What’s your pleasure?
By and by the events that pepper our days fall into place. Our minds, hungry to create meaning, chew on personal stories. Eventually interpretation breeds perspective. Which the dictionary defines as the “true understanding of the relative importance of things.” Sometimes that perspective awakens in a flash. Which is what happened to me last Thursday.
Minding my own business, doing that Zoom dance thing up in my studio, guided by a Montreal teacher I adore. Zoom dance, an animal with which I maintain a love-hate relationship. I’ve learned more about my distraction patterns than I ever wanted to know this past year. But something clicked that morning. A kinesthetic memory stirred by the pure joy of my body in fluid motion, a fleshed out perspective of 2019. 2020 had clouded that memory, never allowed it to even fully emerge.
2019: a year that began in the worst of health—post-surgical, a month of radiation, unrelenting bronchitis that morphed into 15 days of unexplained fever. I was one sick puppy. I danced on and off through it all. The loving care of an integrative medicine doc combined with my indefatigable spirit teamed up for healing that commenced mid-April. I kept dancing. By summer, feeling good felt brand new, amazing, vital. My dance was taking new form, a springy lightness that had never been there before.
Through the balance of 2019, in closing circle after closing circle, I listened to participants share their dance floor experiences: deep meditation, break through insights, personal transformation. Variations on all the revelatory truths I had occasionally shared and witnessed in others for twenty years. I intimately knew the territory since my own practice of corralling attention to body, breath, mind often (not always!) yielded juicy personal insight or deep drops into the mystery.
I silently listened during most of these 2019 closing circles. At the end of each practice I was empty in a way I had never felt before. Week after week I was dancing two hours of unadulterated joy in motion. My whole body grinning. Extreme pleasure was the summation of my experience. Each and every precious time. I did not know how precious, even during the last dance at Clara March 11, 2020.
The events of 2020 completely wiped out that barely born experience that was revived Thursday. Pleasure, foreign yet familiar, felt like it was missing in action, like a long lost friend. I began to suspect I was not alone in this rusty relationship. That the events of this long year have placed pleasure on our collective back burner. On Sunday I invited us to feel how easy it is to be flesh and bone, the simple miracle of an arm winging through space, moving with the space around us as if it were a lover. Music that allowed the beat to have it’s way with us, a beat we could feel deep and close to our bodies. The pleasure of release, the savor of surrender. From the group field response, I gauged I was not alone in this longing.
And so, dear reader, an inquiry. Your own investigation. So what’s your pleasure? Is it on the back burner? What would it take to bring it to the front burner for a bit? So curious about us. What has gone dormant during this collective trauma? How can the classes I offer be in service to explore, to nourish, to awaken?
Well, the opportunities are all on line for you. I was actually gonna write about immigration this week, how unless we’re North American native, we’re all immigrants. How one hundred years ago my grandparents were immigrants. These thoughts spurned by St. Patrick’s Day and how the Irish were immigrants. The inspiration for this month’s fundraiser, Dance Essentials, donating all proceeds to the Sacramento chapter of International Rescue Committee .
Well, so be it. I had to write about pleasure. And you can bet there will be a whole lot of pleasure in store for you on Saturday morning as we roll and release kinks, feel the beat deep and close to our dancing bodies and then, like cats in the sun, stretch long. Plus, the pleasure that comes knowing that 100% of your tuition is helping an immigrant put healthy roots in our community. Can’t make it Saturday morning? Just send me your receipt of donation and I’ll send you the recording.
It’s been a pleasure….love, Bella