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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Little Gypsy Dancing Feet

Oh the ecstasy. Can you not feel it? I LOVE this photo. I wish I knew to whom it belonged but I found it on the internet and it were all by itself. This, to me, epitomises the wonderousness of dance. The pulse of spirit pleasuring the body in pure movement. The sheer delight of allowing oneself to be moved by spirit, shaped by heart and sung into being by the Beloved. I LOVE dance. I may have mentioned before that I have a background in dance and that there is a part of me (what am I? A Terry's chocolate orange? So many 'parts'...) that longs every day to pray in that way. I know. I know. Why don't I? I don't honestly know. Perhaps it is that I feel that I cannot do justice to it. That I have not the form nor the grace that I once possessed. But we both know that those are simply excuses to not allow myself to be embodied, to be possessed by the spirit of the dance and to dance my prayers once again.

Still - that urge grips me now as I sit at my computer. (Dance you idiot! Don't type!). I can feel my soul unfurling, probing, reaching towards the light, the melody, the bass. Pushing me to arch, to twirl, to (shock! horror!) gyrate! Oh ma goodness - somebody pass me the smelling salts...

* The delectable Rachel Brice

To me there is something awe inspiring about this connection to the dance that dances us. You can feel the heat of divine possession radiating off the dancers in these two photos. It makes me feel restless and edgy and I want...I want...I want. To be them. To cut some rug, to throw some shapes, to plunge into the warm waters of senseless shapeshifting dance.

And so - tomorrow I am away to tickle my spirit with exactly that. For two blissful hours I will leave my habitual life and step into my prayers with a full heart and an overflowing body. I will give myself over to nothing less than an act of worship as I allow my spirit to answer the call that throbs through me tonight. It will be heavenly. It will be vulnerable. It will be delicious.

Laughter will bubble up from dark places. Dusty corners will be swept. Tight muscles will be freed. My confetti heart will be thrown up into the air in wild abandon and I will not care where the pieces land. It will not matter. There is only to dance and be danced. I think this is truly where I touch God. Maybe stillness is not for me, not until I have truly let myself be moved? Certainly, Osho believed that the western monkey mind cannot find peace until it has first expended itself in movement. Hence his Kundalini meditations which begin with movement and end in stillness. I cannot fathom why I do not do this more.

Music has a powerful effect on me, as I'm sure it does on many people. Depending on the music I can be playful, dark, sensual, ecstatic, humorous, teasing, tribal, fanciful or powerfully erotic. When the hubble and I tapped into our inner God and Goddess during our Tantra journey (you dance for each other for 20 minutes each - argh!), I found a powerful place within me and a deeply, achingly vulnerable one. I had never before shown myself in this way to another human being. It was intense and moving to watch and to be watched. It tore down, if only temporarily, some high, thick walls inside me to allow my beloved man to see me in this way. I cried. And contrary to expectations, there was something so awe inspiring about being able to watch him dance for me, without judgement, without teasing, and to just appreciate the beauty and the vulnerability of this supremely intimate offering of love. I cried again. As terrifying as it may feel to do this for one another, I recommend that everyone have a go. It took us to places neither one of us had been before and indeed, may never go again.

And so, I look forward to exploring music with my mind, body and soul tomorrow. I look forward with sharp anticipation to the moment when I can surrender to sound and allow myself to disappear into the notes. Perhaps I will emerge a different shape, become a different melody. Or perhaps I will simply 'become' myself once again.

And what tremendous freedom there will be in that my friends.

Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself. ~by Havelock Ellis

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Scent of Light

In the Cherry Blossoms shade
There is not such thing as
a stranger

Kobiashi Issa

So, it's all pink and girly.

I know.

I almost feel as if I should apologise. I didn't want it to be quite so, well PINK but there was a shortage of non-fussy, non eye-hurting backgrounds that went with my beloved cherry blossom picture. So - pink and girly it will have to be. At least for a while.

I'll keep it brief as the natives are getting restless. Something to do with a nappy change and some book reading I believe.

Spring has arrived.

Oh, I know there's another few weeks of Winter left according to the calendar, but I'm with the trees, particulary my beloved cherry blossom trees, which are in full and an unembarrassed flower around our way. Even the bossy magnolias are getting their showy flowers out for the passers by. So to me, it's spring.

I am unwillingly drawn into the activity that Spring seems to demand. I mean, I have actually cleaned my windows. This is something not undertaken even on my best days. I tidy restlessly and hoover angrily but I'm not big on proper cleaning. As long as things aren't covered in crap, I'm relatively happy. So cleaning the windows, unencouraged as I was, is a little strange and definitely one of the symptoms of Spring Fever.

I am still deep in my winter longings so this early awakening is not entirely welcome. I can feel my soul stretching towards warmth and the scent of something green floating on the wind.

That's quite annoying as you can imagine.

I am unready to come out of my hibernation. I have not yet experienced the deep stillness of the snow and I am unprepared to move forward into new life again. I still need the deep, dreamless sleep of winter and so feel distracted, uneasy and ill at ease in my own skin.

Still, the cherry blossoms cheer me. As does the pussy willow. I want to cut some of the cheeky pinks and furry grey-white branches and put them on my dining table. Bring a little of that spring inside, so that I can sit with it for a while and gently unfold myself from my heavy layers and my dark days. Their bright little bodies make me ache a little.

It is still cold up here in the hills and I do love that. But you just know when a change is on its way and I can feel it. I have always been able to sense the seasons changing before the calendars. There is something unique to each seasonal energy. Some pull that takes you spiralling upwards and outwards, as in Spring and Summer. Or diving deeper into the 'Sshhh' that is Autumn and Winter. I like feeling those connections, especially as I am someone for whom connection to life and to the Divine is somewhat sporadic and unreliable. Probably because I simply do not allow myself time to be still and do nothing. This is what winter is for, for me. A time of silence and deep reflection. Of course, that doesn't take into consideration the needs of a life full of child centred activities and needs. Still the virtue of a good practice of prayer and contemplation is that it can be easily brought back into even the busiest life with a little attention. It's just whether you want to pay that attention or not. Sometimes I don't.

And so, in this strange state of half awakenedness, this heart will try to sit. Hopefully the next step, the next shape that awaits me, will become clear in a little while.

There is some kiss we want with our whole life,
The touch of Spirit on the body...