Thursday, November 20, 2014

46 beautiful things that act like liquid gold, filling in the cracks and crevices of the difficulties that come to all of us with being born...

Today I turn 46.

I thought I would share 46 bits of beauty with you that have sustained me, that have acted like liquid gold, filling in the cracks and crevices of the difficulties that come to all of us with being born...

We all have cracks and crevices from this life. There is no avoiding that. There is no protective gear that is strong enough. And really? Would you want it? Would you want to avoid all the deep pleasure and love and awe-inducing beauty of this life that is the other side of the coin -- the other side of despair and grief and pain?

You cannot have one without the other. Period. And it all goes to making you into the unique you. It all gives meaning and beauty to your one, unique life.

Your life is one big Kintsugi. Which we will call number one on this list of 46 things.

(1) Kintsugi -- If you don't know what Kintsugi is, well, watch that video and you'll understand just about everything about why I named my dance modality after it. It is the meaning of life as represented in broken pottery.

This list will be rather random and is in no order whatsoever in terms of importance or impact.

(2) Animals have sustained me from the get go. Their love flows like gold all over the topography of my spirit. And this one, she is extra special.

(3) And this human animal...the love she has shown me for 20 years has created a space in which I could heal. And just recently she took it even further...

(4) Giving me even more space to become ME.

(5) Speaking of space. This sweet nest I live in sustains me. It is the "just right" that we are often looking for. Just quiet enough, just big enough, just small enough, just soft enough, just clear enough, just filled enough.

(6) Going back in time... The stuffed animals that lined the edge of my bed and protected me.

(7) Music. Always always always music. It spoke secret things to me about survival and love.

(8) Discovering that I could really draw and escaping into pencils and paper. Falling deep into those 1-D planes as if they were oceans of quiet and comfort.

(9) The little space in the attic in that one house that I turned into an atelier before I even knew what the heck an atelier was.

(10) Which makes me think of Gene Kelly.

(11) Swimming even when it brought this.

(12) Books. Books. Books. Books. Books. Piles of books. Books while hidden in corners and closets and under trees and under covers. Books showed me there were other ways out there to be in this world. That possibilities are only as limited as imagination.

(13) This typewriter upon which I manually typed out a first draft novel of 500 pages.

(14) The lake. I have lived so many places. I have tried so many times to move away. The lake pulls me and is my true north.

(15) My ability to tell myself stories to soothe myself through difficult situations that started when I was small when I would awaken in the middle of the night to frightening yelling. Stories were my ultimate happy place.

(16) Dance.

(17) Returning to dance.

(18) Teaching others the power of dance.

(19) Watching emotionally compelling dance.

(20) Reading about dance.

(21) Thinking about dance.

(22) Did I mention dance?

(23) Did I mention this person?

(24) And over the last couple of years, I have learned so much from rabbits! Who knew!?

(25) The deep belly laughs of my Great Aunt in response to my funny little songs and how I always knew her laughter was in response to my funny and never directed AT me.

(26) The precious moments when I got my Great Aunt to myself: Dancing in her kitchen while she made us dinner; getting to water her favorite flowers with the big blue can that I could barely carry; listening to records on her giant piece-of-furniture record player; knowing she got the M&Ms and the ginger ale and the pudding cups just for me.

(27) Her house. I can still feel what I felt like every time I walked into the front door and then through the inner door. When I visit the piece of land where that house used to be -- so close to where my studio was -- sometimes I can still smell her house.

(28) My studio. Though it's now gone to me, it was such an important part of my evolution.

(29) My first grade teacher, Mrs. Petit.

(30) Singing "I'd like to teach the world to sing" with Mrs. Petit.

(31) Singing. Singing is still this thing that I hide away mostly for myself though part of teaching for me is about singing with and in front of other people. Singing with no fear and no worry. Just letting the sound come out of me. From my belly.

(32) My brave students who would try anything I ask of them. The trust they give to me makes me strive to be even better at what I do.

(33) Soft blankets. Heavy blankets.

(34) Roller skates with glitter wheels. They are like some memory talisman. (I still have not gotten a pair...)

(35) The round school I went to for 2nd grade in State College. Just thinking about it brings up a slew of happy memories. (And then a slew of not happy but those happy are damn powerful.)

(36) My brownie uniform and all that it represents. I have ONE patch left from it and holding it is holding my 9 year old self who was so damn strong.

(37) Coming to poetry in my 20s. The reading and the writing of it. The writing of it more than anything. Learning that I am a poet. Marcy would say I am a Poet above all else.

(38) The first time I saw a picture of this, I gasped. Something about his work speaks directly to my spirit.

(39) Sitting with art, in general. Especially here. With that lake right outside many of the windows.

As I approach the bottom of this list, I can feel myself panicking that I am missing so many obvious bits of gold, but then I think how when I started to write it, I felt like HOW THE HECK am I going to think of FORTY SIX things?!? So you know...it's all good.

(40) My devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is my mother.

(41) My love of religion that started by the time I was in double digits. My insatiable appetite for all things spiritual, tradition, ritual, sacred.

(42) Pink flowers. Gardening. Fluffy peonies.

(43) Being barefoot and feeling connected to whatever environment I am in.

(44) The ceramic Christmas treeS sitting on my desk. They remind me of magical times at my grandparents. They remind me of Marcy's love, as she secretly sourced them and then surprised me, knowing what joy they are to me.

(45) The smell of cut wood. It brings a flood of love over my body and memories of my grandfather who was a carpenter.

(46) Chocolate. Espresso. Snowflakes that are so fat. Candle light. Gems. Spicy smelling essential oils. Warm baths. Walls that are painted deep luscious colors. Firmly fitted clothing. Gnomes. (Yes. I said gnomes.) My mala beads as they slide over my fingers while I chant. Each and every rosary I own and the story that comes with them. Quiet celebrations. Watching movies with Marcy -- any movies but especially ones that make us laugh so HARD. Glitter. Hello Kitty. Silliness. Jumping on my trampoline. Jumping anywhere. The gift of time at Kripalu. Cake.

I know I will think of a hundred things that I could have added to this list but alas...

The ease of writing this is one last bit of beauty I'll share today. Even in all the difficulty, all the grief, all the pain, all of this beauty kept rising and will keep rising to the surface as long as we stay open to seeing and experiencing it.



If you want to get a taste of how we create more happy, strength, and connection through the practice of Kintsugi Dance, 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.