Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Journey is the Destination

Excerpt from the book I'm currently reading on Creativity:  The Widening Stream, the Seven Stages of Creativity by David Ulrich. (reading because Badrya al Badia recommended it)

-If we remain mindful of the dictum "the journey is the destination", then we embark on this path primarily to learn and explore life's many truths, not merely to accomplish something and produce objects. As the poet Rilke advises: "try to love the questions themselves." The answers are never as important as the questions. What are the questions that grow out of the core of our lives?-

As I am returning from my long hiatus, this has been a passage that provides some light and some help in managing the complex emotions that the journey is engendering in me as a dancer.

I went into the studio last week to practice my performance piece, and I was very humbled by my body screaming at me "are you kidding? you haven't moved me this way outside of class in forever! you really think that I'm just going to do that move? HA! watch this!"

my body is very articulate.

also, annoying.

it also said "how ya like me now, biznitch!?" the following day while reminding me that yes, indeed, I can haz delayed onset muscle soreness! Oh, yes I can!"

and sounds an awful lot like Dane Cook.


But I digress...

Put on the music to my performance piece and tried to dance to that amazingly lovely music by Oum Kalthoum...

Not a bit of it. No inspiration, nothing.


The nice part of rental space is that really, there is nothing else for you to do actually DO there other than what you went there to do. At home, I have 2 cats, they always need something done to them, a puppy, books, as if I were planning on opening my own library, tv, computer, dvd's galore, literally dozens of things I could do.

Not in a rental space.

So I decided that I would just go right back to beginner's class.

I worked on getting into good dance posture. I've gotten so lazy. Before, I would work on it constantly, not just in practice but in absolutely every day life. Standing at the copy machine once, a co worker walked by and remarked that my posture was perfect. Of course, he had no idea that I was actively working on it in the moment that he went by.

I worked on lifting my rib cage decently to give me that nice line.

I went back to my very first class (that I taught) "this is your hip" and working on range of motion.

Did this for a good 45 minutes, hip slides, side, forward, back. over and over again. then adding a shimmy when they looked ok.

Worked on rib cage slides as well.

Texted my dance teacher (Najmat) in a moment of complete and utter frustration (before doing this stuff) and asked her what I should work on. She immediately texts me back the bane of my existence "hand and arms!"

So I work on this as well, and added some interesting arm paths, interesting only because I've managed to thoroughly pull and injure an obscure rotator cuff muscle (sub scapularis) and I have little range of motion on the left.

After about an hour, I pull out my song again, and, it's too hard. I look awful, I can't capture the subtlety of the movement that I'm going for.

Pull out my ipod, pull up my playlist of all the different versions of this song that I have, tuck it into my sports bra, and start listening to it...

The last 20 minutes of my practice, while I didn't dance well, at least I danced to it.

And in the morning, on the train, as I was listening to the song again on my playlist, I had some ACTUAL IDEAS! I could see where an arabesque should go, how this section should be danced to, and, and how one's hip should flick UP to mark that musical accent....

It was all I could do keep it to a gentle sway on the train to match the rhythms of the car...

And at home, as the music was running through my head, I was walking down my short hallway towards my living room and playing the music in my head and as I envisioned the arabesque in the train, I did in the hallway... ran into the Boy, who looked very startled and asked if I was trying to fly away?

So at least the arabesque looked the way I wanted it to look, although I do want it to look a tad more grounded, as there is a hip accent at the end of it...


  1. yay!
    Hi personal favorite dance mama! :)

    Strangely, I get random bits of inspiration when I'm riding the T as well! Almost like being among all those strangers can really help to isolate your thoughts? Did that make sense?

    You're gorgeous and a gorgeous dancer! And you remind me that I need to work on my posture :)

  2. thank you sugar! And you know, I've said it since the very first time I saw you dance, I love your dancing and can't wait to see it again!

    About the T, I think it might be because you go inward more when surrounded by strangers? it gives you the time and the space to examine your thoughts in comparison from when you have a bunch of other interactions happening?

    and yes, work that posture!