I’ve just re-read Bone Dance by Emma Bull. This is an old favorite of mine, because of the lovely writing and the really cool characters — people I’d love to meet (well, except the creepy ones) — and the very compelling Sparrow whose voice leads us through it all. And I love it because it’s a novel of identity and hope and connection. I am sure, re-reading it this week, that it influenced Solitaire.
There is a whole class of answers to life’s big questions that, when examined closely, proves to be nothing but another set of questions. I now know my origins, body and soul. That’s like knowing that magnetic tape is iron oxide particles bonded to plastic film. Wonderful — now, what’s it for? What does it do?
It does, I suppose, what it has to do. It does what it loves to do, or what needs doing. It helps others do the same. So I do that. And sometimes (….) I can feel it, very close: the power and clarity and brilliance, the strength and lightness, that I had once in a dream, a dream of dancing, a hoodoo dream.
–from Bone Dance by Emma Bull
I love this idea that the goal is to do what we love to, and to do what needs doing. I understand both of those. I think one without the other is a path to superficiality and isolation and numbness — the death of the “best self” through complete disregard for others or through the bitterness that comes from regarding others always to the cost of oneself.
Power and clarity and brilliance, strength and lightness. When I imagine my best self, these are things I hope to be.
So thanks again, Emma. Dreams of dancing, dreams of flying, dreams of self discovered and finally embraced — those are good dreams, awake or asleep.