Enroute home, train leaves station in Burlington Iowa.
I am kneeling on the bed looking out listening to Harold Budd’s “Before day breaks”, slowly moving my arms. We are crossing a river. There are eagles all over the place, in the trees, in the air, on the edge of the ice. I am so excited. So many I can’t count!!!!!! My upper body is the gestural language ground, head face shoulders arms ribs trunk. Oak and sycamore, light snow cover. I come close to flying.
Not much more to say. Weeping at the end with happiness that I have this language, this way of expression.
I started walking a spiral and noticed that I had started from the right…and wondered if I do it backwards does this mean something? It was a small spiral as my external space is limited. Close my eyes…am reminded of the woman in red who spiraled into the earth, once upon a marrowbone.
Go to the ground, tone into my heart and lungs, rubbing my belly whispering little words that have no meaning. I hold a bird in my hand as I gestured with my hands a la tarin, I tossed my long red hair…feeling like a lioness, I am crawling…. aware of purple, gold, brown and red, as if the colors were weaving a tapestry.
I shift into a the bird and stand on one leg…amazed at how one’s intention can sustain a gesture or pose for what seems like a long, long time.
The last Sunday in January was uneventful, dull in fact. I had to keep dragging myself back to the matter at hand so I cut it short. However, 1 February was much better. I was quite alone, even the dog was out. It took me a while to get started, just sat there quietly and concentrated on my breathing…a few tentative movements…aware that my right arm is heavy, not responding…humor it asking my left arm to stroke the right, caress it, lift it, a kind of “pas de deux” with my arms. The rest of my body joined the fun, yes even my recalcitrant right arm, by this time was involved in this wonderful experiment.
Clouds are rushing west to east, temperature slowly dropping from above freezing to below 0 tonight. Sun comes and goes.
I have decided that I want to make an entire piece today and that I will not fight the urge to imagine an audience of friends.
I begin in silence, very delicate, small folding and unfolding of the digits both feet and hands… enter the room slowly … start to expand…get a bit rowdy with jumping and leaping and changing directions abruptly. A circle forms in my arms; head is framed. This shape and motif appears several times.
I also find myself in parallel one leg behind the other plie a la Afternoon of the Fawn, head flung back, amused by the visitation of Nijinsky in my body.
I go down to the floor, thinking of you two, my body resting. A while passes and I move again, oozing reptilian movements propelling me slowly across the floor.
There is a different sense of light this morning; I have different energy this morning. I give myself the challenge of continuous movement, walking from room to room, in, out, changing directions, backing up, going forward, noticing how I place my weight on the ground, getting stuck in doorways not wanting to exit, not wanting to venture forth. I slow it down to last for 1 hr. I come to everyday movement patterns and start playing with repetition; just play…stay out of your own way Sara.
Hannah, loved your accounts of the two train dances with necessary circumstantial temporary restrictions, different from my own difficulties, which I rebel at. I start in my usual way by greeting each of you in her own location with love, which carries me along for quite a while contentedly. Then I find myself standing which opens a completely new line of possibilities–oh nothing very dramatic but it was nice to feel a movement through my whole body for a change. It is closer to “real” dancing. I don’t see eagles when I look out my window but a pair of handsome ravens often pass overhead.
What different energy today from last Sunday.
Tired achy body…went out dancing last night until 1am!!
Therefore, this morning it was back to the ground, slow, purposeful movements, back to
I am aware of my lack of curiosity for improvisation this Sunday.
I jump into criticism and jump back to acceptance of this is who I am this morning.
I decide to embrace the moment and go into a sitting meditation.
I think of my body, the changes, I think of tarin, Hannah, Yvonne, and all of our
combined wisdom and experiences.
I yield into a sadness and a gratefulness that takes me to a folded position on the floor
and start rocking ever so slightly back and forth, side to side. This works into unfolding
My wanderings into my subconscious produced something totally unexpected — – -I had started with my palms brushing my thighs. From there I continued to use my palms, pushing, brushing, patting, clapping —they were at eye level when suddenly I had this vivid memory of my mother singing this little kid song (in French of course) while she manipulated my wrists in time with her words…”Elles font font font, les petites marionnettes, Elles font font font trois petits tours et puis sent vont.” It was so touching this sudden glimpse of a distant past.
With tarin at her schoolhouse. Snowing, due to get 10”. We are in the upstairs of her home, eaves, and window seats.
I go first, on the painted yellow and white checked rug, starting on my hands and knees nodding my head, yawning, eyes closed.
Slowly gestures begin, passing through the heart region of my chest, aware of the edge of the rug and being in alignment with the edge.
Sing. Mouth closed mouth open.
Eventually I make it to standing, bent over with toes on the edge of rug as if to dive. Which I do. I hurt my hip in the process, push back to the edge, and hover.
I am vertical and stationary for quite a time with my arm up to the ceiling in that dormer room.
Ah, more energy this morning, more light, blue sky. The eagles are returning. Maybe I will see a whale today.
I start with spinning. I recall the Whirling Dervish. I could be caught in this forever. I love the sensation I feel it in my arms.
John Cage pops into my mind…to move with his sound and silences speaks to something in the depths of my neuro-anatomy that is inclusive of emotion and physical sensation and results in odd, spontaneous gestures.
I move my arms, fall to the ground, and get up.
As I hold you three in my attention, suddenly I am hugging myself!
I think of airport dances…. “Anyone traveling on such dates meet me in the lounge for an improvisational airport dance.”
I am in the alcove, facing out. I ‘see’ light through closed eyes, gather it with my fingers, and put in my eye socket… I hear birds, gather their sound with my fingers, put it in my right eye.
My two hands shoot up over my head in front of my left side…I feel the sap rising through the trees, now as I sit here; tears come; life comes.
The snow sloughs off the roof, I slough left. When it happens again, I do not. Splayed backwards, head hanging over the edge of the window seat, shaking the combs out of my hair; how difference it’d be were my hair long like it used to be, or like Hannah’s.
On my side, slip out of my right sleeve, splaying the arm open—one covered, one not. Come almost to sitting, but stay unexpectedly balanced on one hip. Finally, I sit, but my feet don’t reach the ground. I am on the bus in Florida. I straighten my spine, knowing someday I’ll be big enough for my feet to reach. The black people are sitting in the back. All these small gestures, attentions of gesture, facial, angle, sound, minute ‘discoveries,’ memories. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” I say to Hannah as I open my eyes, “ to die doing Authentic Movement. I can imagine that.”