susanstinson: (Default)
[personal profile] susanstinson
There were a few light flakes of snow as I rode in. There's supposed to be a big storm coming tonight.

Following me up the steps this week was the man who cried last week. He was very polite, almost meditative in the way he went my pace as he walked up the stairs. About the third flight, he said something I couldn't understand, and laughed in a friendly way, but when I said, "What?" He said, "Oh, nothing." Then, he mumbled something like, "We're going the same place." I smiled and nodded, both because we were and because it made me happy. I stepped aside and gestured for him to go up the last flight ahead of me. It felt a little like starting the dance on the stairs, with all the placards telling us anyone can dance.

I spent some time with a cushion on the floor, stretching and playing a little with how it feels to get up and down. I watch people go to the floor with so much grace, but what is between me and the floor is something else. For one thing, if the chairs of the world are too flimsy or too small, the floor and the grass or the ground always stretches out to accommodate me, and I take it up on that, sometimes regardless of propriety. Because my arthritic knee needs padding under it if I rest my weight on it on the hard floor, I get up like a baby, walking myself up with my hands on the ground, my legs a little straddled and and my butt in the air. I was self conscious about that when I first had to figure out how to do it, but now it comes naturally. So, yeah, I don't swoop down and leap up, but I bent over and slapped the floor for a while today, like people make steps with their feet.

They played Rock Steady! What it is what it is.

I was trying not to jump around because my knee was sore all week, so I spent a long time planted in one spot. But then they played some kind of country song, and I couldn't figure out what to do with it until I started skipping all over the room, which felt like flying, it was so fun. Other people started doing something like it, too, and it was pretty delicious to weave in and out of everybody dancing (a young willowy girl in a black leotard and filmy skirt who danced with her even younger sister like a ballerina letting her hair down; an older woman doing contact improv with a young man -- her son? -- who might have been autistic, rolling him over her back, dancing with another woman her age as they both kept physical contact with him; a little girl tossing a rubber snake back and forth to her mom; couples doing swing dance moves), I liked it, and my mess-with-me friend from last week was doing it, too, but I has to skip out the door in the middle of the song to gasp and drink water, because I am not so used to moving that fast.

Later, when I was dancing in a corner, a young woman came over to hug me and tell me that I radiated joy. A guy who had been dancing behind me said, "You have more fun than anyone." Which might be true. I think that this was something that I've been needing -- in a time when I'm looking urgently for paid work, and holding the experience of getting so much no and silence back from putting my beloved book out into the world, when my personal obstacles can set up a clamor with the big struggles and hard times -- to have somewhere to stretch physically, socially, emotionally, to explore connection and separation, to move. It's very wild to me that this is a bodily thing, not an intellectual thing, not about language, and that I've started to feel reflected back there in a way that I've been thirsty for. There are a lot of things about it that almost embarrass me, especially once people start talking, but I can't afford the luxury of indulging my taste for critique, not now, not yet, maybe not at all. Mostly, I'm just grateful that it's there, even for the likes of me, and that all I had to do was find it, drop my five dollars in the basket and dance.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-01 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
fun, fun, fun. it is a spiritual practice.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 12:55 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-01 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
These are always so lovely to read (and I know I use that word a lot with your writing/descriptions but it just seems to really suit most of the time).

I was preaching at church this morning (see my LJ for the sermon if you're interested). It's Lent so its kinda a sober time. But sometimes, our church just really let's go. When we inducted the new priest we had a conga line and everything :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I never argue with lovely -- I always want lovely.

I'll check out your sermon.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That sounds so nice! I'm going to try to find out if there's something like that in my area.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very cool. I can't remember -- are you in Toronto? I know that there are dances in Montreal and Quebec ( and Vancouver.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 06:07 am (UTC)
little_star: (Default)
From: [personal profile] little_star
so beautiful. i find i can feel myself getting shy reading about this and how i would never go dancing weekly because i feel inhibited... interesting. i've always seen and experienced you as so embodied this all seems like a natural fit. i love the write ups thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was very shy the first time, but, for me, it turns out to be an easy place to be, and my body starts kind getting antsy for it. A woman said that every weekend when she picks up her developmentally disabled son, who doesn't have many words, he says, "Dance?" I'm starting to feel that way about it.

Yeah, I'm mostly pretty firmly in my body, but that felt like it had been changing a little, in part around so much time on the computer, that's one of the reasons that this is feeling so good to me.


susanstinson: (Default)

May 2009


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