Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yes It Poured!

Last night, as I made my way to dance, through deep standing water and a sudden, unbelievable downpour, I made my way east, over the river, over the Steel Bridge, to find that half of the sky was shining brightly. I knew intuitively, at that moment, just where to look for my rainbow, that I knew was waiting for me. It was one of the most brilliant rainbows I have ever seen, and alongside it was a fainter 1/3 rainbow! How could the evening get any better? Well, as always, it does, when I enter the dance studio, a sacred space with dim lights, a candle lit altar, a place where I go to fill and be filled. I have been feeling so harried as if I am drowning lately, even before the rain began, and Tuesday night dance is the place I go to dance my life. We drew our lines from the floor and the one wavy slip of paper called to me, since it looked as water logged as I felt. My line could not have been more perfect, unless I had chosen the line my fellow dancer chose. Hers was, but at last I grew peaceful. At first I had "line envy", I wanted that, but then I realized, that even though I had not chosen that line, I could still "have it". Mine for the taking, if I only reach out. My line was, poured its harsh song through the sluices. This Mary Oliver poem, was one that I was not familiar with. My first thoughts were literal, not usually the way I think, about arriving to dance through the pouring rain and through the rainbow. I was not familiar with the word sluice, so we began to discuss it's meaning. It is a place of strength, power, rushing and pressure of the water as it squeezes it's way through the resistance, often between the small space that is created by closely spaced rocks. Is this not how I have been feeling? Yet, seeing that the power and strength that can grow from meeting the resistance and pushing through the tight spaces, is difficult, but necessary and freeing. Once the water makes it's way through this tight space, there is room to expand, slow down, spread out, allow and simply be. There can become a clarity, as the grains of sand settle out of the once turbulent water. What a lesson, as always, yet always a surprise, what I learn when I dance and allow it to flow through me. To not resist, not question or sensor my movement and feelings. As I moved through the room, through and amongst my fellow dancers, with a quickened pace and a swirling twirling feeling and movement, I paused occasionally to engage with another's movement. I often stay in a self imposed smaller dance space, but I felt pulled by the tide last night. We had spoken about the intention of seeing our room as a tide pool of sorts, a world unto itself. It felt that way, as each dancer moved in their own space yet totally aware of each others presence and importance, in this microcosm we create, in this sacred dance space. After a while, the music began to slow down after the animalistic, jungle, tribal feeling it had crescendoed into. I was finally able to settle in. At last I grew peaceful, within and without.


In the sea rocks,
in the stone pockets
under the tide’s lip,
in water dense as blindness

they slid
like sponges,
like too many thumbs.
I knew this, and what I wanted

was to draw my hands back
from the water – what I wanted
was to be willing
to be afraid.

But I stayed there,
I crouched on the stone wall
while the sea poured its harsh song
through the sluices,

while I waited for the gritty lightning
of their touch, while I stared
down through the tide’s leaving
where sometimes I could see them –

their stubborn flesh
lounging on my knuckles.
What good does it do
to lie all day in the sun

loving what is easy?
It never grew easy,
but at last I grew peaceful:
all summer

my fear diminished
as they bloomed through the water
like flowers, like flecks
of an uncertain dream,

while I lay on the rocks, reaching
into the darkness, learning
little by little to love
our only world.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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