Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

On Seeing. (Microcosm/Macrocosm. Self/Universe.)

"I’ve never loved myself the way I do now.
-- Joana Saahirah, The Alchemist's Stone: Gratitude for the Wisdom of a Changing Body.

She said to me (& I paraphrase), 'We need to be in our bodies as they are, right now. Not the way they once were, or the way we imagine them to be in some uncertain future, because that is not what we have to work with as dancers/humans. Our envisioned "ideal" does not exist. We only have our bodies as they are right now -- they will not be the same in a day, a week or even an hour. Work with what you have in this very moment, not a projection of something that does not exist. Know your creative tool as it is -- its strengths & limitations & use them.

There was an enormous turning point the first time I actually saw myself dancing. One might say, 'Moma, this is not rocket science...' but the truth of the matter is that it took over two years of study before I was able to see this. Prior to that, I always pictured my teachers or someone else executing my choreography assignments (even as I did them); floating the veil, traveling the steps, rotating the hips, using the propulsive power of the arms... 

Unawares, I always followed the image of another, so when I saw myself for the very first time, it was an overwhelming epiphany. 

But the trick is, we have to keep looking, because we change constantly. Every time I watch the critter that is me, I experience a strange & overwhelming sense of horror & wonder -- in part because I never see the same person. 

As I examine & reexamine myself in this manner (as I now must), I realize how vitally important it is to the entire human spiritual ecosystem. It is not just about dancing & assessing the damage or progress. It is about Everything

 "That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing." 
-- Hermes Trismegistus (Dennis W. Hauck, trans.), The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus


Hetty Awen said...

Hey there, those photos! You look so beautiful! You are a dancer!

That's the exact same message that when you have chronic illness or get a disability you also have to really master . With the lime disease I can't predict what symptoms will happen when and right now I'm having a really bad Babesiosis flare up, that's the one that's almost exactly malaria and literally wants to kill me . It's scary because every hour my fever changes . The symptoms are so severe for a few hours and then there more like having a really bad flu version of the symptoms and then it's super scary when I can't even control anything in my body . The everyday stuff with chronic Lyme disease , it's having to be aware of where the infections and inflammation are active for that week or so and adjust everything around that and then when they changed just everything again .

There is this frustration sometimes where my mind really wants to be able to do something like be able to read or I want to be safe taking a shower and my body refuses . The limitations can be really hard because there's no way to plan anything and there is such an intense powerlessness , especially knowing that you have parasites deciding your body and your emotions and your ability to think . The awareness of sharing your body with living organisms who have their own agenda which completely annihilates you , it feels like some science-fiction movies sometimes .

But it really forces you to be mindful . You have to be aware of what your body can do at this moment while also being aware that you cannot predict anything about the future . Doing pagan prison ministry through the post , it's really good that Donna understands I don't have much control over when I can do things and that the women in the prison know that too . In so many ways I have a lot in common with people in prison because of multiple chemical sensitivity , there is very little choice in my life . The one pair of pants that don't make me sick and fit well they stopped making . When you only have one pair of pants that you can wear that is a crisis . Plus there's so much grief about having lost everything , and sometimes it's the free will of food like I can only eat for different things , nothing else , and I don't usually crave things because I know how sick they will make me I miss having options .

But yeah I totally understand what your dance teacher says because it's the hardest thing I had to learn with the tickborne illnesses especially the 6 1/2 years when I didn't know that's what it was , that there was no " normal " anymore , my body changed every few hours sometimes with what I could do including if I could even be awake .

AN said...

A perfect summation of some of our recent discussions. And your title is very apposite: seeing the pictures I really got so much closer to understanding what dancing is to you and your praxis.

I've been pondering this 'speaking without words' thing a lot today since the gift of a treasured heirloom to a friend finally 'spoke' words I had been unable to find and cleared a new channel in the silted estuary of an old and precious friendship.

Moma Fauna said...

Yes. I have been on a very steep learning curve of late -- many lessons in how useless or even disastrous words can be sometimes.
And as I sit here listening to these heartfelt songs sung in Arabic -- a language I do not speak, but with which I dance -- I realize how much the dance, the music, all of it, is indeed a part of the praxis.

Moma Fauna said...


It is so interesting that you say this because I couldnt help but think of you as I wrote it. Everything you just said went through my mind. It is all in the present understanding and living in the body. Not always the simplest task.

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