The dotted rhythm. Without it, there would be no Bach. His music would never have danced. You know what a dot does to a note, I’m sure. It adds half again to a note’s duration. A typical dotted quarter would, in 4/4 time, occupy 1 and 1/2 beats, and typically be followed an eighth note to make up 2 whole beats. It lightens the musical step, kicks up the heels, gains release from the earth. It skips rather than plods. It is the feminine to the even notes’ masculine.
We are all an admixture of the male and female. Females are freer than ever to express traits that have been seen as masculine, their warrior character, according to Joseph Campbell. Some men, many perhaps, seem to be much less comfortable expressing their female side, their suppleness, their light–footedness. Some of us plod. We stiffen our hips, square our shoulders, and soldier on. Men, women too, what does it cost us to fix our hips so that they do not swivel a bit, so that the hip does not in some measure facilitate the leg’s swinging forward? What does it cost us not to swing?
That rear leg in an advancing step can spring from the ground. It doesn’t have to be lifted, and above all, it doesn’t have to be planted to swing the other leg around it’s axis, the default walk of many of us. It can be the short note of a dotted rhythm propelling us forward.
Today in the words of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, live in the along, in the becoming.
Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
“even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night.”
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.
Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.