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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Oh, the line forms on the right, dear, now that Mackie's back in town....

(Bertolt Brecht, trans. Gifford Cochran and Jerrold Krimsky)

After a miracle or two, my injury is sufficiently healed to let me out of my head and back into my body. But after being hurt, again, and being alone for a while, again, I'm really into Being On My Axis. It's so delicious, there's nothing nicer than being on one's axis. All I want to do is find my axis, and get really comfy on it, and find it again, and get really comfy on it again.  I've just been digging into the center of the earth with that there axis.

Which is a good thing. My magic patented Teflon-coated nonstick turns would be impossible without a good solid axis. And see me hanging out for eight million years on one foot, tossing off a few adornos while reading War and Peace? Thanks to my well-rooted axis. And those leaders getting all fancy and holding an actual conversation—it's because, después de un montón de trabajo, I'm on my axis. You can't dance unless you're on your axis, we all know that. It's like drinking water or reading aloud to your children. Everyone in the whole world has only good things to say about the concept. And everyone should do it more and better.

Except.

Today Little Miss On My Axis learned that burrowing into my axis like a workaholic mole is only half the battle. I was supposed to ocho and, although my head said “ocho,” my body boleoed.  And then got stuck and stayed right where it was. I was on my axis, so much so that I literally could not move. For a long minute I was so  root-bound to the centre of the earth, that I....
Could not move forward....

I was so hell-bent on being solid on my own that I couldn't respond to or be in the dance itself.  Which is a continual cycle of on-axis, off-axis, on-axis, off-axis.  We all know that.  But it's scary to let someone take you off your axis again, just once you've achieved a new level of really being on it. “Didn't we just do this?” you wonder. “It was fun the last time but what if it isn't fun this time? What if I can't find my axis again? What if I fall down?”

Or maybe you wonder, “gosh, I was doing wonderfully on my axis, everything was going smoothly, and then I let myself be led off my axis and I bumped into knees and got my foot stepped on and lost the lead and crashed into a table and all kinds of things, and what if I just don't feel like going there again quite so soon?”

It's infinitely peaceful, on one's axis. It's sublimely restful. It's better than a Saturday morning in bed with the New York Times crossword. Off one's axis, it's exciting, and you're certainly going exciting new places, but it's dangerous times, and the loss of personal control is terrifying. Again.  Here there be dragons.  Again.  Magical, fire-breathing, healing, destructive, larger-than-life dragons.  On one's axis, one hears one's self first. Off one's axis, one hears one's partner first.  We work really hard to find that beautiful still balance point, and it takes no work at all to be off it—should we just toss that stillness and all that hard work aside for the amusement of a moment?  And if we don't, do we risk losing stillness and gaining statisticity?

How do we embrace and live in the full spectrum of the axial cycle?

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