I start with working on Material for the Spine by Steve Paxton. I dive into the forms with first being the crescent roll, a half moon shape to be maintained throughout rolling across the floor. The same evening a dear friend from Israel sends a song called Lady-O by Judee Sill. Its first two verses go like this …
While you sit and seek
a crescent moon is laying at your feel
with hope that’s made of sand you don’t think you can
but you have held it all in your hand
I’ve been trying hard to keep from needing you
But from the start my heart just rolled and flowed
I’ve seen it where it goes And still somehow my love for you grows
I later read about this point at the back of the head called Bindu Visagra, represented by a laid crescent moon and a white drop of nectar just above it. This nectar is called amrit and as years go by it gradually pours into manipura chakra, gets consumed there and thus we grow old. So yogic tradition says. I am guessing that’s probably why so much emphasis is given on inversions: let’s get that juice back home! The moon; so often associated with the feminine and so many arrows now pointing in that direction. I smile.
Then I go out the yard of the chapel I am working in and I see this beautiful snail sliding its slimy body and spirally home up against the wall, riding rain leftovers. Another one is taking a nap by the door handle. I smile again. Inside the space a bat crawls around. Too weak to fly she is seeking for a place to leave her last breath and set that bat spirit free. The morning after I find her hanging from a little corner just above the floor, no life in her whatsoever. How can she still be hanging? I wonder if to dig a tinny grave in the garden.
Friday and new life is brought to the chapel by joining forces with students of all kinds of ages and backgrounds coming from the art academy. I am dancing and they are drawing to the sound of the Goldberg Variations. One elderly student used to come here when services where still taking place. The atmosphere was very strict she said. And now drawing and dancing on a wooden floor is possible together with gorgeous light coming through the tall windows and a pretty good sound system. I’d say a much better use of the space!
Beginning of the week and as I walk through the kitchen I find her laying on the floor, motionless and wings wide open. How on earth did she move from where I last saw her? I go to check and there she is still, still as the tip of an icicle on a deep-freezing night. Wait a minute … Oh! There are two of them. One in the kitchen and one hanging upside down. Now, is that not a call for a little ritual by the garden? And all I thought I’d be doing was cleaning the floor, a typical perhaps way to start the second week of a residency. I take a big spoon in one hand and the two bats on the other and head outside - yes it is a bit creepy touching them. Close to the trunk of the tree feels like a good spot. Naturally. The dead feeding the roots of new life coming. I wash the spoon well right after and somehow don’t feel like using it during lunch. I notice I like adventure.
When I was very little my parents used to put me in the back of their red deux-cevaux and drive in circles around the block so that I fall asleep. I think it was more the fact of being on the road that was doing the trick than the noise of the engine. I notice I like motion.
In stillness I learn about patience, calm, centeredness, letting go of thoughts-ever-seeking-attention and making space for … It so seems that at the bottom of the spine lays great power (Shakti), all coiled and dormant, ready to be brought up along a spiraling path, so as to meet her mate (Shiva). I am curious and exploring. Alone for now. This is the situation. And yet something tells me this is could be so much more fun when practiced with others. These perhaps are times for getting together and sharing life in its beauty and blossoming. Seeing and feeding the new as it is cracking through old rigid structures falling apart. In small ways of everyday living or perhaps in larger moves like joining one of the communities around the globe creating paradigms for new ways of coexistence. I believe it is possible and, noticing leaning in that direction, I sense cheerful buzzes through the spine.
Midweek and equinox. Time to reset and honor endings so that new beginnings can come. I see a dream and cut my hair two days later. I notice relief knowing this is the last residency on my own lined up. Gratefulness as well. It’s been a truly rich time and now half way through I am curious how the rest is going to unfold. My thighs smile to the fact of having walked in nature - Belgium can be a very beautiful place – and of having been dancing. Good thing I got those hiking boots and if anything I am back in shape.
In this moment of some drastic changes taking place in my life, the time spent here is, amongst other things, a wonderful ground to digest those changes and have new ideas come in. Plenty more ‘I notice I like …’ have been swinging by and so I am getting to know me better and love and accept me more. And doing so it feels I am moving towards loving and accepting others. Moving towards opening to the world. Anew. I feel entering a whole new phase and at the same time dealing with the residues of the previous one. Patience, breathing and keeping the feet on the ground feels important at this moment.
Discovering a new way of reading, taking fewer notes and allowing information through words, sounds and images to filter in through me, while reaching out there – or is it rather going deeper within me? - so as to immerse with what it is I am perceiving, to become one with it.
Hugging the tree by the garden I learn about surrender, tenderness and the power and love of nature.
Standing with my back towards its trunk, bare feet touching the ground, it is as if I am receiving wisdom from the feet all the way up. Eyes open, I let what I see come towards me while I try to tune with the moment. It feels like tuning with the seasons as well. Autumn. Leaves and apples bright red, warming perhaps our hearts for colder days to come.
A woman enters the space. She knocks but I don’t hear it. Something like middle of the week. She is from the cultural center and together with a circus artist they’ve come to check the space and talk about their project. I am having lunch. I am disturbed. And then stunned with realizing that the question perhaps more important is not whether I can be alone but whether I can be with other. I change my attitude, welcome her in, ask her to take her time and make some tea for them. The air feels softer and more fluid and it’s actually nice to have company. Later on, in the end of the week, it is me who enters the space and finds a group of people checking it out for some event they are organizing here. I go immediately into friendly mode – why on earth not? - as if I have already learnt something. I do ask them though not to step on the dancing floor with their shoes on! Setting limits feels also important.
Huy. Totally sounding like oui. I like that. Yes. Yes to me, to others and yes to life!