A different dance

Chantal Tonnessen Smeland


September 27, 2015

The melody, OUR melody, starts, filling my ears and making my heart skip a beat. I feel a cooling tear run down my red cheek, complementing my slightly skinnier profile. It takes me right back. I stand up, turn off the fan and light, close my eyes and start moving, letting the rhythm take me away. Away, beyond the darkness of the bedroom I find myself dancing in. My slightly weaker body is sweating, working full-time to adapt to this new reality, as it cuts through the 24 C darkness of the night. Meanwhile, my mind and senses have taken me elsewhere, right back, home. It still remembers that cold room, that different type of sweat, the fresh breeze coming through the open windows. It still remembers the sensation of fresh fjord and mountain air filling my expanded lungs. And the smell of petrichor, the shining green, the frosted leaves and the grass, exposed by the moonlight.

I move around, but the flow of my dance is different. Everything is. Different.
I remember running with my friends, blending into the dark sky and the weak moonlight, heading towards the classrooms.  1am Norwegian nights, chill from the frosted surface and air, penetrating our skin. I remember locking the door, throwing off the jacket and T-shirt, playing the melody, and dancing crazily with a kaleidoscope video projected in the background. That melody that makes three bodies move freely and expressively in the darkness, all thoughts and heat being sucked out of the open windows.


The melody that helped us through times, that helped us taking that deep breath. The melody that made me feel the happiest I can ever be. The melody that made me feel.

I remember the somewhat inappropriate lyrics decorating my cave of a bed, and the desperation to hide it whenever a teacher decided to visit. I remember spaghetti and pesto, late nights and bloody vampires. Laughing, crying and dancing.

It is 3:05am here. 3 hours until a new day begins. The melody continues and I am trying to dance alone in the darkness with the heat and the humidity and the smells and the insects.

I am in India. Everything is new. I am surrounded by people and family, yet I am lost. Lost into the complex abyss of the human mind… I am here. Here with me, myself and I, and we are trying to understand.

I impatiently change my style and posture, but still the dance isn’t right. It is not ME, the me I have gotten to know for the past few years. Whatever that means.

It needs time. New people, new environment, new culture, new challenges, new climate, new sense, same melody.

How many roots do I need to rip out of the constitution of me, and how much will I need to tear down the existing being, before my current and future flow will start to feel more right?

My dance is different, and so is this reality.

The melody ends, the emotions clot my arteries and I stop dancing. I turn on the fan and lie down in my bed, eyes wide open and a slight headache. I will just have to try again tomorrow.

 

 

Chantal Tonnessen Smeland