finding our way home…8-25-14


This morning I took my 90 year-old stooped papa to the airport so he could fly home. I didn’t want him to go. And I felt the profound shift this simple statement indicates. I grew up watching shows like Leave it to Beaver and Donna Reed and Father Knows Best. I ached to have a normal family like that. Where you can count on Dad to be politely reasonable and Mom wears an apron and pearls and everyone gets along and, most importantly, no one yells. We all have our family of origin stories and quite clearly, mine had been way messier than my T.V. viewing.

I spent years putting distance between that rumpled reality and the new improved adult version I was creating. Until I woke up one day and realized that could only get you so far. And then I spent more years finding my way back home…going through instead of around. Which was actually much more difficult. Coming to grip with how fate and circumstance, rotten luck and random choice, history and destiny had shaped me for better or worse. But even with this hard won perspective and intellectual forgiveness, I could not be with my papa with any kind of ease. Memories would persistently well up and darken my heart.

Maybe time really does heal all wounds. Maybe all this awareness finally added up. Maybe we had both mellowed. We played with the grandbaby and visited with the kids. He told the same old stories again and again but also some new specifics about the horror he experienced in WW2, as if he needed to purge something festering. We took him to the USS Hornet in Alameda, the aircraft carrier he actually flew from, and he saw the Avenger plane with the turret that held him as he gunned down the enemy. We played gin and drank Scotch and cooked his favorite food and got a pedicure. We took him to the high country in Yosemite, looked down into the deep granite valley, slept on the sunlit shore of Tenaya Lake…the same Sierras we travelled together when I was just little. He talked a lot. I listened.

My heart just stayed open all on it’s own. There were a few sticky breathing moments but nothing that reduced me to being ten years old. When I dropped him off this morning I knew I might never see him again. I am remembering all the years that prospect would have felt like relief instead of sorrow. I am so grateful the two of us have lived long enough to arrive in this place. And I guess I am offering up this personal saga to inspire us all to stay on the healing path, it is never to late. Miracles happen.

Right before he arrived, I completed one week of dancing in the new/old territory of Open Floor in Sausalito. Spent time with my old teachers in some new ways. Everything is a re-mix really and Open Floor seems beautifully conceived and well thought out. And I am a weaver, been weaving for years…physical therapy, yoga, 5Rhythms. I’m intrigued with what I learned and the potential of incorporating this new shiny yarn. More about this in the weeks to come.

Looking forward to all that will arise after Labor Day:

Fall Waves begins September 11, a 14 class series, running through December 18. Done with the complexity of managing early bird, so sign up on line or on the first night of class. Scholarship available; by September 1 to apply. Why not just drop in? When you sign up for the series you save $ and pave the way to commitment. My all time favorite Gabrielle quote? “It takes discipline to be a free spirit.” Showing up delivers us…

Sweat Your Prayers begins again Sunday September 7.

Attunement November 21-23. A big yes began to pulse last spring when I investigated bringing Maniko to Sacramento. This longing was tied to the emergence of my own authentic voice, words that arise from the ground, circulate in my belly, get bathed through my heart and glide out my throat. Feeling this, allowing this, sharing this…well this has been a long and winding road, still ongoing. Maniko and the skill she brings to this arena was part of that emergence. I want this kind of medicine for our community and I would love for you to dose up with us. I’ll be supporting her with the music so we can ignite the dance of our voice and free the voice of our dance in this dynamic, experiential workshop. Scholarship available; by November 1 to apply.

Introduction to 5Rhythms Saturday Oct 18. Calling all practitioners to come home to the basics. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of The Yoga Workshop space, you are in for a big treat!

Tending Your Moving Body Saturday Oct 25. Three hours to roll and dance, the easy glide from self-care to each rhythm and back. Pure joy.

Transcendence Oct 3-5. O.K. New venue, new festival. But guess what? Right here in town on the old Boy Scout Camp Pollock grounds by the American River. Music, yoga, dance. What’s not to like? Check it out. I’ll be there.

Movement as Medicine Save the date: Sunday March 15, 2015. No, this annual fundraiser did not go away. We just moved it to the spring. So stay tuned.

Until we meet again…love, bella