Filtered sun, compacted snow after a thaw, now is cold again and dogs are walking on the snow, great freedom to wander further.
I begin on the floor, resting, with my feet westward, thinking of the two of you, my knees bent, my arms and hands resting on the floor, gathering myself to myself. Slowly fingers curl, hand flips, leg extends, toes explore, head whips to the side, eyes open.
With Jon Hassell’s Equinox, move into the world of upright paths and gestures, following desire of mine and only mine, not trying to please. So much of the dances I made in the past were modified to please. Now is my chance to do exactly what comes to me with no commitment to anyone other than myself (and you) to move in the most authentic way I can muster, no judgment, no erasing. I think on this most of the time of moving. After about 40 minutes, the call of outside is loud enough for me to follow. Spring is coming and I want to savor every miniscule, subtle change.
I decide to go into the woods.
I climb over logs, under trees, sit on moss, slowly climb on the icy patches with my new “stabilizers.” Sure footed I start running, stopping, listening to the sounds…the
breath of a bear? They are waking up now.
I sit on a log and take in the sounds, smells, movements of the birds and water life. What fun to slide off the log, roll on the seaweed, fall over when the ravens screech. Slow motion dive onto my head as the long neck birds dive into the water for food, I mimic movements of the ravens and seagulls…love the raven’s neck movement. Then the eagle came. What wonder! What eyes!
Thought I hear a bear’s breath. Get up and run up the stairs, catching my falls with my hands.
I am small in this wondrous rain forest, insignificant amongst all these creatures. Filled with gratitude and humility, I go home and eat.
Change the clocks, leaping forward into spring. It is around 40 degrees, dripping and compressing. Mud season has begun. Sun is coming and going from behind fast moving clouds. I have a window slightly open to feel and hear the breeze and hear the birds.
I begin on the window seat, abrupt gestures, leaning, brushing. Before long, I am on the floor with my feet south, cupping air, moving it from one side of my outstretched legs to the other. This also is short lived. I get up and start to move but find myself more drawn to standing rooted with arms akimbo raising in a loose bend before my head, moving as if by the wind, with head rotating from down tilted right to up tilted left as torso rotates and sways. I am like that for a long time, the arms dropping eventually and minimal motion. I enjoy that choice, finding relaxation in that hypnotic rocking, repetitive shapes. Mary Jane Leach’s Celestial Fires is playing the whole time – vocal harmonics with bassoon and flute – two notes close and rubbing, creating a vibration. Shortly, I begin a moving phrase that is slow and deliberate, around the space, shaping it as I go, standing on one leg, then the next, moving the air, rubbing my head, taking my time. Then I am done and lie in the sun panels for a while, listening to the music and to northwest witnessing you two.
I wake up and realize that the clocks are now supposed to be changed.
I resist giving up an hour. I slept in, 20 min late.
My body is aching and sore from yesterday’s 2 hr contact improvisation class.
I start on the ground and ask gravity to do its work.
This reminds me of the meditation I have been using with clients where I suggest they allow gravity to work with them and release their weight into the support of the chair/earth. A native man said he was surprised, as he had not heard others speak this way and was pleased that I shared his relationship to the earth; something shifted in
our relationship at that moment, it was a simultaneous breath. I am humbled when reminded that I walk on the land of his ancestors.
I yield to the earth. I yield to this relationship with all of you. I start ever so gently rocking and bring to my mind an image of a baby being held. Am I holding, am I wanting to be held, to let go, yield?
I spend almost 30 minutes rocking, rolling, sounding and moving my body methodically, paying attention to gravity. I roll over to write and draw. I am without sound until I put on Arvo Part. I let the music wash over and in and around me, find myself standing, swaying, swinging my arms until the swinging takes me away from the earth. I jump and fall to the ground and end where I began, on the ground rocking and holding myself…
Sunny, 45, greenhouse growing, Mud season underway, Sugaring happening, Snow is receding, Wood stoves going but doors open.
I begin on the floor, feet towards you two in the west. I am in the sun panel. I wait. Slowly my arm turns, a finger curls, a slight shift in the skull. There is much time spent slowly rolling the limbs and micro moving in that light panel. No hurry.
I shift position and proximity. At one point, I am on my belly resting on my forearms and breathing like a fish, my head swaying back and forth over my shoulders. I weep slowly. I am reaching with my mouth, that oh-so-potent rooting limb.
I am on my butt with my legs out. I sweep and scoop and turn and somehow get upright. That dance is over.
My second dance is accompanied by Pauline Oliveros in the cisterns at Port Townsend, Washington. I am upright the whole time, traveling a lot, angular, fast, abrupt, halting, grotesque, smooth, big, tiny, jumping, shifting front, facial, feet curled around. Thoughts of Lisa Nelson come and go. I am myself. I feel that movement as my own. Hurrah.
I am late, dark clouds in the east, fat and full of snow. I hear the Russian church bells ring. I put on Arvo Part, start to sound, begin a release of emotions held for too too long!
I lie on the floor, all limbs extended as far as they can reach. Breathe in, relax all joints and muscles. Let gravity do her work. I quiet my brain and begin again the work of moving with you three.
I turn my head right and see lying down next to me the three of you. Your bodies resemble mountain ranges one after another. What landscapes! I look left and find a bear sitting with its back to me. It licks your faces and bodies! I turn my head back to center and begin moving like bear.
I focus on the intention of my movement and the alphabet of the movement patterns that precede bears movement. I focus on yield, push, reach, pull, and realize that I have been a bear for a long time. I love moving like bear. I rise up and sense the power of height and strength of my dangling arms. I fall and lumber around. I feel so strong and weighty. I spend time sitting, standing, being in the presence of my lower brain. I yield again in to emotions.
I slept until 8:30am. I am tired. I lie down at noon with eyes closed. I can do it as I am, lying here, since that is what is true and authentic for me physically at this moment. There is a pang of “I should get up and go upstairs, to work in the space,” but I wisely resist and stay in bed in what is real for me.
I am on my right side, such a relief, it is how I am most comfortable sleeping, but the tug of the scar from the surgery has kept me lying supine. My forearms are wrapped and tucked towards my chin, raising the image of a DNA spiral. An impulse arises to wipe palm gently up my cheek and do so, but though the impulse was genuine, the action feels forced. I sleep.
When I wake, am on my left side, put right arm vertically up in space, striving as I often do, to release all muscular tension and get to the balance point in the socket. I imagine this movement occurring randomly by numerous dancers.
It is spring snowing out, whiteness barely covering the brown patches. I can hear the wind. When I open the door, I can hear the stream in the west woods.
I start sitting with legs straight out like a kid. I wait. My legs rotate, jiggle a little. Suddenly my arms open out to meet the counter wall and my knuckles knock on the wood, knock, knock, unevenly. I am sad. I keep breathing, opening to the moment.
I crawl to the music equipment and select Ligetti’s Piano Etudes Book I and II, enter the space to raucous sound. Standing, knees slightly bent, waist folded a little, arms by the side, elbows bent a little, rock and swivel. Not much happens for a while. Then I step out, reach with my skull, pull back to what I established as neutral. This phrase develops just a little. The swiveling of the torso/arm/hip/leg fascinates me.
Next piece, I decide to work with the music, bigger, carving movements, looking side to side, balancing on one leg, reaching to the limits of my arms/fingers, traveling in the space.
The final piece is lots of hopping, jumping, and turning until I am panting, arms used as balance more than gestural. It feels good to move loud and big. I end this piece sitting with small gestures of hands and finger, torso reverberating.
I lie down in the sun and witness you three, holding the space for your movements. I see tarin by a stream, I see whales in Sitka, and I see a sunny interior of Yvonne’s home. I send love streaming in your directions.
I decide to not have music and sit in stillness.
My body must want this as I am still sitting.
Then an impulse to move, arms circling my body.
I think of you three and my arms enclose my torso. This repeats itself. I yearn for a hug. I stand, walk around the room, limited space to really move around. I work with the limitation, falling, sitting, standing, falling, sitting, and standing, repeatedly.
It has been an intense workweek.
I sit again.
I am still again in silence.
Raining, most of the snow in the field and around the house has melted. I put on Eno’s Days of Radiance-Laraaji because I want some sort of shimmering on this drizzly, gray day.
I rest on the floor as witness for a while, just resting and feeling the wood and the hardness of it, listening to the music, hearing the rain.
I roll onto my side and reach my arms south, then continue rolling and reaching until I get up to my knees, then to standing.
I work a corridor from west to east and back again, reaching laterally with leg, awkward gestures with the arms, sometimes leading into the space and sometimes trailing. Pencil type turns are frequent so that I am often facing a different direction but still stick to the idea of a corridor.
Another dance – an arch, hands cupped on breastbone, small sound issuing from my mouth.
For several Sundays, I have been making dances. I am thinking about inviting witnesses into the process – some house dances. It is hard to remember all that occurs in this room; much is lost.
I put on Arvo Part Elana, beautiful piano, soft, still music, like being under water. I want to be in water! I am a whale this morning. I have seen some this week and my dear friends they are truly amazing creatures. To see them in my everyday life, wow. They are luxurious swimmers. Birds rest on the backs of whales. So funny!
I am first starting on the floor in CRP. Whales do not do this I say to myself. Whales move. I am a whale this morning, liquid movement, undulating, spinal, fluids, the system of integration. I keep repeating this movement that flips me over and faces me towards the east. I yearn to see your faces. I imagine the organs of a whale and think of tarin and her organs. I smile and sound into my organs sending energy to tarin. I stand and it feels odd.
Last week, my daughter Suzy was here. I was able to do my dancing at the proper time but not writing about it. I remember intending to put a little structure in my movement but with each start, I found myself going off into “never land”. So, this week I was sterner with myself and actually composed a little dance in which you, Hannah and you, Sara participated. However, I was dissatisfied with the ending so I spent most of my time inventing new endings. This turned out to be so much fun that I stayed with it. Were you sending your creative thoughts through the ether?