The scales, the limp and the dance

For as long as this man could walk, this man had a limp. A defect of the leg, or perhaps of the side; this man never stood upright, he saw the world either upright from his knees or slanted when standing up. This man could see taller men; men who could stand and run unimpeded. But this man did not feel envy, for he never could know what he missed.

This man had scales. His skin was weathered by the elements and many travels; it had grown dark, dry and hard. This man was never wet, for water did not take hold of him. This man was not hurt by hail, for stones bounced off him. This man could stand against cold and warm, for neither cold nor warm would penetrate his hide. This man knew of the softness of young skin, and of its sweetness; but this man also cherished the protection of the scales, and respected the time they had took to grow.

This man knew of dancing. The symmetries and alignment of bodies, the complementarity of dancers, the game of coming close and apart again; this man had seen the spectacle repeated, and he too had to learn its steps. But dancing was not only difficult with scales and a limp; its magic was simply foreign.

This man knew of the magic. He knew how others became intoxicated by it; how others would dance to any tune; and how dancing was binding his community. The magic was visible, it was celebrated, it was omnipresent. But this man did not see the magic.

There is support for a limp. It can command compassion.

There is respect for scales. They can command attention.

Yet the support and respect are carried by the magic; without the magic the barrier never lowers.

Then one day this man saw another man make a step, then another. There was light in their wake. This man followed the step, and there was light, too. From the light this man felt an inner warmth, and from this light the man felt his heart open to the magic.

But these steps were different, this man had not learned them. With his limp this man could not follow. And the light soon went away.

This man still searches for the light. Willing to learn new steps, searching for a dance master. For the magic can never be unseen.