Monday, February 11, 2013

Just Dance

I got a fun surprise from Callie this week. She forwarded a link to a facebook page called Humans of New York. Two photographers walk the streets of the city, snapping photos of everyday life and posting them on their page. They must have lots of followers because the site is very active. They happened upon Callie doing the swing with a friend while waiting for a subway train. I went to the page and found her. There she is in boots and jeans, wearing the coat we bought together over Christmas break. Her lovely face in a grin, her feet stepping perfectly, one ahead one behind, clasping hands with her friend Eddie. The photo has over 14,000 “likes.” They titled the photo the dance lesson. That’s our Callie!

Callie is a dancer, an artist to her very core. New York has been a huge challenge for her, but little by little she is making her way in the city. She has a diversion while riding the subway into Manhattan from her Brooklyn apartment. She imagines that the people getting on and off the train are really figures in a grand choreographed performance. Some hurried, some slow, graceful or shuffling, all there by design and playing their part. By doing this, Callie changes what is pure drudgery - the commute - into art.

I tried out her approach while feeding cows yesterday (yes, it might be counted as drudgery). We entered the field and one group of “dancers” moved from a grove of trees in the east toward us. From the left the main herd headed our way as well, some stopping to crowd around the first piles of hay while others continued to follow the truck. They thinned as they trailed, some stragglers falling in from the sides. They performed just as they had rehearsed and just as the choreographer had instructed. The finish was quiet as they lined out with their heads down munching hay, their black and red coats against the snow, each one an integral part of the performance.  

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