belly dance drama

This morning, barely awake, I lay in bed noticing an area of my body I’d never really noticed so distinctly before. My entire back ribcage ached and my mind went to town busily doing what it does.

What is THAT?!

What?

My back! All my back ribs. It hurts to move.

Oh god, it’s probably early onset paralysis…

Oh no! Won’t be able to ever have sex again… oh no…

Forget sex, girl, you won’t be able to eat! You’ll probably lose the use of your tongue completely and need a feeding tube…

[Gasp] Tongue? Did you say tongue? Forget food! What about kissing?!

Ah, no matter, who’d want to kiss you all paralysed and drooling anyway—

Oh dear… And I won’t be able to keep taking that belly dance class I just started last night… Ahhhh, belly dancing, that was so much fun: all those women and girls of all ages, shapes and sizes, lined up in rows, making small, subtle circles with our chests and ribcages—

Um, Heidi?

Yes?

About that belly dancing…

Yes?

Might this early onset paralysis simply be a little soreness from using those dear little intercostal muscles that help you breathe and give your ribcage flexibility?

Oh yeah! [Laughter] Ow!

What now?

It hurts to laugh.

m-hmmm… hurts pretty good though, doesn’t it?—

OK. I exaggerate a bit, but you get the jist. With a mind that defaults to worry, who could ever be bored? All those movies in the head… never a dull moment. It helps to notice the thoughts, the images. Not to deny and not to believe. To listen without taking sides. To be the space in which all these thoughts and images and awarenesses can enter, pass through, or stay for a while. I can make friends with my inner world: “Sit down, make yourself at home. Mi casa es tu casa, dear mind.”

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