Monday, August 11, 2014

My Body is My Temple & Words are My Religion


I came across this piece about the work of Denise Levertov, a poet I've never spent any time with, and it turned out to be not just a breadcrumb but the very golden string I needed to find to get back to the center of my own maze.

For the past almost six years, I have been focused on this body and its dance and that has been as necessary to my healthy survival as air and water. No exaggeration.

But for the past two years, I have felt this whisper...almost annoying in its insistence...a physical sensation of need at the edges of my consciousness that I would push away because I didn't "have time"...a whisper reminding me that I am Poet as much as I am Dancer and that both are essential, one not more than the other.

Two halves that are more like yin and yang in that they are inseparable in ways that I do not yet understand but can intuit.

Yet Dancing's needs of me remained too strong for Poetry to have any power over my day to day choices.

More accurately, teaching dance was taking all the energy. It's a communal act and it takes everything this extroverted introvert has in terms of the doing and then the recovering.

I could not imagine finding the space or the breath or the quiet necessary to hear Poetry. She can be so very quiet and shy.

But then Denise Levertov. That article that I did not even finish the first time through led me to ask Marcy to get me a book of her work from the library. I have no idea why. It's a mystery.

I found a poem entitled Annunciation, and since that particular moment in time -- that story of Yes -- is so powerfully present to me, I read it.

And there was Poetry, sitting next to me and no longer whispering but speaking strongly enough that I had to get pen and paper.

And every time I crack open the Levertov, there she is again, and now I have the start of three very good poems awaiting more of my attention and I know there is more where those came from. I can feel it now...not whispering...speaking louder and louder, demanding as strongly as dance.

I can feel myself closing the door to the room where she sits for fear of being overwhelmed by her needs, but now I know that she is in that room waiting and that I will visit frequently, more and more as I take some time off from teaching later this year.

I am curious beyond curious about what she has to offer me this time around -- the me that is embodied in a way that me before could only dream of. How will that level of embodiment affect the writing and how will the writing affect the dance?

I cannot wait to get started on this new marriage of forms. I cannot wait to live the devotion of this twin practice.
You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.