I walk along Chambers St. in lower Manhattan beside a massive Victorian edifice of pillars and arches to Gibney Dance, a busy warren of dance studios. It hides somewhere here. I’m meeting Erin Carlisle Norton, host of ‘Movers and Shapers; A Dance Podcast’. Erin is doing an impressive project recording life stories of those who shape the field of dance. I am happy to be interviewed for it. I find the entrance, walk up one flight and down a thin-carpet-over-concrete hallway beneath wall-mounted TV monitors running video loops and slideshows of dance. I mentally prepare, reviewing my life. I remember 1973, walking from the subway at Broadway along 66th St, through Juilliard’s glass entrance, past the security guard, and around the corner to call the elevator. You touched a slightly recessed, lit circle. It was my first touch sensitive technology. I had to take off my glove because it registered heat rather than pressure, which I suppose marked the end of proper ladies wearing gloves in public and began the time of the naked fingers on sensors. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Skin of Glass’
This is what I wrote to Catherine Ryder who I commissioned to paint this piece and who I also know as Layla, when the painting arrived:
“I knew where she would hang so I waited for a quiet moment in the afternoon to put her up. I love her so much. An amazing vision. I love the veils emerging from sky and land, hair combed into the wing feathers, the legs part of the mesa. I could see this in the photo but the reality is far more moving and deep. It is a beautiful painting. A real vision. I am glad I am part of it but it goes far beyond me. Yet I also know I am not just a model. And the raven. Just right. The eye gazes at me. I love the sun glowing at the edge, not a big feature but not absent. I love the tree raying up and the earth raying down, the feeling of roots and source and the ground growing into and emerging from the planet. I love the claws and the hands making diagonals. The glorious raven claws! My eyes closed as if letting my being see through the raven’s bright eye, hearing the wind around us. I love how the raven’s eye and my ear make an attentiveness between them. Everything moves out of everything else and yet there is beautiful definition. You have made something so wonderful.” Read more
Here is a new series about writing embodied nonfiction while loosely connecting to an annotated Skin of Glass. Sharing my memoir, Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh, in small bites allows me to include ancillary ideas that, ultimately, were not part of the printed book, but belong as tendrils, springboards, or backstory. (I love reading about artists’ process! How does that amazing piece happen?) Read more
We Are the Way We Move
I feel so odd. THR surgery has brutalized the soft tissue in and around my hip sockets’ joint capsules. During the first stages of healing, pelvic and femur bones fuse to titanium and ceramic implants, meanwhile the soft tissue must scar tightly so the prosthetic joint won’t dislocate. My physical therapy protocol of strengthening without stretching—the latter would be dangerous for me—feels strange. My inner voice repeats and repeats: Bulk muscles around the bones, compact, tough, to guard and brace. At least for now, while deep inside layers are still fragile. Let them knit and bind. Build a barrier wall. A barricade. I draw into a geological centrality, the way gravity makes the Earth’s crust adhere to the iron planetary core. My limbs and head pour toward my spine as planets cleave to the sun. Read more
There are only two directions in life: Soul Killing life and Soul Developing. Each is a choice. Each takes a long time. One is mostly passive while the other requires effort. Though Soul Killing is smooth slide into Lethe, it is littered with clues. You get heavier and heavier. Poison seeps into your pores, drips liquid lead into your tender lung sacks, hardening and stilling their swell. You hardly breathe. You can barely move in your flesh tomb. So you grind to a halt. Or run maniacally away from yourself. Busy busy. Your heart slams and rattles ever more weakly against the dungeon wall of you. Your body is one tremendous clue: if you hate it, if you feel numb to it, if you barely know you have it, and if you even exist thinking of your body as “it”, you are in Soul Killing.
Soul Developing is a conscious act every step of the way. Read more
One must have enough to engage in Path. What is the right amount?
I have always felt that choosing simplicity—which is not quite the same as poverty but similar—was less of a strain on the ecosystem. Have what is essential. Don’t indulge. Animals get this equation right. Humans have to work at it. Buddhists, Sufis, Yogis, and pretty much all Paths, know about appetites and the need for simplicity. Read more
My friend, magnificent dancer and being, Alia Thabit, invited me to write a guest post for an online 90-day daily practice group she is conducting. I addressed two topics she and her group have been working on.
Hazy End Goal
What makes daily practice interesting to me is engaging in it with no fixed expectation. A hazy end goal is enough. Saying, “I’m heading there,” is enough. Anything else gets a little delusional. Read more
I wrote this in late September at Ravenrock:
I walk onto the deck in twilight that feels as if it is hurried along, as if the wind dashes over the crest snapping a whip, urging the light, which gathers birds and butterflies in its graying arms, away from this summer haunt to other regions south of the equator. Yes, it is no longer summer. Read more