31 May 2006
self portrait #29
hello, I am a mover.
I flex and point my feet. slowly, carefully, 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 section directly behind my knees. instantly, my legs feel 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. 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 on dekalb avenue. 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 in this way, 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 and fellow dancer reminded me 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 would come back. quietly through the back door, slip in 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 this: I'm a mover, I'm a dancer. I can barely sit still and I can't hold back. and I am never more sure of myself than when I am dancing. this is when I'm most alive.
(the last of the introductions are here)
thank you, ward-- for the taking the photo