Apropos of nothing, I recently got an earworm, that piece of music that continuously, uncontrollably runs through your mind. I can’t even remember when I last heard this particular song. Yet — all day, for several days — I’ve had the Backstreet Boys singing “As Long As You Love Me” in my head on repeat. Annoying, right? But worse than that, without their cute faces and stylish dance moves, the lyrics of the chorus strike me as quite problematic, if not ridiculous, in almost every context.
Whenever I find myself on top of a mountain in winter, especially when it’s snowing, I feel a rush of emotions. Above all, I am always amazed that I am there; that I ever took up the sport to begin with and then stuck with it despite a discouraging beginning. Equally important, I am grateful that I can physically do it and can afford it, as it takes stamina, some level of skill, and a decent chunk of money. I’ve experienced this same introspective moment every year for 30 years straight and I’ve experienced it all over the globe.
A strange and wonderful thing happened to me at a Halloween swing dance this year. As usual, it was a well-attended gala event. Most people, including me, were decked out in costume. It was early in the evening, a lively song came on, and I asked a masked man who was standing near me to dance. He wore a long cape with a hood and not one part of his head or face was visible. I had no idea who he was. He nodded yes, we got into dance position, took a few steps together. Then I looked up at him and the magic began.