I just had a week that is hard to explain or quantify. I know it was a week with some magnificent moments; I had a pair of owls fly so close over my head that friends in my college reunion zoom group saw the “huge birds”. (Huge birds as in “Did a huge bird just fly over your head?”, lol). It was such a gorgeous night I had felt compelled to be outside; a win for intuition.
It was also week in which my mom informed me late yesterday that she had no water in her shower. How long has this been going on, “a while, maybe a couple of weeks”. My mom is really suffering from the blursday effect. She has lost all sense of time; as many have, so it could be two weeks or two day, either way, no water in her shower. It is hot with 85 percent humidity on Long Island, and no shower. Why not call the plumber, “they are all crooks”. I will be calling a plumber of the non-crook variety on Monday. This was the second “emergency” of the week for Maria. The first thankfully easily solved. The big issue is of course, a woman who desperately wants to live alone, who no longer can. A woman of some grit and imagination who doesn’t want to cause worry, yet causes more and more as she lets things go. When I say I worry, and want to help, the reply often is “ who asked you to”. Though more frequently, (though not frequently;)), is a thank you. My mom, at 89, just wants to live her life, and she is not about to let the facts get in her way.
Isn’t that what we all want right now, to just live our lives. And let’s face it, the facts are definitely getting in our way. Yet, I lived my old life this week; I was back to teaching and attended a vigil. I taught an outdoor class one sunny morning, and was back in the studio for a private lesson and a full class. This week coming up I have a couple of full classes in the studio, private lessons and if the weather cooperates, an outdoor class. All this was possible because of simple geometry.
Math was never my thing. I love math facts, and theories, but the doing of math I found/find tedious. Part of the pre calculator generation, theorems, algorithms, algebra 2 and yes the SATs , were all a bit of a nightmare. Now Geometry is life.
The genius of the grid at Spotlight Vermont allows freedom to really dance. I have started to get the hang of using the squares as part of my choreographic process (is there a more pretentious phrase, I don’t think so). After moving myself around the space I know when a forward lunge will take me into the next square, and where I need to stand to stay in my space. The dancers learn by marking in their square and then dance full out in small groups; division in action.
I am suddenly a big fan of math.
At a silent vigil hosted by FCC, markers were placed six feet apart. On every marker was the name of an African American killed by the police. Every person stood or sat six feet apart, masked, and in silence visualized a better world. This was the second silent vigil, and one will be held the first Sunday of every month. I didn’t go to the first one, I let fear stop me; fear of the crowd, fear of the virus, fear of people not wearing masks.
I am realizing that the magnificent moments of this week were about giving up some of the fear, and replacing it with sense. I am using the math of six feet, and the science of masks and sterilization protocols to get back to what matters to me. I don’t know what the future will bring, and I am staying in the moment. In this moment, I can dance and teach again. It may mean smaller classes, masks, and protocols; that is ok. Two months ago, I was not sure my lungs would ever be dancing lungs again; I can live with a sign up genie to limit classes. I can live with getting my temperature taken and constantly wiping down a space. I can live with that, because I did live, and that is magnificent.
So live magnificently this week. Be brave yet sensible. Live with compassion and humor and be of service. Dance whenever and wherever you can. And if a large pair of owls fly two feet over your head, one after the other, don’t be startled, just grateful.