Doubt, like shit, happens.

I know it does. I know it has. I know that it always will. And yet, every damned time doubt comes to dance, I am startled; surprised.

You’d think I’d know better by now.

The weekend: wonderful. I woke, each day, full of joyous anticipation about the thinking that was ahead, delighted to have two full days to play in the created world. I didn’t leave the building all weekend. With the exception of a “hi, my name is” exchange with a fellow work-out pard in the elevator, and a couple of brief electronic conversations with dear ones, I spoke to no one. I did the human things; I just never left Island Lynn to do them.

I loved every minute of it.

Late yesterday, the dance turned sour. It hasn’t completely curdled, but it went iffy on me.

It was bound to.

I am filling the notebooks so rapidly, I have had to order a third one. In those spaces (the place I go, the reading I do, to settle my mind around the idea) are scenes so vital and alive that I must remind myself that they are not scenes in movies. Baryshnikov moments that launch themselves into the air. Gene Kelly moments. Kenneth MacMillan moments that sweep me through my head and leave me breathless. Those moments paled last night in the knowledge of how much work is left to do.

Scenes—even wonderful ones—do not a great plot make. Dots remain dots until they are masterfully connected. I have the dots. I see the connections, as un-sturdy as they might still be. They are a dance diagram that floats in the air at constant eye level. But I ain’t waltzing yet.

Doubt has its uses. Doubt is the rehearsal for a strong performance; the place where errors reveal themselves on the way to perfection. Same as it is everywhere. Same as it ever was.

I hope and expect and want the work to reveal itself without the pain. It doesn’t. It won’t. Doubt is a demanding a dance master as joy is. Each must have its moment. Each must take its turn with me. And as each does, I remind myself, Dance, kiddo. Until your brain bleeds. Doubt is where better comes from.

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