Passion and Pathos: Spirit of the Dance

Beautiful writing from Jan Malique.

Strange Goings On In The Shed

sport-1818691_1920 (1) Image: Pixabay

The dancers moved intuitively to the sound of their hearts as the music swelled and sobbed. It finally paused, waiting for the lovers to catch their breath. This was more than an interlude in a cafe that had seen glory and laughter in a bygone age. Few tourists ventured into the old quarter of the city, much less enter through the portal of this place. The ones that did manage to find this near mythical establishment were fated to come. Their souls were infused with the elixir of passion and pathos. Forever rising on the swell of the rhythm and then slumbering in the arms of the silence that followed.

dance-238263_1920.jpg Image: Pixabay

A woman sitting at a table in the corner of the room stared intently at the dancers. They presented a magnificent picture; gentleness, poetic beauty in the lines of their faces and a certain melancholy in the embrace…

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Ten small things

It was the sunset that started it, the return of what I have come to think of as ‘ the full sky’, just after the vernal equinox.

I have a habit, when I manage to do full day’s gardening, of sitting with a final outdoor cup of tea and looking at the approaching sunset, camera in hand, experiencing what the ancient philosophers called ‘agape’. There’s something about bodily exhaustion and appreciating nature…


We are luckily in living on the edge of the Lake District’s hills – a landscape of what our geography teacher called drumlins – a ‘basket of eggs’ topography created by the last gasp of the melting glaciers that carved this vast and vivid landscape from the ancient volcanic rocks beneath.


Awakening this morning to another bright blue sky, I began to feel that wonder of inner and outer renewal that marks the miraculous forgetting of the winter – and in Cumbria we have some of the wettest and worst – in a way that amazes me every time it happens.

Ten New Songs – my favourite Leonard Cohen album – if you think he just made music for when you wanted to end it all, check it out… I was playing it on the iPod in the kitchen as I made our breakfast lattés. The beauty of Alexandra Leaving was still with me as Bernie dropped Tess and me off at the river park, from which we always begin our walk along the river Kent into Kendal, to meet up two hours later, for our post dog-walk and shopping rendezvous in the centre.

‘Ten New Things’, I thought, adapting The song’s sentiments to the spirit of the spring’s power of renewal. I will, this morning, find and photograph ten things, redolent in the spring sunshine, to share this Kendal morning.

Ten became seven, I decided to share the best of Friday’s sunset as the initiator of the mix.

Seven: the old, three-trunked beech tree down by the river Kent, down the slope from our drop-off point. The light through the gaps made even Tess’ tail wag.


Six: the view from the main road of the river alongside the long curve by the K Village – named after the old K Shoes factory. The light on the water was magical and fullsome.


Five: The sign above The Moon restaurant, resplendent in its blues, reds and golds…


Four: a lovely knotted scarf in the ‘ethnic’ shop that always reminds me of far-away places.


Three: Yard 77 – what a great name for one of Kendal’s many stone alleys that lead down to the river. Private Eye Montague Brewster of Yard 77… perhaps one day I’ll get around to writing it?


Two: Two old firefighter’s helmets in a curiosity shop. Wonderful!


One: Kendal’s lovely town hall, at the entrance to the main part of the town centre, and the end of our trip.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ten small things. And that, you too, feel the pulse of life following the equinox.