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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seeking: Inspiration

I've been feeling a little blah lately - okay, a lot blah.

My typical day goes a bit like this: hit the snooze button three too many times, frantically rush to get ready for work, barely catch the bus, work all day, head to a dance class or the gym, wait and wait and wait and wait for the bus, arrive home by 9:30 on a good night, shove food into my mouth, scroll through my emails or flip through the snail mail, respond to an email or two if I'm lucid, clean up the dish disaster from the morning, collapse into bed... And repeat. The weekend arrives with it's own bustle of errands and household chores, squeezing in husband and friend time when I'm not decompressing or catching extra zzz's. Before I know it, Monday is here again.


I'm no stranger to an over-committed schedule. I guess my true complaint is I feel that my life lately is colored in shades of beige and gray, reflecting winter here in Pittsburgh. The days and weeks pass and I feel like I'm just going through the motions. No color, no flashes of inspiration, no aha! moments. I long to teach, to choreograph, to create, and find myself playing the wishing game with the ideas that dance through my mind, causing my heart to flutter as I lay in bed at night. But when the moment comes when I sit down at my computer, or stand in my bedroom (the current choreography studio), poised and ready... nothing.

The ideas vanish.

Then I had my duh moment: it is impossible to give when your well is empty.

I woke up last weekend and decided it was time to change what I can control. I can't change the weather (oh how I'd love to borrow some Colorado sun to share with the Steel City) but I can add splashes of color here and there. After brainstorming a game plan, I ventured out to obtain a few nuggets to begin the awakening.

At the Ballet: Onstage, Backstage... A big book of snapshots of the San Francisco Ballet in 1998, in company class, rehearsal, children taking their first class, and principal dancers captivating the audience. Nothing inspires me more than dance photography. A dancer's body in action is nothing less than art.

Never Stand Still: Dancing at Jacob's Pillow... Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Judith Jamison, Bill Irwin - need I say more? It is but a dream to simply take class at the Pillow. Becket, MA, is a lot closer to Pittsburgh than Colorado was. One step closer.

My good friends Detective Holmes and Dr. Watson never fail to help get the storytelling juices flowing (aren't old British detective stories just the bees knees?!). I also picked up a story about two sisters' adventures in western China in 1923, and how they are tied to a modern-day London gal. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, by Suzanne Joinson, is sure to pluck at my own wanderlusting heartstrings.

New sketch pencils, a Pink Pearl eraser, and a sharpener... the cherry on top! Using the aforementioned book of ballet dancers, I intend to shake the cobwebs loose from my figure drawing and costume sketches. Just a playful hobby for me, but one that I love and am not too terrible at.

All in all, nothing extravagant or elaborate, but enough to begin filling the well, drop by drop.

What's filling your well these days?



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  2. Remind me to tell you sometime about a conversation I had with a friend about "giving from the overflow, not from the well". Anyway, the gist of it is: you have more to give if you fill 'er up, even though it never seems like there's time or energy enough, even to recharge. Love that you picked yourself up and got inspired! Miss you.