Over the edges    

You know some people have angels who keep them safe. Well I have a cosmic clown who pushes me to my edges and I’m rather growing to like him.

He’s been preparing me for the big one these last weeks, with the dance studio that often forgets to leave the doors unlocked, its sound system key missing, or the absent heating on cold days. But in the face of it all, he whispers, ‘Find a way woman,’ and chuckles at my determination. He watches me climb through windows, lead without music, orchestrate the improbable in the minutes before dancers arrive – to a dance floor that breathes space.

He does this with worthy reason – to guarantee that any small prediction of plan I may harbour gives way to the freedom of reality. In these challenges I am utterly consumed with what needs to happen with no time to daydream of what I would like to happen. 

The big one, my first residential retreat this weekend – I arrived to find the beautiful dance floor was recently varnished. I stepped upon it and my feet stuck. 
Of course, there is a choice even as dancers arrive to cancel, but Soul Motion is a practice of going with, and so we did. And there we trust the magic opens. As the long narrow kitchen was cleared of tables to reveal a humble wooden floor I saw one singing dancer rattling a shaker, smiling, with the words, this is going to be a very good workshop. Over my shoulder the clown chuckled at the new edge he had pushed me over. 

We took a first night silent walk pausing, listening together as the darkness revealed nature’s underside. Dancing, we came across a stone labyrinth, the wonders of white jumping sheep across the night field, and when we arrived back to our weekend home, we christened our new dance floor. 

Amongst the crockery and pans we danced and sang passage after passage from morning to night. We heard David Whyte’s words in their reality, 
‘The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last.’ 

And amongst it all, in a role as leader, I remembered the most valuable lesson that my plans would always be too small.


The doorbell rang
My friend surprised me
We lay like schoolgirls on my bed talking.
She wept a tear
Then I did.

We left together,
Cycled below the treetops, 
Calling to one another.

I forgot I was now
And remembered I was twelve,
Until we arrived at school 
To collect her son
And we once again played grown up.

‘We never grow old inside,’
She reminded me.

Meetings Through Space    

A recent post for the Soul Motion™ newsletter. You can read the newsletter here.
I remember to nourish space; the type that enters through the nostrils and gives the body time. I take baths. These cold wet days of England would have my body shrink into aloneness, the same you may know after hours staring at a computer screen, an inverted island of contracted cells. 

So I immerse my body in the fluid space of my bathtub where I breathe until the meeting happens, in the gateway where all moments pass through. I relax, fluid space inside opens, exhales, and meets the motion of the warm water. A small dance begins, stretching seconds into hours, carrying me moment by moment up the tiled walls, down into liquid space, pressing and spiraling through slow journeys that lead across the tub, around the edges, meeting textures. 

I love these meetings, where curiosity leads, where breath nourishes silence and where my edges feel the textures of a world that includes me. Never isolated. Intimate beyond the personal.

Remembering the textures of space leads me into a life I want to walk daily. I trust the winter riverside air to clear my head of clutter and confusions. I feel the breeze of swan-flight passing by, or the trees calling me to stillness. I soften to nature’s voice. 

In town, I notice I rock weight as I stand in conversation, and words delight in rippling through the body with a taste of their own. 

To lead dance, I’ve needed to invite space, and that grew to show I need this space to fully live. So on the shrinking days when I mistake my aloneness, I head back to the bath, or stand tall to the winter sky, or conduct my fingertips through the thick pulse of the streets.
In the words of a man who graces my classes, ‘We can take our time, we’re surrounded by eternity.’

That’s another word I learned from him, for space. 


My Thursday Ritual    

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