I was a spinning top Saturday night at the Portuguese on St-Urbain. My husband Ned and I are learning how to ‘couple dance’, which is not as ball and chain as it sounds. Holding hands, we follow the steps as best as we can, and promptly forget them. My favorite (un-mastered) move was when he let go of me, and I swirled around in space, unfettered by human concerns, until our sweat mingled and our hands re-joined (mine on top of his, natch, as per the rules). Maybe it was the scotch (one shot, I’m a cheap date), but I felt something happen to me as I whirled like a dervish on stage. Laughter, as I spun, propelled me to ecstasy. Big-mouthed guffaws that rang like bells in my ears as I spiraled around the revolving floor. I danced with my teacher. His hands were clammy, but his face (on to which I fixed my gaze) smiled beatifically, not at me per se, but at some higher power that fueled the lightness of his hands as they bent my flying limbs to his will.

I don’t like to be led but I’m learning to let go.

Sufi Whirling as a path leading to our higher ourselves

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