Posts Tagged ‘ecstatic dance’

I Like It Hard and Fast

March 22, 2014

I explained to her as we stood in the swirling lights of the club.

My music, that is.

Bahahahahaha.

I was asked if I do escatic dance and I said I had gone once and had it recommended to me a number of times but that I did not like the music much the time I went, way too slow and low-key and ambient.

I like it hard and fast.

I like trance and side trance and electro house and French House and classic Detroit dirty four on the floor grind it out and drop it hard.

I like to boogie.

I got some boogie on tonight and my legs are a little boogied out.

I also got a ride home from a friend with a truck who tossed my two-wheel steed in the back and graciously dropped me at the house.

I feel lucky.

And though I did not feel much like writing my blog, I knew I was going to and I realized as I started typing that I would still be riding my bicycle home and not even be writing yet, let alone boiling a pot of water for tea.

“Can you believe I am just going to go home and chill out and maybe watch a bit of a show,” an older man said to me as I was hustling my bike across the street to my friends pick up.

“I’m going to go home and have tea” I said.

He shook his head, “you’re too young for tea.”

Ah.

I love that.

“You should be going out and hitting the after party,” he nodded, “that’s what pretty girls should do.”

Nope, not this pretty girl.

This pretty girl was already up past her bedtime.

Earlier in the evening my darling friend Bonne yawned and I yawned and we both laughed, long week at work, extra hours, what are we doing going out dancing, I think had either one of us not bought the tickets it would have been a done deal, both of us would have gone home to bed.

But we went dancing instead.

And it was good, it was good to get out, it was good to move, although I think I might take an ibuprofen or two here in a minute, I am sore from all the bike riding over the last few weeks, the end of a full nanny week, and yes, dancing pretty solid for three hours.

10p.m.-1a.m.

Not too bad for a 41-year-old lady with cruddy knees.

“You’re older than me?” My friend said incredulously as we were handing over our ids to the bouncer.

I had seen him walking up as I was locking my bicycle to the rack outside the club and we went in together talking this and that, turns out he had been there all day helping the Flaming Lotus Girls get their stuff set up for the benefit.

It was nice to see him and I was not expecting to also get a ride home, which as I said, super grateful for as it winds toward the 3 a.m. hour.

I ran into a few other folks as well, a photographer from the PinHole Photography project who has been bugging me to go play frisbee golf forever and we may finally get out to the course in Golden Gate Park, I should even if he and I don’t hook up.

I haven’t played frisbee golf in over a decade.

It would be fun to get back into it, its great exercise and fun and really cheap.

Like free.

The only cost is a driver and a putter.

You can have a lot more discs in your bag than that, I certainly did when I was playing, but ultimately that’s all you need to start.  There are no “greens fees” and the course is maintained by the parks department.

I have never even walked through the entirety of it.

I did do a piece on it for KQED when I was interning there and it ended up getting air way back, must be five years ago now.

I also ran into an artist whose work I really admired on playa at Burning Man and got to thank her face to face, never having officially met her at the event, and I got to dance.

Dancing being the main draw of it.

The Space Cowboys threw a great show and I was thrilled, although the first set did start out sort of slow, the second slayed it and the third put me over the top.

I was not so enamoured with the fourth set and wandered off to grab some water, get my messenger bag screen printed (the Flaming Lotus Girls were screen printing for donations), take some silly photographs with Bonne and then the text came with the offer for the ride home and that was all she wrote.

I do like it hard and fast, but I can’t do it all night long like I used to.

The knees are just too old and they don’t like that it.

I wish I could.

But there’s nothing wrong with dancing a little less maniacally and coming home to have tea instead of coming home to host an after party and wonder when it’s appropriate to kick the strange guy out of my bed.

“I used up all my drink tickets,” I told the man as I waited for the light to change at 13th and Mission, “I like going home to drink tea.”

Getting to go out and play for a while and then come home and take care of myself is the best of both worlds and I certainly wake up feeling much better than I used to.

And I get to sleep in tomorrow, which I was not expecting, I had a commitment to meet someone in the morning at Tart to Tart and they called in sick.

So I have no plans for tomorrow until I am due in Noe Valley at 7p.m.

I can sleep in all day.

Not that I will, but it’s nice knowledge to have.

And with that, this lady is heading to bed.

Where I shall fall asleep.

Hard and fast.

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Go Where the Resistance Is

January 29, 2014

Sheesh.

Why did I call you?

Oh yeah.

Perspective.

Ah.

Go through the difficult stuff, accept that there will be challenges, but I don’t have to allow myself to be hurt and I can get out of my own way.

“Darlin’ you’ve been resisting this for years,” he paused, “you crying yet?”

Affirmative.

I have to stop wearing eye makeup.

Or just surrender to the fact that on the occasion when I connect with certain people in my life I feel safe enough to cry around them.

I was not feeling so safe tonight in my normal spot on Tuesday evenings, there was some disturbances in the force, so to speak, and I felt for the first time what it meant to have some PTSD in my life.

Like I flippantly will acknowledge that I am most comfortable with my back to the wall.

I like to see what the fuck is coming my way.

I like to be prepared for all eventualities.

“Diapers, water, sunblock, sweatshirts, snacks, water bottle, wipes, sand shovel and bucket,” I patted myself down, “phone.”

“Oh yeah,” I said and smile, “babies.”

Or boys.

They are boys really.

I am a good nanny because of that but I forget that just because I am adept at my job that it is an easy job.

It’s not an easy job and I think that I am just some lazy person who has to work really hard to just get by, that struggle means I am doing a good job.

That is such bullshit.

I don’t have to work so hard and I bet if I wasn’t trying so much things would come easier.

I can advocate for myself and as I have been writing about I have some amazing people in my life who are urging me to do just that.

I am the one blocking my way.

Which is why it’s great to have some folks in my corner to give me suggestions and I am, defect of character that still works, a people pleaser.

I don’t want to let my friends down so I will take their suggestions.

Besides I know when I am balking that this is where it’s at.

“You only get hurt when you resist,” he concluded.

And then the tears really did overflow.

I looked up at the tops of the trees brushing the low hanging sky, the fog starting to rumble in like the wet wooly beast it is, weaving through the tops of the trees, obscuring Twin Peaks, a few dense, bright breaks of blue, then grey.

I think that my life is grey.

When that is me resisting.

I am resisting going over to that blue light, that clean, brightness scares me.

You know, I am most comfortable in the dark, hiding behind some clothes.

I used to have nightmares that would keep a therapists in caviar for decades and I remember often in them that I would hide in the closet to escape whatever was coming for me.

I would get in the back of the closet, beneath all the low hanging clothes and burrow under the dirty laundry scattered along the bottom and hope fervently that I just looked like a crumpled bit of laundry in the heap and not the scared child I was trying to still my breath to non-existent.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to wonder if those were really dreams or perhaps memories.

Just because I felt safe did not mean I was.

Hiding in that closet did not save me from being hurt.

It didn’t then and it won’t now.

So, here’s to traveling through the resistance and finding out what is on the other side.

“Honey, I have been doing this for 29 years, and I’m in my sixties, how old are you?  In your forties, you have 40, 50, maybe even 60 years to go, get the fuck out-of-the-way.”

Yes indeed.

Get to living.

“Go to Paris,” he said.

“Paris sucked,” I said, in a hot flash of tenderness that felt like I was poking a canker sore I thought has healed but is still there just below the skin healing slowly.

He laughed.

“No, your perspective sucked,” he said.

“Ah, yes,” I said, “Paris did not suck.”

Sigh.

I know this all sounds vague and nebulous but things are cooking and I am loath to take the cover off the pressure cooker until the meal is done.

Suffice to say I am walking through the resistance, taking the next action in front of me and listening with open ears and an open heart to my advisors, friends, and support network.

It takes a fucking village.

But fortunately I know that my walking through this and all other things that I have gone through, enhances my life and is of great service to others.

I mean I help a lot of people and I don’t do a lot of talking about it.

There’s just no point, it’s just what I do and it keeps me in the mix, in life, showing up, again, so that others will be pleased, but also, because, it saves my life and gives relief from the consistent wah, wah, wah in my brain.

Habits of a life time take some time to break, I have to wear some new grooves into my brain channels.

To that affect I am also going dancing, ecstatic, with one of my best girl friends on Saturday.

Can’t tell you how long I have told to go get my dance on.

Time to suit up and show up and I don’t know, dance, meet new people, spend time with my dear friend.

You know.

Rocking my life.

Because the real resistance is thinking that something needs to happen.

HAPPEN NOW.

To make me better.

I am better, for fuck’s sake, I am great.

I don’t have to always be on this improvement kick–let me stuff yoga, surfing, maybe re-pledge to do the AidsLifcycle ride in 2015, lose some more weight, finish a book, get published, go back to school, take a class in sign language, French, accounting, or make up–the list goes on.

I dont’ have to get up and do a thousand crunches.

Oh yeah, I did that once for about two months.

I was nuts.

Let me stop, pause, look at the resistance and say, go here, rather than go run a marathon, you don’t need to improve.

You just need to take a deep breath and go through.

Going through I am.

Here’s to seeing you on the other side.

Girl Friends & Gardens

May 16, 2013

I had a moment of financial panic today when the mom at the nanny gig said, “we’ll be back to our regular schedule next week.”

Ie–three days with part-time hours.

And I don’t have other work.

And I need money.

And shut up.

You are fine.

The other gig will be starting soon and you will be ok, you are ok, you have food, you have a roof, you will get paid for this weeks work tomorrow, and you have a gig on Sunday.

All is good.

And when the brain says, “no, bitch, it ain’t,” you know where to go.

I was also to meet a friend tonight at 7 pm in Rockridge, an old friend, some one I have not seen in years, as she lives in Oakland I was living in San Francisco and I know from experience that whatever it is about getting from one place to the other, you stay put on your side of the bridge for the most part.

“How long have you been living in Oakland,” I asked her over tea tonight at, yes, I have to say it, ‘Gaylords’.

“About eight years,” she replied.

“Jesus,” I thought, and then said, “that’s about how much time I have, then you must have come back and forth a bit to the city.”

“Yeah, I still do,” she said, “I have work over there and I go back two to three times a week.”

Which is what I will be doing once I start in with the other families in San Francisco.  This is good information to have, if she can do it, so can I.

In fact, I would hazard that we are also not the only ones doing this.

Oakland I am getting to know you and the more I find out, the more I like.

“Do you like to dance?” She asked me.

Uh yeah.

In fact, I am going over to the city on Saturday.  A friend invited me to the Heart Deco fundraiser at Mighty.  I was not expecting to go over, I’m meeting a ladybug in the city in the early afternoon, then getting stuff out of storage and taking it back to Graceland.

Last thing I thought I would want to do is go back and do a night of dancing, but when friend with car says she’s going, well, damn, Gina, that’s a completely different thing.

“I love to dance,” I said.

“Have you heard of ‘ecstatic dance’?”

“Yes, in fact,” I paused, thinking back a few years to a night I was out one evening at Burning Man with a girlfriend, who had also re-located to Oakland, when we were dancing by the Pier out on the playa who had mentioned to me the same thing.

“You should do ecstatic dance,” that friend had said as we whirled around the Pier, “there’s this great group in Oakland.”

Cue me zoning out.

I am not going to got to Oakland to go dancing when I live in San Francisco.

Please.

Well, now, since I live in Oakland, it does not seem that far-fetched.

And wait!

They don’t serve alcohol and it’s on Wednesday nights and it’s early, like starts at 8pm and is done by 11 pm.  Oh my god, this ‘old lady’ is in love with the idea.  I could actually go out dancing on a school night and be home before midnight.

I have a date to get my ecstatic dance on for next week, tentative, my friend has a work gig early the next day, but if not next week, then the week following.

I am down.

I am also down with getting my yoga on, which will be the next frontier that I explore, and as it turns out my ‘new’ friend is also a yoga teacher.

Well, things just keep getting surprising here.

WAIT A COTTON PICKIN’ MINUTE.

Pardon me while I tell my brain to shut up.

VEGAN

TATTOOED

FIXED GEAR RIDING

BURNING MAN

YOGA PRACTICING

ECSTATIC DANCER?

Uh, hi, yes, Carmen, welcome back to the East Bay, you’ve become a California cliché.

And I don’t really care, it feels so good.

At least I’m not living in an ashram, yet.

Ha.

I will keep my sense of irony close to my chest.

And I will also add budding amateur gardener to the list.

Why?

Because there are garden boxes at Graceland begging to be attended to.

The master of the house said I could and as I was sitting and letting my anxieties over the day and my ‘worries’ about what and how and money and time and, and, and…

Shh.

Patch of sunlight, quiet, garden.

Oh.

I only have three days of work next week?

Right on.

I can work on the garden at Graceland.

How expensive are some seeds going to be?

You don’t know how to garden, said my brain.

Well, no, I don’t but I bet you dig a hole and put a seed in it and water it and weed out the funny looking plants and cultivate the ones that look edible and just see what happens.

And I do know how to garden.

We had a huge one back in Windsor Wisconsin where I grew up, and my grandfather had an enormous one behind his house in Lodi.  Now, granted, I did not do a lot of the work, my mom did and my step-father did, but I am and always have been, observant.

I remember a lot.

I remember how to compost and weed and how to plant and I have used a roto-tiller, not that  is even necessary at Graceland, there are boxes already set up.

I just need to invest in a few seedlings, tomatoes and cucumbers, maybe a basil plant, and some strawberries–ever-bearing most likely–I think it’s too late in the season to do others.

Heck, I could put in carrots and probably potatoes too.  Oh, and broccoli, so good.

Even if it’s just the tomatoes, that would be something else.

Oh, I can already taste them warm off the vine with some sea salt.

All those things that I turned up my nose at, girlfriends and yoga and gardening and meditation and going vegan and expressing myself in dance, barefoot to ambient music, hmm, maybe those are all things that would enrich my life and make me happy.

No wonder I have always turned up my nose at them.

I don’t want to be happy.

I want to be miserable.

I want to isolate.

I want to do it all on my own and fuck you very much.

Except, that I do actually want all those things.  I want a yoga practice, and a meditation practice and I want to write daily and eat well and plant things and watch them grow and giggle with a girlfriend as we dance around the room and not have any judgements at all about the woman in the corner who is so feeling the music she strips down to just her skirt and ankle bracelet in front of the speaker to better feel the vibe.

It turns out I do want all those things.

Look at me getting honest with, well, me.

I just had to go to Paris to figure out that everything I wanted was right here all along.

Taking a trip (not taking a trip).

Just don’t ask me to give up the coffee.

Yet.


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