So dancing yesterday was amazing. Sunday morning Dance Tribe Santa Barbara is always pretty incredible but yesterday, well yesterday was just fantastic. That extra something that heightens the senses was there in the room. The collaboration of body and spirit that exists between the dancers extends outwards and we are all creators. The music is deep and part of the dance - a giving forth.
And in the midst of this, something sweet and good happened. I rested my body on my daughter's back. And in doing so gave myself over to this next stage of my life in a way that was both new, and familiar, too.
New, in that our roles are shifting. And I am transitioning along with this change that is occurring, a little bit each day. Still a parent but no longer parenting in that way where I need to be aware and invested.
Because now we are peers.
Partners in this place where mothers and daughters go as their relationship becomes that powerful connection as women warriors. Familiar because we know each other so well even as we learn each day something new about each other during this juxtaposition of roles.
And though we are truly in this present place, of being equal though not the same, I felt, in resting myself on her back - my weight fully supported by her strong spine and able legs, and full, kind heart - that I was nurtured and cared for. And I could see the future. Many years still to come, when there will be an even bigger shift and I will be cared for still. And cared for more. In that way that happens when we are older and need from our children those things we gave to them when they were young.
This is the vision that I saw. This is the feeling that I have, still.
I went in the ocean yesterday. For those who know me this is a big deal. I don't do water. Especially cold water. At all. I do showers. I love showers. I love sitting in the shower and sit there for a very long time. Or not so long lately because of the drought, but still I sit there. Letting the hot water hit over me and wash my troubles down the drain.
But cold water. I don't do that.
So to go in the ocean yesterday, this is a big deal. And not only did I go in, I swam around. I played in the waves, diving under the ones that crashed too close and being lifted high on those that I caught just right. I did not ride any waves into the shore, however. My last wave riding experience had me tumbling over and over, the surf and the sand in my face and my hair, my mouth and my nose. I am not sure how old I was then but I remember it still. And so wave riding is not happening. Yet.
So I am in the water. And feeling it. My husband and I. Together. And I am present in this moment and happy. And that is all. And it is incredible. There were no other thoughts. No worry about things that I needed to do. No thoughts about things I did wrong. Nothing but the movement of the water, the heat of the sun, the love of my companion.
This water and sun and surf experience was the culmination of a day of many firsts. Of finding new ways to communicate. Of learning to trust in ways that hadn't happened before. Of breaking down barriers that were built over time. Mine more then his. But his, too. For just like the surf, that pounds the sand and throws us around if we are not careful, relationships too can take us for a ride that may cause us to tumble at times.
And so for me, these tumbles and turns that coincide with love and family, raising kids and pets and more pets still, these tumbles scared me enough to stop going in the water. I stayed safely on the sand. And if felt like a good place to be. Safe. Careful. I was still at the beach. Still engaged. Would even dip my toes in the water every now and again but just when the tide would hit around mid thigh, I'd back up. And my barriers would come down.
But not yesterday. And not this morning either. And what I hope for myself, what my intention is, is that I'll walk into the surf each day from now on. I know there will be hesitation. That I'll start my walk towards the water and want to turn back, because the cold will be too much or I'll worry that the pull of the ocean tide will pull me under with it. Still, I am feeling really confident that I will be able to open myself up and let life in. I know this because I don't want to miss what I felt yesterday. And the only way to feel that happiness is to dive right into each day.
And someday... not right away, but soon, I may even ride those waves to wherever they take me.
I danced yesterday at the amazing Santa Barbara Dance Tribe. An every Sunday, two hour ecstatic dance event of movement and motion and love and connection. It is quite amazing. My middle daughter comes with me. We have been dancing together since I first brought her along last December when she was home from school on break. Now that she has been home for the summer we are able to dance together quite often.
It is such a gift to have this time with her.
We dance together in that wonderful way that is playful when a remake of Dirty Dancing's Time of my Life fills the room. And other times in a more soulful celebration of knowing each other and of knowing a music more lyrical and haunting as we fall into movement that is mirrored back and forth between us.
And we dance with others like this also. This is the beauty that is Dance Tribe. That there is an opportunity for connection in that heartfelt and creative way that only comes through when our voices are stilled and we rediscover that deep and familiar way of communicating that is easily forgotten. The communication of heart and soul that resonates through our bodies as we align with the rhythm of those around us.
And also when we fill the space on our own, a dance of one.
For being in this room of swirling lights and pulsing beats or slow, smooth notes or haunting chants propels us into movement that, while introspective and uniquely our own, is still a part of the whole. An energy resonates from each of us to create this space. And so even in those times where we dance alone, we are held in the cradle of our collective movements and we feel each others spirits breath out and in and out again.
It is lovely.
My mother-in-law had two sayings: life is maintenance and we're all just tubes. She said these a lot. It was always funny. And always true in that simple yet somewhat disturbing way. And even after the many years that I spent time with her before she got too deeply lost in her lack of memories and could not communicate anymore, I find myself repeating these two mantras quite often myself.
Today is a life maintenance day. And I hate it. Because I suck at it. And because the things that need maintaining are things that make me mad. Like insurance claims. And electric bills. And traffic tickets. But mainly because I suck at it.
I am a disorganized person. There. I said it. I am. The funny thing is that I don't think of myself this way. I think of myself as really having a handle on things. But really I am just winging it each day. And since most days there is not a lot of life maintenance to have to maintain, my pulling it out of my ass way of functioning works quite well. But on days like this, days where I have to figure out a claim or navigate a website or understand why my electric bill has a charge even though I have solar panels and have been bragging that I'll never have an electric bill charge, on days like this I am pretty much overwhelmed.
And this is how it feels.
I wake up to the thought that the claim and/or ticket and/or bill is still down there on the counter for me to have to take care of if I can only find the paperwork in the pile of other items that I either also need to take care of or have not filed yet because I don't really have a filing system or have not thrown out yet because even sorting through paperwork is somewhat - ok very - tough for me. So I wake up to this thought that there is life maintenance to maintain and then I get this somewhat sick to my stomach feeling coupled with a dose of anxiety that stays with me until I get these things that are hanging over my head taken care of.
The thing is I know I can take care of these things. That I am capable. And that once I make the call and/or pay the bill and/or learn why for gods sake I have a charge on my electric bill even though I have solar panels, that once I take care of it all I will feel really good. Clean and uncluttered and free of these tasks.
I try to put myself in this place. The place where I have completed these tasks. I jump there in my brain in much the same way that I will go to that after-eating-the-entire-leftover-cake-that-is-in-the-refrigerator-and-also-the-leftover-frosting-I-will-feel-like-shit place and so I don't indulge. Because if I can catch even a glimpse of how good I will feel when the bills are paid and the claims are resolved and I don't have a ticket hanging over my head it motivates me to pull it all together and take care of this shit.
I was able to do this today. As in just about half an hour ago. I got my life maintenance mojo on and tackled these things. And now they're gone. And I have a free day in front of me. And also got a great writing out of it.
A day of accomplishments. Until the next bill arrives.
Oh...and about that other saying - we're all just tubes - that one is pretty self-explanatory....
Wishing you a low maintenance and peaceful day!
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.