Something Gentle This Way Comes...Dancing - On Ice... Not The Rocks

I am a roughian. Rough edged. Loud noted. Brash, ballsy, tenacious, obnoxiously opinionated, very often wrong and sincerely prone to the “blurt”. I can out “Ricky Gervais” Ricky Gervais…any day…without the loud and very large… paycheck!

I do not mean to be mean is just that my filters and editors go on retreat now and again and I speak my mind a little too bluntly. If you know me, you get me. If you don't ...well then I may offend you at first. But I,like a fine port,mellow with age.

So sometimes …some times… once in weird little while I become (gulp) a very gentle soul. I crave the smooth fluidity of elegant grace.

I remember the first time I saw Ginger Rogers dance with Fred Astaire. It was elegance personified and I loved it. Life should be like a waltz. Effortlessly executed and seamlessly lovely. And it is, in it’s way. Even in it’s most tangled-webbish-whimsey it is perfect. The power of perception. All roads lead home. All lives have a center.

But that center is sometimes hard to find and then ever so hard to trust. The center of your being and mine demands faith. And faith demands courage. So in an effort to find my own fluid and elegant center… I skate.

Lizzy on ice,neat...instead of scotch on the rocks.

I found the ice when I was 8 and I remember I exhaled. I breathed in the ice-cold air and blew out a cloud of fog. I so wanted to be that girl. That girl, ya know “that girl.” Like Marlo Thomas, everything matched. Her skates were white, her blades-bright stainless, her tights beige, her outfit was red velvet with white fur trim and she had that crowning jewel of all skaters…bloomers! Oh man! I wanted an outfit with bloomers! Like a sun flower aches for the June rain. I dreamt of skating “togs”. Your skirt can fly high in a cosmic icy twirl with bloomers.

Alas my skates were rental beige, my tights were yellow-gold and my dress was a Sear’s (straight out of the catalogue) thick polyester plaid and I am sad to say…there were NO bloomers. You see bloomers define a skater. Bloomers say, “I know my skirt is going up and I am prepared to show you my lovely….bloomers!”

Now in my 50’s (51 as of last Friday) I am making my life about doing more of the things I love and draw joy from. I am getting lazy with my “duties.” Oh worry not; I still do my duties…to God and my country. Only now instead of sitting on my bed and eating ice cream in my down time, I am learning to skate. Not just to skate. Noooo. I am learning to Ice Dance! Go ahead laugh. But you might be amazed.

Ice cream is good, but ice dancing is dreamy-creamy-deliciously-groovilicious and ever so coolly…ever so gracefully…swellegant.

“Heaven, I’m in heaven. And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak…”

I am finding the grace…the physical grace…the gliding and elegant grace of slowing down and letting the glide be my guide. It is extroidinarily internal, this dancing on ice. There is a lush eloquence in slowing down to build your technique and then, when your confidence meets your ability…you surrender your psychological “training wheels” and take to the ice with a sense of mastery in motion.

I had such a moment today. I felt as certain of my blade-bottomed-boots as I am of my bare feet. The glide was on. I surrendered to it. A bit wobbly at first and then it took me. Sweet, simple, clean and well….nice. I was feeling…nice. Me nice? Yeah right….no really…nice. Nize…nnniiiizzzzeeeee. With a deep sense of peace. It’s like chocolate for the soul.

We all know that peace is probably what heaven is all about. If heaven is something you believe in. I think of it as the place where we all find peace. I have not got a lot of experience with peace my self. I have had moments of peace in my life. More often they were related to sleep. So the idea of peace while being awake is a newer concept.

I am however frustrated with the drive time to and from the rink. Frustrated with the slow paced progress of getting our own rink built in Santa Barbara. What the heck! Why can’t we just get Oprah or Tye Warner to go for naming rights? For 3 million it could be Oprah’s Ice In Paradise…or Tye’s Ice Chalet. Be a hero to this ice challenged community…we’ll love you for it.

Think of it as a great “Café Society” for the youngins and oldins too. It is literally good, clean, fun. A cozy date to the rink. I cool afternoon on ice after a hot summer day. Ice Hockey, Ice Dancing, Figure Skating. Think of all the fun to-dos.

Alas, until then I have to settle for the less than painful and rather gorgeous drive down the coast to Oxnard. Someday on the trip home I will stop at the “Live Lobster and Avocado” stand in La Conchita. I never seem to leave enough time. And I do get to go to the .99 Cent Store near the rink. Gotta love the 99’r. I will manage the commute until that faithful day when Santa Barbara’s Ice In Paradise is made real and I can glide northward an easy few miles up to Goleta.

Ice Dancing is new high for me. It is the gentle glide that draws me to my center. The ice sooth’s my savage beast and brings out a graceful gentility that lives deep within me. The beauty, the beast…all things are soothed on the ice.

My fiancé is thrilled too. He bought me a Zuca bag for my skate gear. It is bag and a seat in one rolly-polly-light-show-spectacular contraption. And I just ordered my first pair of Chloe Noel skate pants. No bloomers as yet. The sleek-black and tight fitting pants are better for the “mature” skater. Maybe next Christmas I will find myself in bloomers. Here’s hoping. All skate!

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