An invitation to dance

I’ve been playing around the word "dance" for few months now. It kept manifesting into different thoughts, events and meanings even now while I'm trying to write on day 2 of the coronavirus-induced curfew in Amman, Jordan.

It definitely connects to fluidity, the second angle I have identified of How can we live more deliberately? series I've started in January.

So here comes the challenge:

How to write about fluidity in these times of fear of an invisible beast, of lockdown and imposed curfew, when many of our personal freedoms are being sacrificed for the greater good?

I’ve never been an auto-fan of this "greater good" concept, because us people have used it to justify just about anything in the past. Yet with the current epidemic, the “greater good” has been mathematically, scientifically and now empirically proved to give the best outcome of a global pandemic.

With different levels of lockdown and social distancing enforced globally, now more than ever is when we need to keep trying to push ourselves out of all the anxiety, especially that it’s been and will continue to attack us in waves for the coming few days, weeks, months and maybe years.

Thought one of my best acts of defiance is to keep writing here, despite the virus and its wide spread, and as we're feeling its profound impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.

What makes a fluid being?

To me, fluidity is a state defined by the ability to move easily between situations, molds and spaces. I use fluidity here and not flexibility on purpose; I think fluidity associates with a smoother movement, not so much forceful as with flexibility nor immutable as with elasticity.

For instance, fluidity has been heavily used to define a sexual orientation in willfully being  between the two extremes. Also of non-binary gender identity as another example. Yet, when I think of fluidity, I do think of identity but I also think of ideology; of all constructs I’ve chosen or built and of ones that shaped me. I question how I can push myself to move easily between them in an effort to understand the other, and the world more or to be able to lessen the heaviness of a load engulfing me.

By embracing fluidity, I want to think of uncertainty as a given, to place more of what’s unknown to me as an expected turn of events. To make the shock last shorter, and for the dealing-with-it and own adaptation to come faster. To keep at finding peace in midst of the chaos. I want to also remove any changelessness of an opinion or even a conclusion I've had at one time. To be truly open, is to be fluid to accept change under any situation.

Inner fluidity then is an attempt to move thoughts, feelings and body into an always changing rhythm therefore dancing becomes the manifestation or behavior of such fluidity.

How can we dance better?

Dancing as in living, takes a playful and lighter perspective on life. The metaphor is wildly used to explain having to willfully and smoothly move between few states with least effort.

It’s true that dancing is associated with joy which sometimes is not within the realm of a particular rough situation but its definitely something we do when we grief for example; we move in from moments of thinking of funny memories to a state of deeply felt sadness that comes from loss. Another example is when we set out to learn something new, like reading a new historical narrative of an event we thought we knew everything about, into a new and different understanding that can be at times at odds with a lot of what we thought we knew about the event. Some refuse the new narrative, some fully adopt it, yet if our thinking is fluid enough then we accept, dig and verify in a dance between the two narratives, that dance becomes what we take forward.

The point here is not to judge a reaction we have as unstable nor a dilemma as being indecisive, but more of a dance we do between equally legitimate states we allow and accept ourselves to dance in between.

I believe the true power of dancing whether literally, metaphorically or as a matter of perspective is the light rhythmic surrender we give away willingly.

I believe we dance better when we neither exaggerate, nor belittle, when we calmly try to deal with the immutable boundaries of a situation, when we accept a new reality or when we patiently find a resolution we seek. Yet, we dance better mostly when we truly accept that life is inherently and unintentionally a dance between the extremes of everything it has to offer us and the lighter we dance, maybe the better becomes our overall experience?

Razan Khatib

Razan Khatib

Playing at the intersection of culture, technology, and values. Trying to structure my thoughts and share experiences, learnings, and insights. Co-founder of @spring_apps
Amman, Jordan