Dancing With Eddie Cochran

I few days ago, I told you about my dance therapy. My hope is that by moving in rhythm to a few peppy songs most days, I can train myself to feel lighter in spirit, maybe even learn to have fun — whatever that is. And it’s working. I started out by getting teary-eyed during my sessions (“session” makes it seem as if it’s really therapy, but the truth is, I just dance in my room ). This morning, though,  while dancing to one of the songs from my rockabilly collection, I actually felt a lightness of spirit. Of course, it’s almost impossible to be sad while dancing to Eddie Cochran. (What can I say? I love rockabilly, though I never even heard any of the songs, not even the oldest ones, until the 1990’s. Such a deprived life I led!)

For those of you who haven’t heard of Eddie Cochran, he was a pioneer and an enormous influence in the world of rock and roll who out-Elvised Elvis. According to Wickipedia, Cochran had “experimented with multitracking and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums. His image as a sharply dressed, rugged but good looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the Fifties rocker, and in death he achieved iconic status.” He was only 21 when he died.

Here he is, singing “C’mon Everybody,” as he sang it to me this morning and lightened my spirits and my step.

S.O.S. — Dance Therapy

A few days ago, I started doing what I call “dance therapy.” I thought it was my own idea, but today I discovered there really is such a thing. It’s been around since the 1940s and was created as a way for the mind and body to work together. Supposedly, by dancing, people can identify and express their innermost emotions, bring those feelings to the surface and create a sense of renewal, unity, and completeness.

But that’s not what my “dance therapy” is about. I know what my feelings are. (And so do you if you’ve been checking in with this blog occasionally.) I’m still grieving the death of my mate of thirty-four years. We were soul mates: partners in life, in business, in ideology, in exercise — in fact, years ago, before he started losing health, we used to do aerobics together, which for us meant free-style dancing around the living room. I continued by myself for a while, but as he got sicker, I had to stop that form of exercise because most song lyrics made me cry. Even happy songs — especially happy songs — brought tears to my eyes, and I couldn’t deal with that. Not being a natural optimist, (maybe as a Wednesday’s child, I really am full of woe) I needed to fight to stay positive, to focus on what I had rather than what I was losing. In my current situation, though, the loss is so great, it’s not a matter of seeing the glass as half empty rather than half full (if you’ll pardon my use of that odious phrase). It’s a matter of trying to glue a shattered glass back together and hope it holds together as I fill it drop by drop.

I’m not in nearly as much pain as I was seventeen and a half months ago when he died, but I’m still feeling sad and empty despite the friends I’ve made and the trips I’ve taken. (My most recent excursions included a Route 66 Rendezvous, a couple of major county fairs, and a trip to Seattle — so see, I really am going on with my life.) The world still feels different with him gone. I still feel different, knowing he’s not somewhere in the crowd. I will probably always miss him, always yearn to talk with him, always long for the sight of his smile and the sound of his voice, but I don’t want to — can’t — be enchained by my own sorrow forever.

Most songs still bring tears to my eyes, but it no longer matters since many things make me tearful now. Besides, without a song or a dance, what are we? And so, I’ve begun my version of dance therapy. Today I danced to ABBA. (Why is that more embarrassing to admit than that I still cry at times?) I’m not looking for a sense of happiness or even optimism. Nor am I looking for exercise. (For that, I walk, lift, stretch, air bicycle.) My hope is that by moving in rhythm to a few peppy songs most days, I can train myself to feel lighter in spirit. Maybe even learn to have fun — whatever that is.

It’s the best I can do.