28 September 2005

superpowers

a couple of years ago, I danced in a piece about women as superheroes. at the first rehearsal, the choreographer asked us what kind of superpowers we'd like to have. I wish I could say that the first thing that came to my mind was to have the power to feed all the hungry children in the world or wipe out war and poverty. I wish I could say that, but that would be a lie. instead, I thought I might like to have the power to leave a fine piece of chocolate and a fresh flower on the pillows of sad people everywhere. because wouldn't you like to wake up to that? or find those lovely things on your pillow after a long, horrible crapfest of a day? maybe the chocolate would cause you to have nice dreams. it would all be sort of mysterious and you would feel strangely loved and all of the sudden, the world might seem a little less hostile. at the very least, you would look over your shoulder and wonder who and why and you just know you would be secretly pleased.

of course, I would need to be able to fly and and make myself invisible when necessary. also, I'd like to think I'd be able to get the flowers wholesale. maybe some do-gooder chocolate company would sponsor me (thus supplying all the chocolates needed for the millions of pillows out there). but if I'm really dreaming here, I suppose I should have a field somewhere in italy where the most beautiful flowers are grown and a special chocolatier in france to hook me up with the goods because why mess around? seriously, people. though I guess if we're really talking superpowers, I should be able to miraculously produce the most exquisite chocolates and flowers with the snap of my own fingers. but then I would have no reason to abuse all my special powers and capabilities, I would have no real excuse to fly myself to italy a couple of times a week to lay around in the field of magical flowers and make myself sick on french chocolates. and don't get me started on the whole invisible thing, I don't even want to think about what I might do with that superpower in my spare time because the possibilities are endless and you and I both know what they are but let's not talk about it. oh, and regarding my superhero costume: I see bright-colored striped tights with special edition adidas, a slimming (yet breathable) bodysuit and yes, a pink satin cape. and maybe some glitter? a superhero has to represent, yo. the threads have got to REPRESENT.

don't even try to pretend you are not thinking of what superpowers you'd like to have.

27 September 2005

self portrait tuesday #8


into this self portrait gig now for two months and I just might be tired of looking at myself. though I suspect that's when things get interesting.

25 September 2005

one hundred days



"avagirl, I love you... sooo much."

"a lot?"

"yup. a whole lot."

"like for... ONE HUNDRED DAYS?"

in my mind, I started to answer her. I was trying to think of a way to explain that my love for her was beyond one hundred days, one hundred weeks, one hundred years, that it was beyond the moon and the stars and all reasonable limitations. but right now, in the world of kindergarten and counting, one hundred days represents all those things to her.

"yes, ava. I love you for one hundred days."

22 September 2005

getting me through the week

the quiet of night, the music of mum, striped socks with high heels, the sunflowers ward brought home last night, my friend poppy, long walks in the neighborhood (making dances in my head), frozen chocolate kisses, real life knee-buckling kisses, the work of this brilliant artist, making shrinky dinks and collages with the ava-girl, these words by bill t. jones (oh, please indulge me and listen), a brand new flirty skirt, this hilarious blog entry about spiders, the occasional piece of glitter I find on my body, fake accents, polka dots, dried cherries, spotting butterflies on the walk home from school (they're EVERYWHERE), these magnificent photos, ezra eating (wearing) cottage cheese, really truly dancing again, ava's pink converse all-star high tops, the 'loopy loopy love' song by the brunettes, new art supplies and a new moleskin journal, the planning of a trip to new york, the promise of a parking lot carnival, knowing that I am a child of God, the idea that people can rock the mic.

yes, I'd like to know. what is it for you?

20 September 2005

self portrait tuesday #7



sometimes it seems strange to me that I am someone's mother. SOMEBODY'S MOM. five years later, I am still trying to get used to it, still desperately trying to figure out who that is and what I need to be. still working on fully embracing the all-encompassing role that is every second of every day of every week of every month of every year for the rest of my life. motherhood is a tough gig, yo. you could have tried to pound that fact into my brain in my romanticized pre-baby days but I would not have believed you.

weirder still-- years from now ava and ezra will have entire conversations about me. I wonder which of my quirks will stand out, what things I will do that will drive them crazy enough to talk about it over dinner together. I wonder what things I will do right, what things I will do wrong. and I wonder if they will truly know who I am because when you're a mother, you know-- you're their mom. you fulfill certain needs, you take on specific roles that sometimes prevent your children from seeing who you really are. in fact, I am still (to this day) learning little things about my own mother, that person whom I thought I knew inside and out.

the above photo was taken on my first mothers day (2001) and I am holding ava. seven months into it, I finally started to get it... that despite the hurdles and the challenges and the astounding levels of exhaustion, there are these moments. they are the ones that sneak up on you out of nowhere and bring you to your knees. you find yourself overwhelmed with gratitude, you are swimming in love for this small being, it is spilling out of you all over the place, this hope, this love that you have. and you know that it will all be all right. you are exactly where you need to be, right there, loving them. and all the stinky laundry and bathtub scum and unfinished art projects and poptarts for breakfast can't change that. I hope that is what ava and ezra get around to talking about someday over dinner-- that above all else, they were (are) loved with a magnificent love.

random

I like memes. it might possibly be the school girl in me, but I can't resisit a meme. just the word: meme. how do you pronounce it? meem? mee-mee? mehm? who came up with this? I don't know, I don't care but I'm a sucker for it. the fabulous red current has tagged me and so I present to you the shortest, most random meme ever:

1. Go into your archive. 2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to). 3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to). 4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. 5. Tag five people to do the same.

here's my sentence:

many shells were collected.

yes, I know. it's poetry. aren't you glad you stopped by?

as always, I am tagging the world. meaning, if you are reading this and have a blog, feel free to do the same. or leave your sentence here. or any randomness. happy randomness to you.

19 September 2005

inside out



most people would never look at this and think of it as modern dance and I know why. because when the average person thinks of modern dance, they think of strange people in black leotards on all fours, barking like dogs to the sound of discordant flutes and cymbals. or overly dramatic dancers in flowy gowns gesturing wildly. I'm not saying these stereotypes don't exist-- too many times I have found myself in a dark theatre, rolling my eyes or trying to hold back giggles in the middle of a performance dripping with symbolism and/or pretension. and I've danced in a couple of pieces that I am not particularly proud of. BUT. when modern dance is good, it is SO GOOD. really and truly, because modern dance, in essence, refuses to be defined. and because there really aren't any rules, there's endless room for experimentation. my favorite artists and companies are often blending and layering so many elements of movement... african, hip hop, jazz, pedestrian, ballet, release, capoiera, modern and more. this is what keeps my mind and body engaged, this is why I can't seem to get enough. I get excited when I see things come together that are not supposed to come together. I think this is why I love collage so much (ephemera and photography and paint and whatever, all coming together to evoke a sense of something). and why I love underground hip hop, love to listen to my brother's music (beats and fragments from so many different genres of music all coming together to sound like something completely different and original and fresh... hello, DJ dust). nothing inspires me more than to see choreographers turn perceptions of dance upside down and inside out. that's when things get really interesting. because you can find art in the most furious back spin and you can be moved to tears by the simplest hand gesture.

rennie harris puremovement is a company out of philadelphia that I have fallen in love with. I am giddy over the marriage of hip hop movement and modern and more than happy to fork over hard-earned dollars in exchange for a ticket to the show (counting the days til they hit atlanta's rialto on november the 5th). I think I know what I'm going to see (fortunate enough to have seen them perform once before), but really, I don't. sure, the dancers will be electric and the choreography will be brilliant but the sub-context will have me thinking about stuff for days. and days. in both big and small ways, it will change the way I move, the way I dance, the way I teach, the way I choreograph, the way I think.

15 September 2005

seriously

have you ever seen anything more pitiful than a baby with a little cast on his leg? that's what I'm looking at right now, a baby with a cast on his leg. ezra's entire right leg is currently in a bright blue cast. the other night while were at the park, ward was playing with ezra and somehow the little dude lost his balance and came down hard on his right foot. (notice how I am ever so slightly trying to escape blame and guilt here? WARD, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. just kidding. really.) such a small incident, considering how the ez has been barreling through life lately, digging through fireplaces, balancing on top of chairs and running around the joint like he's won some sort of baby lottery. I didn't actually witness the aforementioned act, but I heard his cry and came running. at first, we thought maybe he hurt his arm somehow. as I held him and tried to soothe him, he settled into a heart-breaking little whimper and I knew something was wrong. it was a different sounding cry and I KNEW this but it was the end of the day and I just really wanted to believe I was over-reacting. (way to ignore my mothering instincts). ezra fell into a deep sleep just then and we knew it was time to head home.

he woke up several times that night and when I finally ventured in to check on him he was balancing on one leg, reaching out for me. seriously, people. it broke my heart. the past couple of days have not been so great because who wants to see their kid in any sort of pain? even worse, he's confused because he's used to walking (ha, RUNNING) and now all of the sudden, he can't. little ez fractured his tibia and will be sporting the bright blue cast for the next three weeks. oh, and you should see the way he is already crawling and dragging that thing around. the boy is unstoppable.

good news is, we got to keep the x-ray pics. cool.

13 September 2005

self portrait tuesday #6



I really thought (with every fiber of my naive little junior high self) that I would grow up to live in a modern-day palace filled with all the coolness the eighties had to offer. I pictured myself lounging around on obnoxiously sleek couches and imagined tables and chairs in pastel colors with lots of sharp angles and chrome and lucite. (of course, now this sounds like a psuedo new wave nightmare only the set designers of every eighties music video would dream up). I wanted nothing to do with antiques, no part of what I thought of as dusty and brown and old and so NOT MODERN.

but I grew up with antique lovers, lovers of old stuff. my mom loved primitives and my grandma was a dealer who had a house crammed full of such ancient lovelies. I remember her occasionally holding auctions in her backyard. I was mesmerized by the man with the microphone and the weird rapid-fire voice selling off boxes of china and armoires faster than what seemed right. once, she let me pick out something from the tables to keep for myself and I chose a picture of ginger rogers in a vanilla-colored art deco frame (which I have saved). still, I swore up and down and all over the place that everything I would have as an adult would be modern and new.

and then my mom took me to the fleamarket when I was 14 and gave me ten bucks to spend however I wanted. that cash was destined to be spent on new clothes (from the nearest mall, natch) until I happened onto a table piled impossibly high with vintage clothing. old beaded dresses and satin slips and trousers, three pieces for ten dollars! I had so much fun digging through that pile and really, that was it for me... thus, began my habit. I started to see old things with new eyes and could not get enough of vintage clothing, hats and jewelry. when I was 16, we moved from a small southern illinois town to cincinnati and all of the sudden, I had direct access to an army of thrift stores. my mom had been taking me to yard sales and antique stores for years but the lovely underworld of thrifting proved to be exceptionally seductive. twenty years later and I'm still not tired of it. I'm up and down with it but never, ever done with it.

that's me in the disco ball up above (duh) and I am at the lakewood fleamarket. been happily making the monthly trek there for a decade now. I'm not really into traditional antiques and don't even really collect vintage clothing anymore. naturally, my taste has shifted. these days, I am on the hunt for old world globes, pull-down school maps, mid-century modern pieces, souvenir pennants, vintage purses, old signs, wood/metal printers blocks, 50s/60s lamps, letters and numbers from signs, various ephemera, and (of course) old photographs. and whatever else looks good and fun.



(take a gander at the rest of last week's fleamarket goodness here)

everytime I dig through a crusty old box and drool over the kitschy beauty of some forgotten thing, I eat my junior high words a little more. ha. words proclaimed by a 7th grader with such drama and absolution are for eating.

11 September 2005

candy



"if your daily life seems poor, do not blame it, blame yourself. tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches." -rainer maria rilke

09 September 2005

found photograph #268



the real story behind this photograph is probably a million times better than anything I could ever, ever make up.

all speculations are welcome, of course.

06 September 2005

self portrait tuesday #5



oh, the fabulous silence that can only be found underwater. yesterday, we decided to go swimming out at nani's on the last official day of summer. (yes, yes I know-- the last day is technically september 21st, but who are we kidding? everybody knows it's all over with labor day). anyway, in between ava's splashing and kicking and ezra's precarious toddling around the pool's edge, I was able to grab a couple of moments to myself. to flip and twirl and do the backstroke, to be goofy with ward and take pictures of my feet.

water brings so much peace. float in it, face up to a turquoise sky and you feel calm, weightless, effortlessly suspended. nothing like it in all of the world. water is our world. and so I was floating and I was thinking about all of this, the magic of water, the colors, the feeling, the taste, the sounds. crazy how something that brings so much delight, so much joy also has the ability to inflict so much pain, so much destruction. the dark side of water takes on unfathomable force and relentless wrath. sort of feels like a betrayal you have no choice but to forgive.

03 September 2005

eleven years

we were newlyweds. we started each day blissfully and sleepy-headed in the tiny lush courtyards of the place d'arms hotel. I am remembering those dream-like mornings, the thickness of the air, the distinct fragrance, the sound of the water in the mossy fountains, the quiet. I am remembering our breakfasts, the sensation of tearing delicate chunks from my croissant while we talked about the possibilities the day held. I am remembering what it felt like to be a new bride. we were on our honeymoon in new orleans.

and now here it is, eleven years later, and I find myself consumed with the television footage. I have been paralyzed by this, unsure what to do with all my emotions, my outrage, my fear, my sadness. over and over in my mind, with all these questions... what are they going to do? why haven't the people been helped? what is taking so long? what are they going to do with all that water? how will they rebuild? what can I do? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? I had the desperate and overwhelming urge to drive the short six hours down there to nurse those dehydrated babies myself (because how can those mothers breastfeed if they haven't had any water?). I hit my breaking point with it friday night and turned the tv off. I sat in the dark for a moment, stared at the blank screen. decided to check my email. a last-minute opportunity to get involved in the relief efforts presented itself and while it felt like the tiniest drop in a bucket of immeasurable tragedy, it was action, it was SOMETHING. a small anniversary gift to a city that my husband and I share such love and passion for.

today, we have been married for eleven years. in all honesty, I was really looking forward to writing about the trip we made to new orleans almost exactly one year ago today, a trip we made with the kids to celebrate a decade of marriage. I couldn't wait to share the photographs and the stories. and I will share them eventually, I think, if only to honor the spirit and history of the city. as I pray for all the people, for the rescuers, the volunteers, for healing and for peace, I will also be saying a little prayer for rebirth-- that we will have a new orleans to return to on our twentieth wedding anniversary.