Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

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Courage in the bath aka I’m brave when I’m naked.

October 1, 2014

I’ve always been a fan of taking baths. I don’t think I took a shower until I was nearly 14. Regardless of the fact that I successfully debated the merits of showers over baths when I was in grade whatever grade that was when I was in the debate group. I won the argument that showers were better than baths and I had never, up to that point, taken a shower in my life.

~Ok, temporary sidebar. How curious. I’ve never considered the weight of that. Of a young girl who is taught to argue the benefits of something she has never tried and does so successfully. Does that make her a liar? An actress of some sort? Honestly, the debates we had in the pace class really did often feel like plays. We were pulled from regular school to do puzzles and solve problems and retrain our brains to expansion and brainstorm ideas. Imagine if that was something offered to everyone? We were taught to think so far outside the box there was no longer a box. Maybe that was the beginning of the end for my school career. Curious. I’ll revisit this another time. Back to the bathtub. ~

I honestly didn’t believe that showers were better. I still don’t. I understand their efficiency, their brevity, their logic. I understand that unless you’re taking a languorous shower, which I love to do, you’re probably using less water than in a bath. Especially if you’re filling a clawfoot.

In my tiny house, next to the lake-pond(ocean) at the end of the road(lane) I have a magnificent clawfoot tub. There is another bathroom with a shower. Decadence. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a house with two bathrooms before. I’ve used the shower once since I’ve been here. The bathtub is in front of a window that early morning light streams through. In the summertime, the honeysuckle bushes bloomed ferociously so that I was taking baths in sunshine and scent. It fills fast, it drains faster, the water that comes out is perfectly hot. A bath lovers’ dream.

The best baths are the ones that don’t have to be rushed. Isn’t it like that with everything though? Perhaps there are things it’s better to rush. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, I’ll come back to that one too.
When I’m in the bath, there’s a moment when everything quiets down. It’s likely as close as I ever get to a state of meditation (I tried the other day, just sitting in the sun…I think I almost lasted a minute. I think sometimes I get there while hula hooping too). That moment when I sit in the bath and the water completely covers me. Every part of me is exactly the same temperature. There is no part of me that isn’t being touched by something that is the same texture all the way through. Right now, sitting here writing this, I am a cacophony of denim, wool, cotton, sheepy slipper texture. My skin is hypersensitized and filled with awareness of differences. Underwater, my skin, my hair, my nails, they cease to be parts and become a whole. When I open my eyes everything is soft. All I can hear is the sound of being underwater. Everything goes away. For just a moment. Which creates a space for all the things I haven’t been able to focus on to sharpen.

Dreams that are fragments become whole stories. Poems that have middles show me their beginnings, sometimes their finish(rarely). Conversations I am terrified to have become clear and simple. Expectations I’ve been carrying around are sluiced away. Is this what it is to be truly relaxed? If I could manage to meditate for longer than 40 seconds at a time would I be able to maintain this strength, this focus when I’m not completely submerged in water? Perhaps this is why I’ve carried the dream of growing up to be a mermaid for so long, because when I’m in the water I feel sane. I feel purposeful. I feel poetic and light and passionate and creative and weightless.

When I die, it’s my hope that it will be a time of my choosing and it will be oceanic in nature. Ideally I’d like it to be on my 111st birthday. Honestly if anyone gets their panties in a bunch about a 111 year old woman deciding to off herself by walking into the sea, they can get stuffed. But speculating on something that is still 73 years away is just silly at this point. Back to present.

When I am in the bath, submerged, I am Delight personified. Before whatever happened happened and she became Delirium (which at least 3 people might remember I dressed up as for hallowe’en in ymir one year regardless of the fact that going as moderately obscure comic book characters can be frustrating when no one knows you’re actually in costume and just look like you would any given day. I had two different coloured contact lenses in!!! My hair was multiple colours!)
Out of the bath I am delirium without the great hair (most days), discombobulated, I lack focus, I start things and never finish them, I write things I am terrified to share because they might not be good enough/too good. I am torn between wanting companionship and wanting to be left the fuck alone. I want to be out in the world, travelling, connecting, building community, sharing, expanding, growing…hiding away, creeping my friends from the safety of an internet connection to ensure they’re doing well but having no more contact than that, afraid of the world’s ideas infringing on my own.
It’s as though I’m torn between living and opting out (when i say opting out, I’m not speaking of the virginia woolf stones in the pocket -just-going-for-a-short-stroll-into-this-river.. get that right out of your head. There are many other less final ways to opt out of living. Ask any well versed hermit).

Underwater, I have courage. When I am naked, I am brave. When I’m vulnerable I am strong.

I wonder if this is part of the reason I love to do dishes. Even if just my hands are submerged, it feels as though everything is fine. What it is I cannot say for sure. Lack of gravity? A hearkening to the time before we crawled out of the sea? A sad regret that we didn’t follow the whales back in when they went? Something simpler? A metaphoric cleansing made literal? A shadow self drowned to make way for a soggy phoenix from the depths? A rememberance of Atlantis or Mu or Lemuria?

This is my rambling ode to water. It’s more of a realization than a ramble. Ideally we find those things that enliven us, that make us calm, that make us light and joy and focused and pleased, whether it lasts a moment or a lifetime. (honestly I don’t put much stock in that lifetime ideology. For one, who would want to feel the same all the time? Watch Brain Candy if you’d like to know how that works out. And two, the very thing that makes the moments joyful is that they are fleeting. They’re called moments, not really long durations of awesome.)
I find it inside a bubble of my own creation.
I often joke about not wanting my bubble of shaggy icelandic ponies singing plinky plink songs to my while stroking my hair and telling me that everything is going to be grand to be burst.
I like it in here. Is it less of a bubble when one knows it’s a bubble? That’s not to say there isn’t space for things that aren’t shaggy icelandic ponies playing plinky plink music in here. In fact, I would be so bold as to suggest it could encompass the all. The whimsy of the everyday to the stoicism of the fantastic.
Everything is wildly, happily, insanely, perfectly delirious with colour. Indigo, gold, oranges, red, violet, greens and blues so rich it might make you laugh out loud to seem them. Submerged, this is so. There is time, there is space, there is wisdom because there is patience.
This bravery, these moments of clarity, I’m sure I have them on land as well. Standing and breathing air, I circle around to sanity often. Perhaps I just don’t recognize it as readily because it’s not as quiet when it happens.

I carry with me the ability to transcend solid,
I leave behind the ephemeral exhalation of a gas
And find the state of being most sane.
I flow and dance and retrieve the parts of myself
I had thought lost.
They were hidden in mist,
In moments of thirst,
quenched;
in a fingertips’ pruny saturation
and tears exhausted in a red eyed sob.
They slid across a surface,
dwelling within tension but never breaking it.
These parts of me are contained
and reflected
and absorbed.
I spit into the sea and the sea carries me
Away.
To become afternoon rain.
Washed clean.

So, still totally unsure about where this ended up. Often I ramble but the circle reforms itself and I find myself with closure. Not this time. Which scares me more than I would normally admit. As frenetic as I demand people believe me to be, there is a certain fused logic to my ramblings. Also, I rarely revisit things. I write and it’s done, cast off to be whatever it is. Pieces, fragments, snapshots. Nothing cohesive, nothing that could be measured or proven to exist beyond the whackadoodle barnyard/sea of quiddity that is my mind’s eye. Nothing I could be held accountable for. Nothing that could be used as a unit of measurement to quantify Trish. I tell myself I don’t mind but I’m starting to feel that I work way too hard on keeping myself lost.
I read somewhere (no idea, please don’t ask) that Jack Kerouac never edited anything he wrote. And decided on the spot, since he was my favourite writer in that moment, that I too would never edit anything I wrote. One and done. If you have to go back you’re shit. Don’t go back. Don’t ever go back. Don’t turn around, don’t look behind, forward, forward, always forward.
First of all, if he was published, there had to be revisions. DIdn’t there? Is he historically known as being the only writer who wrote great prose right out of the gate? Sent it to the publisher who was heard to say, fire all the editors, we won’t be needing them anymore? That seems crazy to me. But I latched onto it and pushed forward. It’s very sad because occasionally I’ll revisit something and know that it needs more work, it deserves more work, but that’s just not my style.

what?
Maybe it’s time to rethink that style.

Someone who I think much of recently said to me “If it scares you, then that is exactly where you need to go.”

I’m on my way.

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The list as it was. Also, pie.

March 9, 2013

I made this list just after New Years in 2006. I was in Paris at the time and being 29, I felt like it was time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What better way than to make a list?

Some things have been checked off, some not yet. Some have evolved, some I no longer have an interest in doing. That’s okay. It’s not written in stone. If I decide I’d like to do something and then later decide I don’t, I’m really okay with that. I know that sometimes I lock myself into a reality and regardless of how little interest I have in creating that reality I’ll stick with it, convinced that if I bail it’s a weakness. A lack of ethics, of ability to commit.

I know I have an inability to commit. I’ll give myself hell about it all day long. I’m now almost 37 and while some lovely things on this list have been seen to, there is still way more I’d like to do than not. But I’m not going to spend time beating myself up for the things I haven’t done yet. That takes away from the things I have. It’s difficult to not think of myself in terms of what I’ve done or what I was and try to carve a new path out of lands uncharted. The ease of falling back into something I’ve done before, because I know how. That phrase, you’ve always got (insert whatever here) to fall back on suggests the potential inevitability of failure. It’s not very positive. I know that every new thing that is tried, might not always work out exactly as I’d hoped or envisioned, but I think trying can sometimes be more important that succeeding.

I’m in Victoria right now, not sure for how long. My brain is doing that thing it does when it panics. It’s recommending school. It’s suggesting that I should enroll and take the inboard/outboard course up the island in Nanaimo come september. It’s only 9 months my brain says. And then you can be a marine mechanic! Light duty, get jobs with whatever small outfits dotted around the zone. Inland on the larger lakes. I bet they have boats in other places too! The whole world is open to you if you can start with this one thing. Brain has the ability to make things sound really good and be right about the possibilities. And they are endless. Of course, as soon as school is mentioned, other parts of brain start making uncomfortable noises. Saying things like “remember last time you tried to go to school? And the time before? And the 3 before that? How many enrollment deposits are you going to lose before you understand that it’s just not for us?”
Which makes me rebel. I can do what I want! I can go to school if I want! I can find a way to go to school in nanaimo while living somewhere that would keep me and the little black alien dog who hangs out with me sane.

Is this my pattern? A forever of starts, a never of finishes? I recognize the pattern. it’s consistent enough that I have to at this point. Is it merely a matter of giving myself permission to…
I don’t know which it is. Maybe both. Permission to be upstanding and go to school because I’ve found something that interests me, that engages me, that makes sense. Permission to cast off all delusions about needing to have something to fall back on in order to sanely move forward and just leaping facefirst off that cliff in the hope or knowledge that I’ll land in something as soft as pie. I do make the best pie, it’s not a bad bet most days.

The List!

I want a fire hula hoop
I want to spin fire and delight in my skill
I want to work in a bookstore that has lots of comfy chairs and likely a cat
I want to write stories that make people chuckle and grin and cry and laugh and think and blush
I want to go to Spain with Janice
I want to work in a circus that doesn’t make me feel strange and slightly uncomfortable
I want to fall in love. No wait, I do that every day. I want to be wooed
I want to watch my friends grow
I want to live someplace where I can watch flowers grow
I want to learn to sew and make supercool clothes that are comfortable and perfect for acrobatics and performing in
I want to sing in a band that plays music I feel passionate about
I want to dance barefoot on a beach in thailand
I want to dance barefoot on a beach in mexico
I want to see what it looks like above the canopy of an amazon rainforest
I want to teach children english
I want to learn spanish
I want to learn Italian
I want to try foods I wouldn’t have thought to and like them
I want to snowboard in the alps
I want to surf many places a wetsuit is not needed
I want to eat a banana I’ve picked off a tree
I want to eat an orange I’ve picked off a tree
I want to eat an avocado I’ve picked off a tree, cut it in half and pour lime juice on it from the lime I just picked off a tree and eat it barefoot
I want to see and swim in an ocean that is an incredible shade of blue because it’s so warm.
Same as above, substitute blue for green
I want tattoos on my hips, my feet, my back and shoulders
I want the aforementioned tattoos to be acquired on different continents
I want a home
I want a room of my own
I want to live and associate with like minded individuals who can maintain communal living and sharing without descending into petty or flaky temperament and losing that lovely edge that goes with sharp wit and fine tuned balance of humour, generosity and a desire to learn
I want to live with cats and dogs and goats and ducks and bees and hummingbirds and butterflies
I want to sit on the porch and have a smoke now and again without feeling dependent or stigmatized
I want the freedom to spend a whole day in a tree if I choose
I want to build tree forts
I want to have picnics
I want to have dangerous tea parties without casualties
I want to celebrate without being intoxicated
I want to take naps in sunbeams
I want to grow old willingly
I want to enjoy myself
I want wrinkles that suit me because I spent so much time laughing and earning them
I want to learn to drive a motorcycle
I want to stand up straight
I want long, healthy red hair
I want to walk more than 3 steps on my hands
I want to do 10 pushups in one try
I want to do a chinup from dead hang
I want to be flexible in body and mind
I want to go skinny dipping in the moonlight. When I`m 80
I want a flower garden just for colours and scents. Pure aesthetics
I want a herb garden right outside the kitchen window so I can spice the soup easily when it`s my turn to make soup
I want to fly kites
I want to watch the sunrise where it happens first
I want to learn to sail
I want to go sailing on a sailboat until I can’t see land and then go swimming
I want to build amazing rope swings
I want to swing those amazing rope swings
I want to bathe in a warm waterfall
I want to remember to send birthday cards on people’s birthdays
I want to be an old woman
I want the right to make an ass of myself, whenever I choose
I want grandchildren, whether mine or someone elses’ doesn’t matter
I want to make cookies for grandchildren when I’m old and kooky
I don’t know if I want to have babies, I imagine that’ll work itself out
I want to live somewhere my bed is a hammock
I want to learn as much as I can
I want to teach as much as I can
I want to work in a movie theatre
I want to be a graduate of the jack kerouac school of disembodied poetics
I want to practice yoga enough that my body thinks I’m awesome
I want to be financially comfortable
I want to encounter miracles everywhere, not just at the corner of 18th and Fairfax, though that’s not a bad place to start
I want a Perello to teach me how to make paella
I want to dance as much as I can can
I want to laugh for all the right reasons
I want to make puppets and put on puppet shows
I want to make dairyfree cheesecake without soy
I want to see the Taj Mahal
I want to see Taj Mahal in concert
I want to walk the giant’s causeway
I want to ride sideways on the back of a vespa being driven by a lovely man wearing a shirt as white as his teeth, pants as dark as his eyes, a smile as infectious as mine and a longing for joy that overwhelms his machismo
I want to drink an irishman under the table in my grandfather’s home town
I want to make films, not movies
I want to scuba dive around the great barrier reef
I want to see ayers rock over an entire day
I want to play a didgeridoo that was actually hollowed out by termites
I want to ride a horse in Mongolia
I want to ride a yak in Tibet
I want to ride a manta ray in the ocean
I want to swim with dolphins because they want to, not because they have to
I want to read don quixote and cheer out loud
Same as above, many other books
I want to see the mona lisa
I want to climb the eiffel tower
I want to drive from alaska to argentina
I want to weave gardenias in my hair
I want to dance the tango, everywhere
I want to see the haida gwaii
I want to go dancing in Reykjavik
I want to go to montreal
I want to go to egypt and make friends with a camel
I want to see the east coast of canada
I want to see a black lion who lives in the ngorongoro crater
I want to take a bath with an elephant
I want healthy teeth
I want to hang out in a banyan tree with my sister, again
I want to play piano more often
I want to be kissed like I was on new years 2005 as often as humanly possible
I want to make love, lusciously and langorously whether it’s with food, music, dancing or crazy naked romping in a field in midsummer
I want to stretch my mind as well as my body every day
I want to feel inspired and stimulated and joyful and passionate and alive
I want to be satisfied with who I am and comfy in my skin
I want to have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whoever I’m with

Yes.

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Angry jerk brain gets kicked in the shut up! Happy accomplishment brain gets 1 1/2 thumbs up!

January 21, 2013

I almost talked myself out of it.I worked myself up into a frenzy of “who do you think you are?”ness and “what makes you think that 10 minutes of bombing an audition would change your life for the better? Wouldn’t you rather sit here and look at pictures of cats wearing orange peels as helmets?” Even while putting on my boots, walking out the door.

I had a moment on the way when I thought, what if I got the address wrong? But cheerleader voice was so ecstatic that I had actually left the house, it wasn’t concerned at all.
When I got to the capitol theatre and the door was locked, cheerleader voice thought, “maybe they’ll open the door when it’s your turn.” and immediately realized how silly that sounded. Just in case, I walked to the back of the building. It wasn’t there.
Angry jerk brain voice was triumphant! I walked back to the house, not too far, dejectedly thinking it wouldn’t have been any good anyhow. I had probably dodged a dignity injuring bullet.
(It’s actually amazing how often I think that. When something that I really want slips away from me, whether it be music school, first time home buying, trying to tackle and hold down a cute potential lover long enough to convince them being watched from their closet is romantic, I always come to the place where I “dodged a bullet.” Music school is much too expensive. That house, though not too expensive regardless of it being 10 times the cost of music school, needed far too much work. I’m actually glad that person could run so fast, I learned some stuff about them while stalking them from their closet that makes me think they’re kinda creepy…etc…my brain is a wonder.)
Arriving back at the house, I distracted angry jerk voice by looking at the internet. Thinking a dejected status update was coming, meanie brain didn’t notice me casually check the actual address of the audition, which was a block away from where I had just been. If it had been any further, I likely would have started typing that dejected status update. That’s how strong willed you-can’t-do-it brain is sometimes. But since I still had my boots on, I figured, the least I can do is go apologize for missing the appointment and perhaps see if there are any spots left tomorrow. Funnily, this is a course of action that resonates well with angry sad insecure brain. It’s what’s known in some circles as “martyr brain.” It takes the point of view of “well, I’d really like to, but I’m fairly certain that it’s too late. Not only did we miss the audition, they’re going to be angry at our lack of professionalism.” Rather than thinking there’s no point in even going, at this point it wants to go, because now it’s certain to have it’s argument validated. And have the wrath of the production team to compound it’s insane and misguided self loathing.

Yes I know how crazy that sounds. Try living in here with these sick bitches.

At any rate, now that the possibility of the audition being missed has been called forth into existence, the expectation that it will go one way or the other has dissipated. And so when I walked into the church and a familiar face in the countenance of Eva was sitting there, happy to see that I had made it, it just started to get good. And it just got better.

There was no problem with my being 10 minutes late. She handed me my a form with my number on it. Not the number I would get for having missed my time slot, but the number they had originally assigned me. 42.

I walked in to a warm inviting room with 6 smiling people who instantly made me feel so good for having come. I sang quietly at first, but with resonance and on key. I stayed in time and in tune with the piano player (I’ve never sang along to someone else playing the piano like that before, it was harder than I thought, but easier than I expected). I followed the short and sweet dance routine easily with just enough sashay that I might have channeled a kit kat girl for a moment. I discovered that I have a 2 octave range. Which might not be amazing, but it’s still pretty cool. I don’t know if that makes me a contralto or mezzo-soprano though, maybe I’ll learn that at the next audition.
What could I have done better? I could have taken off my coat, explained that my voice might be clearer when I’m not the caretaker of a kitty cat who likes to snuggle in my sinuses when I’m sleeping, breathing might have helped too. It often does.

But I walked out of there with 2 things.
1. No expectation.
I don’t know if I’ll get a call back (I’m sure that they’re looking for someone with more experience than “I played Leroy Herdman in the greatest christmas pageant ever when I was 9”) and even if I do, it’s not a guarantee that I’ll make it in the production.

2. No fear. Having been told that I have a beautiful singing voice and a german accent so convincing they actually asked if I have german parents, I don’t feel afraid that I’m not good enough. It’s one thing for friends and family to tell you that you’re good enough, that you sound great, but it’s something completely different for strangers to do so. Not that I expected they would tell me I’m horrible, that’s just not nice. But there is a difference between a diplomatic compliment and when someone honestly thinks you sound good. And I sounded good.

I floated home, I think I carried my gloves the whole way, it didn’t occur to me to put them on. My thoughts swirled to a place of such delightful acceptance, even angry brain was feeling pretty good. I think, with more exercise, angry jerk brain might even realize it’s not so bad and shut the hell up more often so we can actually be productive and get some truly awesome stuff done once in a while. I think tonight was a good start.

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