Archives for posts with tag: dance away the heartache

Music starts the morning. Dancing to ease arthritis pain before beginning the work day makes sense today. The music I chose is, for me, emotional and value-connected. It’s all very subjective, of course; I may listen to rap tracks that are implicit attacks on some other rapper, but I focus on the meta-message of the words, finding profundity in my subjective listening. I may listen to EDM and hip-hop, house, and funk tracks that may have little in the way of lyric content, but some short phrase or another, or the images in the video, communicate something of value to me. It’s a small thing, but it puts music to work for me cognitively, reinforcing things I want to reinforce, and undermining old out-of-date programming.

What is “sacred music“? Whatever music moves you in a sacred way. 🙂 I found my own. You probably have your own, too. Maybe it really is “church music”, maybe it isn’t at all. All of those things are completely okay; we’re each having our own experience.

As I dance through the morning, managing ferocious pain, still smiling, I find myself just a little astonished by this woman in the mirror. When I did become her? Me. I sometimes find it disorienting to read old writing, or look back on very old Facebook posts. Some things still resonate with me in a way that feels aligned and familiar, but very commonly I feel more than a little out of sync with that other woman in the mirror… and old mirror, a reflection on a woman I am not, now. I have grown. Maybe a lot. I sometimes wonder, when I write, or post or share something, if friends of old “get me” now… and whether they understand. I wonder if the differences are jarring, or cause irritation or resentment; I did not always think the way I do now, or have the values I now hold. I’ll likely spend a lifetime making amends for some of the choices, words, and actions of a much younger woman I no longer am… or for being someone different now.

My consciousness is pulled back into the here and now by the music. Track changes sometimes seem peculiarly well-timed. I recognize this as a “feature” in my consciousness, attributing significance to things and moments that may have none, in order to “make sense of things”. I dance on through the morning, through the dishes, through some tidying up before work.

Yesterday’s only a memory…and it is a happy one.

I enjoyed a quiet evening at home with my Traveling Partner yesterday. He was at my place shortly before I arrived.  It was tremendous and warm and connected and lovely. We hung out with friends for a while. We chilled alone together another little while. I was in way too much pain for romance, but the intimacy and connection are welcome and profoundly significant in a lifetime that has held so little authentic intimacy between lovers. I used to complain a lot about “not getting enough” sex…but… being real about it for just a moment, I’ll admit that I’m pretty certain I was using sex to meet needs that were emotional (and specifically not actually sexual) for years and years. Being both “past menopause” and more emotionally intelligent than that much younger me, I am comfortable noting that the non-sexual emotional need for connection and intimacy is likely the deeper and more important emotional need than the primate need for sexual contact. I’m not dissing sex – hell, I enjoy it quite a lot, and sufficiently so to inconvenience partners with less appetite for it, even now, but… yeah. Those quiet connected minutes with a lover that are intimate, close, comfortable, and nurturing, turn out to be a way bigger deal. I wish I’d understood sooner; it’s probably a great deal easier to satisfy emotional needs with truly relevant emotional connection, versus insisting that sex do all the emotional heavy lifting in life. lol

I wonder what today holds?

The morning continues, track by track, and I dance on to another thought, another moment…

Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!!

Today is a good day to dance. There’s more than one way to deal with pain. 🙂

Well… ain’t we? Er… are we? I am. It’s Saturday morning and I really don’t need to sit very still all day stressed out about health concerns neither confirmed nor crossed off some secret list of shit that goes wrong with aging. lol Cue music! Better to funk hard, enjoy life for every breath I breathe, than to wait quietly to die. 😉 So, no shit, I’m jammin’ the old school funk tracks that sparked my love of bass, and bass guitar, and have followed me through life to the newest, strangest, bass-est digital music of the current age. Why not? It’s after 6 am on a Saturday… I’m sure the neighbors won’t mind my embracing life through music at this hour… right…? (I’m not actually that inconsiderate, and I’m grateful for headphones.)

Are you still funkin’ with me? Do you know the funk legend behind that bass line? Human. Just like me. Just like you. Just like Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Just like your grandma. Just like Grandma Funk. What I think I’m getting at is… don’t wait to be a legend. Just be. Enjoy you. Maybe you level up to Legend at some point, but as with “happy”, chasing it comes at a cost – and that cost is often the goal itself. Each so human, so precious, so wonderfully quirky and weird and unique… do you.

This morning I let the irresistible nature of the funk distract me from pain, from worry, from an uncertain future (all futures are uncertain, are they not?), and I let go and let… myself enjoy the fucking funk, for as long as I can. Will you miss me if I were to drop dead in some now moment unexpectedly, without the courtesy of a heads up that I am mortal? Would my words outlast this fragile vessel or die with me, losing relevance over time without a connection to a living consciousness? All men are mortal… women, too, I hear. lol I sip my coffee and contemplate the unknowns still ahead of me in life – and at its end.

I think about the house hunting ahead this morning. I think about love. I savor my humanity. I appreciate yours. The morning feels easy on  my consciousness and my heart, in spite of… worries. Don’t we all have at least one or two? Isn’t it totally the most basic of human challenges to learn to balance our experience in the moment with our concerns of moments not yet now? Who will you turn to for comfort? Your friends? (Good choice.) Your lover(s)? (Another good choice, although I am assuming you choose lovers who are down for providing you comfort in tough times… perhaps that’s not what you choose of the assorted humans dear to you?) Will you choose the talking heads on the idiot box? The comment section of a favorite forum? Facebook associates? (That’s all the rage in the 21st century, and there’s a fairly impressive selection of social media alternatives.) Your professional associates? (That gets harder, sometimes, doesn’t it?) Your parents, elders, children, or siblings? (That can be a mixed bag where comfort it concerned, right? lol) This morning, I am turning to The Brothers Johnson, Whiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, SkrillexDaft Punk… sure, I know exactly what they’ll be telling me, because I’ve heard it a million times, but… I also know what they’ll be telling me, because I’ve heard it a million times. 🙂 It’s what I need to hear; we continue. There is now. Always now… And yet, somehow, we continue; if in no other way, we continue as a presence and a recollection in the consciousness of all those we have touched – good and bad and indifferent. Valar Morghulis.

I can’t escape my mortality – at least not with current medical science or technology (will I live to see that change?). I could sure get mired in waiting around to die, if I chose to do that instead of living. There are verbs involved, regardless. Today, I tell mortality – or at least the fear of it – to funk right off. It’s Saturday – there is a living world just beyond this monitor, and this keyboard, and my coffee is finished. 🙂

It’s totally understandable that death might stop me in my tracks – it is less understandable to wait around for it to do so. lol. Today is a good day to live, awake, aware, and present in this moment, now. It’s enough. 🙂

I am grooving to a Petey Pablo track, waiting for water to boil, and thinking how very reasonable that there is rain in the forecast; my traveling partner is out-of-town for a few days, and it seems reasonable to me that the very skies would have an emotional meltdown over the lack of his good company. I’m okay, because he’s merely traveling, and love has no proximity requirement, or expiration date. The moody cloudy threat-of-rain skies seem mildly appropriate, is all – or at least, entirely understandable. 🙂

I woke in the middle of my dreams, which isn’t my favorite experience. They seemed ‘relevant’ and potentially ‘insightful’ or ‘eye-opening’, but once my eyes did actually open they dissipated too quickly for further consideration…there were people…saying things…with emotional subtext…somewhere. Dreams are rarely urgently worthy of my attention, although it took me a lifetime to recognize that the headgames my conscious mind sometimes plays with me (to my detriment and disadvantage) are not off limits to my sleeping consciousness, and my demons dance regardless; it doesn’t necessarily give them significance, or meaning that is useful.

My coffee is very nearly perfect this morning – and tempting, although too hot to drink. The cup is too hot to hold comfortably…I found that out the hard way. The coffee is too hot to drink, and the tempting cloud of whipped cream I topped it with as a treat this morning tempts me overmuch – my tongue and the roof of my mouth paid the price. Lesson learned? Well…maybe. I’m still a primate, doing my best, and in the mornings my decision-making is at its daily ‘quality low point’ until my brain is really fully awake. I give myself the courtesy of refraining from self-deprecatory hassling or mockery – I don’t need it from me, really, I already know my fingertips are a bit sore from trying to hold that cup, and my mouth is already scorched from trying to sip too-hot-coffee. I think I’m good there, no further berating needed. lol

A paragraph later, and some fun dancing to Gangnam Style – I love how random my morning playlist is – my coffee is finally sipping temperature. I dance across the living room, coffee in hand, headed for the open patio blinds to watch the dawn…my neighbors probably think I’m mad. I don’t find value in self-consciousness or shame being a part of my daily experience – certainly, even being over 50, and not ‘dancer fit’ at all, I am disinclined to give one moment to whether a woman my age/weight ‘should’ be dancing where people can see me. That’s such obvious bullshit it was urgently necessary to put it aside as soon as I woke to the understanding that it is indeed bullshit. Dancing feels good. A quick exploration of dance styles and fads over the many decades of humanity will reveal that some of it is definitely more about how that must feel than what it looks like. 🙂

A favorite Crystal Method track turns up – and I turn it up; I’m excited to see them live on Saturday. There’s definitely that moment considering the concert when a feeling of self-consciousness does arise; I feel it most when I consider how much younger ‘everyone else’ may be, how more easily they may move, how beautiful and sexy youth is… Youth, I remind myself gently, is very much its own thing, with its own fears and doubts. Nothing to be concerned about for me – over 50? I have a lifetime of experience and perspective, and I am having my own experience. For me, it’s sort of the point of that favorite track in the first place.

Detail from "Emotion and Reason" 2012

Letting emotion lead on life’s journey may not be ideal…

What if everything were suddenly quite different? What if my traveling partner didn’t make it back? What if I woke up utterly unable to dance because my arthritis had become so severe that my spine wouldn’t move at all? I live alone now; what if I have a stroke and there’s no one here to help me? What if my resources run out before my life time does? “What if” is some nasty stuff – it quickly becomes anxiety if I give it a chance to grab onto something I can’t shake off. I’ve learned something sort of interesting about the emotional ‘what if’ scenarios, though; if I go ahead and allow myself to consider the extreme fully, frankly, and in a truly practical way – without the emotions that so urgently want to have their say being the focus of attention, it usually becomes quite obviously both fictitious – like so much of what my mind offers up – and manageable if it played out in real life along the most likely trajectory. For example…what if my traveling partner didn’t make it back? I would grieve, no doubt there, I would grieve a long while. The fear of grief and grieving is what drives the anxiety, but the fear isn’t even real fear – it’s a projection of an emotional reaction to a situation that has not happened. So, I comfortably set the fear aside, along with the recognition that I would grieve. Then I take a look at what life would be without my traveling partner, and come up with… living. Outside the fear of grief, there’s little to cause stress…I would live my life, working, paying bills, painting, writing, gardening, investing in other aspects of my social life, eventually (most likely) cultivating another satisfying adult romantic sexual relationship with a worthy partner… Nothing could ever change what my traveling partner and I have shared so far, and that would always be mine, and part of my experience. “What if” scenarios tend to be this way, for me, explored they are harmless – but there’s the rather practical matter of refusing to allow the fear of my emotions to become the fear of my potential imagined circumstances.

"Emotion and Reason" lit differently - how we view emotions, and how we use reason, make a difference.

How I view emotions, and how I use reason, makes a difference in my experience.

Isn’t it strange that emotions can be so scary? It seems odd when I think about it; they have no more substance than my thoughts, although they are a more commanding experience in the moment. I find that my reactions and attention reliable turn toward my emotions first and more attentively, than to my reason. I try to be mindful of that, because they are also quite intense, and not particularly tied to ‘reality’. Emotions are often driven by assumptions, expectations – or something I ate, or the ebb and flow of my hormones, or…nothing I can directly observe or be certain of. Sometimes they are more similar to the experience of taking a mind-altering substance than they are to ‘reality’ in any real sense. They are most certainly not to be trusted in life’s driver’s seat for long.

Perspective matters. "Emotion and Reason" acrylic on canvas w/ceramic and glow 2012

Perspective matters.
“Emotion and Reason” 24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic and glow 2012

Today is a good day to breathe, to feel, and to be mindful of the content of my thoughts; they have only the substance I give them. Today is a good day to be present, to be okay right now, and to walk on – fear has trouble keeping up when I do. Today is a good day for love, and for living. Today is a good day to notice how very small the world actually is, and how little distance matters to love.

Starting the day thinking of love - it's a very good start.

Starting the day thinking of love – it’s a very good start.