Thursday, March 11, 2010

in the bag and on the edge

"... If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused..."

Rainer Maria Rilke

Today's daily dance practice is from my butoh mentoring session with Momo and has three parts in regards to how I am feeling - not enough time to pursue my longing, a loud voice of self diminishment and a desire to be on the edge...

Firstly, I was honored to perform with Momo in a piece from her "Daily Dance Retrospective" a few weeks ago and as a result I realized how much I enjoyed being part of a dance community working on a common aim of preparing for a performance. The caliber of the dancers who were present made it easy to get swept up in the excitement of the performance where I felt challenged but very held, inspired, and supported in the process.

In contrast, after daily dancing and filming for over a year I have begun to feel alone in my practice, but more specifically - lonely. I love dancing with other beings in the animate and inanimate form and I treasure the communion I have felt on this journey so far, but, I have been craving dancing with other human-beings within a dance community.

Feeling unable to attend Momo's upcoming retreat this Saturday because I am too busy preparing taxes for our business, she reminded me in my mentorship session today that I could restructure my time for this week - instead of dancing / filming editing / blogging, I could use that time to do taxes which would allow me to come and be with a dance community, which is my longing.

Secondly, lately I have been hearing a rather loud voice of self diminishment in regards to my daily dance practice:

"I am not a dancer."
"I am no good at this."
"I am too old to become a dancer."
"I have nothing to offer of value."

And the questions:

"Why am I doing this?"
"Who even cares? What do I care?"
"What difference am I making to others or our world with this practice?"
"What's the point?"

So for the next week, my daily dance assignment from Momo is to NOT post a film or blog. My practice is to literally crawl into a 'bag,' and to be with myself for 15 minutes everyday, and to be with my voices of diminishment in an intimate way... to be in a place of not doing, but being... a time of deep reflection... a time for a 'little death' while being in the darkness and out of the light... a time to compost and to ruminate...

Thirdly, this new practice is also an 'edge' for me in another way - an opportunity to let go of something that I do that has defined me for over a year and that has become a habit for me which is my daily dance filming and blogging. Can I let go of this attachment? Without it, who am I? Can I still define myself as a dancer if I am practicing in a bag everyday instead of outwardly expressing myself in a way that I think looks like what it is to be a dancer?

With gratitude for my mentor on this challenging, but soul-full-filling journey of butoh. I am honoring the mystery with curiosity, openness, and wonderment... What will be discovered by my week in a bag? I stumbled across this quote today from Momo's sensei from the book 'Kazuo Ohno's World from Within and Without:' "The question we all need to ask ourselves is: Are we genuinely free when crammed into a sack? You there, your eyes are filled with longing. What are you seeking after? And yet the freedom you enjoy while crammed into a sack is far greater than that you'd have without one."

Thank you for viewing this blog and I look forward to returning to THIS practice of blogging again in a week and I hope you will join me again then. With gratitude to you, who have taken the time to read this :~)

There is somewhat of a film in the black space below:
Filmed by Momo
Music by: Jennifer Berezan
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

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