Dancing Contact Improvisation with an injury, I narrow my listening – listening primarily at the site of injury. Earlier this year I injured my back. I could barely walk for two days and spent several fragmented nights strangely draped over a heap of pillows in an effort to find ease. I found support in the idea of showing up as I am – to engage at some level from wherever I might be. Through several weeks of dancing with my spine I healed – returning to easeful walking and my ‘regular’ vigorous dance.
Injury is fascinating in dance. At once debilitating and an opportunity. So much is suddenly inaccessible, suddenly cast out from the group. And yet showing up is still totally possible, by listening deeper and communicating honestly. Moving from the spinal core that hurts and knows what is still ‘decently’ possible. And the injury and body feel best in or through or after the movement – in contrast to sleeping or sitting or standing or walking. anyways, heres a short dance shortly after feeling the injury.
Is not just a
recalled in the now, the past
just the past.
Pulse… , a then
Becoming other thens
All the while
creating a continual
But almost untouchable
A year ago I took the first ‘no return’ step to engage a different possibility of daily life. That transit journey, and even the transitioning few days before, were challenging. Fitting my life/support/precious objects into two bags and clearing my room for a stranger to live in while I would be away. Planning transit while balancing time/comfort/curiosity/money/beauty/connection on the two day journey.
A year ago I walked out of the door with stage fright and anticipation settled sweetly into numbness; I was executing confidently the script we had planned. And then not 10 minutes later, as I sat on the bus and smiled, that script crashed around me – I was two hours late in getting on a bus.
Here I was, in motion – on A path towards my destination and expansion. Here I was, starting, and immediately challenged. My plans, the script, completely dashed and needing to be changed. A new numbness, a new terror, rose. Phone calls, internet, friendly people, trust, and support did lead me onward and did get me there. Several times though, I felt it was too much. I wanted to turn around, collapse under my bags, cry out. I hit my head – I did cry out. A nice man smiled and we exchanged hellos. I was yelled at and shooed away for trying to enjoy my breakfast on some grass. I thought someone would steal my bag. I rushed down sidewalks thinking I would miss the next bus, the next ferry. I thought another bus was re-routed by construction and wouldn’t drop us off. Fears, overwhelm. Then dropping back and getting information and resource.
I am so grateful for the research I had done in the past, the options I knew existed. Grateful for welcoming arms that accepted me when I was scared and alone in a new place. For moments of pause, including connection with other travelers. For the encouragement and support – the naming of resistance – to help me settle and focus and trust the unfolding. For the individuals I updated and who tracked me through the unfolding. For the company that knew the final stretch, and followed my changing plans. That shared apples and plums with me. We were the last two onto the full ferry to our final destination. We arrived with a box of bananas balanced on the overflowing car.
A year ago I returned to the woods. I explored the woods to know my new place. I selected a patch of mossy forest floor to hold me and my tent as a home for two months. To contribute I asked questions and found (or was given) tasks: dishes, sweeping, deconstructing. I met new people and we tried to figure each other out. I followed the new people to strange new community resources. I confirmed who I had been, and poked my head out of a new shell to discover who I might be. Holding boundaries, letting some go, shifting others.
And I began to Dance.
I found people who were not needed, and yet were integral to my life.
thank you, to all of you whom I intersected in that time – for 5 minutes, for weeks, for years.
– Sharing gifts in this time –
Do you revisit old talents? Routines?
continuing and revitalizing those skills you’ve honed?
Or do you try anew?
Touching lightly, failing and focusing to try again.
Building learning and delighting in another way?
What is your focus today? Tomorrow? this week this month this now.
A tiger lily from a recent hike in the gorge. I hadn’t been back there since the eagle creek wildfire last year. It was really nice to see the lush green of that waterfall filled landscape. As well as thimbleberries, a smattering of wildflowers, and this late blooming tiger lily.
Portland got a nice week of intermittent snow storms.
I got my macro gear setup to try and capture some of the little beauties.
They were hard to find and mostly melted, but this one lingered long enough to dance.