Yes! I am 33!
And, I am still working through my Year to Live reflective practice loosely based on Stephen Levine's book.
I am roughly on day 186. Officially at the half way point week. And, it just so happens it is also my birthday. Yikes. That is a lot to take in.
So, I asked myself what I want to do for my "last" birthday, and I decided I want to make a dance for myself. A solo made for me right here and now, reflective of this time and place in my life. And, this time and place is not perfect as far as a dancer is concerned.
I have been working with a back injury for that past year. I have had a history of back issues as I have blogged about in the past (see About the Back and How to Heal), but this one has been the same injury (on and off again-- but mostly on) for the past year. Only recently, when I began a new mind body practice called CFR, have I started addressing the nature of my injury and the consequences of my habitual patterns. It has been an eye opening journey.
The cyclical history of my injury is such that I haven't created a dance for myself in a long time. I create pieces for others, and I have created dances in which I also perform as part of the ensemble (often in a limited way), but I haven't created something just for myself in over a year. And, primarily because of my back injury. Every time I made an effort to create something or to "get back into shape," I would reinjure myself. This was the cycle. So, I basically stopped making dances for me.
This year to live has reminded me that I should not wait for "complete healing" or "getting back into fighting shape" or "until I am able to recapture my lost technique." I can't wait.
The challenge is accepting the fact that this solo won't look like my former solos. It can't because my former solos in fact what lead me to injury (not them exactly but the former choices surrounding their creation). Also, I won't look like I did in my former solos. I have a different shape than I did before this sequence of injuries. Those are the facts.
The movement can't be the same. I am not the same. Whatever ever types of movement and choreographic sequences I made before are basically out of the question now. I can't wow people with my extension or leaps. I won't be able to roll and get up with speed or force. I have to make different choices. I have to make the effort to break the injurious habits and form new patterns in my way of moving, in my way of working and most importantly in my way of thinking.
I need to make a dance that will serve me now. One I can perform now. And, I have to trust that I can enjoy a dance created under these circumstances. And, it can be worthy of being performed for an audience. It is strangely scary. Like I am choreographing for the first time.
But, this needs to be my birthday gift to myself. Because in my Year to Live this is my last birthday, and it can't wait.