.
Wait as long as you need to wait.
Don’t hurry it along.
Don’t make it something it is not out of fear or anxiety.
The dance will emerge in it’s own time, and when it does - go.
Share this newsletter far and wide, so that we are not the only hamsters working to keep the lights on.
With Warmth and Jivey Vibes, Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending