Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Away Slowly

I'm back. Pink cheeked since it's been so long.

It's going to be a good weekend. I am holding tight to weekends and free hours and minutes to find solace these days. It's not the best way to live, but it's what I have just now. I'm working on a story revision to send to the Missouri Review contest, which closes on October 1. It's rough going, and slow, and I intend to do it anyway.

This was a good week for finding my rhythm again. I attended a party where there were writers, and where people who love writing talked about why literature and the arts matter. I was reminded of how smart and sharp and lovely the writers I've known often are. How they sparkle, nearly.

I've also been belly dancing quite a lot this week, preparing for a relaxed show at a local festival this weekend. We've added a new dance. Lots of spinning, my first experience with a veil, a very high potential for either mishap or dizziness. So we practiced two hours on Saturday, two hours on Wednesday, and I spent an hour tonight in the quiet dark of my backyard with my iPod clipped to my tank top, spinning to the strains of Tien Afto, the iPod casting an odd glowing light about my face and the shine of the veil's gold edge catching light. It's hard to feel anything but relaxed when you are concentrating on step-together-step, glide.... or on not tripping while spinning. The calm voice of our leader in my head reminds me how I value those who make me feel at ease, calm. Usually these people are those who are centered, and I gravitate to them, am drawn to them.

My bellydance instructor, despite her energy, is calmly centered, as are most of my favorite coworkers. When given enough space and time to breathe, I am very calm and centered. It's one of my favorite compliments of all time, that "you are at once centered and full of life, joy." It was a compliment that made me blush, and that felt like a compliment about something in me that truly matters. I'm not feeling that. Not now.

Just now, I can find that calm only in snippets. There are big questions in my head, and I know because I feel that hot press of urgency against my throat that I should make only tiny decisions. Only small decisions in moments of tension, saving large ones for a time when breath comes easy. I'm not in the right frame of mind to make big sweeping ones. Small. Unhurried. Tomorrow's decision is which costume pieces I'll wear, and how to get myself to the performance (it's at a street fair). It's enough.

Dancing out in the grass, breathing the night air and stretching after each run-through, i was thinking about all the nights I have not spent standing in night air, a bit sweaty from moving in rhythm and in joy. Not thinking with bitterness, or regret, but with clear eyes. We decide every day how to spend our lives. It's my theme.

Best to all who happen this way!