Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Definition of BEHOLD

transitive verb
: to perceive through sight or apprehension : see
: to gaze upon : observe
intransitive verb
—used in the imperative especially to call attention
be·hold·er noun

Examples of BEHOLD

  1. Those who have beheld the beauty of the desert never forget it.
  2. beholds the immense complexity of life on earth>
How do I dance, how can I dance, how can I begin to begin again. When you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you, and that your world, as you have known it has been forever changed? I did not know how to give myself permission to go to dance on Sunday. To have fun? How is that even a possibility?  I went.................It was incredible as I "danced my life" as it was in that moment, in that body, in the now. When we gathered before the dance, Winky presented us with the contemplation of the word "BEHOLD". Wow, how powerful that word resonated for me. She spoke about it in terms of being not a witness who is separate from the other dancers, but being a part of the whole as you notice the others with awareness. A part of, rather than a part from. As I danced my life, the pain, the anger, the fear I was feeling, and emotions that I could not and cannot yet name, I felt filled with a power that I had never experienced.  The emotions raged through every inch of my body as I danced, as though I were a whirling dervish. Dervish is said to literally mean "one who opens the doors". It was so cathartic and I felt alive.  As I danced my emotions, and my emotions danced me, the word BEHOLD kept resonating and transforming. I thought about how if I could just "BE" whether it be present, strong, available, open to receive, listen, help, care for, exist for the sake of existing for oneself or another; that there is a true purpose in this word, this work, "TO BE". By taking better care of myself, the quality of my available to the the others in my life is stronger and richer. By being able to "BE" I felt that I could better "HOLD" my loved ones in times of trouble and in times of joy. To truly be able to be present to whatever comes up in our lives. Last night I returned to dance, although again with a feeling of guilt and my Mary Oliver phrase was "know what matters". Yes! I danced that phrase and held it deep within my being, and contemplate on that now as well. 
I am now trying to reconcile my feelings about this shift in our world, and trying to come to terms with accepting that things are not always the way we wanted them to be, the way we planned and expected them to be. Life unfolds the way it unfolds, and we have to learn to dance that life. So how do I begin to do this? We put one foot in front of the other, we do life as we always have, even though things might now be different. I have to give myself and my loves permission to dance, to cry, to be angry, to be fearful and to laugh. Yes to laugh. So we went to see "The Big Lebowski" on the big screen at the old Clinton Theater and we laughed. We laughed hard. I laughed every time Lebowski said that "the rug tied the room together". And the movie went on even when they pulled the rug out from under him......................

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Living The Princess and The Pea

I just finished a mixed media sculptural piece entitled "Living The Princess and The Pea" . It is the culmination of a year of collecting the labels that were sewn into the necklines of clothing when I purchased them or had collected over time. It is always necessary for me to remove the labels before I am able to comfortably wear the clothing because of a hypersensitivity condition that I named The Princess and The Pea Syndrome. Upon further research, I found that I was not alone. The sculpture consists of a "quilt" of sorts, of all the labels I attached by sewing them to two dressmaker's patterns. Once sewn, I then proceeded to dip the two parts of the "blouse" into beeswax and then form them into torso like shapes. They cannot stand alone and need each other for support. Inside the vessel, the void, that the two wax dress quilt pieces create, is a spool of long nails, pointed side up, and resting upon them is one small white down feather. I feel this piece narrates my feeling of having lived with this condition my entire life. There was something very satisfying about completing the long awaited sculpture. Although it soothes my spirit, it unfortunately doesn't assuage my condition. You can read more about what others have written about their experience living The Princess and The Pea below. The images are of the completed sculpture "Living The Princess and The Pea" including a detail image.
I am quoting other women, including myself who suffer with this sometimes debilitating condition. "I  make an effort to make other parts of my life as comfortable as possible, with appropriate clothing, and shoes. When I stand for too long, I have low back pain. In short, I try to do everything I can to enhance my creature comforts in my life, by removing those things which are bothersome. I also have problems with clothing. I don’t think I have a single shirt left that has the manufacturer’s tag still in it. The ones with the pretty metallic designs are especially annoying. I also cut them out of pants, underwear and bras. Thankfully, I don’t own much that does not have easy washing directions. Being around perfume and loud noises are additional irritants to my heightened system. Being around too many people for too long is a drain on my system and usually cause headaches. At the end of the day, I can't wait to remove my underwear and clothing and then am only able to wear a baggy sweatsuit with the shirt tucked smoothly into the pants to keep the elastic off my waist. I was often mocked by my mother for being "too sensitive" and being a pain in the neck to shop with, especially for underwear. If I have a headache earrings have to be very light, and not bounce, or they get left at home. Sometimes even my hair down on my neck is irritating to my skin. Any of this sound familiar? I would imagine it does. We are creatures with hypersensitive nerve endings. Our nervous systems react to many things others are not even aware of. All of this extra irritability adds up to less sleep, and more pain and fatigue. So, how do we deal with the “pea”? I imagine some of the things we need to do are similar, while others will be very individualThe immune system is an integral part of human protection against disease, but the normally protective immune mechanisms can sometimes cause detrimental reactions in the host. Such reactions are known as hypersensitivity reactions, and the study of these is termed immunopathology. Hypersensitivity is a state of altered reactivity in which the body reacts with an exaggerated immune response to a foreign substance
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by central sensitization resulting in hypersensitivity of the skin and deeper tissues as well as fatigue. Possibly the princess in Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Princess and the Pea' suffered from FMS"

As the story goes, making an effort to find a real princess to marry her son, the Prince, the Queen placed a pea on the bed, and covered it with 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds. When the young lady awoke the next morning, she said she had hardly slept at all because of a bump in the bed. The queen said "nobody but a real princess would have such delicate skin."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rich Sunday

After feeling under the weather all week, I knew what I needed most, but almost couldn't muster the strength. To go and do what I knew deep within, would lift me to the level that I desperately needed. To allow myself to pull myself out of my funk. I arrived at dance a few minutes early, and had a chance to settle in, to be witness to the other beautiful bodies of the early dance session, moving in and through the space, fully present to their bodies, that moment in time and space. The room began to clear and open for those of us who would dance the second session. I was reminded by J'aime, before I went in, that movement is tied to our lymphatic system and our bodies need to move to heal. I knew I was right in pushing myself to show up. We joined in our opening circle and Winky shared some wonderful visual words that touched me deeply and I began to melt further into myself. She told a bit about the documentary on Annie Leibovitz as she was talking with Mikail Baryshnikov about photographing dance.  Leibovitz had come to the conclusion that it was impossible to photograph dance, because "dance is art in air". Wow, need I say more???????
In the evening I had the wonderful opportunity to go to my friend Danelle's house for a meditation sit. I have been wanting to jump start my practice for quite a while now and have felt paralyzed. This was a wonderful opportunity to make room for the quiet, the space between; whether it is space between the words, the thoughts, the breaths or the movements I danced earlier.
I feel so grateful for my community of seekers on the same path.