Friday, January 28, 2011

....................but still haven't been able

The last two weeks, as I longingly yearn to dance, I have been gifted with the words that my fellow dancers have been dancing by Winky, so I can be moved in my heart, spirit and my words instead of with my outside body. Tuesday night, "G", one of my soul sisters and a dance/life touchstone for me, chose my line for me- ........but still haven't been able, for me to dance in solitude, at home. Surely Mary Oliver wrote the phrase for me. Thank you Georgianna for knowing intuitively and blindly what I needed to dance. I am moved, without movement.

The Teachers

~Mary Oliver~
Owl in the black morning,
mockingbird in the burning
slants of the sunny afternoon
declare so simply
to the world
everything I have tried but still 
haven’t been able
to put into words,
so I do not go
far from that school
with its star-bright
or blue ceiling,
and I listen to those teachers,
and others too --
the wind in the trees
and the water waves --
for they are what lead me
from the dryness of self
where I labor
with the mind-steps of language --
lonely, as we all are
in the singular,
I listen hard
to the exuberances
of the mockingbird and the owl,
the waves and the wind.
And then, like peace after perfect speech,
such stillness.

..................but still haven't been able.............
~ to accept my limitations,
~ to not feel angry at myself for fracturing my metatarsal bone while doing what  I love~~~~~ dance,
~ to deal with the frustrations of yet another limitation,
~ that the injury will prevent me from dancing for 6-8 weeks, 
~ to be at peace with my body where it is at this moment, 
~ to ask for help,
~ to not feel inadequate and dependent,  
~ to be patient,
~ to know this is not permanent,
~ to accept what is and not be looking for reasons & answers,
~ to not be at war within and with my body,
~ to know that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional

to quote Mary Oliver in this poem that once again never fails to speak to me,

   "from the dryness of self
where I labor
with the mind-steps of language --"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Poem I Must Dance in My Heart Today

The Journey

by Mary Oliver
"One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried
with it's stiff fingers
at the very foundations--
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save."

I am angry, I am frustrated, I feel cheated and I struggle with the question "why does everything I do that gives me pleasure, cause me pain?"
Friday night SCORE was amazing. I danced into such a deep place that I wanted to stay there forever. Even during the last 30 minutes, after I intuitively knew that I had broken my toe dancing, I continued on, compelled by something very deep, that kept me from listening to my body, and instead just listen to my soul. Now I am faced with the reality that my middle toe is badly broken at the foot joint, and that I will be on crutches and will probably not be able to dance for 6-8 weeks. At least not be able to "dance" the way I want to define it. Now the challenge is to dance through the "why me, not again" feelings. To learn to dance the "blips in the road" and to accept that when I can return to dance, it will be with baby steps, and sometimes with no steps at all.  Maybe a deep dance that comes from within, that does not have to involve my external body at all. A dance that will involve that deeper soulful body and spirit that has to learn to be free to dance, using this body, at this moment, the only way it can dance. I have to let go of the "I want it to be different" song, and learn to accept what is, right now. It is not a challenge that I welcome or enter into willingly but after all....... this is my dance today. The only one I can do.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Create Plenty fomerly Leave No Plastic Behind

I was delighted to stop by REI the last week in December and see the LNPB quilt displayed in the store! You can grab a bit of a look at it including my piece in the attached pictures. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Mothertree Project Film

I was delighted to get a first glimpse of Ian Lucero's film documentation of Helen Heiberts "The Mothertree Project" that I had the honor of participating in as a crocheter and in the closing exhibit performance in Portland. It brought back so many wonderful memories for me of the evening back in May of last year. I moved with the others around the Sculpture and crocheted. I also had the honor of both reading other women's words, as well as my own, in a voice over in the film. Ian's film really captured the magical beauty of the event. I spoke words about how the project conjured up many emotions for me. My mother always knitted and crocheted throughout my life offering comfort and warmth to the entire family. The performance followed a particularly difficult visit with her in Florida, as she dealt with health issues. I was also reminded of my childhood in elementary school, going to the New York City local park on May Day, to do our annual Maypole Dance. Then I spoke of my son Adam, who was born on May 1, May Day, 31 years ago, and facing some health and injury challenges as well. I held this all in my heart and spirit as I participated in the Mothertree Project Performance event. I will always cherish this rich opportunity. Please click on the above link to enjoy the glimpse of the lovely film.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

...and my look shot upward;

When I entered the dance space last night I was embraced by a deep nurturing hug from Winky and the phrase, "you made it"! Yes I did. Showing up is half of it after all, isn't it?
We began the evening, with a bit of a closed eyed meditation and reflection on which part of our body was calling to us. I knew immediately that it was my sacrum, sore perhaps from beginning yoga class the night before, or calling to me, the sacrum- the sacred.
The word "sacrum", meaning "sacred" in Latin, lives on in English anatomy as the name for the large heavy bone at the base of the spine.
The Romans called the bone the "os sacrum," which literally meant the "holy bone" and the Greeks termed it the "hieron osteon," the same thing, the "holy bone".
We then proceeded, as always, to blindly choose our Mary Oliver line to dance. Mine was, "and my look shot upward" from the ever so poignant poem "Snow Geese". We then reflected on one word that called to us, mine being "upward". We took a moment to connect the focus of our body part and our word. It was clear to me that my dance of the evening and my dance in life is about looking upward and inward for spiritual guidance, to touch the sacred, however that shows up for me, in this time of searching for strength and wisdom to meet the challenges that life is presenting to me. I danced richly as I felt the drum beat of the music resonate deeply within my body.

"Snow Geese"~~ Mary Oliver~~
"Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly"