Love on a Bike

Gallery & Shop by Rima Malallah

Love on a Bike is Rima Malallah's shop. Established in Amman, Jordan in 2006, it offers a wide selection of art & handmade products- paintings, pottery, woodwork, glass, custom-made furniture in addition to mural work. Items available for purchase online and at the brick-and-mortar shop in Amman.

Pinching & Throwing

A few years ago I heard on the radio somewhere that thousands of years ago humans who danced fared better than those who didn’t. The reason being that dance was an essential non-verbal form of communication and if you didn’t/couldn’t dance you didn’t get far in life and evolution/your own people weeded you out.

Instant panic. 

I don’t like dancing. I never dance. I don’t care to even try or learn. It’s a part of life I’m happy to do without. So why panic? The explanation, if you know me well, will make perfect sense. If you don’t know me you might find it/me odd and that’s fine. Here we go.

Discovering the importance of dance was very worrying because I instantly realized I wouldn’t’ve done well. It’s one thing to feel pressured (and refuse) to dance at a wedding and a whole other dive into a deep well of panic and anxiety to have your survival depend on it. Be honest, even if you enjoy dancing, you’re now panicking a little just thinking about it, aren’t you? Oh, you weren’t but now you are?

Don’t worry, it’s okay to worry.

Cat in a scarf, not a fan of dance either

Cat in a scarf, not a fan of dance either

I’m deeply interested in the how of life (it’s why I ask a million questions about everything) and upon discovering that dance skills were essential for one’s survival I started worrying about just how I would’ve made it. I was certain I wouldn’t have. Never mind what a moot question or worry that really is - I’ve managed to live my life sans dance and I’m fine. I don’t actually think society is going to cast me aside for my refusal to dance, and evolution hasn’t stopped me from coming into existence. So I get how silly this sounds, why worry about how I would’ve fared had I been born thousands of years ago?

Welcome to my mind!

The simple answer is that I did, and once you have a conscious thought the options are to either willfully ignore it or deal with it. I don’t know how to do the former, so the latter it was. It didn’t take long to resolve the panicked feeling - I would have been the person making the pots! Surely that person wasn’t expected to dance, they communicated with the vessels they made! I also could have made food, and everyone loves food! Making pots and filling them with delicious food was how I would’ve survived human evolution.

Clumsy cat is embraced not ostracized

Clumsy cat is embraced not ostracized

Go to almost any archeological site in Jordan- you will find shards of pottery all over (called surface scatter) because one of the most important forces in the evolution of humans was the ability to cook food (it saved the body energy from having to digest raw food all the time and the human brain had a chance to grow). Nowadays you would be hard pressed to find something that fosters a sense of togetherness more than food does, and there you find the true value of functional pottery.

If you’re an anthropologist or an evolutionary biologist (or just better informed than I am) and you think i got the story wrong about the importance of dance or the development of the human brain let me know. I’m not trying to add to the wealth of misinformation that’s already out there.

Pottery shard, circa 8th century Qasr Mushatta Found while on an adventure with Bashar from  A Map and a Lens

Pottery shard, circa 8th century
Qasr Mushatta
Found while on an adventure with Bashar from A Map and a Lens

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