This is a story of joy, and faith, and delight.
Facebook just asked me what's on my mind today.
What's on my mind is Blaise.
Is it really six years ago that I birthed her? Six years since my world stretched out promising a future of family, of the three of us wound into each other like otters, living and loving each other, with her the most important thing in my life, one I would die for, never for a moment considering that she would leave before me.
When I gave birth to her I had the shortest hair; after three months of chemo it had just started to grow back. She had no hair at all, probably for the same reason.
In the beginning of the pregnancy, Lee had talked about having a son.
'Nah,' I'd joked, patting my pre-bump belly where she swam all small and asleep, dreaming her baby dreams of her life to be. 'We'll have an asian-eyed, red haired girl.'
About three weeks after she arrived, we were outside, soaking up the winter sun, and I noticed what looked like amber sparks on her head. There they were, the first of her fiery locks, crystallised motes of light, like a crown of tiny flaming stars.
There was so much light in her.
When we took her to London, six months before she died, she was amazed by the swarming masses of humans.
We got off the tube one morning at peak hour, where the heaving throngs were almost-running on their way to work. A river of furrow-faced, black-clad people streamed past in one direction, another tide like a school of fish came in the opposite direction.
Blaise was travelling at her usual pace, so people had to swerve to go around us, which they did with an unconscious, morphic intelligence, like starlings in flight, not even slowing.
The haunting notes of a saxophone wound into the tunnel; some busker everyone had heard before, a familiar backdrop to the morning rush hour clack of heels and scuffle of feet.
I saw the music strike Blaise like lightning, and she stopped still, entranced, and o-so-slowly started to gracefully dance. One arm floated up and started to coil, then the other, her fingers twinkling like glacial stars. She turned a slow twirl, her head cocked, eyes rapt, the music falling on her upturned face like manna from heaven. Each movement was exquisitely slow. It was like watching a flower bloom.
This is when magic happened.
She had dropped to a halt, and now the streaming waves of people had to actually look at her to avoid her.
When they looked, they SAW her.
It was like watching a light bomb go off.
She was oblivious to them all, deep in her own trance, and I watched the incredible beauty of her presence startle them awake, break them out of their own trances into the perfection of a child dancing to music they hadn't even heard.
I watched stressed faces break into delighted smiles, at her, at us, making eye contact with each other. On-comers, noticing the disruption, started to focus in, and the smiles spread. I heard giggles whoosh past. Delight exploded around us, and the shock waves spread out and away.
A woman in an immaculate suit and perfect make-up laughed and twirled as she went past. A man doffed an invisible hat as he raced by. A little girl clapped her hands and tried to stop but her mother tugged her away. The child looked back over her shoulder until they disappeared from sight.
Blaise was like an unearthly being, dropped from some other planet, who had brought the atmosphere with her; alien scents and exotic energy and some new crackling form of life. Nothing existed for her but the music. She was utterly in the moment, being danced.
Joy ignited in the reflection of her beingness; joy leapt from heart to heart like flames in the dark, and that joy was swept out and away, like a shout in the wind, where I could no longer hear, but I could feel it, feel the energy of it travelling, radiating, as people carried it into their day. I knew that there would be conversations around water coolers about the flame haired girl in the rainbow skirt, dancing in the tube tunnels. I knew that people would bring their smiles to work, and that those ripples would move out, colliding with other people, further and further.
I saw how one single moment can change the world.
We all do this all the time, we are immensely powerful. In every single interaction we completely change reality, it's a living co-creation, again and again, over and over. We can co-create by radiating stuckness and darkness, or we can radiate light and joy. This is teaching by being. I saw that being truly present for just a few seconds can create ripples, subtle and profound, that move out in ways we can never track, but those ripples make other ripples and those ripples make waves and those waves make bigger waves until that one moment can level mountains, part oceans, unite humanity, or make a single flower bloom.
Since Blaise died, her power has still radiated into the world, through me, through Lee, and through everyone her light touched. Every word I write, every move I make, every time I speak, it is partly her message, her dance, her music; because everything I am is partly her, and she is me, we are one.
I am who I am because of her. Everyone I touch is who they are, in some way, because of her. We are all who we are because of each other.
As I write these words I have so much faith in humanity, in the power of all of us to move through darkness and be transformed, and in that transformation, pass on our gifts simply by breathing. I have faith that we can see the beauty that is right in front of us, to be ready to notice the tiniest things that are actually the biggest things. To do the part that is ours right now, just here; not needing to know how the shock waves may travel, just having faith in our own rightness in this moment, and listening as if our lives depend on it, which in a way, they do.
So if you see me in the street dancing to music nobody can hear, or singing out loud, know that I am passing on the gift of my daughter. And I invite you to rejoice in this way as well; to sing simply because your voice demands to be heard, no matter who might be listening; and dance because there is a fierce joy in you that must be moved; dare to swim against the tide and know that rather than upsetting the flow, you are creating a magnificent new wave that will change the world, remaking it again, and again and again.
Today I am dancing with my daughter.
My arms may hold only air, but the music is all her.