Archive for the ‘dancing’ Category

He Gives Good Gaze

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I like the conversations I have trying to explain exactly who someone is. Here is one trying to pinpoint a particular dancer.

You know who he is… He is like 5’6, has redish brown scruffy hair…
     blank look
has facial hair that isn’t in any particular styled way, not a lot but all up and uncontolled like his hair
     blank look
He’s lovely, medium build, brown eyes
     blank look
He gives good gaze
     Ha! gives good gaze I like that.
Oh me too I think I said it first and I want it to catch on. Maybe I should write about it.

In contra dancing usually the person you are dancing with looks at you while you are dancing. This ranges from looking at a point on your shirt, forehead or hair to diving right into the depths of someone’s eyes for the time you are together. There is a very practical purpose for this is that you wont be a dizzy with swinging. Commonly the looking directly in the eyes offers a stronger connection dancing, or at least the appearance of one. This freaked me out considerably for the first few months I was dancing. I am supposed to go from one person I don’t know to the next, have their arms around me was enough to make me pause. On top of that sometimes they are regarding me with an loving expression that until this scene, I have reserved for people I have a more intimate relationship with. I just could not put out like this; I stared at shoulders.

Along the time I stop having to worry about dizziness I stared to be a little bolder in the eye contact arena. First it was just a few very accessible people, then more and more. Now there are only a few people who shake my comfort with this and mostly I enjoy it. Especially when I can use the distinctive way people give out their gaze to get the “Oh I know who you mean.” In the conversation above however it didn’t work and I will have to remember to point him out next time.


Monday, April 21st, 2008

Saturday was the kind of perfect day that happens only after a long harsh winter in both the environmental and emotional sense. I leave Saturday behind feeling more like myself than I have in the last month. The dregs of winter flotsam are going away from my mind and my yard. The feeling that I am just a pooh stick being tossed into a river is abating, I am regaining solidity.

I awoke after a full nights sleep and did my ninth day in a row of yoga in the morning. This time with four new songs on the mix that were perfect for flow vinyasa. I went longer than I had over the week, both because of the total lack of time constraint and the cold was gone enough to finally breathe well. After, I am in that slippery blissed out place and patter around eating, drinking and getting the deck back into summer lounge mode. I put away the snow shovels, dispatch the things that winter wear ruined, pull out the cushions and I lay in the sun. I start to rake here and there, uncovering the herb garden, stacking the last bit of wood from the tree that fell in the yard in March. Not wanting to start off the season striped, I walk to the store to see find someone to apply sunscreen to my back. I have guests for a while and feed them lemonade. I turn the loveseat with its back to the road making complete privacy from dog walkers, bikers, and driver and sunbathe until I am sweaty. The sun on my skin is delicious. I feel like I am burning off the chaff of pain I have been wearing, molting mottled darkness and back to a shining self.

There are sweaters to dye blue making me go down in to the cool cave atmosphere of the basement to stir and then emerge again to the bright of day. I change my facebook status a record number of times as everything feels perfect and announcement worthy. In the afternoon when it is far to hot to yard putter Theresa comes over with the intention of taking the canoe out. Too much effort, so we romp down to fiske pond. There is a family I know about ready to leave and then the place is ours alone. The water is a glimmering invitation. Although I know, since it is April 19, that it is inviting me to scream as I try to get then likely whimp out. Then I think why not, ditch the clothes and go in up to my knees. Oh yeah it is cold but doesn’t quite hurt and the sun on my chest is too hot. I go in up to my waist and think ok that is enough but am overtaken with a desire to feel deeply, even the painful cold of the water and I go in. Then I hoot and try to get out but it takes me far to long and I am calling “Oh oh oh it hurts it hurts” to Theresa who declares that she is not sure she will go in since I am declaring the pain of it. I lay on the grass and watch as she perfects throwing an arc of water to get the perfect cold splash on her body. The sun glitters the droplets that dazzle brightly against the shadows of the forest on the other side. Theresa is smiling, glorious and stunningly beautiful.

Later there is a ride to Walpole NH to dance to Rumblestrip. I don a breezy dress, put mint in my water bottle and feel divine. On the ride up we chatter about people we adore dancing with for various reasons. My favorites are those who can safely spin me into a transcendence that I am no longer in my head, Diba’s are those who tie in to a sexy connection. Right now Jan’s favorite is anyone who can sway in once place at a pace proper for her casted leg. The music was lovely. I got to dance with Ralph who is a shameless flirt. So I followed suit in the shamelessness, when he told me I look beautiful, I told him it was all because I went skinny dipping. Then I enjoyed watching that sink in to his octogenarian brain. At one point the band brought out a steel drum, three times they were singing. The music was enveloping, I had delicious dances and got nicely sweaty. I ended the night in a waltz and being sung to which added a layer of sweetness to it all and a fine top off to the day.

Sunday arrived with the same delicious weather and I headed to Bhava class. With big delusions, I thought that practicing every day would make it so this class wouldn’t kick my ass. Wrong. I am rubbery the whole rest of the day and tired. But there are three poses I have never tried and the attempt was fun. Baddha Trivikramasana was tough on the balance and keeping the bind with sweaty hands. It wasn’t as hard as it appeared once I realized I could use the pressure of the bind to hold the balance. Then a revolved pigeon which was so comfortable I could sleep in it. The end poses of this class somehow bring all my emotion to the surface and I am crying for corpse pose – sort of silently but with a big lump in my throat. Other than not wanted to wreck everyone relaxation in felt good, a release. So after there is napping in the sun games, BBQing and more games. I am still glowing from the sun Saturday, feel like I am twisting out remaining nightmares on Sunday and still have today off to enjoy.

Because someone knows me just that well

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Saturday morning I tromped out of the house in my pjs to get the mail. First I am deliriously happy to not have even donned a jacket for this short endeavor. The sky was dappled with rain threatening clouds that were being overtaken by the sun and best of all it was only slightly chilly. Although nothing in the mailbox there was a lovely box in a plastic bag next to the plow beaten post. I was expecting this box which I knew contained my contributor gifts for both submissions and the actual printing of Robin’s third version of Handmade Life. The gift was a small hand sewn journal, a maple tree seedling that I have a premonition I will kill and so will give to Theresa’s student to nurture, and a little cut out paper temple thing. Additionally because Robin knows me so well she included a new CD for me and a plain white innocent looking envelope. Inside the envelope was the following poem about my mom. For anyone reading this that knew my mom I am including the warning that wasn’t on the envelope. Go get a tissue, put yourself in the right place and then go forward, you may ball your head off.

A Grotesque Despair

This ravenous river
Snatches what wanders its banks
Without discrimination

Button boxes turned sheets
Tunnels choking her throat
Sleeping on the grieving mat
Of the waiting room floor

The huge rage that splits fissures

Angular shadows bleach and the singsong
Melody of the machines
Humming the blind dirge
Of this strangled finish

Crowded spaces, pressed nurses
Reaching, reaching for the woman
Who is ready to leave

Who has mourned herself and her children

Worn away
Still shirking surrender.

This too the river takes
This and the rage and the grief.
This and the long-gone unmuddied days
Of her clear love

The still pools of her grace

When I told Robin later how I had cried and cried from it she said. “Yeah, I thought you could use that.” How wonderfully lucky I am to have people who know me so well they simply know that I can cry for frustration and anger but have such a hard time with sadness. People who can kindly silently guide me where I can’t get myself easily, to where I need to pass to stay somewhat whole. This is all without a lick of manipulation and with a whole lotta love.

Lucky doesn’t begin to describe it.

lust voodooRobin is one of my longest and dearest friends. Ages ago she told me that when you cut yourself shaving, while getting ready to go out on the town, it is a sacrifice to the lust gods and you are going to get lucky and be smooching a sexy someone soon. The track record for this lusty voodoo has not been logged in a ledger and runs rather in the myth genre I am sure. But later that day in the shower I go to rinse off my leg and there is a telltale sting at my ankle. It made me think of this funny idea we used to muse on. So lucky I think, and then promptly think not. I am far too fragile at the moment to start any such endeavor and am for the time being going to make myself a yoga nun (thank you lovely Claudia for coining that phrase.) So instead the evening proved highly lucky in another regard. I had a potluck dinner at some friend’s of Jan’s. Their friends most of which I had never seen before showed themselves to be lovely entertaining people who I would adore seeing again. Every one of them. Among them were hilarious movie critics, jugglers, musicians basically people who made me feel comfortable, welcome and fascinated. At the contra dance later I got to dance with most of them, the ones new to it held an unstoppable joy of the soon to be addicted. If I am lucky I will see them all again, so I am hoping the voodoo works to that end instead.

Not quite fit for public consumption

Monday, April 7th, 2008

I have been trying this week to do things that I might need. Not having delved into losing someone of this significance before, I haven’t been very good at it. Things are hit and miss, it is a crap shoot of comfort and things that are misplaced or just don’t work. I was thinking that since I am having nightmares it would be good to have sleep overs. This didn’t work out so well. Waking up at four a.m. with my heart racing, I don’t want to wake whoever is there anyway. Although I am usually a sound sleeper this last week that has reversed in a big way. So sleep deprived I decide to go to a dance in Peterborogh, NH Saturday. Another flop in a big way. It started out just fine, was asked to dance by new person right off, got a delicious hug and short back rub from someone that was entirely comforting when I saw him last week. But the massage would have been working at a knot that has been killing me if it were on my left side instead of right (see crap shoot of comfort) and also I reached out to him earlier in the week and he said yes to get together and then sort of silently dropped it. Oh well would be my normal response but now I am feeling fragile and stupid. After that dance, I see someone who dances in Greenfield often. He says “wow you really drove a long way to get here” and I shrug and meekly say well no, it wasn’t far. Then I go to ask another person I have never danced with for the next one. He sneers at me with a disgusted look on his face and says “uh no” like he was just being asked to dance with raw, salmonella infected, rotten chicken. It is all sinking in. I get another partner, CuteMichael in fact, but I continue to feel like I am crashing a party. There were parts of the evening that were nice. Nice to see BJohn, nice music, nice to be in that gorgeous hall but all in all the evening was a big bust and has left me tentative of social engagements. I am not quite fit for public consumption. I need to go easy with myself.

I am tired of feeling heavy and so here goes a little lightness that I hope to go a long long way.

money TreeTalking to Theresa on the phone.
CT: Oh my god what the fuck is that giant tree in the big Y parking lot? Someone is constructing a big fake tree in front of family dollar. Have you seen this thing? It has ginormous shelf mushrooms and looks like a theme park in the making.

Note: the tree is actually a Greenfield’s Savings Bank ATM machine.

Dancing Friday
Adam: waltz?
CT: (even though I thought I was probably done dancing, and already had my hoodie on, I quickly reconsider since I am rested and Adam is a stellar dancer) Yes
Adam: (looks at me sideways) Can you lose the sweater? It will make me slide off and lose you.
CT: uh ok sure.
Now as we are waiting for music to start I am getting cold and rubbing my arms
Adam: We could frame up and wait, it will be warmer. I promise not to hit on you…even though I did just demand you remove your shirt.
CT: (cracking up) Oh am I ever going to write that one down.

before this moment Jan was showing Dave the one yoga move she can do with her leg in the cast/boot. Eagle. Which made me think she was saying ego. This is the pose Egoasana.


Yoga Class Sunday
Peter: Cradle your right lower leg. now bring your foot up and behind your head. Might not get there, no worries. Your life really isn’t going to change very much if you can put your foot behind your head.

Evidence of Spring

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

FlowersSunday on the way to the hospital to visit mom I saw flowers. Outside. It looked like a forsythia bush budding out in glory yellow. I must be hallucinating. Although I have seen the telltale tubes and buckets adorning our maple trees, this seemed too good to be true. Flowers before I have spotted my first snowdrop stem or crocus? I must be seeing things.

I got bit by a mosquito that night. Around Wendell there are impromptu streams emerging and the ground is showing its warm spots to us. On North Leverett Road the pussy willow trees are showing off their furry buds that seem to gather and dole out sunlight just for my sore overwintered eyes.

Overwintered is entirely how I feel right now. The harshness of these last few months has left me feeling fragile, almost brittle. Another tap of a hammer and I can disassemble into pointy shards. I almost look forward to it, like the last breaking snap of the ice melting so the sun can warm the water to a welcoming solace. It will all happen with the right amount of time. Spring starts Thursday whether there is mud or ice on the ground and soon there will be many more flowers.

In the meantime I have much to distract me. Rebekah sent me chocolate bars with sea salt in them which are strange and lovely, a hand painted card that reminds me that the sun loves me (handily shrink wrapped as it wasn’t dry) and best a decorated envelope that took me away from a worried head and made me laugh.
Rebekah Fun
Saturday night the contra dance was full of almost all the people I adore dancing with. One dance had me switching genders so frequently and unexpectedly I know longer knew where or who I was. Empty headed I would continue on in a direction until magically, I was spinning someone or they me. Then he would flip it again and I would be trying to spin him with the same decisive grace he uses on me, but failing and laughing all the while. There is a kinetic meditation in dancing to oblivious confusion. It is mostly achieved by someone spinning me fast or for long enough to get lost in it. It is something lately I crave for the escape and rest it gives my wintered head.