30 May 2006

self portrait #29



hello, I am a mover.

I flex and point my feet all the time. slowly, carefully and always as if I were pushing my toes through peanut butter. I enjoy the slight, starry pain that travels from the densest part of my calves up to the tight section directly behind my knees. instantly, my legs feel a little longer, a little less angry with me. when I feel overwhelmed, I stretch my arms out wide. I think of them as weightless appendages and they float up towards the ceiling. this almost always makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.

I see dance everywhere. I make small dances in my head that may or may not include the gestures of what I see around me. this may or may not include the way my groceries were bagged, the way the woman at the next table told an entire story with her hands, the uneven swagger of the boy walking down dekalb avenue. in some way, shape or form, everyone is a dancer. rhythms and patterns are everywhere. random conversations and unrelated gestures remind me of pieces I've performed, dances I want to make. when I was younger, it was all about tricks. the higher the leg, the greater the leap, the quicker the turn, the better the dancer. we defined ourselves like this, we measured our worth as movers according to skill. somewhere along the way, I let that go. and when I did, the world opened up for me in ways I couldn't believe I'd never seen before.

I tried to give it up once. after ava was born, I questioned everything. I thought maybe this part of my life was over. a close friend of mine reminded me that this would not be so easy to do. she said dance was as much a part of who I was as the color of my eyes or the sound of my voice. and deep down, I knew she was right. inevitably, it'd come in through my back door, slip through a cracked window, show up unannounced at the most inconvenient times.

so I am not performing like I used to. I'm lucky to take a class a week. I'm not sure if the dances in my head will ever be anything more than that. I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be. sometimes I am okay with this, sometimes not. the one thing I do know is that I am a mover. I can barely sit still and I can't hold back. I am never more sure of myself than when I am dancing. I am most alive when I am moving.



(the last of the introductions are here)

thank you, ward-- for the taking the photo

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful photo. I've always loved the moving photos and this captures the dancer in you just perfectly. Dancing is the answer for our soul.

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  2. I love the color and movement in this photo. And I think it's very cool that you see Dance in everything and see the dances unfolding in your mind.

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  3. I feel like that about art. I see color and art in everything. it's so cool that you do that with dance. it's a gift to have a passion like that. it will always be a part of you in one form or another. :)

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  4. your photo perfectly illustrates your post. and i loved the glimpse into the mind of a dancer.

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  5. you are incredibly alive when you are WRITING as well. there is dance in your words. wonderful to read m'dear!

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  6. It seems, my friend, that the most wonderful things about us can't help but morph through time but will never be eradicated - and amen to that sister!

    (and the link back to you isn't up at the SPC site...?)

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  7. i love the thought of seeing dances everywhere in everyday life. did you ever see bjork's movie, 'dancer in the dark'.

    stretching and moving like you describe sounds so healthy, relaxing and invigorating. i wish i could or would do that too.

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  8. nice action/blur. i love the colors.

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  9. i did quit when i had my first child. although i performed when i was 4 months pregnant with him, my focus shifted to teaching after his birth. then another child, and life's new order fell into place. i, as you, see dance everywhere. there are countless combinations in my head , if only for a moment. but i am constantly dancing. now i choreograph. most musical theatre which is soooooooo far removed from my training and performing, but it pays the bills. i remember how my body used to feel when i danced. i miss that feeling. and part of me misses my children not knowing that part of my person, except from old photos and programs. movement is liberating. i secretly wish to get back to that part of myself - time is the issue.

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  10. Hi mama, I hear you. And you move so well.

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  11. what a beautiful post. as the mother of two dancers and an artist myself it is good to know that you are still moving... keep it going. otherwise your art is silenced. maybe in your head for awhile, but it has to come out sometime....
    beautiful photo capturing you!

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  12. panther pawpawJune 01, 2006 5:24 AM

    You write as well as you dance....you could not have said it any better...enjoyed reading it, as usual. Love you..

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  13. i love this! i love the way dancing has meditative qualities for you in that it has opened your eyes to the world, it makes you sit up and pay attention.

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  14. This is so poetic. I love how you're able to write from the heart without sounding corny. That is very hard to do, I think. (I wish I could)

    Ava and Ez are lucky to be gifted with parents who prize writing, dancing, and art as much as you guys.

    Thanks for the comments, too!
    xoxoxoxo!

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  15. This post says so much about you -it's not a label or a list of things you like, but YOU - the essence of who you are. I am blessed by your presence!

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  16. Gorgeous photo, beautiful writing. You are aglow.

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