It’s a fine line between everything and nothing, and I am only at the beginning of understanding this.
I fall off the line daily — bumbling along, until I climb back up and try again.
For me, everything is:
- Bodies moving across the earth while carving into air.
- Bodies expanding and contracting with other bodies that are also moving across earth, carving into air.
- Breath: my own and others’.
That’s the balance I’m trying to find on the little line that I am forever walking.
“To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”
— Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Immediately after reading this, I received an email from Johannah discussing her experience in class this past Friday.
Johannah has been taking class with me since I started teaching in 2003, and the Friday class has been a struggle for her at times: I don’t always use music, there is very little instruction, and sometimes there is a minimal amount of big muscle movement (i.e.. leaping, jumping, locomoting, spinning, swooping).
A question that continually comes up for Johannah about this particular class is, “Is this really dance?”
What happens when you dance ?
When you are in motion, what do you feel, sense, perceive?
What about stillness?
What about the in-between?
Just yesterday I was dancing with my class and a new pattern emerged.
I felt the thrill of new and old laying ground.
As I sat on the sidelines later on to watch, long moments of fullness and ease moved in, and stayed for awhile.
I felt, sensed, and percieved awe.
I wonder how you are choosing to walk through the world after reading the news or not reading the news.
I wonder how you are doing, hearing the first 12 minutes of this, as you hang the laundry.
I wonder and hope that you are going to dance class — because you must continue to go to dance class — even as you hear these first 12 minutes, and want to run, screaming into the streets.
Do run — screaming into the streets — but also:
Go to dance class.
We cannot let him take that away from us.
I wonder how you are moving in the world right now, in this moment in history.
I wonder where, and how, you are finding stillness.
I wonder if you are spinning.
I wonder if you are spiraling.
I wonder if you are sensing your weight — in space — as it shifts and drops, and then rises.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
Yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there
~ William Carlos Williams
Katharine sent this me when I said “I don’t have time for poems right now.”
I decided, then and there, to make time for poems.
I’ve been thinking about you.
I wonder how you’ve been doing.
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending
The wind is blowing the house down.
So I’m up,
That something has been groggily waking up for a long time now, but last week it got me sitting up straight, eyes wide open.
This thing I asked us to imagine?
It’s taking shape, in a way I couldn’t have imagined, and it’s moving fast.
What if we all meet — in the middle — to take our shoes off, sit on the floor and roll around for a bit, before beginning the work of dreaming the world we want to walk in.
What if we all meet —at dusk —to watch the moon rise, and to sing a hallelujah.
What if those who gather are artists and politicians, teachers and mail carriers, front desk workers and chiefs of police.
What if those who gather are dishwashers and lawyers, tribal leaders and midwives.
What if you and I and everyone else takes a deep breath, closes our eyes, and dreams.
A little boy came home from school and told his mom that his teacher had asked all of the kids in his class to come to school the next day, dressed as the thing they wanted to be when they grew up.
His mother said, “What are you going to dress up as?”
The little boy replied, “A ballerina.”
The mother said, “Boys can’t wear tutus.”
The little boy said, “Oh.”