Before I dive in and tell you about the show that is happening in our local swimming pool this weekend
(Ha Ha get it? “Dive In”….Oh. You got that already didn’t you? Way before I did. My 14 year-old niece is rolling her eyes at me as I write this. I’m slow on the uptake sometimes, okay?),
I want to share an email I got from my dear friend and colleague, Kim Nelson.
I was lamenting this abyss I have been talking about lately
— Let me say again, to one and to all: This is a “creative abyss” that I speak of, and I am totally okay. I am better than okay. Something is shifting, percolating, coming into being, and when I am not wallowing in the unknown and fear of that, I am shimmering on the edges of it. The abyss I am referring to is not a fall into a depressive or anxiety driven mental state. I know that state well, from my own experiences, and from witnessing it with friends and family. This is not the type of abyss I am referring too, so no need to fret. That being said: Thank you so much for your concern, for your worried phone calls, and for your kind emails. My mother is shaking her head right about now: “I told you this would happen. It’s time to climb of whatever “creative abyss” you are in and find a real job missy” —
when I got this email from Kim:
“I sense a wisdom in the fervent curiosity, a call as an artist, as a person, to go to a place that is not known, surrender, possibly feel like you are going to die, and maybe die, only to gather and strengthen a more layered knowing. It is scary shit to have your mind, and everything you have known, blown open. You inspire me. I feel moved toward a desire regarding my own curiosities of a type of diving in and sharing.…It seems you are following the deeper current. That deeper impulse does not always move me toward what feels good, but seems to move me toward what (is) a necessary dissonance.”
I have read Kim’s response many times over the course of these past few weeks, and I am slowly allowing myself to breath into, and follow the “necessary dissonance” that is unfolding.
Yes, it is hard and uncomfortable at times.
No matter, I will continue to dive in.
I will continue to follow the “deeper current” that is emerging.
I can’t imagine not doing this, no matter how disconcerting and bewildering the dive might be.
As I was pondering all of this the other day – wondering if my mother was right about packing it all up once and for all – I got this lovely email from a long time friend and reader, Tyr Pinder, who lives in Wales:
“By the way, I am doing bird dances in many shapes and forms. Come fly with me. Let’s fly away.”
I read that email from Tyr – far way in Wales – and I held my breath, and I dove.
Do you want to dive in too?
GOODNIGHT, COURTNEY LOVE opens this weekend!
GOODNIGHT, COURTNEY LOVE is a site-specific dance performance created by Laura Ann Samuelson and myself that takes place in the swimming pool at The North Boulder Recreation Center:
Friday, February 19th, 2016 at 7 PM
Saturday, February 20th, 2016 at 7 PM
Saturday, February 27th, 2016 at 7 PM
The North Boulder Recreation Center
3170 Broadway Street
Boulder, CO 80304
All performances are FREE and open to the public.
It gets hot and humid in the pool area, so make sure to wear a light t-shirt or tank top underneath your other clothes.
Your Dance Mission for the week is to find a body of water, submerge yourself, and dance.
It can be the local swimming pool, as we have been doing in creating Goodnight, Courtney Love, or it could even be your bathtub. If you are in a warmer climate, a pond, the ocean, a mountain stream would be amazing. I am jealous if that is the body of water you get to dance in.
If you are local, I hope to see you this weekend or next Saturday.
If you are not local, have a wonderful week and I will miss seeing you in the pool!
For everyone, post your comments here, and share this newsletter everywhere.
With Warmth and Jivey Vibes,
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending
Since running Joanna and The Agitators became my full time job, I have become a work horse.
I have been working my whole teen and adult life, but I have never worked quite this hard.
The truth is, I could slow myself down to a trot if I wanted.
But I don’t want to, because the galloping is really fun.
As I write this to you, I am realizing that I talk about work and jobs a lot in this newsletter.
I don’t know why exactly, except that all of these weird and crazy dead-end jobs and all those times in my life when I didn’t have enough money for food or a subway token when I was living in Brooklyn, NYC, or when I couldn’t pay the heating bill and wrapped myself in blankets filling out job applications when I was living in Northampton, MA, or that time I ran out of money in Arizona. I was ok because the house I was renting had a grapefruit tree out back, and I lived off of grapefruits for a week until my next pay check came in.
They have shaped me, as I’m sure they have shaped you.
This coming Friday, at 7pm at Julie Rothschild Floorspace in Boulder.
This THING I’ve been wanting to do for so long, and haven’t done because it could go oh so terribly wrong.
I’m close to leaping off of my chair, and cowering in the corner as I imagine all that could go wrong…so terribly, terribly wrong.
But I’m doing it anyway:
I’m performing a solo called Dog Dance that is entirely improvised.
Why I’m choosing to do this, at this point in my life, I have no idea.
No. That’s a lie. I do know why. I know exactly why I’m doing this.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about gurus and teachers and specialists and swami’s.
I’ve been thinking about the time when my swim coach yelled at me to shave two seconds off my time, and I nodded and I sputtered, and by god I shaved off those two seconds, and was then shamefully pleased when she gave me a friendly pat on the butt and a high five and a “Good job, Jo” at the end of the swim.
As someone who could care less about racing and speed and competition (Actually, I love competition, so much so, that I try to pretend that I don’t, because it scares me how much I care about winning), why was I so pleased?
And I was thinking about the time when I was in grad school, and seeing a Reichian Therapist.
He had me stand about a foot away from the wall, with my back arched, and the crown of my head pressed into that wall.
Then it got quiet.
For a long time.
asked the same friend who asked me for my “animal” instead of my email a few weeks ago.
Technically, it was not a mini snake, it was a millipede.
we all see the world differently so if she saw a mini snake, she saw a mini snake.
It is sort of the same with post-modern/experimental/post-post-modern//next wave/call it what you will/ DANCE.
Some people see a mini snake.
Some people see a millipede. Read more