Awkward Turtle

The title pretty much sums it up. It’s not been good, or bad, so much as just awkward and not knowing how things are going to go, or how to feel and having it really hit home that change can happen so fast.

And I feel I’m being watched constantly at the moment, which is making me rather uncomfortable. I feel like everything I do is on display for people comment on or disapprove of or find inspiration in, and I want to tell everyone to just buzz the heck off because I just need a moment, or a series of moments to come back to myself and think things through.

***

On the topic of watching, dance was good today. It got me out of my little hobbit-hole/turtle-shell or whatever you want to call it, and also out of my head.

There is such pleasure in movement and music, and being among friends. And to have a partner who noticed and participated, someone to connect to on an emotional and a physical level was wonderful. Nothing felt forced, nothing was stressful, there was just a quiet tension and an acute awareness.

We did a “watchers” and “movers” exercise today. We had to watch and mirror movements, reverse roles and then combine the mix into a new piece. Adam and I were partners.

I watched first. I noticed Adam’s use of space/distance, and the reflection of images and shapes in the mirrored walls, and the strength, and the commitment to haul oneself up and over and around bars, using only the arms.

Adam is in and out of his manual chair as much as I am in and out of my crutches during rehearsal. The chair and the Stix are always there; they are apart of us and how we move. We don’t need or use them all the time, but we do not simply cast them away. They are not something that in this context needs to be necessary or escaped from or depended on, they just give us options, and here, we have lots of options. We can embrace the floor and the scoot, channel our inner hulk, or in a need for speed, height and centring, circle back to the Stix and chair. I could see this connection, and know the options. And it was cool that Adam could too.

When I move, I try for truth and stability and creativity and imagery. I like power and thrills, flying down the street with a steady rythm and harmony of sound from crutch and surface, breath and muscle. But I also have a deep appreciation for vulnerability and stillness.

Today, I touched the floor and reached for the sky, traced circles and lines at speed and dropped slowly to the ground to lie open and exposed. And it drew Adam in; he is bolder in his approaches than I am, which I counted on. I was anchored to the floor and clear-headed, so I pushed myself that one step further. To trust. To stay still. To be exposed. And to be watched at a distance of millimetres. It was intense, made my day, and the both of us smile 🙂

***

Sometimes I feel like a caged animal, an awkward turtle. But writing, and dance really help bring me back to myself and out of my shell.

Until next time,

–Sam

 

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