How to Slip

Walking down the sidewalk on a cold day last winter, I slipped on the ice and threw my arms wide to stay upright. The older woman walking toward me gave me a concerned look. I must have seemed pretty silly, opening myself up like that. Maybe she thought I wanted a hug.

In an interview once, writer and illustrator Maira Kalman said, “The way that we move through space is really interesting to me, and I am conscious of the fact that we are moving and dancing, in our way, all day long.”

Another time I slipped that day, my arms flew to one side like the beginning of a pirouette. I froze, finding balance, and became a ballet dancer. A quick phrase; a sneeze of movement. Then I walked on. As if that wasn’t everything.

We step, we slip, we catch ourselves. Or others catch us. Halfway to disaster, we dance.