November 24, 2014
This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and are not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher.
One of my favorite things to dance to is the flight of pigeon flocks, especially as they are directed by a keeper from a rooftop. They arc and swoop in great, epic, collective gestures. My arms and body swoop and arc and spin as they do. Four years ago this month, I was teaching then-infant Simon to dance to the flights of birds just as I got a call letting me know that my friend, Howard, had died.
Recently, I have been wondering about something within my practice. How willing am I to fully take on the rhythms and to try on whatever instruction comes to me under this category? At what point does following the instructions become an orthodoxy, and hinder progress instead of supporting it? Is there a point that I should ignore the instructions and follow an inner guide? Likely, this is a shifting continuum that changes over time, but it is something I consider often. It makes sense to take intuition as a guide, but (un-enlightened as I am) I wonder if I mistake my own complex conditioning for intuition. I have no time to lose, after all, and I want to adopt the most productive mindset so I don’t waste too much of this short, precious life I’ve been blessed with.
I have been studying the history of western civilization lately, where the Ancient Romans have a big role. It seems, the Romans had many different ways of divining the future, including analyzing the flights of birds.
On Friday, I stepped into Tammy’s class feeling slightly unsettled, and, as often happens, was quickly folded into the room, forgetting my ill-ease. There is not a theme that dominates my memory, and there doesn’t appear to be one emerging here, but I noticed that nothing hurt, that I had a perfect amount of energy, and that I was neither holding back nor overexerting.
A neighbor asked Simon if he was good. Being four, he said, “No!” laughing as he said it. The neighbor said, “Well, what’s bad? If nothing’s bad, then you’re good, right? That’s how it works!”
In a dance of partnership, Tammy instructed us to investigate what feels like too close and what feels like too far. I fell into a friend who was the perfect ally in this investigation. He is sharp, confident, very handsome, unflinching. It makes me nervous to dance very close with him, yet I always want to engage him. Perhaps he is just matching me, but I perceive that he has an exceptional capacity for precision—many razor sharp edges that are not aggressive–but vivid, articulated and wild in the most cosmic sense possible. We stepped sharply in and out of each others’ fields, spinning and stopping, behind, beside, around—stretching the space between us, then snapping back together and rolling away from each other like two grooved cogs.
I also continued a dance begun during Tammy’s Faint of Heart workshop with a friend who witnessed me as I moved and who I witnessed as she moved through a body parts meditation. We fell forward and back, rotating up and down like coins spinning and slowing, coiled softly around one another’s spines, holding each other’s eyes by arching backward even as we spun all the way around.
Looking for answers from the sky, my eyes soar upward, into vast space, and I realize, once again, that I am but a tiny little piece of this vast, poetic dance, and that my own little dance is one of an infinite number who collaborate in creating the world, moment by moment, gesture by gesture.
Note: There is a post that precedes this one that has yet to be published. It should be up within 2-3 days (once it is approved by everyone mentioned in it) and will shed additional light on some of the topics discussed in the current post.