Sometimes the Wind Dances
"Sometimes the wind dances, Mama."
Orinora was five and head-strong, her will as hard as the marbled sapphire and amethyst that made up her small lucidian form. Her mother sighed, setting aside the temporal dissertation she had already been distracted from, and explained that while the wind may blow, and the aerials' movements may mimick grace, and the Wind Lords may be sentient and intentional manifestations, none of those facts could be claimed to indicate definitive or even substantial proof that the wind itself could be justifiably anthropomorphised to such an extent as to dance. Orinora let go her flowing silk ribbons and returned to her maths.
"Sometimes the wind dances, Father."
Orinora was twelve, taller now and still growing. The wind may well dance, her father allowed, having a poetry in his heart that her mother lacked, but she was not the wind and dancing was frivolity for the uneducated masses of Gaudiguch. One might dabble in the higher arts, as he did, but such works were lasting and served some practical purpose beyond the simple aesthetic. A play or a novel provided ambiguity, a chance for moral or political commentary, and the opportunity for basic elucidation of a theory or event. Paintings offered enchanted transportation; statues, protection; and figurines, a way to do honour to the gods. Dance was nothing but transient indulgence, a childish whim of those who could serve no higher purpose with their creativity. Orinora thought that this was a false distinction based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the arts, but she took off her soft silk shoes and resumed her sculpture.
"Sometimes the wind dances, Provost."
Orinora was twenty-three and struggling to find her place as a mature, contributing member of the Collective. The Aeromancer administrator's smile was only mildly indulgent, his overworked exhaustion tempered by dedication to his work and the potential he saw in this woman who was still little more than a girl. He assured her that the wind did dance, of course, and the world was more beautiful when it did so. But the wind's dances were temporary, a brief moment of relaxation between all the other, more important things the wind accomplished in a day. If she were to model herself off of the wind, he explained, she must find an appropriately productive duty to be her main focus and consider dancing of secondary importance, used to centre herself and inspire others so that she would be able to serve in her primary capacity without distraction or distress. The Provost confided that he, indeed, was a writer of melodies for the flute. He took his inspiration from the songs the wind would whistle and howl as it worked around the platforms of Hallifax. Orinora left her musicbox playing as she picked her book up again.
"Sometimes the wind dances, Minister."
Orinora was thirty-five, settling into her role as an Instructor of Aeromantic Studies but still seeking an outlet for her inspiration. The Minister of Cultural Affairs considered for a long moment before he explained that the Hallifaxian Opera House had never hosted a dance performance before. He supposed it could be done, as musical concerts were held with some regularity despite the otherwise fleeting and intangible nature of sound, but no one had ever wanted to dance upon the stage before, and surely there must be a reason for that. He would allow a live show, he decided, but it was not to be recorded until the Board of Directors had viewed and approved of the work as a legitimate contribution to the Collective's cultural life. Orinora smiled as she had not since her mother had first rebuked her and spun away to prepare.
"Sometimes the wind dances, students."
Orinora is fifty and Provost of the Aeromancers, having taken over the position some time ago from her former mentor. Her responsibilities extend to several ministries of Hallifax, and she helped many younger citizens find their place in the Collective, teaching the balance of duty and beauty.
And sometimes, she dances.