marginfades

The joy of movement. Words. Food & memory.

Archive for the ‘Margins Fade’ Category

Despair, Deliberation

leave a comment »

There’s too much noise of my own choosing – as in, I am choosing distraction in all its forms.  Deliberately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By lo.re.n.zo.

What I need is quiet for my mind and soul, and activity for my body.  I choose exactly the opposite – safe, and easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jinho.Jung

Finding and holding my threshold of courage takes continual practice – daily, every moment – to repeatedly overcome, and gaining the momentum of deliberation.

Written by marginfades

May 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

Watering Hole

leave a comment »

Going to the public pool with my family was the beginning of my weekend, rain or shine, snow or sun.  It was socialization with built-in barriers: whether floating on my back or diving deep, my family was close by, and I was left to my thoughts in the depths.

Friday evening swims came to an end when Dad noticed the families dwindling, and the number of unattended teenagers showing up.  They were mostly good kids, but he couldn’t help but notice the boys’ horseplay, and the girls dry as a bone, draped over their towels without any other modest covering.

We never went swimming once I came of age, and I always thought it was because I had too much school work.  I never did enjoy a pool or beach party, after those Fridays.  Pool games, burgers and beer, and basking on a towel or in the water was fun – but what I really needed were compatriots who enjoyed the quiet gurgle of the underwater view, or the blue of the sky, endless as I watched from my float.

Written by marginfades

May 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm

“The Luxury of Slowness”

leave a comment »

I have watched Tishani Doshi‘s TEDxPalermo talk at least once every day ever since my dance guru shared it with me – and each time, I’ve watched it two to three times in succession. (This has been going on for about a week now.)

Every time I review it, different elements of the speech move me (to emotion – and there’s very little in art or thought that does so). I wonder:

Is slowness the last real luxury we have left, as Doshi states?
Is touching time even possible?
(Would touching time be full Realization, or perhaps just the beginning of Release?)

One particular idea Doshi emphasizes is the idea of exploration during the slower tempo of classical Indian music: the vilambit, during which no lyrics are sung, only sounds of a raga‘s particular ascendance and descendance of sounds.

Which reminds me of a time during my childhood when I learned and practiced such music. With repetition came an eventual flow of practice, especially during alaap (introduction to the raga). Singing an introduction to the classical key signature was a time that I grew to relish: unbound by a beat (which I paradoxically loved, reverberating as it did from a tabla), my mind and heart connected, soared. I sang with abandon and feeling, which are their own ornaments.

Doshi concludes with the thought that if we learn to inhabit slowness, we can make the most of our own crescendos. Early morning practice sessions and weekend lessons with a well-sung alaap formed many a connection between random bits of information floating around mind, and brought clarity and purpose to replace any bit of doubt.

The mornings I that I awakened just a bit earlier than my alarm for an extra-long practice session before school, I went even deeper within myself with those connections and clarity. The day to follow was always like honey: a slow, measured pour, accelerating into smooth certainties.

Written by marginfades

May 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Contentment

leave a comment »

In a recent essay titled “The Joy of Quiet” travel writer Pico Iyer finds contentment through focus – some might call it (self)absorption:

Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

…it’s only by having some distance from the world that you can see it whole, and understand what you should be doing with it.

Written by marginfades

May 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

A Quiet Place

leave a comment »

The place to find is within yourself. The athlete…in top form has a quiet place within himself, and it’s around this, somehow, that his action occurs…this is true in dance as well. There’s a center of quietness within, which has to be known and held.

“The Power of Myth,” by Joseph Campbell

 

 

Written by marginfades

May 8, 2012 at 7:27 am

Posted in Margins Fade, Motion

Tagged with , , ,

Food for Thought and Wanderlust

with 2 comments

I’m in transit today, after a much-needed weekend away from home, visiting good friends.  As much as I have come to love where I live (much like Jane Friedman loves her adopted home town of Cincinnati, Ohio), there are days and weeks when I’m just done with it, and feel the need to escape.

 

   road trip by breahn

The friend I visited this weekend has stated there’s a naturally occurring bacteria in our gut that secretes a substance that gives us itchy feet, the yearning to seek far-flung places and novel experiences.  Really, it’s just about nutritional deficiencies and the bacteria’s attempt to get more of whatever it needs by pushing us out of our usual milieu.

Bacterium or not, I am refreshed from my weekend away.  The compelling parts of Friedman’s ode to Ohio’s foremost up-and-coming cultural center are dancing around in my mind today:

It’s a peculiar disease for us Americans, to think it a failure not to move away from what we know. As a twentysomething, I wanted nothing more than to live in Europe—where I’d stayed 6 months during a study abroad—and to be done with the uncultured and ignorant USA.

It’s like all young people to think this way—to imagine that the place where we come from is stupid and beneath everything else. Eventually you realize that all places are rather the same. Or, people are the same. You just find the right circles where you can be accepted or make a difference. The rest is just details.

It took a long time to accept that I’m a Midwesterner at heart. I want to be friendly and helpful. I’m not eager to talk about myself. I prefer a laid-back, unpretentious lifestyle. While these are not qualities unique to the Midwest, I don’t reliably encounter those environments elsewhere.

Emphases mine.

Written by marginfades

May 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Renewal (III)

leave a comment »

In the form of dance that I have the privilege to learn, there’s a philosophy of tension and release: various aspects of the body move in opposition to others – and yet there’s no discord in the display.

Rather, there’s the relief of overall unison: the body gliding as a whole across the bhoomi – not to mention a continual movement of those parts of the body, occupying the same space for a mere millisecond.

You might see it if you’re lucky, sitting in the audience, and choose to define it as a pause.  It’s not as important for you to see it (and if there’s too much of one…well, it shouldn’t really be there.  It’s meant to be elusive.)  It’s more important to feel it, as a dancer – and continually, not just in a moment of a routine or performance.

This state of being only comes with enough practice – studied deliberation – such that the body flows through its routine, without the brain minding it constantly.  With the body engaged, the mind’s free to make connections and associate, soar through a day’s worth of experiences, examine them, and release them.  This deconstruction continues far after the physicality of practice distracts the body and frees the mind.   There’s a depth of sleep borne of the body’s exhaustion that allows fragments of memory, flitting images, and snippets of conversation to piece together and remain if necessary, and dissipate if not.

When I awaken, after such a practice, I’m replete – and in spite of the harried day that follows, littered with the steely reflection of cars and concrete highways, the taste of bitter coffee, numbers and spreadsheets blurring together, I discover that I’m anxious to return to the floor, warm up and push through a practice, beginning with my personal warm-ups, a set of exercises, and steps both square and sinuous.  After my body’s already humming with exertion, I push it to sing, push out the day’s dross.  If I do this often and well enough, you may see the results.  I can only practice, and hope.

Source: substation.org via Margin on Pinterest

Written by marginfades

May 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Margins Fade

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: