How far we’ve come

I saw the light
I’ve been baptized
By the fire in your touch
And the flame in your eyes
I’m born to love again
I’m a brand new man

As these words rang out across the stadium – quite clearly, surprisingly, seeing as where we were – my lips were already moving in synch, silently matching every word since the initial “I”… and tears welled in my eyes, beginning almost immediately to overflow.

I was attending the Brooks and Dunn concert at the rodeo tonight in Houston, kind of as a celebration of my life, for my birthday – something for me, on my own.

I’d asked my mom to stick around with me, but she was ready to head home, so I was okay hanging on my own for the musicians and their music.

When I was about eight years old, I attended the Brooks and Dunn performance at the Astrodome, also for the rodeo.

During their performance, when walking around on the dirt, they pulled two ladies out from the audience to dance with them.

I remember distinctly being upset and embarrassed as the one lady proved, after two quick but failed attempts, that she could not do any sort of partner dancing, let alone the by of two-stepping one of them wanted to do with her.

Rather than rejecting the lady, reading her out for a better model – that’s actually how my brain analyzed it at the time – he just grabbed her around her waist/hips area, and swung her around in a circle or few.

My frustration at this lady for having been unprepared for such a monumental opportunity – dancing with Brooks and Dunn – was not only projected blindly, but had me consider how I would have done, if I’d been the one pulled out onto the floor…

I was rather confident that I would have been able to manage it.

However, I fully acknowledged that I was not certain.

And so I made it my business immediately after this event to make certain that I knew how to two-step and could do it with just about anybody on demand.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and see me at the concert tonight… I found it almost ironic that, though I never anticipated to be pulled out to dance with Brooks and Dunn, here I was, two decades later, likely one of the best country western dancers in the entire stadium, knowledge, ability, and a world title to prove it.

Isn’t that at least a little bit totally crazy?(!!!)?

Anyway, so I can dance, and extremely well, but that’s only part of my mentioning all of this.

When the guys began playing and singing tonight, I was in instant and somewhat constant tears (even throughout the whole show!), right?

Right.

And it occurred quickly to me, This is the power of music.

I was somehow transported to my life when I listed probably daily to Brooks and Dunn music, as I simultaneously saw all that had happened between them and now, how what felt like a lifetime and ten different people ago had somehow led me to today, to who I am today.

There was a lot of good and a decent amount of bad in there, especially early on, and it was a very, very full time all throughout.

And, somehow, here I am, experiencing it all again, while feeling empowered by the open bliss and joy for life I felt back then, reminded of the sadness of what I went through off and on, and encouraged by the fact that I have made it to here so far, and I’ve plenty more wonderful expansion and beautiful growth yet to come for myself in my life.

All of this from music, specific songs and notes and voices and instruments all put together in a certain way, as though, almost, specifically and intentionally with me in mind.

It was of the best kind of medicine.

And this reminds me of how my high school band director always used to tell us that music is a language… tonight, their music spoke directly to me, throughout every place within me.

Post-a-day 2019

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Bilingual Ballet

I found myself thinking of (and, of course, missing) my ballet class in Japan.

I was the tallest by a lot, and it was mostly older ladies (not old, but definitely older), and everyone was super sweet and happy and even a bit giddy every class.

And the teacher and I had an unwanted but accustomed distance-by-language-barrier, because my technical Japanese was utterly iffy, and her English possibly below that… that is, we had this distance until the night that we delightfully discovered that we both spoke French rather fluently… then we got on quite comfortably, and even more familiarly than I did with any of the others, because we could say so much to each other now.

I had always asked on occasion for the teacher to repeat something she’d said or done (in Japanese, of course), and I continued that…, but now I could and would ask for clarity at times when I still wasn’t certain what the goal or instruction was (if you’ve ever done ballet, you can understand how important it is to understand what muscles are doing what in a movement), and that part would be in French.

All in all, Monday nights at ballet class were always great, and I miss them now, especially with it getting cold outside (that was when I’d first started going to the classes).

Post-a-day 2018

Life

The Universe gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

Period.

Today, I needed a reminder of the magic that abounds, and I was granted that reminder thoroughly and beautifully.

I was even declared an interpreter by someone who didn’t even know that languages are a prominent part of my life, nor that I know more than one language.

And, on my way home this evening, just to let myself free in having fun, I sang a free-flowing song in a language I don’t entirely understand (yet, anyway)…. and it, too, was magical.

Yes, today has been magical, magic-filled from the Universe.

Thank you

Post-a-day 2018

Today’s list

Oktoberfest…

semi-unplanned friend visit…

Mid-Autumn Festival…

car accident…

Earthdance….

… with origami and Braille, both taught by a blind man with a blind man’s wristwatch…

stopping for toilet paper…

and a house gathering…

all with a rain storm pouring over us off and on…

How was this only one day?

Post-a-day 2018

Freshly Sliced

I am the epitome of sliced white bread, as I enter campus.  I have on my dance top and shorts and my hipster tie-dye Oakley sunglasses.  I am eating a Trader Joe’s snack bar and holding a large bottle of cold Trader Joe’s electrolyte water, and am walking with a cool green backpack on my back, and my dirty blonde hair in a messy bun on top of my head.

Two black guys are walking towards me.  The larger of the two, a very large and very dark guy, asks me how I’m doing and what I do here.  I tell him that I go to school.  He asks if I do any sports or anything, because I look like I do long-distance running; I look very thin and fit.  I say that I did.  He says that ‘you see there, I was right – you look like it’.  I notice that I’m also wearing running shoes – the ones I used to wear for all my walking and bike riding at my Japan job – and that I haven’t just been doing exercise, despite my complete outfit for it.  He hands me a flyer while saying that they hope I can join them on the 20th, and then I continue onward.  Based on the flyer, it looks like some sort of DJ dance party with stereotypical black advertising and expected attendees.  Not that I’m opposed to the party, but I’m not exactly the target audience of the flyer, making it surprising that this guy would have stopped to invite me…I mean, did he see me?  Again, not opposed to it.  I’m in full support of it.  I’m just a little surprised by it.  However, I recall that this is a college campus, so they’re probably inviting just about any girl they can find (who doesn’t look like a total nerd, that is), and my surprise lessens significantly.

After a few hundred yards of walking onward, I see what I originally think is a dead snake on the ground.  As I approach it, I see that it is a strand of weave, of false hair.  A gurgling chuckle rises within me.  This is definitely not my typical territory, and I feel as though my thoughts of being stereotypical white bread have just been proven by my surroundings of very much black culture  – not to mention the fact that almost everyone I can see is black to some degree – showing up in stark contrast to me.

And then I remember that I also am wearing a drape-y scarf, despite the fact that it is still technically summertime.  I’m even more white bread than I had thought.

Post-a-day 2018

Dirty Dancing Magic

Have you ever seen the film “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, with Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell (among other familiar faces)?  (If you haven’t, you can watch it on Netflix!)  ***If you don’t want anything ruined from the movie, do not read this next part.***  Remember the scene where Emma Stone’s character asks Ryan Gosling’s what his line is for getting girls to sleep with him?  So, he finally comes out with the fact that he does the “Dirty Dancing” lift.  She doesn’t believe him, but they do the lift anyway, and, of course, she totally falls for him at the end of the lift.

So, why is this relevant?

You see, I do acro-yoga – at least, I have re-started doing acro-yoga again, after a three-ish-year break.  The other night, at a sort of practice/hangout session (called a “jam”), one of the guys offered to test out a certain standing lift with me.  It was not the most basic option, so we agreed to do the simpler option first.  And what was that option?  The “Dirty Dancing” lift.

It definitely takes effort from both parties to make it work properly, so the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” version makes it look too simple.  “Dirty Dancing” is definitely closer to the kind of effort it actually would take a newbie flyer/follow to pull off the lift.  I’ve done lifts in dance routines before, and even a throw/toss, so I’m practiced in the concept of lifts, but I’ve never done that particular lift in a routine.  Anyway, so it took a few almosts, and then we had the lift down perfectly.

And it felt like flying… or something.  I’ve never actually flown (I think), so I can’t actually compare anything to flying, but it definitely felt magical and like I was more than just physically ‘above’ everything around me – I felt like I was on a higher plane of life.  And, of course, that I was utterly beautiful in this specific position, muscles flexed beautifully, like a fairy zooming overhead.

And this guy helped me to be in this position – it was because of him that I was in such a place of wonder and beauty…. I suddenly totally could get why girls would want to ravish the guy who did that lift with them.  Fortunately, I knew the guy and the general activity well enough to keep him and the actual task separate from one another in my head.  Otherwise, I would have been a total mess full of goo-goo eyes for him for weeks.  But I fully understood what could be so attractive, so sexy, so desirable about doing that lift.  I mean, how often do people normally put me into a place of magical wonder, and make me feel more beautiful than the whole world?  (Perhaps your life is different from mine, but I’ll let you know: It is extremely rare for me.)  😛

That being said, I have two things: 1) Totally try out acro-yoga, because it’s a blast and is totally easy, even if you aren’t super fit or anything.  2) I recommend giving the “Dirty Dancing” lift a try at some point in your life, guy or girl, because it is magical and awesome (as I have already mentioned multiple times).  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Free, at last(?)

Tonight, a very good dancer told me, ‘I love watching you dance… you’re just so… free…’

It was an extreme compliment, coming from a very good dancer, but it also had me wonder why she selected the words she did, specifically “free”.

I’ve never had anyone come up with a reasonable descriptor for describing my dancing, but, the more I think about it, the more her words seem to make sense to me.

I don’t necessarily feel free when I am dancing…

However, I do dance with abandon and I let all rules and judgements just fall away from me, because they have no place in dancing for me (at least, not anymore, though they did for a little while, back in the day).

I don’t even give most concerns a thought, let alone my attention.

So, while I don’t necessarily experience being “free” while dancing, I suppose it can be seen as being similar to the concept of there being a “free from”, a “free of”, and a “free to” in life… different types of freedom to experience.

And my dancing freedom is not so much a ‘free to do as I please’ freedom, as it is a ‘free from constraints’ freedom.

Anyway… thoughts tonight…

Post-a-day 2018