When we dance

When we dance angels will run and hide their wings,’ sings Sting about an

extramarital affair. Like the Song of Solomon’s, ‘one my soul loves’,

Sting  asserts, ‘He won't love you, like I love you’.

Maeve ,a gentile,  loves Jake, a Jew ; a man  not her husband. Like the lovers

in Sting’s song, they commit the social crime of seeking the vitality of a passionately

sexual relationship, fired by the uncertainty of  staying alive in traumatic wartime days and


Maeve, trapped ,  married on a wave of pre-war hysteria to a man she hardly knew.

Bert her husband , confined to a prisoner of war. Jake shackled to his religion.

Maya Angelou’s  poem ‘Love’s exquisite freedom’ calls for love to  Liberate us into

life’. The war years  pre-dating the  sixties sexual revolution  and the advent of the

contraceptive pill, bequeathed  war babies , new life , some  of ambiguous parentage.

Maeve and Jake took love where they found it. Maeve conceives Ben

with Jake, but  in his  subsequent absence she maintains only  an

imaginary relationship with him as her ‘true love’, her perceived soul mate,  through  eight

years of post -war marriage , faithfully  waiting for him to return, whilst living by necessity

with a homosexual husband who could not love her .

Maeve’s allegiance was to Jake, not her husband.

‘Ani ohev otach,’ Jake tells her, ‘I love you’.

‘Ani ohevet otach,’ she replies .

‘Yi hyena be seder neshama,’‘  Jake reassures her .  ‘Everything will be alright darling’

‘ Neshama’ translates as ‘darling’  indicating the  deepest relationship - a soul

mate transcending  all others .

But with a right to exist despite the conventions of marriage?

Was Jake, Maeve’s  soulmate?   

As father of her child ; he was  her destiny. In Judaism a ‘bashert’ is a partner on life’s

journey , preordained, kismet , fate. But a soul mate is something else; one who will  find

you no matter what because they  are your other half,  predestined by God , parted   before

birth, eventually  reunited. ‘Bashert’ and soul mate ,not mutually exclusive nor inclusive.

If I could break down these walls and shout my name at heaven's gate, I'd take these hands

and I'd destroy the dark machineries of fate,’ sings Sting, kicking against the marriage that

separates him from his destiny , controversially asserting ‘I keep the faith in my fashion.’

Maeve  married to Bert ‘keeps the faith’,  living an imaginary life with Jake the absent father

of her son as she struggles to break out of her sepia existence. Her bubble bursts, 

discovering  Jake’s betrayal as he marries someone else.

Distraught at his unfaithfulness, Maeve rebounds into the arms of Manny, a

sophisticated Berliner rebuilding his life post-holocaust  in the fashion industry.

Is Manny Maeve’s neshama or simply part of her destiny ?

Read my next story to find out.