Well, after a crazy week or so of getting moved out of one house and into another, I am happy to have a little bit of time to post again. I will re-focus on eternity once more. I am going to post “The Great Dance” in two parts, the first in a short story and the second in an exposition of the story. And as with many of my inspirations, thanks to CS Lewis and Mere Christianity for this idea of a Trinitarian dance.
The Great Dance
“Now announcing, the Duchess of York, Lady Clarabelle.”
The room seemed to literally freeze. As if pause has been pressed on a movie. Conversations stopped mid sentence. Hors d’euvres were held inches from open mouths. All eyes locked onto the duchess with the intensity of a prowling lion watching its prey.
The duchess has been in mourning for six months since the passing of her father. She had not made a single appearance in public during that time. All had waited longingly for the last two months since it was announced she would make her first appearance at the Winter Ball held at the royal palace.
How would she look? What would she wear? Would she come in all black to continue her mourning? It had been the gossip of the entire kingdom. And now all of those questions and more were answered.
She wore an elegant gold gown. Fitted on the top and flowing from the waist down. With a diamond necklace and earrings that accented the dress majestically. And the smile that adorned her seemed to show the whole kingdom that while she loved her father dearly, she had spent her time grieving and now was ready to continue her life with full fervor.
This could not have pleased anyone more than Prince Henry. The prince stood in his dress military attire admiring her beauty. Not at all out of lust, but in the same way as one admires a field clothed in wild flowers. For indeed, Clarabelle’s beauty was just as pure.
The prince had begun courting the duchess a few months before her father had died. And he had not spoken to her since. When the prince’s own father, the King, became very ill just a few months ago, all of the prince’s advisors urged him to find another suitable lady to take as his bride. For who knew how long the duchess would remain in mourning. And it would never due if the king did pass, to have his eldest son take the throne without a queen. But the prince had refused. He was smitten with the duchess and said he would wait as long as it took.
Now, the long wait had paid off. His father’s health had improved some and there stood his great love just across the room. As much as he tried to keep a regal look upon his face, the more he stared at Clarabelle, the more the look on his face turned to a rather boyish, silly smile.
Although, just the length of the room separated them, the prince and the duchess, try as they may, could not seem to make there way to one another. As the Hors d’euvres continued to be served and each mingled with those that they were expected to show hospitality to, they longed to forgo the formalities and embrace one another.
And then, finally, the music began, as the finest string quartet in all the land began to play.
The prince made his way to the duchess. “May I have this dance?”
“I would never be one to deny a prince his request,” she answered playfully.
The Prince took his right hand and placed it on her left side. She placed her left hand on his right shoulder. Then, they locked their other hands with one another. And they began to dance.
To watch this dance was to watch magic. It was as if they ceased to be two individuals and instead were transformed into one flawlessly graceful being.
Yet, this cannot be quite right, because as beautifully as they moved as one,
what made it so magnificent was how each dancer’s distinct movements stood out in striking contrast to the others.
But, not at all to show the other up. Quite to the contrary. The distinctness was only to compliment the other. Indeed, it would be impossible to say that either was leading.
It wasn’t that the prince was not living up to his role as the masculine dancer, nor because the duchess was overstepping her role as the feminine, but because each dancer’s full desire, each partner’s every motion, was simply to highlight the other. Each danced with full abandonment to their own will, each in full submission to the other.
It was amazing to behold. And it seemed to as if the duchess and the prince could go on forever. It seemed as if they would never grow weary of their enchanted dance.
At first, the other guests could do nothing but stare at the couple in amazement. Then, slowly, but steadily, other guests began to take the floor and enter into their own dances.
One might think that the rest of the couples would be left to feel quite inferior to the royal couple that moved with such refinement. But, this was not the case. Instead, all of those who dared to enter the dance floor, where somehow made better by their willingness to take this risk.
And not only made better, but even more than that. It could only be properly explained if you were one of those brave ones on the dance floor that night. In recalling that mysterious night some time later, those who had entered the dance floor would describe it as if they had seemed to become a part of the prince and duchess’ dance.
That in the same way that one stroke of a paint brush blends with another to make the final painting, the dozens of individual couples on the dance floor seemed to blur together into one beautiful tapestry.
However, not all saw it this way. Some were too absorbed by the delicious Hors d’oeuvres to realize that something much grander than a snack was taking place. Others were appalled by the way that the prince and duchess seemed to have given no regard to tradition and maintaining the man as the clearly defined leader of the dance. Still others were too intimidated by the thought of dancing near the prince and the duchess in all their splendor to venture out on the dance floor. Whatever the reason, many in the palace that evening chose not to join in the enraptured dance and settled for a handful of pennies when bags of gold lie just before them.