Going to weddings is an exhausting experience. From deciding what to wear, which usually entails questioning the contents of the closet based on what fits, what’s in style and what would be appropriate, to making the nail biter decision of giving cash or buying from a wish list. This is why the big party is such a hellacious drama from beginning to end; with only one shining bright spot, dancing the Hokey Pokey.
When I was a child the Hokey Pokey was the highlight of all catered events that involved dancing and P.E. class. After learning the steps in school it was mind blowing to show up at a grown up function and perform in a big circle. I can still remember the jiggles of excitement running through me when the DJ would announce the famous song. As those memories fade into my teens and twenties I found it atrocious that anyone would consider making such an ass of themselves in front of a crowd. Have you ever seen a 42 year old mother of 6, in stretchy pants “shaking it all about”? The agony rippled across my perfect size 6 form as I watched the poor woman create a video that I would replay in my head when years later came the time that I was far past svelte and considering jumping onto the Hokey Pokey train.
There is a brash, in your face quality to that dance and it signifies to me my current reality. The decision to move through life aware-fully was done when my head was mostly up my ass, because you would have go to sleep one night, get a smack upside the head by the enlightenment fairy and wake up for the decision to be made with all the lights on. Thus, it is impossible to know what you are actually intending to do and how dramatically your life will change. It’s rather hilarious when you stop a moment and think about the process; though that’s pretty much how most momentous turns in our life come. Remember the night before you had your first kid or the night after you got home from your honeymoon? The phrase, “holy shit” comes to mind.
As I look back on the steps of opening one window a teeny tiny crack, inching it up ever so slowly, until my house was completely without walls, roof or foundation I am amazed I thought there was a point of no return beyond the first moment of consideration. Once the journey began the road back fell off behind me, there was no possibility except forward. As with the famous dance, you put your whole self in and you shake it all about, you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around; that’s what it’s all about. I hope the mother of 6 from that long ago wedding is watching and laughing at my own ridiculous jiggly version of the dance.