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When I was torn I learned to sew...

July 30, 2018

 


I recently tore my ACL this spring, but technically I didn't sew it. (thanks Dr. Rose!) There's a lot of picking yourself up and putting back together involved in any recovery. Self care is a big part of it. There's a lot of giving yourself enough time to rest and recover, but not too long to spiral down the long list of things you can't do, since it is now longer than the list of things you can do. So I've focused on what I can work with. I can give myself thousands of little tasks. I can figure out ways to get to work. I can even watch TV... Yeah, there's been plenty of TV watching. Since I'm not interested in imploding internally into my own dark deep emotions yet, I'll control the things that surround me and maybe some light emotional internally focused work too. ha. 

 

One of the reasons I was so drawn to improvisation though was this idea of intense internal focus. I thought it created something "more genuine." I wasn't just recreating moves that I was told to and shaming myself for not being good enough at it. I was creating movement that worked for me! Something that felt authentic and therefor more alive. It was my own way of learning how to sew... John Martin, dance historian, described modern dance as a "point of view" being different for every decade, every country, every human that gives birth to it. The Lovelies all gravitated to improvisation by different paths. Some of us didn't even like improvising when we were younger. But as we make dances now we each bring our own point of view to the movement... Which sometimes feels really strong and rich with nuance and sometimes feels like a derailment or a scatter of ideas. 

 

I went to an improv comedy workshop the other day. There they shared their particular school of thought around improvising. One theory that really stood out to me was "if you're feeling lost, look in the rear view mirror." They had a lot to say about jumping around to too many ideas and how that starts to betray what the audience believes based on what you've developed. Basically stop abandoning ideas! Work the material that you have and keep developing it! So as any of us are feeling torn, I know this work gives us the tools to sew ourselves back together. We can reframe the basics so they feel new and fresh again. We can balance our intense internal, zoomed in focus with a big full, zoomed out focus. We are stronger for it... Wabi sabi style. 

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