n. 1. A mystical dancer who stands between the material and cosmic worlds. His dance is part of a sacred ceremony in which the dervish rotates in a precise rhythm. He represents the earth revolving on its axis while orbiting the sun. The purpose of the ritual whirling is for the dervish to empty himself of all distracting thoughts, placing him in trance; released from his body he conquers dizziness.
I've decided my dogs are whirling dervishes. I cannot tell you how many times they have gone into what we call their "blitz," which fits the description in the definition above. Every so often (too often, in my opinion), one of our two boy Bichons will begin running around in a circle. Not a small circle, as if he were chasing his tail. No, nothing as mundane as that. They take up a whole room with their "dance." Out of the blue, one begins to run a wide circle around the room, weaving around certain pieces of furniture. Then the other joins in. They don't change their route; they run a path in the carpet as they chase each other madly. Then one starts barking, which incites the other to bark, louder. They change directions. They change directions back. The dervish dance becomes so frenzied that they cannot hear me when I step into their path and shout, "STOP!!" They ignore me and avoid my hands as I reach for one to try to stop they crazed ceremony. Neither one will slow down enough so that I can grab him and interrupt the rhythmic ritual. I feel like their sun as they orbit me, faster and louder all the time. Suddenly, empty of energy to endure the ecstacy one moment longer, they stop for breath and stand still, panting, tongues lolling and dripping, sides heaving, eyes wild. The trance is finally broken. I pick up one dervish and cradle him in my arms, to ensure that it's over. That doesn't guarantee that the other dervish won't get his second wind and think to begin whirling again, but when I carry the one in my arms away, out of sight, the idea loses its charm. Whew. Until the next time.