Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a matter of survival

"...I lay on the rocks, reaching into the darkness, learning little by little to love our only world."
Mary Oliver

On arrival to Vancouver I read the local newspaper at my dad's, and read three heart numbing articles - one on the possible extinction of the orcas, the other was an editorial about the killing of bears in B.C. for trophies, (an earlier article explains how despite a ban campaign, trophy hunting is up in popularity) and the third was about the pine beetle devastation on the forests that is only getting worse. I think this information overload set the tone for my dance of survival this morning...

The scenery was so spectacular at Piccadilly Cove, the morning kept inviting me to dance and this is one of three practices. I was drawn to this location because of the sweeping bowl of the granite outcrop that invited me to play with it and if it was warmer, it would have been fun to have slid or rolled all the way into the still pool below :~)

I began this dance with the smooth granite just trying to hold on and interact with the stone as a dance partner. Although I am still longing for more dance opportunities with a community of other people, until then, nature is such an amazing source for connection and inspiration!!!

From my play with the smooth granite, I moved to more stable ground where I found the mainly dried starfish in the sun. It was still alive so I plucked it from the stone and placed it back in the water, not sure of it's survival...

I love how starfish radiate out from their center and felt moved to get in touch with my center and feel expansive in body from that place like a blossom flowering outward from it's core. I was also reminded of our (and all species) fragility of existence and how really so much of our lives are about survival. It is easy to witness this survival dance among other species because so many tend to spend their day to day moments being predator or prey, or foraging for food in the wilds. However, although we have the convenience of grocery stores and restaurants, isn't much of our lives spent on fulfilling our basic needs for survival, such as eating and drinking? I suppose we are just part of the food chain link...

I found this version of "The Starfish Story" today and had to share it - wow! I love how it mentions a human figure 'dancing to the day...'

There was a man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching
down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."
"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"
"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said,"It made a difference for that one."

As much as it is challenging to be one of the species that is directly responsible for the decline and extinction for many species on our planet, today, this morning, I am grateful to be feeling deeply connected to the other species on our beautiful earth as well as Mama Earth herself at this place of beauty so close to the city...

May we all feel inspired to "dance to the day" and make a difference to "that one."

Thank you for reading / viewing my dance practice of connection with other. I hope you may be inspired in some way - perhaps to connect with dance to the natural beauty where you live?


In the sea rocks,
in the stone pockets
under the tide’s lip,
in water dense as blindness
they slid
like sponges,
like too many thumbs.
I knew this, and what I wanted
was to draw my hands back
from the water – what I wanted
was to be willing
to be afraid.
But I stayed there,
I crouched on the stone wall
while the sea poured its harsh song
through the sluices,
while I waited for the gritty lightning
of their touch, while I stared
down through the tide’s leaving
where sometimes I could see them –
their stubborn flesh
lounging on my knuckles.
What good does it do
to lie all day in the sun
loving what is easy?
It never grew easy,
but at last I grew peaceful:
all summer
my fear diminished
as they bloomed through the water
like flowers, like flecks
of an uncertain dream,
while I lay on the rocks, reaching
into the darkness, learning
little by little to love
our only world.
~ Mary Oliver ~

There is a film in the black space below:
Music: Philip Glass
Visit my butoh mentor's beautiful blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

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