Why I Dance!

Why I Dance – mixed media on canvas board. 11 x 14″

Years ago, as a gift for my daughters, I painted two paintings on the theme of dancing.

Yesterday, I wrote a poem entitled, Why I Dance.

I knew that somewhere I had a photo of the painting I’d created for my eldest daughter and went in search of it. I thought it might make a good accompaniment for my poem.

I found the painting, (believe me I was surprised!) but… I wasn’t all that pleased with the work. At the time, it was good. I had only been painting for a couple of years and it was a reflection of my nascent skills and talent.

But, (and yes, there’s always a ‘but’) I had totally forgotten about the ‘when’ of my beginning to paint until I started working on a new piece to go with my poem.

I started painting in the throes of a relationship that almost killed me. I had mostly quit writing. Writing is about truth for me and the truth around that relationship was enshrouded in so much pain and fear and terror I could not, would not, didn’t dare express it.

On that first day when I picked up a paintbrush, I found a way to express myself through creating beauty to block out the pain and fear I lived within every moment of every day.

As I look back on the gifts that painting has brought me, I am humbled by its power to transform fear into faith, pain into perseverance, horror into hope.

My eldest daughter taught me how to paint.

My daughters teach me how to love, the darkness and the light, within and all around me.

Writing teaches me every day how to walk in truth.

Painting awakens me, every day, to the beauty, within and all around me.

And here’s the thing about writing. This post is not at all what I had thought it would be about when I started typing this morning.

And then, the words appeared and as is the way, they just kept flowing as I flowed with them.

I’d type more but… Beaumont the Sheepadoodle is sitting by my desk, staring at me with that looks he gets when he feels I have been sitting here too long. “It’s time to get out into nature,” he says with his emploring eyes.

And I believe him and am off to dance with nature.

Why I Dance 
by Louise Gallagher  

There is no rhyme 
or reason 
to why 
I dance 

there is only  
the beat 
my body 
to move 
into expressive release 
of the energy 
through my veins 
limbs extended 
reaching out 
as if in that one  
fluid motion  
I can grab on 
to nothing 
but air 
and fly 
as high as the sky 
of all earth 
bound need  
to be tied 
There is no rhyme  
or reason 
to why I 
There is only  
the desire 
to fly 
This is the painting I created in 2003, the year I was released from that relationship.

16 thoughts on “Why I Dance!

  1. Pingback: Why I Dance | A Poetry Affair

  2. I identify so much with your words around why you write. It’s the same reason I write. It was my only release in a time where it was dangerous to use my words out loud. And now… in this moment. I realize how many times i experienced that in my life… thank you for the gift of realization, gratitude for my freedom to speak now, and for the gift of experiencing your, through your writing, your art and your dancing… you are a true gift

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Terra Dawn, your words kind of leave me speechless — they are ringing so deeply in my heart.

      Thank you my friend — and one day… soon… I hope… we will have to spend some time together writing, creating, playing… and DANCING!!!! ❤


  3. So inspirational, beautiful and touching…..out of something so painful in your life came something so amazing – your talent and your happy place – you truly are a gift to so many.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Val — my daughters have often said that while that time in our lives was awful, they wouldn’t not change it. The growth, learning, experience taught us each, and collectively, so much about love and loving and compassion and truth and beauty… life. Many hugs. ❤


    • That they are — as an experiential learning though, I’m teaching myself it’s okay to go for the ‘small’ experiences — I don’t need to go for those big ones all the time! 🙂 🙂 ❤


  4. Louise, you’ve done it again! I caught a spark and I think we may have another song…. I recorded a rough idea on my phone. I too was in a toxic relationship that music pulled me out of. I was married to a person with borderline personality disorder (undiagnosed, but obvious once I knew what it was) I love the swirl in your dancer… makes me want to sing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my!!!! How exciting. I love it when our muses collude and dance and sing and create together! Such serendipitous happiness!

      Can’t wait — and oh my re the BPD — so very challenging, particularly if undiagnosed and unaddressed.

      Can’t wait to hear your creation!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is fantastically healing when we find that one thing that allows us release. So very glad you found yours (and don’t be so hard on your earlier self – that painting is full of emotion!)

    Liked by 1 person

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