Pas de Don’t
Please forgive the Giant Stupid Whiny Rant to follow.
Yesterday, I had an absolutely lovely conversation with my therapist about trying to learn to sort of honor what I am, including the delicate-respiratory-system part.
Today, I’m just frustrated.
I feel like I make so much progress, then get sick and lose so much ground, and like this is an ongoing thing for me, and like the smart thing, the good-zen thing, the Good Mental Health thing to do would be to learn to accept and embrace that.
And then another part of me is all, “Ain’t got time for all that, I’m a dancer. Dancers gotta dance.”
(The painful corollary: if I’m not dancing right now, do I cease to exist as a dancer? What a freaking terrifying question.)
I have written, occasionally, about Making Dance Accessible.
I am forced, now, to admit that my own internal prejudices, or whatever, have left a potentially huge group of people out of that thought process — that is, people like me, who are talented and have been given bodies that look and in most ways act like classical dancers’ bodies but who are afflicted with chronic illnesses that make sustained training problematic.
Truth is, I don’t see a workaround for someone like me. Or, well, yes — here’s something. Short-term projects; an approach to training that recognizes that even the longest spell of good health will eventually be interrupted by illness. A willingness to be flexible about classes; to step it down a level when the body demands it.
I admit it: I don’t feel ready for the physical demands of Brienne’s class yet — and a part of me is angry about that; just furious that my body has failed me.
Another part understands that it doesn’t help to think of it that way; that this is just another wave in the ever-changing ocean. After the ecstacy, as it were, the laundry: after a stunningly-long period of quite good health, the pneumonia, the period of recovery.
And still it is painful, yet again, to run up against the limits of my being; to be reminded that I am working with mortal clay and all its host of flaws (though, on the flip-side, I remain grateful for the great gifts I have been given, and I recognize that if this is the price, or only part of the price, I have so been given an amazing bargain, here).
I also recognize that the day I accept these limitations will be the day they stop hurting me so often: I’m like a stubborn horse that doesn’t want to stay in its field, startled every time I run headlong into my fence*. The fence is always there; if I just accept that, I won’t crack my legs against it anymore.
For what it’s worth, I was thinking about backing out of the audition (haven’t felt up to extended rehearsals with Denis), but instead I think I’m just going to change horses midstream, maybe: channel all this into a dance, albeit indirectly.
It may not be a dance about all this; I have something else in mind, though something equally topical in its own way — it relates to my other ongoing struggle: how do I learn to live as the androgynous person that I am when, in a very real sense, I’m afraid to do that for reasons even I don’t understand?
That, or else something about living with bipolar (perhaps unsurprisingly, that was my first idea anyway).
Either way? Cue Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.“
*This is actually a terrible analogy. With few exceptions, horses don’t do this kind of crap unless there’s a good reason to get out of the field in question. Will they bolt through an open gate just for a lark? Sure. When they bash themselves repeatedly against a fence for absolutely no reason, though? Better check your pasture for locoweed (or scary plastic shopping bags — horses be cray).