This is my personal response to the image posted by Nikki from Team English last weekend. The aim of the project is to write once every two weeks and then share as widely as possible with a view to ultimately sharing this writing with students around the country, as exemplars. It is also a welcome opportunity to just be creative. If you feel like joining in, go onto the Team English blog or Twitter page and sign up.
The Couple (using the above image as inspiration)
We emerge, again, in a drunken haze of nostalgia, the echoing sounds and the insistent beats swirling in repeated recognition: how those nights expanded within our lithe bodies, pirouetting and slinking effortlessly across the highly-polished floors like we were floating across the city skyline, a spotlight shining upon our blissed, blessed faces, radiant with smiles, with love, with vigour, a countenance divine – like nothing, at all, could ever, might never, seek to stop us in our quest for perfection!
On those nights, we touched, our limbs ablaze with possibility, our lips so close, acting out our own private, sensual abandon. Around us, other couples swayed in time, out of time, on that higher plane, in synergy, synchronicity, shimmering and swooping. We laughed, gales and peals of happiness falling from our mouths, so much confetti, multi-coloured and left in minute trails of celebration. We felt unstoppable, we were unstoppable, we ravished the complete moment and dwelt within the rhythm of time – that three minute long samba stretch, the jerk of the polka, joining the dots until even they disappeared, as we whirled into endless crescendos, so dizzy with joy.
And we would skip back home, the star attraction in life’s endless play, where the pavements reflected the moonbeams and the birds twittered in the silken treetops, sentinels for our celebration. Excitedly replaying those cat-like moves in our minds, the softness of our embrace, the hours and hours of practice leading to grace and fervour, a sense of there being something more, not ephemeral yet vibrating with meaning.
Later came marriage, our union on the dance floor transformed into loving domesticity, the responsibilities of parenthood, of taking charge, of time passing and less time being available to celebrate like before – those simple, delightful pleasures wrapped up in the complexity of movement, the freedom of just being. There were no regrets, not really; how could there be? We were young, frolicking in the Spring of our lives, lambs, calves, amazed at the newness of this experience.
Yet, experiences change and change brings difference and compromise and movement towards another state, where limbs stiffen, memories start to fade, the sepia tint blotting out the brightness. Now, rather than facing forwards, we face each other, wondering about what was and, perhaps could have been : you in that dashing suit, me in my flowing gown, our eyes sparkling, enlivened, torches burning bright, fuelled by our naive enthusiasm. We’ve still got it, somewhere, haven’t we? That trophy, silver, cloaked in some varnished ash branch, shimmering, like us, a pool of water, greeting us with a promise – then reflecting back.
You turn, I creak a little, you take my hand. We can still turn on the style, can’t we?
I sip from the cup, you dip your Rich tea and try to think back, through the valleys of your mind, awash with memories but, like the tea leaves, steeped in confusion. Can you hear that sound? Can you? Shall we take one last dance, together, throw down these sticks hewn from the same ash tree and be free, in each other’s hearts. It’s still there for the taking – remember, my dear, my sweet, we still have each other. I see the sparkle in your smile, in your eyes, your hair a river of dreams and no regret. It will never dim. Thank you, endlessly.