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

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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

Hot commodity/mess

Have you ever been a hot commodity?

It’s somewhat of a newer experience for me, though, in this particular situation, I’ve been of a similar status for quite a while.

The thing about it is that, it’s wonderful when those I want taking advantage of my presence are there to take advantage, and no one I don’t particularly want taking advantage of my presence gets in the way…

But it never really goes that way, now does it?

When everyone appreciates one’s value, everyone wants to benefit from that value…

And I do give back loads…, but, sometimes, I just want to go out and enjoy myself, and not bother with all of the newer, inexperienced folk expending my energy.

Of course, and then I run the risk of being considered utterly snobby, thinking myself above everyone else.

However, especially recently, I am starting to understand why so many people have given up trying not to seem snobby… it just takes too much effort to care what so many people think when, just every once in a while, they want to have some fun for themselves, not have to have things be a helping-out, volunteer-y time.

Yeah, I get that now… no wonder so many of them seem so stuck-up…

So, while I love having my talent and skills, it’s not always great being a hot commodity, when people’s feelings and opinions are so easily injured.

Those are my thoughts to share for tonight. 🙂

(Good luck with your own hot commodity situations ;))

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

ukulele and hula

I started ukulele lessons today.  It also included a reunion and a brief lesson on Hawaiian, the language, which were both a fabulous bonus.

I’ve always had a sort of passive affinity for Hawaiian culture – that wonderful island life, about which I knew almost nothing.  I was almost afraid to go to Hawaiʻi, for fear of finding that the wonderful world I’d imagined was no longer in existence.  After living in Japan, even being in the countryside, I have learned the sort of balance that likely exists in the culture today.  It is like cowboys in Texas.  We have our big buildings and fancy cars and billboards, but you can still find, here and there, the true tradition.  Sometimes, it is only seen in ceremonies.  And sometimes it is part of someone’s everyday life.

My brother, though he rides and owns no horses, spends his days working on his land.  Physical labor in jeans and surrounded by grass, trees, and animals is his life most days.  And he grew up in the city.  There are plenty of others who grew up living his kind of life, and who still do the ranching on horseback.  Inside our city limits, no one would guess that that kind of life is just beyond our little area.  The average person wouldn’t even cross it knowingly, if he went driving outside the city, either.  You have to know how to find it.  And that’s just how Japan was… When I think of Hawaiʻi now, that’s how I imagine it must be to a certain degree.

Anyway, ukulele is fun.  I started it back in Japan, because I was lonely and didn’t have music in my life.  Plus, Hawaiian culture seemed to be prominent in Japan (the reasons for which I hadn’t understood at first), so ukulele seemed an appropriate way to bring music into my life while in Japan.  I even took a few hula lessons.  (Yes, they were awesome.)

Actually, what really spawned my desire to learn hula and ukulele – not just the casual interest with which I first bought the ukulele, but the real desire that got me into lessons for hula and then, finally, for ukulele now – was a film.  It was based in Hawaiʻi, and the caucasian daughter, maybe about 14 years old (I forget), did hula.  The way she moved her arms in the dance had me gazing, melting, it was just so beautiful to me.  Watching her dance, I had something happen within me.  I guess, because she was not Japanese or Hawaiian, but like me went through me head… I was able to see hula differently.  It was, at last, something that it was acceptable for me to do.

I had seen Japanese friends perform wonderfully, and plenty of other Japanese women I don’t even know, too.  But their close ties to Hawaiʻi made it okay for them to do it.  It was regular and standard for them to be doing hula.  But what – it isn’t “right”, but something like that, “reason” perhaps – reason does a German-heritage girl from Texas have for doing hula, without an extreme, intense love for it?

Maybe this is just my own brain that had me stuck in this thought process, but it just didn’t make enough sense to me to feel comfortable with pursuing hula.  It felt to me like visiting a religious building for a region to which one does not belong and about which one knows very little.  It isn’t that the person is not allowed.  Not at all.  It is just that the person can feel a little lost and uncertain when visiting, and so it can be difficult to visit in the first place, without having a sort of invitation.  That’s kind of how I felt about hula.

And that movie helped alter that for me.  I started attending hula classes whenever I could, and began somewhat seeking out a ukulele teacher.

Eventually, nude in a hot spring bath in the mountains, I found one.  And now, almost a year later, we finally are in the same country and with the same currency (that was the issue before), so we can do lessons.  We aren’t anywhere near one another, of course, because I’m in Texas and she’s in Hawaiʻi, but it’s going well so far.  Playing together is a bit weird, because of the lag, but I’ve worked with it for years with other things, so I’m somewhat accustomed to being slightly ahead of the beat and to hearing the clash of notes and timing, so that it sounds good on the other side.  All-in-all, it was fun, and I look forward to the next lesson next week.  😀

So, go listen to a ukulele song today, and think of me, yeah?  😉

P.S.  Icicles were crashing outside my window during our lesson today.  And this is Houston.  How cool is that?!  Or warming, I guess…

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Post-a-day 2018

Satisfaction… at last

Tonight, going to bed, I feel fulfilled.  Typically, I have this feeling of needing to go do something before I can end my day.  I am angsty and somewhat agitated by the late afternoon, and I feel this pull from somewhere inside of me, but I can’t ever quite figure out how to follow it, how to satisfy the desire within.  I notice right now that I almost didn’t even feel a pull to write anything tonight – that’s how satisfied I am with my day.  It was fabulous, and so I can sleep easily, without anything else happening first.  And I love writing, so that’s saying something.

Kids were unintentional rude in classes today, ignoring my pleas for quite voices, so that I could be heard with my pained, achy throat barely able to choke out words.  I let them spend the time with an activity for their own benefit, and most of them ignored it or didn’t care enough about their own education to attempt the activity, which was disappointing.  A few really took it on, and some decided it was time to talk with me about anything and everything in my life, while I showed them how to do some of the work.  It was an odd balance of awesome and disappointing, combined with my throat being slightly consumed by a low-grade fire.

After school, I chatted with a few teachers from my own high school, plus a friend who now teaches there.  That was amazing in and of itself.  Add to it that I met up with a friend for tapioca tea afterward, and my day continues to improve.  We ended up having dinner with the teas, and then she invited me to join a hip-hop class with her.  Neither of us has ever been very good or experienced with hip-hop, but we love dancing, and we both have strong partner dance backgrounds.  I have wanted to do hip-hop classes ever since my best friend and her husband started doing some over in England a few years back, because she is just plain awesome, and it is always a good idea to strive for her level of awesome.  So I got to be cool like my bestie tonight, and turned out to be actually kind of good at the routine, too.  The teacher even came specifically to my friend (not my best friend, but the friend with whom I had gone to the class) and me, and told us that she wanted us to join her team.  (Note: Seeing as we were just discussing before the class how we hadn’t been involved in anything dance since moving back to the US (we both just returned from living in Asia), we are genuinely considering this hip-hop team idea.)

Now, I am home.  I snacked on some leftovers from dinner, chatted briefly with my mom, and have just showered.  I am tired, but in a really good way right now – I am satisfied.  I don’t know how else to word it.  I am just satisfied, which is something, I now see, that I usually am not at the end of the day.  As I said to my teacher friend earlier this afternoon, I need interaction with non-teenagers.  I get so much teenager interaction, and very little of anything else… and I need more than just interaction with teenagers, no matter how wonderful they are or how much we may love one another.  And, tonight, I got that other interaction, plus involvement in something (the hip-hop class) and exercise.  That is a really, really good combination.  Now to see how to keep this up, happening much more often than once every three months.

Post-a-day 2017