I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Dance in the Moment

Sometimes you just have to pull away from
everything so you can dance in the moment.
Photo: Aunt Owwee
I flipped through the radio dial on a road trip a few years ago and stopped when I heard “Hotel California,” by the Eagles. I’m not a huge Eagles fan, but one particular line from this song has always intrigued me. I listened for it that day.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends / She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends / How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat / Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.

That line brings back memories of high school dances gone by. In those days, I danced to forget that I was an overweight shy teenager who had little confidence that I could ever attract a member of the opposite sex. Even when I did, I always had the feeling I wouldn’t be able to keep her. But there I was, dancing to a Billy Squier tune in a Catholic high school gymnasium with my girlfriend.

When we get older, we dance (both physically and figuratively) to remember those high school dances, or some other period in our lives when things seemed simpler – better somehow.

We take photos to remember. We listen to music to remember. We journal and write and blog to remember. We read to remember. We celebrate to remember. We drink to remember. We gather with friends at backyard barbeques to remember. We upload photos to Facebook to remember.

Of course, there are times in which we also do those things to forget. I certainly do both, depending on the mood I’m in.

But we shouldn’t forget to dance in the moment.

In the movie Elizabethtown, Claire sends Drew on a 42 hour and 11 minute road trip by himself to deal with his self doubt. She provides him with a scrapbook that includes a map, some photos, and a set of pre-recorded CDs with songs about her and instructions about where to go and what to see. As Drew escapes the pressures he is facing, he begins to relax, and that allows him to get beyond himself and his concerns. 

He talks to a man who has owned a sundry store in Memphis for 38 years. He stops for a bowl of the world’s best chili. He visits national landmarks. He gazes at the stars. And when he is tempted to get drawn back into the cycle of dancing to remember or dancing to forget, Clare makes this statement on one of the CDs, “Sadness is easier because its surrender. I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free.”

Drew pulls off the road, finds an empty path among some trees and he heeds her advice. He dances alone with one hand waving free. And for those brief moments, he finally seems to understand what it means to dance in the moment – no trying to remember or forget, just a state of being.

There is power in that.


For the record, I know that Mercedes Benz is spelled with a Z, but every lyrics website I visited spelled it the way you see above.

Oh, and if you missed the series of posts I did about Elizabethtown a few years ago, here are the links:


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