I will grow flowers in my wounds…

Approximately a year ago, I thought I was finding an ending to REALENGA.  Not like a definite conclusion, but more like a narrative “open end”. My life continues of course, but there is no need to make a tale about everything… I have spent almost two years writing about my process of “leaving Puerto Rico”. I see it now, it has taken all this time to detach and venture… to heal uncomfortable and harmful feelings. It might be contradictory that a paradise for many people can also be an unsafe place to others. Such is living!!

I am clear that I generate my own “Puerto Ricanness”, embracing  also many other things; I have no need of patriotic/nationalist discourses for HOME is a construction…
we are land.. we are home.. we build ourselves anywhere with our actions. For unkwong reasons some places-spaces are more welcoming than others. Time is also a factor to take in consideration; making home is like dancing: articulating and crafting movements/moving in time-space -with S at the end of both words-.

I arrived now… to the state that I wanted, to the disposition of staying… somewhere else…. the journey continues. 

I have almost $200 in my pocket, but I am here: NYC. Coming back for what I once left in 2013 when my heart was broken apart in this city. I came back for myself…
       a self that I have never known, but that I dreamt about…
I will be filled with new rituals and routines.. mostly dancing routines.
I do not know what I left behind…
I do not have an idea of what am I going to find..
I have expectancies of great people, lovely stories.. amazing food, much more healing, of creating a niches of my own…
I have imagined a space… a relationship with that space… a comfort..
I will learn and discover what am I capable of.
I might find more other things -that I am not foreseen-.

flowers in my wounds.jpg
Memories, poems, wounds, dead flowers
by AnnaO Photography

I will grow flowers in my wounds…
will take the dirt our of my skin and rise above the death…
for my soul is free…
I take what is mine.. my soul cannot be broken…
I will rejoice in every single move.


For now this is the ENDing .

***
Note to the reader: this was written in Athens, Greece couple of weeks before my departure. The here mentioned is more related to a disposition to be/stay, rather than an actual physical presence…

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A one time dress… for a one time occasion

How to find the “perfect” dress to give away?

Couple of months ago a friend confronted me with an statement, “da de lo que tienes no de lo que te sobra” (give what you have not what is left). It was a very specific conversation about prosperity/ abundance and not only in the “monetary” kind of way. She was explaining me how it made sense in her life to live in the principle of abundance; knowing that you have what you need, what you need will come to you. Certainly to live by that principle takes courage, and it is quite a privilege also to be able to say, hey I have everything I need. Nonetheless, needs change according to life processes, expectations, and places. Anyways, I realized that I had to reset my mind from the discourse of precariousness I was living in.

I do not know if I had said it prior but, one of my biggest fears I had was (yes was) to “do not have” anything. I have experience what is to go to bed without eating, to have no money for long periods of time, the anxiety to struggle to pay rent, etc. etc. etc. Hence, I have also realized that -indeed- I do have what I need, I might not have tons of everything, but I have never been denied a bed to sleep, a plate of food, I have always found jobs in the most convenient moments, people have been willing to invest time and energy in my dreams/goals, and I have been blessed enough to travel consistently on the principle of generosity and connectivity, among many other things. I am GRATEFUL for all these things!!! What I am learning now is to reconfigure my living principles to non material things, and to understand that sometimes I have enough for me and others, even if it seems is nothing… The essential is there!!
Interconnectivity and Interdependency.
TRUST.
Easier said than lived.

***
Filo de Tijera
 revealed to me as a giving gesture. I crafted it in Puerto Rico prior departure. It was conceived as a farewell action, a goodbye, a ritual in which I give you what I have, what I have been able to find in this two years of artistic research and spiritual seeking. I was sure I did not wanted to buy customs, or anything in order to make Filo de Tijera. I was sure I needed something not “representative” of giving, but that indeed enacted the giving. Something that had meaning and a story…

I found the perfect dress to give you…
This dress have been with me for at least 6 years, and I wear it mostly to lift my mood.
It has stories of sorrow and rejoice. It is that kind of dress that people will say to me, ahhh you look nice..
You will see, there is nothing fancy about it, but it feels good.
I needed to give you something that is important to me, something that is hard to give away…
You will see, there is nothing extraordinary about it, but it’s full memories.
I have danced wearing this dress numerous times.. night long dances… dances of hope… dances.
This dress has embedded the struggle of becoming… of knowing who I am and what I do…
It’s full of pain, but also self-assurance.

((I won’t go over the sociological aspects of corporeality and how what you wear speaks of psychosocial processes. I might need another post for that.))

I am giving you one of the most simple and treasurable dresses I have, one that made me FEEL GREAT so many times. One that has travel with me to countless places.
I am giving you memories, tales, I am giving you me…

I will give it with pleasure, for I have realized that I can only give what I have…    what I am.

one dress off.jpg

I give you this dress, an extension of my skin, and reveal others skins underneath;
words, poetry, fears, scars, tattoos, marks…
and many other things that are not evident to the eye.
This dress once “mine” becomes ours…
and I find my flesh fragmented in you, to be forgotten or to be remembered.
Our exchange is as fragile, dangerous and uncertain as the edges of a shear:
I trust your hands…

____

The following are fragments of the process: 

Filo de Tijera es Acción Poética y Ritual Performativo de desprendimiento.
La confianza es uno de los acuerdo no verbales más importante de todas nuestras interacciones cotidianas -a conciencia o no-.
¿Cómo puede una dar/se si ha sido quebrantada, si esta hecha pedazos?
¿Cómo puede una dar/se si siente que no se encuentra?
Dar/me de forma libre y voluntaria en movimiento, palabra y acción poética, ha requerido una búsqueda personal para sobrepasar el dolores, duelos y desconcierto de ser/hacer en constante oscilación.
Dar de forma libre y voluntaria, a sabiendas de que nos re-configuramos en cada encuentro.

Vivo en Filo de Tijera…
Sin saber cuándo ésta extensión de nuestra mano cortará para herir, para revelar, para remover o para alivianar… NOS.
Sin saber si ésta mano cortará con afecto, amor, ira, envidia o dolor.
Aún así nos encontramos.

_______

Filo de Tijera es un encuentrodespedida;
momento íntimo y fugaz en el que te doy a ti lo que tengosoy hoy.
Porque una no puede dar de lo que no tiene,
porque a una no le pueden arrebatar lo que es.
Porque soy cuerpopalabraacción,
aquí nos encontramos.

Hoy doy con alegría mi lenguapiel, pielpalabra, cuerpoacción;
también mi atención, mi incertidumbre, mi miedo desnudo, mi confianza. mover/ser sin vergüenzas.
Hoy confío que estás. recibes y me acompañas de forma libre y voluntaria.

Vivimos en filo de tijera, sin saber cuándo esta extensión de nuestra mano cortará para herir, para revelar, para remover o para alivianar… NOS.
Sin saber si ésta mano cortará con afecto, amor, ira, envidia o dolor.
Aún así estamos aquí.

____

You can leave if you wish, you can stay if you want.
Is your decision, your choice, your will.
For as long as you want or as soon as you can,
you decide if
to depart or to remain,
in peace…
in pieces…

____

Goodbye

…Waiting, Reading and back Home (Part II)

Waiting with the dead

I headed down the hill next to Isadora’s house -and I mean down the dramatic hill- to where I thought Pangrati was located. I recognized couple of streets and stairs along the way and stopped in an intersection of what seemed to be a park. I am not sure if this is right, but I believe Imittou sets a frontier between Vyrona and Pangrati. I perceived the amplitude of the landscape, drastically different from the clashing buildings. OREA. I realized I got to the Cemetery; didn’t think it twice, crossed the street and walked in.

I love cemeteries, I find them so enriching, so poetic, so full of life, regardless of the nostalgia and sorrow that is built upon death. I remember a cemetery I stumble upon in Edinburgh back in february, very different from this as I was about to discover. The first thing I noticed was a table and a chair in front of an epitaph, they eat with their dead, I thought. Why was that surprising? I myself went to say proper salutations to Marianna’s Grandfather back in Sparti, I am also familiar with death rituals in Mexico, connection with the dead in Santeria and other Mediumnic practices. Its obvious to me the mysteries and (dis)comforts of dying, or in our relation to death. In the Sparti ritual Marianna joked about the dead having the best view in town…
See for yourself,
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The cemetery seemed like a marble horizontal apartment complex. The floor is not grass but concrete, the sizes of the graves correspond to the economic capacity of the families to display “deadly comforts”. Big in sizes most of them because they are family pantheons. I enjoyed seeing family pictures; Were they ever so “close” in real life? I am used to green soils as the hallways separating inscribed stones graves. No pictures. Nonetheless, these people are serious about the commodities and cares of after living; that speaks to be about of social dynamics, rituals and priorities. Smile.

As I walked among the pantheons I remembered, I am not supposed to be here. The phrase that came as an inspiration of one of the exercises of Transeúntes (open process exploration). I noticed it was the last day of May. Was it June 1st that I got my first surgery? I wondered. No!! It was on June 3rd the day of my cousin’ Emmanuel’s, birthday. How would my grave have looked like? Silly question. Would I have had a grave? Flowers? Visits? 19 years have passed sinced I faced death for the second time in my short -at that time- life. I was 13 years old when I felt the weakness and the serenity of what seemed to be my last breaths. I was agonizing, that I know now. One thing I recall clearly from that on and off state of consciousness, I told my mom: do not worry I will be alright, sighed and closed my eyes. She was desperate -that I knew after- but, I just felt I was just sleeping deeply and waking up to her voice every now and then.
No dreams. No worries. Just calmness.
My dreams were interrupted by a female doctor giving orders, and nurses running around. I was been intervened. I was dying and stayed in the ER room for more than 12 hours with an internal bleeding, unattended.
I am supposed to be here… I am sure.

My journeys keep reassuring me that my life-death encounter was a spiritual battleground. There are many stories I can tell, most I experienced them myself, others I was told. What happened 19 years ago does not fit into this material world logic/rationale, and it has indeed shaped the rest of methinkingbody.

After walking for a while, reading names, touching graves, and talking to some of them I decided to sit down on a bench I encountered and wait among the dead.
                           No hurry. No purpose. Just calmness.
I do understand why the tables and the chairs.
After a while I asked the dead, where am I? I opened my map and determined where to go…

                              A new part of the city has been unfolded to me.

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Walking, Waiting, Reading and back Home (Part I)

Walking to the other center:

Today I finally walked around the neighborhood, no particular purpose. I was not sure where to go, and I did not make my choice until I stepped out of the building’s door. SIGH and SMILE. I frequently go down the road towards the center of ATHENS. Today I headed to another “center”, DIMOS VYRONAS”. I continued my journey to the other side of that center, the opposite direction to where I live… There the streets were a bit less hilly than the ones near Marianna’s house (closer to Formionos). They were, but not for long. I was pretty much walking with a sense of direction; I know where the city Center is, I know where my Center is, and I knew at that moment where Vyronas center was. To pass by that center was my first immediate goal -that is what I need at this moment, an immediate goal, even though it will change along the way-. I saw Gardenias –I love Gardenias, I remembered a tree I gave to an ex-partner, and I want to think is still alive in our previous house. I also love a song entitled dos Gardenias , this I remember now as I recount-, and Sea Food markets. I remembered Syros, an island like sensation invaded me. I(s)land me. I felt the need of an Island Vacation -Marianna and her Patmos tales came to mind-.
I am a floating Island. . 

Nonetheless, after accomplishing my first curiosity task I was heading “nowhere”. I saw a woman carving through the garbage. She seemed to also be wandering. She had no shoes. I felt fear and wanted to be invisible -difficult desire because I was wearing bright red shirt and very colorful pants-. To do so I turned right and I encountered the missing hills; Vyronas is not Vyronas without roller coaster streets. I catch myself looking back, and immediately knowing where this gesture came from –ASALTO feel free to read-. I figure out where I was after passing by a Church and a little park -common scenario here-. There was something  familiar about that area; though I didn’t recall being there before, I kind of knew the KNOWN will unfold. I was not wrong for I encountered Isadora Duncan’s Dancing House, this time from the back. I heard kids playing in was is the locked “bakcyard” -bomb shelter-. I got closer to the fence and saw 4 kids playing with fake guns -I wonder now if someone is still hiding inside away from these kids’ battleground-. This is the 4th time in this week that I see kids, specifically boys, playing with fake guns. Any gender stereotype is left up to you for conclusions. I felt sorry for Isadora. I thought about checking out if the director was around and say hi. On the contrary I set myself a new goal: crossing Pangrati….

To be  continued…
         in the meanwhile enjoy my favorite song: DOS GARDENIAS 

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Silence is the possibility of encounters

Silence is the possibility of encounters…”
this phrase came to my mind while observing a tree in the middle of what seemed to be an abandoned lot. Silence found me in the traces of bodies and encounters; also in my imaginary memory of the nature of those intersections.

treecontemplation.jpg
Image: Geert Vermier

This tree stands in apparent solitude. It has witnessed many things. It has inscribed us in its leaves and roots. We have all been gathered and will soon bloom; giving life to this manmade landscape. I contemplated it for a while, it seemed trapped. It was not. I decided to get closer, entering into its space. I Looked at the floor and saw a used condom. Next to it, another, and another and all of the sudden I catch myself contemplating other elements. I imagined how many couples, -or groups of people- have been there sharing passions or enacting violence (not to idealize the sex encounters here as a pleasurable situations only). That little tree has seen it all. That little three has heard it all. That little tree knows secrets, mysteries and stories. I felt like a perpetrator. What could be perceived as an apparent “Urban Emptiness” was fulfilled with the memory of many bodies that have transited, and inhabited that site.

What are we really looking for when we walk together in Silence?
Are we looking for something in specific? What do we encounter? What do we see-hear-smell-sense?
What traces speak to us? How do we project ourselves in the landscape?
How the landscape project itself back to us?

I contemplated -perhaps in or maybe being- silence. I could perceived when my attention shifted to awareness, when my skin touched the space, and the place whispered to me. I listened with all my body, there was no other moment/place to be, but there with the tree, the concrete walls, the condoms on the floor, my steps, breath, thoughts… (no worries I was not touching literally, it was clear to me the presence of unknown human fluids all around the little tree…)
                Silence is the possibility of encounters.
What kind of encounters?

The manifestation of silence and emptiness of this location was expressed to me as many things like “sexual encounters” -something that I was not expecting-. This site also became a scenario, a dance landscape that activated my choreographic imagination. In addition, I saw life, or the poetics of living despite “hostility”.
Are WE, growing trees in the mist of concrete -under constructions, in deconstruction or abandoned- sites?

This tree was an encounter with my senses, with that sensation of expansiveness that I talked about last week. It was indeed an aesthetic experience, a work of art “in the middle of oblivion”.

Here=tree Here=Condoms Here=Imagining Here=BodyWalkingaroundthetree Here=Leaves Here=sensingmycoalleagueswerewithmeHere Here=notholdingtoanythoughtnottryingtograspit Here=living

                                                       sensing.being.touch.
The body remembers.
This is indeed a new little story of Eleonas -among many others that I kept accumulating during the walk…. Some I will share, others I will keep for myself. Smile. Many I will forget.
             Isn’t forgetting part of memory?

Silence to me is the possibility of sharing moments, negotiating directions, figuring out together: where are we going and what are the conditions of that going.
Silence is.
the possibility is….
we decide if to encounter…
…let it us be unfolded before our skineyes. without trying to much.

I encounter you here…
these words are my skinheart.
I touch you with my stories. With every single shape of this writing.
My voice -perhaps- becomes your voice, reverberating within you, at your own pace, I unfold.

Resistencia e Insistencia

For quite some time certain moving questions have been accompanying me.

HOW do we move: how spaces, dynamics, interactions, and social, norms, etc. influence in our moving beings; WHO?WHAT determines our moving capacities/ conditions?

These concerns have made me embody mobility as a life principle, style, strategy, action…
I learn how to do this as I go.
The moving queries are not simply ‘personal’ issues, how and who determines moving/mobility -and migration in the case of my research- are POLITICAL MATTERS. While I am not currently in PUERTO RICO, what goes on in my birthisland is of my interest. Despite what some people might argue, leaving does not imply disinterest, abandonment or a lack of compromise with change and justice. The decision of moving/migrating -or not- are individual and social threads weaved together in a complex and interdependent way.

Hopefully we are all clear that moving is intrinsic to life, humanity and social dynamics -we can disagree of course-. Therefore, I will not put a special attention on leaving as a ‘phenomenon’ -while the phenomenological aspect of how migration and mobility is experienced is very much insightful-. I, instead, prefer -for the sake of this refection- to go over the interconnection about MOVING as a SURVIVAL STRATEGY, RESILIENT RESISTANCE, and SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. I would try to make this connection, may the force be with me.

As some of you know, my departure (SAL) responded to my need to dive deeper in my: history/genealogy of mobility & drive to ‘be somewhere else’, economic struggles, emotional distress, and spiritual development. The last two aspect were very much intertwined and SAL/ir became an antidote for spiritual/emotional healing. I was broken, and the relationship that I had with my birthland too. At that time I perceived I couldn’t hold on an affectivity to a place that did not feel like HOME. What is home, I am still defining it as I go, but I have come to realize that is not a place/location, but a deeper relationship with oneself and the others that responds to living expectations/expectancies.

HOMeING is very much a sensation and dynamic that is changeable through lifetime.

During early conversations about ISLA en FUGA, and my drive to “understand” what moved me, I started diving on the development of my spirituality, particularly in LOVING as an -ethical- action. YES LOVING as spiritual and political practice. A dear friend said something I will not forget, and I paraphrase:

The ultimate accomplishment of colonialism is the conquest of your SPIRIT and-or- SPIRITUAL PRACTICES, if the colonizers can dive so profoundly that their spiritual convictions become yours, then he has become your master. The creation and (re)creation of YOUR OWN SPIRITUALITY is indeed an transgression to the psychological -and therefore corporeal- implications of colonialism.

That blew my mind!! It was UNFOLDED to me the memories/histories of resistance of native people, african diaspora and other oppressed populations. Also, syncretism took a very important transgressive -performative- meaning.

I have come to know that LOVING as a spiritual practice implies SELF-LOVE. While this might seem evident, as females we have not necessarily been socialized to love ourselves, but to love everything else first. Hence, in our highly religiously dogmatized society self-sacrifice, shame, remorse, and repentant are very much embedded. Self love is not selfishness; self love implies clarity and honesty, and as I have lately experienced, compassion and kindness. MOVING for me was an act of SELF LOVE for I was honest with me about my emotional pain, and acknowledge of my lack of clarity -still do-. Moving became one of many spiritual ritual enacted to overcome this; practicing self-dislocation, I know now, has been allowing me to let go of old patterns and embrace change as the only constant of life, while also teaching me how to respond to distress -note that I say respond and not react-. It is in that responsiveness that I strongly believe relies our very capacity to resist resiliently, while simultaneously enacting transgression.

I am not inviting you all to SELL everything, pack your bags and leave for an undetermined period of time, like I did. Hence, I propose to embrace moving/mobility, not only as a physical relocation, but as a mindbodyanimic disposition that might… perhaps, provide us with strategies to RESIST unfairness and INSIST in a different kind of living situation. I’d like to think that if we MOVE simultaneously in-with-through- change and differences, and we root ourselves in our own spiritual practices/actions -without imposing perspectives- we are indeed striking back to the empire.

T.K.V. Desikachark notes that Ahimsa -the principle of kindness and consideration to oneself and others intrinsic to YOGA- does not imply a lack of response to injustice. The principle of Ahimsa might “even mean that we must fight if our life is in danger”.

It is clear to me that fighting back is an action self-collective love…

LET’S MOVE for they cannot take what is not theirs…
our freedom, our dignity, our humanity.

We will resist.insist. in-with-through our everyday life, our bodies, our actions…

<<NO A LA JUNTA DE CONTROL FISCAL>>

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SUSPENDIDA

This has been couple of days of happy crying (yes crying again) and accomplishments. I went to my (Power) Yoga class on Thursday feeling like shit. My goal was to at least, ease my morning into breathing and then calm myself down. Like if this is easy. Anyways I wanted to give it a try. It has been clear to me that most of our -I speak for myself in that “our”- emotional struggles are based on our insistence to remain in the discomfort. I acknowledge mine and, while I did not attempted to “move away from it”, looked forward to soften its tone; to contemplate them and allow them to be me, with me, but to do not determine my wholeness. So there I was BREATHING and braking patterns in some deep and obscure part of this bodyself. Class was challenging -anything that requires to much time on my wrists and arms is very difficult to sustain- but I managed to come and go (ir y venir) from my practice. Ir y venir from my practice: to continue being present while choosing what to do and how to do it, so I can enjoy myself and find gentle moves and transitions. No one needs to know that there is a battleground within me. That is my “burden” to overcome. I succeeded not in getting rid of anything, but in allowing it to be there without excessive noise. Every time this happens it feels like I just woke up; a new morning arises regardless what time of the day it is. I walked back home listening to some new music I put on my old school mp3 player, and started my day.

My yoga teacher Evelyn contacted me later, and asked if I was available during the weekend. I thought she might needed some help on doing something at her studio. Instead she asked me to join the TT2 Aerial Yoga Classes taking place during Saturday and Sunday. HAPPY CRY!!! -Of course I did, since I saw in their schedule the aerial yoga offering I was dying to go, I think fear made me overthink it and I have been boycotting.

Why has this been so significant? First of all, my thursday morning call was to trust the process, trust what I do, trust change as a constant mode of living, and also trust that things will settle in breathingtime. I hurry pretty much all my dynamics, so this is a huge change of perspective and action. Secondly, there is an important phrasesensation that has been present during my entire adolescence and adulthood: EN CONSTANTE MOVIMIENTO -there is also an attempt of a blog with this name that has been inactive for years-. This poetic statement is accompanied by an imagesensation: my body internally filled in with suspended fabrics -me as one, as many- moving simultaneously.

En mí muchas habitan…
oscilan
al compás del viento
nos movemos
entrelazadas, entretejidas, suspendidas.

En constante movimiento an internal motion.drive.mode.perception.impression of expansiveness. This sensation moved me mostly when I was doing or experiencing something transcendental: Dancing, for example, or during an aesthetic experience -reading a good novel, watching a nice film, etc.). When anyone wants to know why I decided to dedicate myself to dancing at the age of 24, I explain these sensations in relation to a memory I had of me dancing. I was convinced -still am- that I moving/dancing was -is- life.*
           Suspendida an internal condition of floating.swaying.fluctuating in the multidimentionality of being.

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Art Installation by Sarah Lloyd**

On sunday, after an intensive saturday of training, my feet were rooted on the ground. I woke up soar but energized, my pelvis elongated, and my solar plexus wider than before. There are couple of things opening up. Today I breath differently than 3 days ago, that expansiveness sensation is pretty much within me in a very literal way, changing my physical patterns/habits. Right there in the very beginning of my belly scar -right in the solar plexus- the sun is rising like never before. I will enjoy this new morning of my life and will certainly find ease and depth of BREATH SUSPENDIDA in the air. I already had a first glimpse of a new firmament.

______

*The context of this dancing memory is also important, but I will go over that later on in this story.
** Image can be found at https://sarahelloyd.wordpress.com/page/2/

Spell -on me-

Spell is to write words correctly or to brake it down into all its letters/syllables (also correctly)
Spell is a word or phrase believed to have magic powers or any strong influence/fascination.
Spell is a continuous period of activity; an indefinite period.
Spell is also to take the place of for a time; to relieve.

I put myself on a spell when I was about 16 years old. I didn’t know it at that time, but I certainly did. I told myself loud and clear that I was going to live in different places at different periods. I will be six months in one place and other six on another, I recall. I will get paid to do what I love, and I will never look back and regret what I do. Not everything had happened, neither in this order things have unfolded; I am still half way through this journey.

Not regretting what I do has very much influenced my decisions. So perhaps is not indecision what I phase, but the search of that certainty of not looking back in pain. I think that is what pulled me to study overseas when I was 19 years old. It is never too early, it is never too late. It was just the right time. I was ready!! It is not looking back what also made me move in to dance. Move in to… with all my luggage: pains and sufferings, history of sicknesses, burst and desires. I move into dance. Through dance I discover myself anew. I am not talking in the romanticizing aspect of feeling passionate about dance. I am literally talking about letting go old and unhealthy emotional and physical habits as a political stand. Committing to the pursue of a dream became very much my drive. I was not expecting to become a dancer, a performer, an artist, a researcher or a historian. I was looking for Home; a safe and healthy place within my own body. A body that was very much intervened and intercepted by breathing machines, medicines, and many surgeries. I was broken inside, I knew it in my spirit and couldn’t bare the pain. I cry as I write. I had to stop and breath deeply. This is me herenow…

I close my eyes and a tear comes down my fingers move fast… I don’t want to miss it not for you… I breath and smile, I stop I feel an uncommon expansiveness sensation within me…the same expansiveness I felt when I remember what was very much missing in my life.

At that time, I put another spell on me. This time it was not with words, it was with my own bodyflesh that I was talking to my life. I had fever during my very first class, I told Anamaría I couldn’t move but I went anyways. My body knew what was coming. Through dancing I learned how to speak through my body a different truth, how actions also live in spaces. The echoes of my actions dwell within me… I feel them, I see them. I walk differently, I breath differently, I sense differently, and I rarely get sick. I live my life knowing that everything I do has resonance towards myself and others. This is a big burden sometimes. It doesn’t mean I do things right, on the contrary I will say I fail very often. But I have also learned that failing is ok… it doesn’t speak of lack of capacity or mediocrity, it speaks of changes, expectations, courage, and opens the opportunity for perseverance.

Dancing and performance are taking now the essence of spells in all its senses.

I believe we need magic to re imagine ourselves anew, at least I do.
I believe we need indefinite time to let things unfold.
I believe we need to brake ourselves down into pieces very carefully,
and we also need to be relieved from time to time.
That is why you exist.

I will look back without regret.
I will look back with love and gratitude.
I tell you as I was told in a performance entitled, Anaparastasis:

Your life is yours to live, know it while you live it.

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May your feet be tired and dirty, but never look back to regret your past.  Image by someone called: Jefferson18

 

Aquí esta la Hatha

“Changes of mind can be observed primarily in our relationship with other people.
Relationships are the real test of wether we actually understand ourselves better.”
T.K.V. Desikachar -The Heart of Yoga

Durante el fin de semana pasado completé mi tercer seminario de HATHA yoga, TT RYT200 Yoga Alliance, etc, etc. Esta práctica de ser/hacer que tan re/formateada ha sido en el oeste, hace mella. Como imaginan, soy mi propia verduga: hiper crítica con lo que me gusta. No obstante aquí esta Hatha invitándome a ser más compasiva conmiga. Parece una broma pero no lo es. Me encanta la práctica del yoga, la esencia, su historia, su compleja hibridación. Los años y las personas no le han pasado en vano. Aquí esta presentándose en el más inusual de los contextos. Me explico:

Cuando la gente me pregunta que hago aquí contesto: I have familyfriends (or friends that are family) and I feel safe, fair enough. Sin embargo, regresé a Grecia por varias razones entre ellas completar este TT RYT200. Me vi enfrascada en el regreso -este otro regreso- a principios de diciembre cuando Marianna me dijo que estaba casi todo planchado, que sólo hablara con Evelyn. Empezaríamos el adiestramiento en abril. ¿El dinero? Ahh no importaba, su madre le había prestado para que ella y yo nos matriculáramos. Se lo pagas cuando puedas. Ese fue el llamado y yo me tiré de pecho. ¡¡Aquí estoy!!

No pude asistir a el primer seminario por conflictos de horarios/agendas con el ‘In Progress Feedback Festiva’l de Kinitiras. No pasa nada, me afirmaba Evelina. Mientras, yo caía en una catarsis de la ansiedad. Ya me había incorporado a las clases de práctica semanales, lo cual me adentraba en el descubrimiento de mis rutinas aquí. Rutinas algo parecidas a las que me ayudan a sobrevivir Puerto Rico. Fui al segundo seminario animada y feliz, pero salí llorando. El curso es en griego, obviamente. El manual es en inglés y todas las demás referencias bibliográficas. Las Asanas y terminologías en Sanskrit. Ya se imaginaran la melcocha fonética, semiótica, semántica y otras entre otras …icas, que tengo encima. ¡Pura diversión! Las clases prácticas son en griego también (eso lo supuse). Sin embargo, mi condición o incapacidad para “comunicarme” con claridad me pone en evidencia. Para la práctica tengo un mat en primera fila, siempre parada justo al lado de la profesora. Elina lo sugirió por varias razones, entre ellas que es más efectivo para la clase que pueda hablarme a mí en inglés sin tener que interceptar al resto de los estudiantes. Justo y necesario. Claro que no entiendo del todo el idioma, pero percibo el “lenguaje” del cuerpo. Ellas lo saben y poco a poco van estructurando como bregar conmigo.

Como decía, lloré al salir del seminario. ¡No pude aguantarme! Marianna hizo un excelente “trabajo” traduciendo, pero mi cerebro no aguantaba más. Intentaba descifrar lo que se decía, estar presente, entender, y así fue. Entendí que debía soltar mi tendencia a hiper analizar. Claro que hay información esencial que necesito, pero entender se da de diversas formas. Entendí que debía confiar en el proceso y también en lo que sé -aunque no sea tan evidente-. Durante el seminario me hablaba a mi misma, las demostraciones y los cuerpos me sugerían lo que se discutía. Me volvía a Marianna y le decía nombres de cosas, ella afirmaba con la cabeza y decía: esto lo sabes?!! Me fui cuando noté que el coraje quería apoderarse de mi. Cuando me sentí incómoda y agitada. El yo estar agitada no es problema de nadie. Sentí mi corazón apretado supe que era tiempo de marchar. No tomé mi clase de Kundalini, pero tampoco quería ir a la casa. Luego de que Evelyn me abrazara y afirmara que estaría bien me fui al bar donde trabaja Marianna. Allí, con el internet y mi celular hice todos mis ejercicios de anatomía, kinesiología y planos de movimiento en menos de media hora. Animada y sombrada sabía que otra cosa me faltaba…

Me quedó claro que a este proceso no podría sacarle provecho intentando entender racionalmente. Al regresar a la casa decidí hacer 2 rituales meditar y visualizar: (1) la apertura de otro tipo de entendimiento, (2) enraizarme, (3) abrir el corazón para no enojarme ni conmigo ni con nadie, y (4) conectarme con mi intuición. La yoga, no importa en que idioma, es una práctica/proceso de integración… y que mejor forma de confiar en el proceso que insistiendo en la practica misma aunque una crea no entender por donde va. Integrarme -con todo lo que eso implica-, esa es la práctica.

Volviendo al principio, este fin de semana fue el tercer seminario y Marianna no estuvo. Yo me fui muy dispuesta. Una compañera se ofreció a traducirme y lo hizo cuando era esencial, no quería que su training se volviera un trabajo. La profesora tradujo también ocasionalmente, mientras yo sentada hacia mis tareas, descifraba Asanas con mis carta, buscaba partes del cuerpo en la computadora, etc.

(Me recordó al formato que fui desarrollando cuando tomé ballet “avanzado” en Brockport con Suzanne Oliver. Durante la clase no podía hacer las diagonales ni secuencias complejas, así que me sentaba al margen del salón con mi libro de anatomía a recapitular qué había sucedido en la clase física y emocionalmente. Según Suzanne un nivel avanzado consiste en hacer lo mejor que puedes con las condiciones que tienes al momento.)

También fui descubriendo que entiendo mucho más griego: verbos, conjugaciones, partes del cuerpo y expresiones coloquiales. Ando perdida igual pero me importa menos… agarro lo que puedo. Lo más importante ha sido aprender a estar dispuesta. Esa decisión a estar -con lo que es, como decía Verónica en el curso de Mindfulnes-… /STAY/ Permanecer y permitir que esto se desarrolle y desdoble de la manera que sea. /UNFOLD/

Una de las chicas propuso que se turnaran la tarea de traducirme, así no estaría yo “perdida” del todo. Me pareció un acto muy generoso que me habla de la dinámica misma del grupo. Nos quedó una asignación, tenemos que crear una secuencia de Asanas que dure media hora. Yo enseñaré en español. Lo que es igual no es ventaja, como decimos en Puerto Rico. Evelina sugirió que así fuese, y me parece que es una buena experiencia pedagógica de sensibilidad y confianza para todas nosotras. Aprendemos las unas de las otras y poco a poco también nos vamos integrando. Sin importar el lenguaje.
Somos cuerpas.

Evelyn* esta siendo muy buena mentora.
Entiende lo que me pasa porque ella misma lo vivió. Su inglés se desarrolló a partir de sus adiestramientos en Yoga en los Estados Unidos. Es esa auto-compasión lo que le permite tener compasión conmigo. Como buena pedagoga ella ve más allá de lo que veo yo.
Y lo que es más importante, confía.
Yo también.
Me queda mucho por aprender.

____

Evelyn Zotoy es la directora/maestra de Yoga Academy.
La foto fue tomada del FB de Evelyn durante nuestro almuerzo en su casa y la segunda sesión del domingo.

/unfolding coming back/ El regreso II

Approximately a week ago I made a decision: I bought my flight ticket back to America (the continent). Anything can change, you know that, but when money is involved is quite hard to take some steps back. Why did I made that move? Well there was a big monster chasing me; it takes the shape of paperworks and frontiers and is very much present in my bodiedself. I am reminded everyday that “I am not from here”, not by everyday life situations (through which I indeed gently note my diverse background, but does not determines my sense of homeness), but by laws. Time is ticking!! Affectivity or affection is not enough to STAY… Staying is a decision, I was told months ago. I am starting to think it takes more than just “deciding”, it takes also a certain kind of serendipity and money for sure. While I have been feeling very much the need to settle, the “where” is still uncertain.

I have come up with a strategy to ease my burden (this other burden) of deciding the “where” -we have talk about how difficult it is for me to make a decision-. My strategy is to try to envision what are the “conditions” of my “permanence”.

Why do -did- you leave?
Why do -did- you come back?
Why do -did- you stay?

;these are some of the questions I have asked my friends to know the drives of their moves.

I asked myself the first question in 2014 to know my history of mobility and the tendencies of my departures. The second have concrete answer in very specific moments, I have also documented at least my“coming back” last year. The third hit me in the face cause I don’t recall deciding “to stay”** in the way I see people very much determined to
#yonomequito or #yomequedoaquí or whatever other #judgmentalhashtag
-in my perception- based on traditional conceptions of identity/nationality.

Aha, to determine the conditions of my permanence, this is quite a task!!! I figured that if do not want to decide where am I staying and for how long, perhaps I can try to at least structure a bit the rituals, routines and sensations I might want to enjoy. I choose to believe that this conditions will speak to me about location. I could be wrong, but I will try it.

I will choreograph my coming back…
I will embrace the same disposition that I have during my “exposed processes”;
some decisions are made by simple logic, other by a matter of resources, most of it is left undetermined…
nothing new: is going back to living but simultaneously observing the living

….I just found out I still have 70 days HERE and almost 10 euros per day.
I have lived with less!!!

uprooted_art.jpg

_________
** I woke up with a intense headache today and did my best to shut down excessive mental fuzziness. Sleeping is always a good state to do this, and while entering in this other reality  a memory came back to me. In 2011 I left wanting to stay: “me fui queriendo quedarme”. As I write I recall another moment: 2008.**