Yes, fall arrives, and in nearly perfect time so too these fingers so accustomed to these letters, although the keys themselves have changed.
Poems, the comfort of stories kept between dry pages, the warm breath of soup on the stove - I love it all, and yet sometimes I'm not sure how many more times my heart will endure the season without breaking. Every autumn I'm transported in one leaf-strewn tunnel back through all the years, tearing away my roots.
Love, at least, becomes a keening theme, and so too what to do with it. And this year, like every other year before it, I'm trimming away what isn't needed, desperately embracing what is. There's dance, there's good food, there's music, there are friends and family, and there is the stillness draped between every weeping edge.
Sleep calls. Dance tomorrow, dance on Saturday, dance on Sunday!
Sat, Jun. 9th, 2007, 04:19 pm
The rain hems us in. It surrounds my bike, daring me to ride. It guards the streets, watches the crosswalks. My two rain jackets are already dripping from kitchen chairs. Diane is somewhere out there, on a wet bus streaming through the rain. She'll have to cross a falling gray sea before she reaches home.
Food is a strange shadow. I made crêpes last night in a flurry when Diane requested them, and we gorged ourselves with their nutella-banana-raspberry-filled flesh. Other than this, I eat too few vegetables. I think some restless sort of spirit has settled into the kitchen and it tickles my bones.
Dance is a rising growl in my chest. I want tango lessons. I want blues dancing every night. I want our new home to crouch low somewhere in a green glade, flecked with dim, flickering blue lights that draw blues-hungry souls in from the streets. Shift and lean and warp all night long, into the dawn. It's the only way I'll ever see a sunrise: while dancing.
Did I mention we have to move. This humble house was sold from under us for $998,000, more place values than I could ever imagine owning myself. We have to move out of our tiny refuge, brave the rain-streaked streets outside, grapple with power-tripping landlords, and start somewhere over anew. As long as there's room for dancing, and a bit of green, and a good kitchen, I'll be happy.
And if the rain stops soon.
Diane and I performed a new piece last night at a fund raiser for a Ukrainian dance troupe. That means we weren't paid, but it pushed us to create something new. We were also lucky enough to have two wonderful photographers there, and they've sent us a handful of sample shots. Here's one.
The piece was inspired by 1940's film noir detective movies. I think the photographer captured our mood perfectly! How exciting to have new wonderful photos! The piece itself went wonderfully, by the way, better than we could have expected after a very rushed choreographic period and very little rehearsal. We can't wait to revisit it and perform it again.
Sun, Oct. 22nd, 2006, 12:19 pm
October and the old tendrils rise up new.
Leaves in the street, longer shadows, and last night a dream in which something like a zombie or a frankenstein-in-miniature or maybe it was the dead student who jumped from a dorm room pursued me ceaselessly, tirelessly, and I could do nothing to fully escape.
The old magicks rise up--books and music and words. The old smells rise up--wet ground and rain and early evening chill. Time for stew and thick bread and tea. Time for myth, for a dab of paint, for a long coat.
Summer is eight months away, and it's what I preferred a month ago, but now I've taken to this thicker skin of clothing, this thirst for warmth and light. I prefer the pillow and deep blankets of my bed to a pool. I prefer hot chocolate to lemonade cool.
Halloween nears, and the Parade of Lost Souls. More frolicking in the swirling dark. I'm ready to whirl and swerve, dervish in haunted parks.
It has been such a long time since I've written here.... Or has it? My laziness hasn't been laziness at all, but engagement in an assortment of other activities. Three hikes in one week. Designing our website
. Dancing and practicing dance. And more, I'm sure, though I can't always remember the details. This photo is from our hike to the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park today, and it's also on Flickr which has been thoroughly mesmerizing me for the past several days. After all our hiking, I finally felt lighter, and was surprised to discover that my feet had left the ground!
The title of this post is related to three other photos I posted on Flickr, both taken around midnight. Click on the photo to get there.
Sun, Jul. 16th, 2006, 11:22 am
We've taught our first lesson, and more are in the works. Our website is better than ever. It seems that things are truly beginning--we're taking steps forward!http://www.nightanddaydance.com
Sun, Apr. 30th, 2006, 08:32 pm
A pattern seems to have developed. I come here to discuss movement/dance and how well I've integrated it into my life.
Much better, thank you! Yesterday a tap class, then my first parkour practice at the UW, then tap practice at home, and finally blues dancing until 4 am! Couldn't get much better than that. The night before, I danced myself to exhaustion at ecstatic dance, and even tried contact with one of the guys there.
Tango is hovering at the edge of my awareness. I may have to confront it soon. So is gymnastics, as I continue to waver back and forth. Should I or should I not attempt it? Am I too old for flips or handsprings? Or would learning these things contribute to my fitness, my enjoyment of movement, my overall joy?
I shall keep dancing. I shall continue to practice parkour (it was nice running in the rain with a bunch of guys the other day). I shall continue to practice random things at home.
And..... I think I'll be happier for it all.
Why haven't I been dancing all this time? What cruel hole in my brain made me wait and procrastinate and waver and doubt? Why these blank and then these dazzling miraculous tides?
I have to dance. I AM dance. My heart is movement. My breath is meant to heave and flash.
I've blamed late hours. I've blamed plateaus. I blamed a light wallet, geography, and a preponderance of the wrong classes. I blamed my lack of experience, my late start, anything I could. What I could have been doing was dancing.
Here, in the basement. There, in the street. Out in the field. In a studio. At dances. In small ways between moments and as large as possible when nothing is in the way. It's clear to me now that so many of the things I do are stand-ins for deeper movement. Juggling, fire spinning, sleight of hand are all pale ghosts of dance, and sometimes even become dancing (poi spinning to a blistering song), but they aren't enough.
Now I have four stitches in my back and a troublesome ankle, and I'm even more frustrated by inertia's weight (and doctor's orders to avoid strenuous activity). I want to be moving, gleaming, breaking open this shell.
The best time to start (or start again) is never tomorrow or next week.
It's now now now now now--
Sun, Feb. 26th, 2006, 07:34 pm
No claymation. My digital camera takes pictures too slowly. Can't imagine tackling a project involving hundreds of minute steps and then multiplying the time involved by at least 3 seconds per shot. No thanks.
Magic still, but on a much smaller level. I won't ever attain perfection, and I won't ever make a career out of it. Even if I could/wanted to, it's not the one thing that gives me the most fulfillment and satisfaction. Magic becomes yet one more trade of which I'm a passable jack.
No, my most consistent motivation for the past several years has been dance. But oh it's a love-hate relationship! High on bright whirling feet, crushed by doubt and self-consiousness. Want to dance every day, every night, perform and teach and breathe it. Want to give it up forever, tired of dancing in circles. My spark is rekindled once again, and once again I have a short list of goals.
Keep up with tap. Take classes. Learn from videos. Practice daily. Be better than a jack. Weave tap into my movement-fabric.
Go out dancing again. Bike or bus to venues if I have to.
Teach. Neighborhood families, kids, parents, doesn't matter who. Just teach. Try new approaches. Break new ground. Expand the swing scene's stale repertoire of moves. Push the limits of connection.
Perhaps a movement practice group with the kids at my school. Give them (and myself) space in which to learn and practice dance, juggling, poi, hula hoop, and more. Can't keep denying the importance of movement. But for a few short dark months in the winter, I (and don't others?) suffer without it.
Choreograph. Short pieces. Silly pieces. Sequences or stories. Create work, plan on performing SOME DAY, whether on stages or on street corners, stick with it. Be less perfect, which has meant fruitless. Be more alive, more courageous.
That's it. Of course there are other dance styles I'd like to learn and practice, and other non-dance skills I could be practicing as well. But that's how it always goes. I'm just tired of being unfocused and INERT. Time to push harder and grow.
(Rereading latest entry) I suppose it's easier, once the nasty cold bugs have taken hold, to dip into dreary places and to feel blank or stuck or lost. Ick. I'm going to sleep way in tomorrow, try not to feel guilty about the kids, and try to let my white blood cells do their important work.