Thursday, November 01, 2012

NaBloPoMo 1 - Tell us your favourite quotation and why?

It's that time of year again! When I try and blog everyday for November. I'm going to answer the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompts, and then I'll bring in anything else that catches my interest.

If you've ever had a burning question you'd like me to answer, then feel free to tweet, email, FB me etc, and I will endevour to answer it this month as well.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

There's one right up there in the blog layout:

If I can not dance, I want no part in your revolution.
Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman, according to Wikipedia, was a Russian American, writer, feminist, anarchist, atheist who died in 1940. I'm sure she and I would have had a whale of a time debating.

Wikiquotes says:

From her autobiography: 'Living My Life', 1931
At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.

I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. "I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal. (p. 56)

This incident was the source of a statement commonly attributed to Goldman that occurs in several variants: 

If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!
If I can't dance, I don't want your revolution!
If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won't be dancing at the revolution, I'm not coming. 
So, it seems she didn't ever say my exact quote, but I think the passage that inspires this sums up why this is a favourite of mine.

I think often those of us who take up causes get bogged down in the misery of it all, the neverending struggle. And we miss the joy of living. There's a line in Anglican liturgy, I've talked about it here bedore, may God hallow the small and ordinary things. There's so much beauty in this world to be celebrated  along the way as we fight injustice.

So as we struggle in our myriad ways, I hope we can all take a little joy in the mere act of existing. For me, I often find that joy on a dancefloor, spinning and spinning and spinning. I never dance to be watched, I dance for how it makes me feel inside. Body and music as one.

So, if there is to be a revolution, I will be dancing towards it, and dancing after it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know where it comes from ,It was on a book shop bag.
'Outside of a dog a man's best friend is a book and inside a dog it's too dark to read anyway'