The best dance that I ever had was with a stranger. We danced in the dark, and my scarf blew in the wind of the fan as he guided me across the dance floor in silence and rhythm.
Sometimes it’s just easier to be with strangers. The distance and ambiguity serves as security; the unknown is liberating. Strangers, darkness, and masks- these things strip us of our inhibitions and show us who we really are, or who we want to be. In the moment no one knows who you are, and it doesn’t matter because you’re just dancing, and during that song all that really matters is the dance- everything else just fades.
I’ve often gone on trips into the unknown with strangers, and I think that I almost prefer it. As I explore unfamiliar lands and experiences it’s a completely new adventure with ample amounts of opportunity. This weekend I’m joining up with some random people from my church that I don’t know and driving in a car with them a few hours south to go hiking in Arches.
There is something whimsical and romantic about taking off with a car full of strangers. The ambiguity allows you the choice to move about in silence and rhythm.
At the same time, why can’t we be who we are when our closest friends surround us? Sometimes I think we change or hope to change, but everyone expects us to be the same as who we were, and so they treat us as such. It’s hard to be different when everyone expects you to be the same. It’s during these times that the person who has been changed must hold strong, and as time passes others will gradually come to see what you already have known for so long.
Being with strangers though gives you an opportunity to be who you are and become someone who you want to be. There is no context; no one treats you like they always have because they just know you as you. Maybe I like traveling with strangers to distant lands so much because it gives me time to reflect, and think, and possibly emerge to aspire for something better.
There’s a time and a place for dancing with strangers in the dark. Songs end, and lights come on. Who do you want to be when the song ends? And who do you want to be with?