Sunday, June 21, 2009

Let the dance begin

Thursday afternoon I was lucky enough to get a ride with a total stranger to camp. We had a nice drive to the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is a bit mind blowing to be in Fresno at about 400 feet above sea level and the next time you see a sign you're at about 1500. In increments of about 10 minutes while driving we were quickly at 2000, 3000, and 4000. The camp itself is at about 4500.

Unfortunately I foolishly thought it would be easy breezy to use my phone to get on the internet, now that this site has cell coverage - previously no carrier had a signal up here. I should have tested things and figured it out while still in Berkeley. An ounce of forethought would have saved me 17 tons of anxiety and I would not have lost 10 hours (at least!) of solid work time.
Sleep was hard to come by, tossing and turning on the air mattress I gave up and was out of bed at 4am Friday morning. It was a total disaster and I was unable to work until Friday around 2pm, campers were to begin to check in at 4:30.

The upside is that I was able to work finally, no campers really noticed there was any snafu, and by Saturday evening by 7:30pm I had caught up on work for Dance New England for a delayed deadline. Napping in the late afternoon increased my productivity and my mood. Even better is that I got some dancing in the first night, and tonight. Tonight, even better than dancing was this lovely stretching session I had on the dance floor. Being in my body, stretching, with moving bodies, excellent music surrounding me is like a form of meditation. I didn't even realize how much I had gone to another place until I was done and rising from the floor.
It is amazing to feel the body respond in such a short period of time; this gives me hope that I can get back to a greater level of flexibility if I just can do this consistently.

Tonight it so much colder, the temperatures started dropping around 6:30. It's funny I just looked up the actual weather and by my east coast dance camp standards it's ridiciously warm but quite some time ago I noticed how different one temperature can feel based on so many things. Tonight I think I will be wearing a hat as well as clothes while in my sleeping bag.

In general I feel comfortable here, comfortable here as a single person - when was the last time I was at a dance camp single?? Way longer than I want to acknowledge. This camp is about half the size of my other one which makes it sweet and contained. I think it's a good way for me to reintegrate into myself to where I am now in the world. It occurred to me that I have danced in four states since being on my own - New Paltz at the Frolic, twice; Dance Friday in Boston; Club Masque in Dayton; and now at NCDC. This is so much better a life style for me!

Tonight I was talking to a friend here at camp, someone who I really clicked with last year - almost like a sister I forgot I had or a childhood friend happily rediscovered - upon telling her that I left Ohio on the spring equinox she noted that we were at the summer solstice hence I have moved through a season. What a wonderful observation and what a season it has been! It is a little mind boggling to realize I have been on this new path for 3 months, literally and figuratively. I am feeling more inside, more in touch with myself and at the same time more expansive with my interactions with other people. This is all really good, and good to remember when the moments of sadness take over, when the doubt settles in and when the unmoored feeling disorients me.

Peace out!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

If it makes you happy

Then why the hell are you so sad?

That is today question. Leaving Dayton was extremely hard, not because I didn't want to be done, but because I was done. A chapter is now closed. Certain hard truths came to light that challenged me, and will continue to, in my last days there.

I have been in California since Tuesday, staying with Glamour Gal and her amazing beau. Since then I have shopped, gossiped, worked, and began to tell those hard truths. Yesterday I went to see my dear friends from graduate school since my visit fortuitously coincided with the residential conference. It has been two years since I saw them, at which time I was on the brink of moving to Ohio, and now I have left there. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was to see Sandra, Scott, Jennifer, Priscilla, John, Steven. A total unexpected treat to catch a few minutes with Annette and Jheri. My heart is full from spending time, some brief, some in depth with these people that have touched my life deeply. In many ways it was the same sort of experience as when I was a student, in other ways not, since it seemed overall a more subdued RC. Also it was not the same as I was now single, and I was telling hard truths about me, my relationship, my vague plans for finishing my degree, all of those things that I have been sitting with the last few months.

This morning I caught CalTrans down to San Jose to see more friends, these from my time of living out here. More bitter words spilled from my lips, which were parched from telling such sadness, hurt and anger; afraid of breaking other people's hearts just a bit in the process. Mostly though it was good, fabulous even to reconnect with these people. The occasion was Zaye's fifth birthday, hard to believe he is so big, so perfect still. It was wonderful to see his mamas and reassure myself that though contact had been limited, the affection and love has not faded as I had feared. Andrea & Liz's daughter Val is amazing, such an unusual beauty. The big surprise for me was seeing Wendy; we have always connected solidly, in a mildly flirtitous way and though she is happily coupled it was still fun to do just a little of that dance together.

Glamour Gal, Amazing Beau and I drove back to Berkeley in the Saab convertible with the top down as the dusk settled in, wind whipping my hair every which way and I was taken with unbelievable sadness. Sheryl Crow played for awhile and the title lyric hit me particularly hard because I am so happy, leaving was the right choice on so many levels and yet after these two days of reverie I am incredibly sadden by the very things that have brought me here, where I am happy. The truths that have been laid bare have made me incredibly sad, challenged me, left me feeling betrayal in a manner I have never felt before, and today in the car along with blocked tears I started to feel anger. A deep heart changing anger, a knowledge that I have lost an innocence I once had, a trust that I imbued happily on everyone, a willing suspension of disbelief that can not exist inside me anymore. Perhaps that is what is making me so angry and sad right now, because juxtiposed right up against my deep hurt is the Glamour Gal and Amazing Beau being so happy, so lovingly, all the things that I had hoped for, that I had pinned a future on in my last relationship. The two times I have taken a total leap of faith in love, ignored warning signs, fell in love in that way I don't believe in, I was left in a heap, crumbled and broken. My cyncism has done nothing but grow and that feels impossibly sad to me tonight.

I am sure some of my positivism and trust in people will return, at least I hope it does, but for tonight I am angry, sad, and feeling a little lost; longing for an alone space to curl up into and sleep endlessly, to snivel to myself, and to just be in my misery until I am ready to interact with people, to retreat to again and again. I do not have that right now. The closest I will get to such a thing is in a few more days, in a tent in the Sierra Nevada foothills, in between working and socializing. It is foolish to hope that my experience last year will repeat itself because moments like that are the ephianies that keep us going, and frankly I have had a few in unusual places of late so the best I can hope for in that desert climate is some sweet interactions, satisfying work, and just a few soul opening dance experiences. I'm not greedy. Well mostly not. So if I get just one or two of those things, it will be enough. Oh, and some good sleep would be nice too.

Monday, June 08, 2009


It has been a long year of saying goodbye it seems. This is not what I thought I would write about today, though it encompasses some of my recent ponderings. Just a few minutes ago I learned of another person in my overlapping circles has died. This is the second death in less than two weeks.

Last summer my cousin lost her spouse of 40 years; someone that has always been in my world even if we rarely had contact also died. Greg's father also passed last summer and just a few weeks ago I was honored to be present for his memorial at Greg's home. During camp last August three members of my Dance New England community lost a parent; coincidentally we had three very pregnant members on site which seemed like a profound and fortunate synchronicity.

Another type of passing of course, was the end of my relationship from Her Geekyness. Though I never wrote on this blog of our problems, and I still will not sully the good of that relationship here, but things had been building for at least several months before things ended in February. I have written about my journey, a bit, since that time of things I feel reside in me that form who I am (and lucky readers, there will be more of that) and the ones that cause me angst and those that bring my joy. I have been grieving, wallowing in finding me, happy, sad, and angry. I have been back in Ohio for about two weeks where all those emotions, and more, have made an appearance. Her Geekyness and I saw each other twice. The first time was awkward, not terrible and not fabulous. Mostly business was handled. A second time we went through the house to go over the belongings and what I would be taking as I had left some things back in March. The end of that visit was hard and the sadness overtook me because there was now no future date where we would see each other, this was the end in a different way.

I have been alone with my animal babies for over a week and it has been lovely but I need to say goodbye, again. Since I left Grace Ellen needed to be put down due to cancer so while she has been largely a quiet presence the last few months, the house feels different without her. Last night was my Sunday Night Knit Night and while it has been lovely to these last two weeks, it was so hard to say good bye because once again like with Her Geekyness and the babies there is not time that I know I will see these people again. Yes, yes I can and will keep in touch but it's not the same as being with the group, random snippets of conversation catching your attention, Emily succeeding in making me spit my tea last night - a feat no one has been able to get me to do in twenty years, someone offering a suggestion of using Febreze on a real hair wig to avoid shampooing too often. You had to be there.

Last weekend Dance New England lost another community member. Judit lost her bold, graceful, humor filled fight with cancer. I first met her in 2000, when I first returned to the community and we talked about her sons, about her first bout with cancer, her fiber arts. Judit was always smiling. Last year she came to camp, fighting hard, dealing with the effects of chemotherapy and her scalp gloriously gleaming. Nev henna'ed her dome and it looked like a crown befitting the goddess Judit was. I am grateful that her husband and sons have registered for camp, that they feel that we can hold them in this moment.

This morning I learned of an acquaintance's passing and tears started to flow. It wasn't just because Mike has left us, it is all the losses, all the transitions; it's about aging. I have moved past the time when grandparents die; now, not only do our parents die but our friends, people our age, people like me. While I enlivened by my life changes, my modern nomad phase, facing with all these losses, I know there are more to come who will be closer to me; my current single status sometimes feels frightening lonely. It occurs to me that I could die alone, that there will be no one who tell people I have passed, no one will know how I would want to be celebrated, or who gets my belongings. The reality is that I am probably halfway through my time here, or less because one never knows. My parents are closer to death, my friends are too as they age. I have thought of this before but I'm not sure I seriously thought that I might be alone, not that I planned to be coupled per se but at this age the reality somes down a little harder.

I do not feel morbid about this but I am sitting in the knowledge that time is finite; that things are temporary because they go away, while the presence is always there because of one's experience of them.

Tell people around you the truth, tell they about their beauty, importance. Reflect on your grace, your expansiveness in this moment. Experience the love in your heart, the love that exists in the sky, in the peacefulness that you can find chopping vegetables for dinner. Love is always there, with someone, alone, in a crowd, with your beloved. Find it and embrace it, remember it when you think it's gone.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A quiz because I am tired, lame, and busy

Your result for The Mythological Goddess Test ...


Indeed, you are 75% erudite, 88% sensual, 29% martial, and 33% saturnine.

This Egyptian supreme Goddess is certainly the most influential deity on subsequent cultures. She was the ideal figure of womanhood, usually compared with the Greek Goddess Demeter or her Roman version, Ceres.

Isis was one element of a Holy Trinity, the remaining two figures being her brother and husband Osiris and their heroic son Horus. She was the Goddess of Magic for her brilliance, as well as the Goddess of Love because of her tenacious devotion.

She is often shown with wings, curving to caress coffins and sarcophagi of many a king. In certain papyri she is shown with her falcon wing headdress, covering her ears. One of her sacred symbols is the sistrum, a musical instrument that was believed to ward off evil spirits. Isis' sistrum was carved bearing the image of a cat and was representative of the Moon.

Isis was the High Priestess and an omnipotent magician as well as the only being ever to discover the secret name of Ra. She invariably carries the ankh, the symbol for eternal life. Her name is, by the rules of numerology, adding up to the number “2” and she just so happens to be depicted on the tarot card “Key 2 – The High Priestess”.

Compared to other takers

  • 40/100 You scored 75% on erudite, higher than 40% of your peers.
  • 74/100 You scored 88% on sensual, higher than 74% of your peers.
  • 3/100 You scored 29% on martial, higher than 3% of your peers.
  • 14/100 You scored 33% on saturnine, higher than 14% of your peers.