Monday, November 20, 2017

Gratitude for the YES.

It has long been a part of me.  It fills me.  Centers me. Rights my soul.  Yet now, a couple years from 70, I don’t do it much anymore.  Except at the occasional wedding reception or with my granddaughter when she visits.  

So, when a friend called two months ago asking me  to choreograph and perform a solo in a production she was putting together, I hesitated on my way to NO.   She seized my moment of pause  …. "How about if I just send the song so you can listen to it?".  
Wise woman. 
The haunting words and soothing melody reached in and touched my heart ….and I said Yes.  

A week after that YES, I departed on a three week vacation to Greece and Crete and quickly forgot all about it….exactly what vacations are designed to do. 

Upon returning, after the jet lag abated,  and some sort of normal returned,  a reminder email popped into view ...the production is two weeks away - hope you have been practicing - here is the rehearsal schedule.  
Wait - what?  Did I really say yes to this?  To dancing in this production ?   What was I thinking?  My body is older and thicker and weaker ... AND .... I just spent three weeks eating baklava and moussaka! 

All of that, followed by …. I gotta get OUT of this.
Then, as I can be prone to do when faced with hard stuff (and the potential of disappointing someone), I got busy with minutia and  avoided even thinking about it ....for days.
When more emails arrived about shifting rehearsal times, an unexpected surgery requiring that a cast member step away ….  my angst built... and did battle with my inner compass....READ ..... “when you commit to something, follow through”.  

It was poop or get off the pot time.    

Unenthusiastically, I scrolled through old emails to find the music....all the while plotting a well-crafted exit. 

I've heard science folk say that music speaks to our body's molecules. I believe them now. I listened to this beautiful song again …. and my molecules started to move. 

IF this were a Disney blog, the most beautiful and flowing movements would have lifted my aging body along with the words of this song right on up into the starry heavens.  But this isn't Disney .....and while I felt joy in the movement,  I hit  wall after wall when my creativity got stuck or my body wobbled .  At one point,  I even wished to suddenly require surgery, myself.

 But each time I thought, "BAIL. Get out now!......TAKE THIS RISK" was a little louder.  It out-shouted you’re older and thicker and weaker, and this choreography looks older and thicker and weaker too.

And then the best thing of all happened …. I asked my eleven year old grand-daughter - who studies dance three times each week -for guidance and help. 

Her suggestions were gentle ... with clear explanations behind them.  She  was encouraging and kind. And, I think perhaps, she was even a wee bit proud of me.

I am a wee bit proud of me too. I danced to that beautiful music - written by a beautiful woman and sung by her lovely daughter.  No starry heavens were reached.  Wobbles happened.  But the YES gave me gifts I didn't know I was seeking.

And for that I am grateful.