Monday, May 16, 2011

Revisiting and reentering

I have a memory of witnessing an energy-balancing with crystals. My memory places me in the lobby of one of the many studios where I worked. Two women, one a practitioner and one a skeptic were talking about the ability of crystals to balance internal energy. A third was baring witness to its principles. I was young and did not understand this energy stuff, but it was interesting. The woman bearing witness to the power of the crystals was talking about the importance of meditation and the moment after a yoga practice where you lie and recover. She said, "That's when you see all of the colors and everything."

I have never seen colors during my savasana, but at that moment, I deeply wished that I could.

In a very different, but similar instance, I remember one of my teachers having us jump for 20 minutes. We were learning about trance dancing and the power of physiological changes in the body to influence psychological changes. For those of you who are unfamiliar, trance dancing is present in many non-Western cultures as a medicinal and spiritual practice. Oftentimes, it is through repetitive movement, dancing, that an individual can allow another spirit to "take over" their body. After jumping for 20 minutes, I still maintained a consciousness, but...

I've engaged this exercise with some of my own classes, but I shorten the duration. After only several minutes of jumping, we stand completely still. My students state they feel a "rush of energy"or a "wave pass through" them.

Today, these memories have become incredibly relevant. Today, the deadlines I create are my own. The expectations I encounter are my own. Today, for the first time in a very, very long time, I have space to breathe and reflect. Recently, all of my deadlines have been externally placed upon me. I have chosen the projects, but the deadlines were preset. I've been working a lot. I've been teaching a lot. I've been rehearsing a lot. I've been directing a lot. These past four years have been intense and wonderful.

I've had people say to me, "You're working too hard." To which I think, "There is a lot of hard work to be done." In a very strange way, this pace has become rhythmic, almost meditative. Once I had gotten into the groove and rhythm of plugging away, day to day, I relished in the constant motion. I allowed myself to get lost in the energy.

Then I stopped.

Now, I feel the rush. I (only metaphorically, unfortunately) see the colors. I am experiencing a different type of savasana, but a period of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation.

Tomorrow, Angie and I re-enter into the process of Trenches. With this new insight, I reflect on the title itself. I love being in the trenches. Working. Struggling. Making something happen. Performing. Engaging. I've only been away from it for two weeks, but I miss it terribly.

I plan on letting the work develop its own voice, based upon our practice, it's various lives, and the feedback I've received. Reflecting on its initial concept, dealing with obituaries and their lack of life, I think the trenches are just another metaphor for all of the digging and the excavating and the living that one does. The professional titles do not matter. The time spent in the classroom, on the stage, in the research, with the family, making the apple pie... the time doing is evidence of our lives. But I'm realizing that there is an excitement that makes that doing equally being. And then the meditative moments come and the colors emerge.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Jack Kerouac. "The only people for me are the mad ones, the one who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

I think I've been burning the explosive red, and yellow, and orange flames. I feel it's time for me to burn the quiet, very hot, blue flame for a bit. I'm excited to begin the exploration and re-investigation of old stories and new revelations. More to come...

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