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There is so much time in the world, it’s hard to believe that there is anything you enjoy doing that could be a waste of time.

(vi. sympathetic movement)

Of course the Doctor is not the only one concerned about time – all the people are. Clocks and calendars can be found in every home. No one goes anywhere without an appointment. You can forget to say hello, but you can never be late. Such a peculiar worry about time being wasted has had a strange effect on the world. It seems to me that now time passes much more slowly than it used to.

Luckily, I am told that people like it this way. They need more and more hours in the day to accomplish their busy lives. Certainly it is true that we could all use more time to relax in a bath, or watch sunsets, or to remember our dreams. And I would hope people could use this time to write poems, or to remember anniversaries, or maybe to learn how to dance. But ironically, it seems that instead each day brings people more appointments, unfinished to-do lists, and new schedules to plan.

Time was much easier to manage before, when people were still born in pairs. Anyway I liked it better when man and woman came out of the womb together, joined permanently together with a single heart. They could crawl out into the world face-to-face, safely hugging each other. Then warmly, still in embrace – it must have been because they were already wrapped beautifully one around the other – they would dance. Slowly at first, in circles like the sun, turning and moving to the music inside them: the beating of a single heart. And so, too, the earth began to move. Faster and faster it turned, accompanying the pairs. sympathetic movement
vi. sympathetic movement
As the pairs turned around and around to music, so did the earth.

Before, when the earth turned quickly, the days were smaller, and much easier to recall. The days used to be prettier, too – do you remember? Shorter and smaller, they came in a hurry, like babies being born on the hour. The sky lit up in perpetual sunsets. And people used to hug each other, people used to dance together. As the pairs turned around and around to music, so did the earth. Faster and faster. Time passes quickly when you’re in another’s arms.

But things are so different today. Already there are too many hours in a day – we’re up to twenty-four! Yet in all those hours, people don’t have time to dance anymore like they used to. Their lives are too busy, I’m afraid. There are agendas and timetables, meetings and piles of paperwork. People have thrown off their dance shoes for loafers and high heels.

And the earth, too, has slowed its spinning to the pace of business. Now even technology moves more swiftly than the earth. I can’t say when or how it happened, but today people can survive with only half a heart. So now we are born into this world alone, crying loudly for our missing love. Crawling slowly into the fetal position, we wonder where in the world to go. Now we have no choice but to seek out love. We must find the rest of our heart in that body of our true companion, because that person must exist, somewhere.

Fortunately today we have more time to search for love because the earth turns so slowly. There are so many hours in the day that people could meet and chat well into the evening. They could even dance the night away, if they still felt like it. There is so much time in the world, it’s hard to believe that there is anything you enjoy doing that could be a waste of time.

So few dancers of the true sort remain on this earth. Yet the ones that do remain are an example to us all. These dancers have found a partner to embrace on the dance floor. They have found the missing half of their heart. And they alone keep the world turning, because the earth does continue moving for those who love.

I have seen the earth move. It’s there in the musical spaces and checkered floors, couples joined at the heart, dancing unaware of their power. They do not dance on it, or for it, but with the earth – because maybe the earth dances too, sometimes.

The Doctor does not dance. She says she used to, but has lost her partner. "That is no excuse," I tell her. The music continues to play. The feeling still lingers inside her, I hope. There is a melody coming from the walls, a tune playing from under the floors. The earth is just like a wind chime, really. Do you hear it? Can you hear the music? The whole world begs her, really it begs us all, to keep moving.

Reader, I might be willing to try if you will.

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© 2002 by b.z.