Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Dance

I am petrified.

As I keep mentioning enthusiastically at every opportunity--whether a real oppportunity or a manufactured one, like when someone politely asks, "Would you like more coffee?" and I shriek, "Guess what! I'm going to see Johnny Weir!"--I'm hoping to meet Johnny at the VIP party this Thursday after Ice Dreams.

And I am petrified at the thought. Petrified that I'll spill something on him, or lurch haltingly toward him and then suddenly fall down, or loom near him but never make it all the way over to actually say the complicated thing I've worked out in my head, which so far is "Hello," or any number of other nerve-wracking scenarios that all end in tears.

And that's what petrifies me the most. That I'll cry.

I don't want to embarrass myself or Johnny or most of all, my children, by getting all choked up at this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

But Johnny--his life, his art, his personality, his journey--moves me deeply. I know I'm not alone in this. I've read so many truly beautiful tributes to him that share this common theme: He skated into our lives, fierce and fabulous and full of light, changed everything we thought we knew, and left us profoundly and forever different.

The contrast between my pre-Johnny worldview and now is like when Dorothy Gale stepped through her grey Kansas door into Technicolor Oz. It's that much brighter and bolder and crushingly beautiful. And there's music and dancing everywhere.

I can't get enough and I never want it to stop.

Of course, life beats us down sometimes. Sometimes it knocks the wind and the soul and the heart right out of you. Sometimes the music does stop, or you lose your footing, or somebody runs into you really, really hard with no apology, and suddenly you're in a crumpled heap all alone on the dance floor--and you can hear the condescending whispers and brittle, sneering laughter from somewhere in the darkness around you.

It's not a matter of how I fall. It's how I pick myself back up.
--Be Good Johnny Weir, episode 105

And then comes the hardest thing in the world: To keep dancing when you feel like there isn't any dance left in you. To dance when those you love, those with whom you were dancing, abruptly--sometimes inexplicably--leave you. To dance when you're blindsided by events. Or blinded by tears.

And so there are those times when we might consider denying ourselves amazing opportunities out of fear--fear of failure, of risk, of being overwhelmed with emotion.

For those times, I gently offer this thought:

Get your Gaga on. Go listen to "Just Dance" here.

On the face of it, it's just a song about a girl at a club who's had too much to drink.

But underneath, it's a metaphor for what we all need to do in this life.
What Johnny has done many, many times.

Just dance.

Even when the faces rush by too fast and we can't see straight and don't know where we are or what's going on.

Just dance. Gonna be OK.

No matter what gets thrown at us, what challenges or golden opportunities or unfathomable tragedies we face--

Just dance.

BTW, I don't believe it for one minute when Johnny says he can't dance.

Because it is exactly his dance--in all its searing, uncensored beauty, its pain and passion and heartbreak and courage--that is drawing me, and all of us Johnny fans, to Bensenville this week

Tears and all.

So together we can

Just dance.

Special thanks to for the .gif!
copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Moe said...

Good one. And I've replayed this scenario seemingly hundreds of time in my head and I can't seem to make it sitting in the commons area at my school and Johnny walking in nonchalantly with his black Givenchy sweater on (shocking the hell out of everyone in this mostly conservative school population) and giving me a hug and basically reducing me to tears. If I actually got a chance to meet him and (EEEK!) touch him, I'd probably faint.

Anonymous said...

Reading your post left me in tears, because recently I've been feeling like there is a deep darkness around me and there's no joy or dance left in me anymore.Thank you so much for writing this post! It might sound silly, but Johnny is the only person that keeps me going. You are incredibly lucky that you are going to meet him. Good luck!

auntyamyj said...

I love the metaphor with dancing, and falling and getting back up and moving on and on and on. This post has been especially inspiring for me! When you do meet Johnny, if you do meet Johnny, you will be wonderful and articulate and fabulous! I know it, because he is the type that inspires that in others! Give him a big ol' wink from me too, will ya?

noviarium said...

Binky, I'll make it a mission in life to read every single one of your blog entries one of these days, even if each one is a stab in the heart, so eloquently they speak of everything I feel about Johnny that I cannot more thoughtfully (and entertainingly) articulate.