Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille (choreographer)
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
I often long for it. Long for having no internet connection. I’m like a wino with wine open & at hand’s reach when it’s there. I have to look things up, read emails of which there are very few, check facebook for the mostly nothing that is there, read one quarter of a really interesting article in online news, before my distracted mind moves on, somehow searching, wanting more. More what? Interaction? Life. Chutzpah, Ideas… Energy? Deep connection.
Distraction is us.
Just the other day, perhaps even yesterday, a story, a plot-line, came to me for a brief glimpse. It ran through my head, saying see me, save me, & kept right on running…
Later when I aimed to call it up, with it’s possibility of hope & redemption. A thing to tie my words to, a string, a rope tow, a vehicle to pull me along, it had gone.
I stopped, quieted down, looked inward across the mind field.
Oh idea, where are you? I looked deeper into the ploughed areas, between the dirt trenches, towards the horizon, looked at the space between the loamy cells, followed the breath in & around the molecular structure of my free-grazing brain. Only to turn up not. A sigh of bated breath was let out then to stretch into nothingness, no idea, no hinge, no hook.
I don’t make visual art anymore, not right now, not recently. I write a little & there are days when I feel that may be all that’s left for me somehow, a vast self-indulgence, the thought not the act, & a huge statement full of repercussions, shouldn’t I be able to sit down & type until it comes, a stirring moment of genius for me to wrap a ribbon around.
Here‘s a true story. Preamble: I teach corporate Yoga & showed up for a class with my small fluffy white-ish dog once this spring, as the building I live in was shaking with renovation noise. He is an extremely calm, barely shedding, zen-woof-yogi:
The security guard was a tiny man. His navy uniform hung on his brittle boney-ness. His grey face was all sharp edges. His fine dark hair slicked back. A massive line-backer of a security guard stood wordlessly behind him, soft features, quiet disposition, didn’t say a word or really look at me.
I was making my way through the glass of the revolving doors carrying my unsuspecting fluffy pooch, pulling my small yoga supply cart.
The skinny guy spoke loudly, throwing his authority at me (needless to say, my hands were full), pointed chin jutting forward,
‘Animals are not allowed in the building!
‘Dogs are not allowed!’
‘You must leave immediately!’
Turn around in the moving revolving door & go away. Well, no he didn’t say that last bit, but it was implied. Don’t mess with me. I’m a Yorkshire Terrier-Rat Terrier mix (I refrained thankfully, from inquiring as to who let him in).
His sharp cluttered teeth gathered to the centre of his thin lipped mouth, looking like they could move in & bite me.
I explained as calmly as I could approaching the large reception desk that he stood behind, but quickly came in front of, ‘I’m in the building once a week to teach yoga & couldn’t I’, I asked. ‘have him this one time? Just in the board room then I’d be on my way & it would never happen again. Today was because there’s renovation noise in my apartment. blahblahblah’.
NO. Nope. Not.
There was a calming down where I thought he was phoning a superior to ask…
But he barely wanted to allow me to wait for my contact person, the one who lets me into the boardroom for yoga, so I could apologize & tell her & tell the group that yoga is cancelled & how sorry I was.
He brought out a notebook, ‘What’s your name? Why are you here? The weird thing is, I answered. I felt myself losing any sense of anger, it was all too ludicrous & I did understand that it was a rule & this wasn’t going to happen. So I gave him my name. I answered his tiny pointy questions as he very seriously scribbled onto a pad of paper raised too high, sharp pen to lined page.
Who will get this important information I wonder now, about the dog carrying intruder.
How big & mean & superior & powerful . How charmless to the woman carrying the gun. The non-shedding zen-gun who lives for treats & lolls or sleeps in yoga class. The dog trained to sit up on his haunches front paws up & touching, as I say ‘Namaste, namaste Peluche’.