Back this morning to creating as a state of mind, a need.
It felt really good for choreography to start falling effortlessly out of my body on my walk this morning, a tune humming in my head and being sung to life in my body as I laid out steps while shuffling down the road back toward home. Class choreography often happens this way - teased out while on a walkabout. Sometimes I think this is a measure of time constraint, but today I'm leaning into the idea that there's an amount of naturalness in progressing from walking to dancing.
What I created on my walkabout this morning, movement to the ABAC head of beloved jazz standard "Summertime," really seems to highlight how my modern and contemporary training and interest deeply inform my jazz. From elongated, reaching lines to suspended rhythms (at least in this case), these sensibilities often show themselves in what falls out of me/ what I make/ how I create. I found myself pondering how this type of movement I make juxtaposes with the type of classes I keep thinking I want to take and the combination videos to which I am drawn on social media.
The movement of the later often features fast paces, sharp hits and really pronounced, curved isolations. I LOVE all of these things, and they are often found in my work too, they just come out so different for me, and I chalk that up to what the music asks for. I am really attracted to creating/ making to jazz and jazz-adjacent music. I am not really attracted to creating/ making to pop and hip-hop music, but I AM attracted to dancing to it/ learning choreography set to it that is created by others.
While I've long known this, I'm not sure I've put it in writing before, and I'm finding it really helpful in allowing myself the space to embrace this. I find training in hip-hop and adjacent styles really rewarding and informative, but doubt what I create will ever reflect those idioms. And that's ok! I think it's really useful to define why you have what you do in your life, and this is an example of just that.
The thoughts rumbling around my head this morning seem to share the thread of deciphering . . . I suppose this is always true of what ends up in this space; me trying to sort through and make sense of my inner workings. None the less, I'm finding that connecting word 'deciphering' useful today, and now thinking of it in connection to my recent mind meanderings about what my work is going to look like in the future.
When I say 'work,' I tend to mean 'purpose,' and I have to remember that for me, purpose comes in several packages. So I suppose I'll define 'work' here as professional contribution. For my entire adult life, my professional contribution has rotated around dance, and I have fear of what that will mean in my future after bringing a human into the world. I have of course entertained this thought before, more in the context of considering aging, but none the less, the thought has returned and wants to be grappled with.
I have fear that my body won't hold up to what I ask of it. I have fear that I won't find it as interesting as I have. I have fear that if either of these things (or other similar ones) end up true, that I won't know what else I want to do. I have LOTS of interests: music, nutrition, exercise, clothing, sustainability . . . but none of them feel like they could lead to work I could realistically obtain and completely enjoy.
All of this feels indicative of my general dislike for unpredictability. I like to have a plan. I note 'unpredictability' specifically because I actually love a measure of 'spontaneity,' specifically improvising in a framework, planning to have an unplanned day . . . there is still planning in there :) I think what doesn't sit well with me is that I can try to look down the pipeline of my life and not necessarily be able to see with complete clarity what is around the twist of the next corner/s.
Perhaps part of the problem is my analogy: life isn't so much a 'pipeline' as it is a formation of clouds, swirling, taking shape, clearing completely and beginning that process again. And again. And again, in a beautiful repetition that never quite looks the same twice. I've made this analogy before (and yes, I'm obsessed with clouds): returning to it gives me confidence that its worth consideration :)
Another deciphering this morning: embracing the process of being pregnant. I have to remind myself that I may only experience this once, and that I should relish it, dig into it, observe it, appreciate it. Like much in life, it is so easy for me to fixate on what the future results/ requirements of an action or a happening will require that it is easy to lose sight of what's happening in the moment. Always a good observation to be called back to: I know I don't want to miss out on really taking note of this experience.
I have read that folks experiencing it should keep a 'pregnancy journal': I haven't so much felt moved to note my physical state so much as my mental state during this time, which seems consistent with how I've always journaled, and interesting observation considering how much of my focus I put into relating to my body and the bodies of others. Perhaps it's worth allowing the reminder to consider that physical state in my writing to roll around in the back of my head to see if it manifests.