Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No such thing as stillness

Welcome Spring!

I celebrated with a long walk through a nature preserve with my family. The paths were lined with generations, bikers, puppies, and sharings of the life experienced through the preserve.

Did you see the turtles sunning themselves?

Look - there's a giant bird who just caught a fish!

Do you see all of the little minnows swimming?

Are those baby fish or tadpoles?

Listen - the frogs are calling to each other! Over there - over there!

"Check this out" a fellow explorer called to us. "He's so small I almost stepped on him! I am usually looking up, but I looked down and there he was! I'm going to put him closer to the water."

Our new friend stretched out her palm holding a tiny turtle. Moments earlier, I had scared sunning, car-tire-size turtles off of a pond-side spot. (I was across the pond, but they still heard me and dove into the water). The difference in size, and the difference in time/ life experience between the baby turtle and the sunning turtles left me breathless.

My friend might have crushed the small turtle had she not been paying attention, but the activity of the Spring demanded that she remain aware. That all of us in the preserve remain aware.

And find our own stillness so we could experience the motion of life.

Without my own stillness, I could not see the tadpoles under the murky water. I could not identify the cacophony of bird calls as individuals. I could not perceive the scent of cedar from one direction and the pine from the other.

Stillness brought movement. Stillness allowed me to experience movement.

So in nature, so in life. So in dance.

I am reminded that in the process of dancing, we have the opportunity to create stillness so that the movement around us can exist; so that we can perceive that movement and then be inspired by it. In technique, in rehearsal, in class, in life.

Stillness need not be passive or gentle or fleeting or interrupted. Rather, it is powerful, dynamic, and active!

What do you find in your own stillness? What moves you when you are still?

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