Tap Into Life’s Lessons


Magic shoes! Shiny black with big looped bows
slabs of silver metal screwed on soles.
Best gift ever, when I was oh so young.
And oh how I remember…..

NOISE.
PURE NOISE!!!
Swing a leg. Stomp,Β march, slap, clang!!
Body all feet. ALL SOUNDS.
EVEN WHen i tiptoed.
Add lessons, Tuesdays at ten.
To learn.
Teacher teaches,
directs, muzzles.
Shu-ffle, shu-ffle.
Shu- no, NO, NO!
SHHHH!!!
Like-this.
Con-trol the-swing,
shor-ter. NOT so big.
Shu-ffle, shu-ffle.
One-two, one-two.
Slow-down. Con-trol the-sound.
Com-press your-space.

And there I was, in the mirrored wall,
shrinking. Like putting reins on little feet.
Learning to be small
while growing big.
Learning to fit in.

12 thoughts on “Tap Into Life’s Lessons

  1. Ana Linden July 5, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    I started taking ballet lessons only because I loved the shoes and the leotard πŸ˜‰ That’s how they talked me into it. Fortunately, two lessons later both my mother and I managed to accept that I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina. Being told what to do at every step, being yelled at and constantly criticized was part of the reason why I knew that ballet was something I would always appreciate and never practice. I just stormed out in the middle of the second lesson and waited to be picked up outside the door πŸ™‚ .
    Your poem is such a great metaphor for control and the alliterations manage to both build up tension and create a vivid image; and the photo is adorable, no matter who the little girl is πŸ™‚ .

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 5, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Ana. Ah yes…..ballet lessons….worth another poem that is! As in, I put those little pink slippers on at home and leaped, twirled, waved my arms around, thinking I was the most delicate beautiful ballerina in the world — and then, like you…went to my first class and had to hold on to a bar that was way too tall, and do slow deep knee bends in time with slow music and my teacher’s tapping cane….I understand completely! πŸ™‚
      And thanks for the pingback and mention in your Doors post. Yes — it’s so true….when we’re little we just get it….we walk away, close the door, stomp away, let out loud cries….and then we learn to stuff! 😦
      Here’s to opening and closing doors…..and twirling and stomping to our heart’s content πŸ™‚

      lillian

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ana Linden July 5, 2015 / 6:41 pm

        Oh… I had forgotten about the cane πŸ™‚ Having never been physically disciplined as a child, you can imagine my shock and horror when said cane not so gently tapped the back of my legs each time I wasn’t moving as expected. And that bar was yet another sort of torture, as it was definitely not meant for somebody my age and height. I had gone there with visions of pink tutus and graceful pirouettes and instead I discovered an angry, middle-aged, formerly mediocre ballerina, as I later got to find out πŸ™‚
        As you said, here’s to opening the right doors and managing to close all the wrong ones!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hlhivy July 6, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    My ballet teacher told me, “I correct you because you are WORTH correcting.” It made a huge difference in my outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 6, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Excellent point – the power of words: not only what is said but how it’s said. For me, I loved the sound of the taps and the way they made me feel. I have adult tap shoes and every once in a while, go to a workshop or just tap for me :).

      Liked by 1 person

      • hlhivy July 6, 2015 / 6:36 pm

        I’d love to find something like that around here!

        Like

  3. izzyasabee July 10, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    Reblogged this on izzyasabee and commented:
    I took 10 years of tap lessons. This poem is so true of those first days with my beautiful tap shoes. I still have tap shoes, and can still tap a little bit . . . but I’m sure I don’t look quite as graceful as I once did . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 10, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      Happy to meet a fellow tapper! πŸ™‚ I can still do a mean tilme step…..and of course I can “shuffle off to Buffalo”….albeit a bit slower! So nice to see your comment and have you stop on by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • izzyasabee July 19, 2015 / 2:26 pm

        I haven’t tried in a while with actual shoes…. But a lot of times when I have excess energy, I will do the steps in bare feet. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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