Crisp clear day, cold last night down to 18. This is the last dance during GW Bush’s regime!!!!! I spend time with eyes closed, working my way from one light (warm floor) panel to another, reaching with my arm, head, eyes, leg, ribs, hip, back, traveling sliding and swiveling. I return to the floor and then to rewind so I play with that wonderful exercise forward and backward until I am sitting with my legs under me facing the south sun. Eyes closed, eyes open, focus, attention, wander, in and out of here and now, lots of gentle returning. I love this art form. It is so smart and forever.
I am tired this morning. I sit down in a chair, stay in the chair for some time getting to know my body as it sits in awareness of position, as so much of my time is spent sitting in awareness of others. I am not in the mood to move I say to myself. So I choose to sit. It was a short movement exploration today…not sure as to why, and not questioning, letting it be what it is.
I begin by leaning my back against the kitchen island counter sitting on my butt, slowly sliding down to rest on my back. Giggle limbs. Notice how the torso reacts. Turn over onto belly. Spend time exploring giggling. [now I see the spelling error and love it. I meant jiggling but now I am giggling] … Much time is spent on my butt or knees in that slightly mid range. Slowly I begin to create something, play with reversals, inversions, pause and rewind, third or fourth choice which makes for a jerky, rather demented looking phrase of movement.
I woke up earlier than usual to find an amazing sky, dress, drive past Whale Park, as I want to find the sunrise over the mountains. WOW what beauty is here in Alaska. Birds flying, sea lion sticking its nose out of the water. I move in response…in response to the dirt, the gravel, and the sound of waves, to the birds flying, exploring the shore line, weave in and out of a line path, then reverse it to find myself asking myself, “If I reverse my movements does that reverse time?” I know logically it does not however, why not try it…I always was drawn to reversing phrases.
I sat down to begin to dance (sounds funny) I thought of you both. Still stuck in the limits of what I can’t do but this time I spent some time thanking first my left arm and then my left leg for all the help it has given my right side, often in pain. That led, of course, to my thanking the right side for trying so hard. That led wonderfully to spontaneous movement when my body was thanking the powers that be for the pleasure of the moment.
Wake with a back ache between my shoulder blades. Work without music, gently shaking my limbs, finding them, warming them, orienting the torso with the limbs … that little finger that sometimes gets forgotten and sags behind, preparing for its eventual extinction….head rubbing Antler dance…Rewind, such a great memory exercise that always makes me laugh…Big carving sort of leaping forward and back which reminds me of Penny C… calms down into a walking exercise of simplicity and changing “fronts” with occasional arm swoops and head positions. Simplify and be specific. End resting on the floor.
Another brilliant Sunday morning sunrise.I ventured outside again for my movement practice. I am walking along the harbor and I hear geese! I miss geese, the sound, the movement the rhythm of their ever changing patterns. Wow…these ravens are amazing they are flying right over my head, so close that I heard the sound of flying. I responded spontaneously…yes…this is movement at its most authentic moment. Walk to the pier. It is large open area covered by a roof of canvas. I start playing with short phrases, (then the judge pops up again, a constant aspect on the landscape of my brain.) I move towards Vermont, circle back to where I am now, move towards my house, circle back again, turn sideways and squiggle towards the edge. So interesting how easy it is for me to trust the intelligence of my body vs. my cognitive intelligence when attempting to make decisions. So I stay here and continue my work.
You really don’t feel distant at all. I sit still, close my eyes and wait. Suddenly I’m ten years old, climbing a tree in our back yard, a book is in my hand and I’m settling down to read. My body remembers the feel of the branches and the pleasure of being alone where no one can find me.
The panels of sun are reaching further into the house, almost touching the kitchen island. Jeff Grienke’s “Timbral Planes” shapes the time. I have images of my bones from the many x-rays as I move my way on the floor. My hip limitations have brought me to a very stiff body, one that fears slipping and falling in the winter. I want to call all the older women who danced with me and apologize for not being empathetic with their body restrictions. All that galloping around, up/down/up/down. So now I find myself not very accepting of my own body’s limits. …. Upright, the movement is jerky, broken, distracted by dogs and thinking. I am measuring something over and over, doing it backwards and forwards, arms-length. I walk the length over and over, and a soft, flowing phrase comes out of the pacing, the simpleness. I forgive myself.
It is dark here. Woke up not feeling very well, put on Arvo Part –Alina, and whoa, unprepared for the response it brought up…a tightness around my heart is sensed…I massage it with breath, with touch, with gentle swaying movements. My emotional climate…I AM SO FAR AWAY! I want to return to Vermont. So I am on the floor gathering strength from gravity. The floor is a sanctuary. I stretch, rock, roll, gently work on alignment. My dream early this morning…I was in a dance studio…the desire to dance is very engrained in my subconscious and so I continue to explore this thing called “dance.”
“Setting the stage” sitting in a chair in the middle of the room, relaxing, breathing deeply….close my eyes and wait. My fingers began to flutter, first in space, then lightly fluttering up and down my arms. then all over my body. I stood to reach farther but that brought me back to the here and now so I sat down and started all over again.
Grey, beginning to get windy; working up to some sort of storm. I rub my limbs, and then all over, skin and muscle level of touch, making contact. I play with intentional balances on each leg as long as I can do it, no big movements, just adjusting and small signals or shifts, thinking about my skeleton and the hip rotating on the femur. This balancing takes me into a section of slow skating, sometimes like tai chi, shifting focus and direction all over the room, arms like branches, folding and unfolding into the spaces around the torso. I stand quietly, waiting for a reason or desire to move. What comes is a conversation, gestural, listening, responding, listening, expounding. I don’t travel much. I am satisfied with both the process and outcome. There are surprises as well as a comfort in my body.
Started my movement at 5:30am, thinking about swimming, remembering one summer studying with Susan Rose and Joy Kellman in Boston and watching the sculls on the Charles River, glide as a result of the reach/pull efforts of the rowers.
I put on Piero Milesi and lie aware of the earth supportive my spine. I lengthen with my breath and feel it all the way into my skull. I imagine the breath surrounding the brain. I ask myself is there any unfamiliar movement in my body? I end with memories of teaching to this music, standing and just moving, no intention but to move. The church bells are ringing…it is 8am. I still move.
Sunday the 30th we drove back home hence no dancing. It’s a little hard to do in a car packed with four adults and two dogs.