She and I are quite alike    


There is a woman, she walks the hill of my neighbourhood as habit. She makes a life of walking.
I see her on the river path pausing on the bench between steps. She wears a long skirt, an awkward stance, with each step the weight of her shoulders slipping down through the trunks of her legs as though the shopping bags she carries on the way to the town are as heavy as on her return.
One day, when her face was becoming familiar to me she called out, ‘You smell nice.’
‘Rose.’ I replied.
But she was already continuing, ‘You look like a hippie who got it confused, funny dress you are wearing.’
I looked surprised until another lady ahead offered, ‘She has bipolar I think or something like that.’ My heart still circles that remark with uncertain curiosity.
I have become used to this honest lady, we cross paths every day and I wonder if she will meet our passing moment with silence, or the next judgment. I approach our shared space occasionally with a smile, sometimes I look away in hesitancy, or I take a big deep breath and listen to what she has to say as I move on and breathe out.
There is a remarkable similarity to the internally voiced criticisms that I offer to myself daily. Accurate, irrelevant, kind, rude, unpredictable, honest.
Life offers creative reminders.

Your Witness    

If I told you
I would witness you
In your full embrace of Space,
The gentle soft pulsing space within
The arms that stroke the artist’s space around,
If I told you I would see you whole as you are,
How would you move?

Practice    



 

Everyday I introduce myself to space,
To the full soft space of breath,
To skeleton joints, opening gateways to movement, 
To the moment as the breeze touches a sky of birdsong.


My mind does not know space, it longs to. 
It knows only to give way to the spaces between its own coming.
There, 
In those spaces, 
It humbly rests,
While my senses translate.

Observations on dancing in a class, May 15    

Today I was in a dance class, the leader said over and over, “Release your jaw, soften your tongue.” This is music to my ears, how many times I had dancers come and ask, “What’s with your mouth?” Or my friend Art reveal his secret dancing name of name for me is fly catcher. But still, I can’t jump on my response to hearing those familiar words, if so, I’ve already hurdled the moment and missed myself. I have to take it new; my jaw, my tongue, softening, down my spine, open jaw, open hips. As dancers we have to listen again, not to what we ever knew, but to what is here now.

As I entered the room, I noticed my response to see a woman that I barely know but had a mix-up with long ago, I found myself imagining her eyes – her view on me. The word ‘bad’ appeared. I had a brief wondering, could a ‘bad’ person be an authentic dancer, could one with no integrity listen and trust and move and reveal? I danced beyond the question, where there is no-one in this dance, where there is no one owning these sensations. The question itself fell away as a falsity.  

Sometimes the leaders’ words impinge upon my actions, usually only when I hear a statement that appears to exclude what I’m doing, when I hear a statement that seems to demand something other to happen. I once heard a teacher ask us to notice if we were making ourselves ‘special’ by not fitting in. I loved the sweet confrontation of this question. Now I remember, I can re-hear the statement, the invitation, and include what I’m doing within it.

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