Thursday, January 20, 2011

Listening to Part 3

The following is an email I recently sent to the composer I am working with on a new music and dance project, the first section (out of five) of which is being performed at the Kinetic Kitchen at Patrick's Cabaret Feb 11 and 12, as well as at Renovate: A Choreographer's Evening, at the Ritz March 4-6. The piece is coined Railing Forward, and is a work-in-progress collaboration exploring how developments in locomotion and communication technologies have affected people’s interactions with one another, particularly where ideas of emotion, efficiency and dependence are concerned.

"In listening, I got really excited because I feel like what we are considering is really drawing a parallel to my personal life and hitting me close to home. This Fall and Winter have been an experiment in me trying to obtain the best understanding possible of how I should delegate importance to time and money (ie resource), and how it therein affects my relationships (communication). This was all initiated by one of the most important people in my life, Kris, who observed that my break-neck pace in life often tends to affect how I communicate and interact with people. It turned out that, unintentionally and unbeknownst to me, I more often than not have favored being abrupt in the interest of saving time, rather than letting situations and communications unfold, in the time they need, in to what they should be. This has become a constant thought in my mind and driver of my goals - to let everything take the timing it needs to be what it should. I even ended up writing one of my New Years Resolutions to feature this idea that I hold so dear. These are my 2011 resolutions;

Strive/ ENJOY/ Reflect
Flexibility/ Planning
Groundedness/ Change
Live the way you desire

'Flexibility/ Planning' and 'Live the way you desire' really speak to what we are addressing, which seems to be boiling down for me, in light of my personal explorations, as the always-being-perfected balances between living how you want to and how you should, between planning and flexibility, between quality and speed. In other words (and I think I run the risk of sounding like a self-help book here, but aw well, its true), figuring out the most efficient way to run your own life. When it comes down to it, efficiency is an important concept within anything; personal life, running a factory, transport, communication, etc. Efficient as defined is; "performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent;capable: a reliable, efficient secretary." When looked at bare-bones, efficiency really is what people are striving for.
Issues begin forming when that quest for efficiency starts affecting the quality presented, in any scenario. Note that the definition included 'in the best possible manner.' It seems that issues arise when people overlook 'best possible manner' in favor of more 'the least waste of time and effort.' This is where the unending quest for balance begins, and why we ended up coming down on wanting to present +'s and -'s of each idea.

Wow. That was a serious tangent. I just wanted to share with you how deeply this project is affecting me as I work toward a conscious balance between 'best possible manner' and 'least waste of time and effort.' :) Feel free to weigh in!"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Denver Evokes Things

Today is my last day in Denver. This is not monumental, seeing as though we have only been here since Monday. It is important, however, as this trip has marked a thought one in number, yet relatively major in importance; I feel like I have been here for several weeks, and I really think this is owed to the fact that time has been approached as coming and going as it will, or needs to. It is so rare for me to offer a situation the amount of time it really needs, usually being approached with the idea of efficiency rather than fullness. With so many things on my plate at once, I assume I will be more successful when fitting as much into a time period as possible, and as I gain more life experience, this seems to be proving less and less true.

I'll zero in on our trip to the original Chipotle (which was indeed a 'needs-its-time' adventure in itself) with Colin. Colin is just on the tail-end of a bad break-up, and has been coping in part by reading motivational books. Now, labeling them this way might make them sound corny, but that seems to be a conclusion of immediacy that people who are uncomfortable delving into their own psyche's might say - let it in! He is reading a book called 'The Art of Power,' in which the main principle is basically that if you are present in the moment, fear, anger, poorness and a myriad of other difficulties cannot get in the way of your power to own yourself and your actions. I am really excited to read this book, and almost feel like I am offering up a book review of something I haven't even read yet. Point being, that conversation with Colin was one of the highlights of my trip, because it put into quick focus what this trip has helped me on the way to realizing.

From the get-go, our approach to this trip has been to plan the minimal details; plane tickets, where we are staying what night, and that was frankly, about it. We tossed some ideas around about what we might like to do, but kept it at that. Honestly, I think a lot of this was due to the fact that Kris and I both were really busy up until the point of leaving :) but I really do think that a lot of it was conscious. I am realizing with every new 'skip outta town' that I am one who encapsulates. It is easier for me to 'live in the moment' when I create a packaged amount of time in which to do so. Festivals, road trips, vacations, etc. These are the times that I let myself be blown around by the wind.

That being said, I do think I am making progress on letting that kind of whimsy, sense of time and desire to let moments unfold at the pace they will enter into my 'normal' life, too. It of course takes realization of something in order to formulate thoughts regarding anything, and it has taken me realizing that this is an issue worth exploring in order to do something about it. I will refer to one of my New Year's resolutions; 'Live the Way You Desire.' This resolution was inspired by Kim McAndrews, a close friend who can often seem flaky, but is actually quite wise. She never does anything that she does not want to do. Well, within reason - I should not place the caveat 'never,' because this is within reason. There may be little tasks at a job she does not want to do, but because she wants to do the job overall, she will suck it up and complete the tasks. Again, this is within reason. In general, she is a great example of someone who let's time take it's course as she enjoys the things she choses to do. She does not hang out with people she does not want to hang out with, she does not return calls she does not want to return, and I think, in general, that she is much better for it! Now, I am not sure I will go to that kind of extreme (I will likely always return ALL telephone calls and emails), but I can certainly take a leaf out of her book.

I think I did so on this trip. We had ideas but not plans, made decisions as they needed to be made (and therein were likely more accurate), and enjoyed our actions as they were warranted to happen. We didn't make it skiing, but because I had not made an edict that we would, I am honestly not disappointed. There were a couple of other things that I wish we would have had MORE time for (hot springs, hiking at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park), but the amount of time they had was a result of listening to our choices, and not trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. We experienced within the resources of time and money that we had (energy did not seem to be a problem!) and everything we did really seemed fuller as a result.

While hiking did get less time that I may have initially wished, you know what we did do? We got to play with Larry and Lynette's kids a whole lot, and ended up getting to see Colin a couple times, which is something I didn't even realize might have happened. Before actually arriving, I did not realize how much I really would want to have low-key time to enjoy with the kids. I of course knew that this trip was largely a result of wanting to visit friends and family (it also came about because it was good timing, affordable, and Kris and I had never had a long, flight-necessary trip together and thought it was about time after three years!), but it took me actually being here to know how important it would be to spend quality time with our people, and I have absolutely no regrets regarding how we decided to spend our time.

I started to think that the next thing to reference would be the ability to be flexible, but I really do not think that is how this trip was approached. I think that our time was approached as 'make decisions as we go,' and it felt more adventuresome and full for that reason. Kris was really pretty instrumental in helping me enjoy this trip in this way. He is a master of letting the moment fill itself, and I am happy to have someone as important as him able to make steering suggestions in this arena of how to approach life. Again, I feel like I have been adventuring for a couple weeks rather than just 5-6 days, which is satisfying, because it means that I am ready to return to regular routine, practiced pattern, life as I know it. I desire to let time and space, met by my usual serving of unbounded energy, arrange themselves this way regularly; not only when I am fulfilling my gypsy complex, but also when I am existing in regular time and space.

The best thing I can do now is to allow these realizations to flow into that 'life as I know it.'