‘Pretty, fit , and fun’—that is how we value dance in our culture. Part of me always cringes at this pimping. We pimp dance because it is in a body and it is bodies the culture pimps. Anyway, I did that, danced and dug into that mud, wringing as much as I could from ‘pretty, fit, and fun’ all the while yearning and fumblingly dancing into my earthy darkness to visit my secret heart. I found my heart’s dance. I know how to get there and take my inevitable rustling and rooting in ever-new undergrowth in stride. Because of this, I champion all bodies who yearn. Read more
Posts from the ‘Embodied Spiritual Life’ Category
I’ve taken a break from working on Dancing into the Deep, my book on Dancemeditation, because I’ve come up against the problem of declaring myself. Nonfiction tends to require taking a position and if I don’t explicitly state one, I have to at least know it, or let the reader know my ambivalence. A book about striving into one’s interiority implies the reach for something greater than the self, and the typical assumption is that ‘greater than the self’ implies god. I feel coerced by these assumptions. I resist. Read more
I sat with Ric, Carleen, and Betsy sipping water with lemon on the patio of Santa Fe Bar & Grill. It was late afternoon. Overhead, a pergola with thick festoons of wisteria shaded us. Across the patio, a waterfall gurgled. We relaxed together after a Dancemeditation workshop. It felt as if we had lifted aside heavy drapes of a circus tent, left the ordinary world, and entered a non-ordinary world. I talked and my mouth made shapes, throat and larynx rolling pitches on the exhale into words that eddied out with the dithering humminess of a Winnie-the-Pooh variety. My mind sat beside the waterfall where a little girl picked up a leaf and dropped it again and again into the infinitely changing burble. My body purred. Read more
Jocelyn is my eldest niece. When she first proposed a visit to me in New Mexico I was in shock. Really? You want to visit with me? Spend your whole vacation out West with me? I hesitated, thrilled but also afraid to be happy. I couldn’t quite believe she was reaching out to me and but also I wondered if I could spend so much time in anyone’s company…Since my parents’ deaths, I know opportunities may only happen once. A precious interchange, a smile, a hug, the half hour perched shoulder-to-shoulder on a stoop in the sun is sometimes the only time, the last time. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Potentials may seem eternal but, in fact, are finite. Of course I said ‘yes’. As it turned out that my sense of incapability was an unnecessary worry. Time with Jocelyn was a rare kind of magic. Read more
The cycle of light and dark means we are turning as Earth—a dervish—faces the sun then the wide cosmos. The salubrity in light and dark is a matter of degree; bright light and blinding light, soft dark and blinded dark. Dusk. Closed eyes. Sleep. Hiding. Beneath a crust of autumn leaves tiny shoots grow. In shadowed places are freedom, gestation, peace, recovery, quiet, liberation, respite. Read more
After a week at Ravenrock, safely sequestered in off-grid wilds away from discord and furor, I have quieted down internally enough to experience stillness. The natural world has pushed aside the ephemera lurking on my phone. Here, Stillness is enormous. Stillness is an Entity, like a great Greek god-head of wind. It carts my buzz into the clouds, scatters it over the canyon. Finally, I am touched by Stillness, wrapped in Stillness. My change begins. Read more
It has been a while since I’ve been able to write a post, but I found this scrap in my journal and it opened something about chaotic, uncertain inner periods.
“In creative process, there is the inland sea and there is the book or dance or symphony—masterpieces, competencies, mediocrities—that litter the beach to be seen, to be turned over, to be heard. Art is the jetsam of the great submergence.” Read more
Dancemeditation is to the Body what dreaming is to the Mind.
I would hate to never dream…I love to wake and wonder where I’ve been, grasping at dim air, fading figures amused at my futile attempts to catch their tail. I love the improbability of making sense of their portentous magic that flattens and dulls as I note it in my journal or recount it to a friend. Lost is the weave of one place tucked into another, actions looped and looped, tunnels of dense color, haunting fragments, timelines crossed. Dreams come while we lie still, our bodies suspended in sleep while our minds journey far and wide. What if the reverse happened? Read more
Many people have asked about my recent performance—my first post-surgery—in NYC on Anahid Sofian’s “Atelier Orientale: Of Poets and Mystics”, a mixed program of legendary dancers and musicians. It was the beginning of a new phase of work for me. Below are program notes, description, and the prologue story text. Read more