wJuly 12, 10:44 pm
Slightly more structured writing.
A while ago, I began a movement practice of improvising for around thirty minutes without an agenda or specific intention. As Andrea Olsen would call it, a form of housekeeping, a way of tuning in to my inner landscape, connecting with and dropping in to myself. This time often afforded me a sense of clarity, suddenly things would become clearer, both in my sense of myself and my understanding of the world around me. Over time I recognized that this state of being could also be found in meandering walks and free writing. A form of meditation, where all the chatter would quiet and I could return to a sense of wholeness, filling a gap that I once found in religion. A ritual. During this time, I would enter a state of flow, time would pause, and I would find a sense of calm, peacefulness, no matter what movement I was engaged in – there was no future, no past, just this moment. I learned to be present. I learned how to show up, to inhabit myself fully. And ironically, I learned how to perform, how to embody movement from the inside out.
In recent years, I have added a second component to this ritual: writing. I have experimented with writing both before and after my practices, noticing that generally my impulse is to want to write afterwards. Writing allows me to make sense of what I learned while moving. Writing helps me clarify, solidify, name. I move from practice to theory- but an everyday theory, a theory that is loosely held. My writing always is free form and I strive to find a state of flow, the same state of being I held while dancing. This is important – why? I am not composing, I am improvising, improvising on the page.
What does improvisation do that composition can not? How can you give form to something before you know what it is? How can you discover its “thingness”?
Where I have trouble is in composing this writing, in returning to it, in pinning it down on the page, and creating something out of it. The words I have written during this time period are often quite surprising, I wonder how they were written, I can feel a liveness, an embodiment, a fullness, the words don’t read hollow, overly shaped, they are fluid, like waves.
It is this practice of writing before and after my practice that has shifted the experience towards research – I have conducted embodied research since I was a child, but I didn’t know how to track it, I didn’t know how to follow its developments, I didn’t know how to let the accumulation of this knowledge carry its weight. In other words, the process didn’t have a container. There was no way of reflecting on the shifts, on the changes, they appeared and disappeared without me noticing. Their traces are there. They are inscribed into my physicality, into my memory, into the bodies of those I have taught for the past decade. But this writing practice gave me the space to make it known, to be able to revisit, to see more clearly what was happening in these spaces. The writing gave me agency; it allowed me to make choices about what was happening in my practice. I began to see the themes, concepts that seemed to reappear.
I began to develop my capacity to remember.
Writing also became a form of survelliance; surveying what I just did, taking stock, and in some way measuring its usefulness. The double edge sword- what was the take away, what did I get out of the process, what was the ahaha, the moment of clarity, writing at times puts pressure on my practice to be something, to DO something.
This idea of surveillance keeps going.....
Being seen (title of paper?)
Sometimes when I am moving all alone I am imagining that I am being seen……
And sometimes I am in a room filled with people, constantly negotiating space, yet, I feel as though I am alone, that no one can see me, that my movement is mine, for me.
I realize how being seen somehow shifts who the movement is for. When I imagine myself being seen....
Is it an awareness?
What shifts? Why is this shift important? What does is signify?
It is about vulnerability? Fear?
This is a blog of processes. Through the sharing of media and writing I am following my impulses, teasing out and unpacking, translating, solidifying, and making concrete my investigations into something that can be shared.