Friday, December 19, 2008
Audra is spinning. She is my sixteen month old daughter. My husband, stepkids Thomas and Nora and I are watching her in our family room. We have just eaten pancakes. It is Saturday morning and Audra is spinning. There is music playing. The tune has a driving beat that is thrilling to her because she carries a grin that suggests there is no place she'd rather be. Audra is also falling. After to two three spins she topples over and lands on her bottom. As soon as she can she is back on her feet and the spinning begins, again. An addition to the spin and fall routine occurs when Audra spins, falls, stands and then attempts to walk a few steps. She teeters to one side with her arms outstretched. She tries another step and her body repeats the action on the opposite side. She falls, stands up and spins again. She is delighted. My husband and I look at eachother with a marvel that non verbally expresses, "Oh my God, we made her. Oh my God, we made her and Oh my God, can you believe we made her?" Every time her butt hits the ground Bill smiles, I laugh and Thomas and Nora giggle as if they had no idea the punchline was coming. Yes, Audra is spinning and her entire being is set to accomplish that task. When she falls she is not disappointed. Falling is part of the act. It holds the same value as the standing up and turning north, south, east and west. On it, she places no judgement. Thomas and Nora's protective instincts cause them to sit on the floor and create a barricade with their arms. The intention is to prevent her from hitting the ground but soon they realize she has no desire to be kept from falling. Their arms become a ring showcasing her movements and in a beautiful moemnt of grace they don't force their will upon her. Audra is still spinning and smiling and now she has added squealing to her repetoire. I've gone from laughing to holding my breath and fighting back tears. Usually one sees art-like beauty when they visit a gallery. The day is planned and they've paid their way. I had no plan to witness aching beauty on a Saturday in my living room. She is poetry, metaphor. She is an example in motion of what what we would hope to be. Determined. Joyous. Inspirational. Free.