No one saw how far my arms and hands were stretched, that they reached across the room and traveled through the walls. No one could see that when they unfurled, my heart opened up. My usual self-consciousness was barely in attendance. I was alone, without the critic, the naysayer, my usual companion.

No one knew that, in their midst, a blooming was occurring.

I went dancing tonight with a group that gathers to dance the Dances of Universal Peace ( It’s a tradition given birth to some years ago by an eccentric-looking guy named Samuel Lewis, who collected music, dances, mythology and religion from the far corners of the world.

For years, along with hundreds of others in places all over the world, I’ve danced these dances. Tonight, glory be, something in my cells set me free.