Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why Real Men Don't Dance

 
When I was a boy

When I was a boy,
I was told not to cry.
So I stopped.

When I was a youth,
I was told not to sing.
So I stopped.

When I was a teen.
I was told not to dance.
So I stopped.

When I went off to war,
I was told not to talk.
So I stopped.

One day she asked me to dance,
And I have learned to cry,
I have learned to sing and talk.
I am now a real boy,
Working on being a real man.


This poem is dedicated to the hundreds of soldiers I have met as a therapist who have started talking again after being afraid to tell their story.  It is an honor to meet the real boys and girls in my office.  They do not know me as the "tango therapist," but, as you might imagine, I do tell them to also learn to dance along with learning to talk.

Discussion:
A friend asked me after my last post on the body as the primal musical instrument if each person has at least a latent ability to dance.  I answered her in the words below, and then was inspired to write the above poem.

"Not every person weeps, but doing so is uniquely human.  Not every human being can talk, but that is uniquely human.  Not everyone can sing, but that is uniquely human.  Not everyone dances to music, but that is uniquely human.  Sometimes we teach each other not to be human; otherwise, we would do these things naturally."

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