Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dance World: We have a problem.

Attention all dancers, choreographers, dance critics, dance students, dance teachers, dance theorists, dance analysts, dance lovers, movers and shakers: We have a problem. 

We are imploding in on ourselves. 

Here's how I figure it: I am a tenured, well educated, deeply passionate, and superbly interested dance artist.  But, I often feel like I have NO idea what is going on the dance world. And, I feel like my sharing with the dance world is like someone screaming into a pillow in a sound proof room. I often feel like my social media posts are less like ripple creating pebbles thrown into a pond of potential and more like a pebble being thrown into the Grand Canyon never to be seen again. 

It's a problem!  

But here is the secret, dancers... Social media only works if people drive it. There is nothing magical about social media. You can't just start a twitter account and expect to get thousands of followers. Social media doesn't do that... We do that. But, the magic of social media is that when it reaches a tipping point, it does seem to perpetuate itself. A few comments from a large body of participants makes for a lot of sharing. But, if the social media engine is being driven by just a few people it can't go very far or very fast. 

I love dance because I love the feeling of lying on the ground, sensing the dance floor beneath me and the weight of my skin covering my bones. This is the experience of dance. The phenomena of dance as an act, a state, a way of life. But the world has grown and ideas are worth sharing. We all feel the need to connect with artists of like mind.  We all want to be inspired and to feel empowered by the solidarity of dance as a shared entity. But in order to feel this, we need to share. And we need to listen. 

The dance world is full of amazing projects, performances and events. But unless we have an effective platform to share these experiences and their documentation, the efforts can be easily overlooked, forgotten, or subsumed by the rest of the non-dance media that pours into our inboxes everyday.  There are platforms out there, BUT we as the members of the dance world have to use it, have to promote it, have to take the time to document and post so the dance world is fertilized by the greatness that already exists within it.  

How you can help the dance world through social media: Pick your Platform

Twitter: is for word people. I like calling it micro blogging. 140 characters to get to the heart of the point and share a link to more info. Can you have in depth conversations in 140 characters? No. But, you can link to articles and discussion forums and blogs that do. And, you might surprise yourself by what you can express in such few characters. 

Facebook: is used most for friends, family, and promotion of events. It combines text, image and video. Then isn't it the best if it does it all?  Well... FB tends to be used for personal communication more than professional communication, so your audience is subject to both aspects if your life (if you choose to use it this way). It can be confusing and things can be lost in the shuffle of people posting images of their tasty dinners. 

Vine: is a video app in which you share 6 second videos that are looped. What vine figure out it that most anything is funny when it is looped endlessly in 6 sec increments. Vine is not about words, it is about catching and sharing a moment. This could be interesting for dance, but so far I haven't connected with a "dance scene" on Vine.

Linked in: a place for your résumé. However, I recently learned that it is searchable by Google (unlike some other social media sites). Which can be great for branding and getting your business identity more exposure. 

Google+: is kinda like FB, except you get to put people in categories so that you can communicate with your colleagues differently that your family or friends. It also has great tools for conference chatting (Google Hangouts), community forums for groups or clubs with access to google drives as well.  Can you tell if is my new favorite thing?  (BTW join the DACCC* today!)

There are others and each has different perks, but the key is not what the program is as much as WHO is using it. When you connect with people on Social Media in a meaningful way, that platform gains more importance in your life, and you are likely to keep using it. But, if you don't use it, you are not going to get anything out of it. People need to share their ideas, questions and comments in order for the machine to work at all. And, everyone has something to share. But, also we need to share beyond our immediate circles!

So, today I challenge you to choose your platform of choice and post your answer to one or more of the following dance related question:

What topic about dance has been on your mind? What questions surround this topic? What are you current experiences with it? What have you learned? What new understanding have you gained?  

Keep your post short and to the point. Share with your colleagues. Then, and most importantly, find and respond to two posts (outside of your immediate circle) and share them with your own community. What did you like/ dislike about them?  Start the discussion.

Notice whether this process gave you a deeper understanding of your topic/question?  Did you learn something new in the process?  

Of course you did!  This is the power of sharing. 

Go on! Post!

*DACCC- Dance Association for California Community Colleges

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: ADaPT Festival 2013, Program Jules

For a review of Saturday Night's performance, Program Arthur: Click Here.

The ADaPT Fesitval 2013 was a tri-city dance performance that started in Brooklyn and made it's way all the way over the Southern California for another week of shows.  Coordinated by Misa and Stephen Kelly of ArtBark International. This festival was one characterized by support, respect, community investment and artistic excellence.  The following is a brief overview and review of Friday night performance at Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara. 

Got Country? is a fun-loving group of young women who love to Country Line Dance. This group offers real-world dance performed by the real "girls next door." These ladies were flirty and fun as they swayed their hips side to side and sashayed across the stage. They performed the pre-show for the evening, and as such served as an effective way to get the audience involved and invested before the formal concert started. This pre-show format served as a mediator between social dance and performance work. Got Country ended with an invitation for the audience to join in and learn a dance right then and there. After a successful lesson and performance of the dance, the audience finished with a bow and returned to their seats fully invested and exhilarated for the show to come.

Entering into a world of light, color, curiosity and imagination, Anri Nakano charmed the audience in her sweet solo, Just Be Imaginative. The umbrellas transported the audience to a new world, one filled with possibility and potential, a place created half from the French film Amelie and half from an anime world. Nakano swept through the space with a childlike freedom that was refreshingly pure and innocent. She explored her world with a delicate care and playful abandon.  Nakano's movement oscillates between design driven phrases and formless swirls of circles and spirals.  One thing is for sure, at the heart of the piece is the treasure that is Anri Nakano. 

Members of Nancy Evans Dance Theater performed next in a duet called Le Gemmelle/The Twins, choreographed by company director Nancy Evans.  Seldom does a choreographer have a chance to work with two beautiful dancers who are so physically and technically matched.  Beginning in the womb, the audience witnessed the two entities emerging into separate beings, struggling with their individual identities and finally arriving at the joy that is twinship.  The unison of this piece is what made it so remarkable.  The fact that many of the movements are extremely challenging technically makes it even more impressive. These dancers were challenged with performing very demanding extensions and balances with complete equanimity and ease, and they succeeded. They were so nicely unified in their movement that I almost forgot they were not even siblings.  

Barbara Mahler's solo, entitled When She Stumbles, was a remarkable study in patience, stability, support and freedom.  There is a sense when Mahler is dancing that she performs exclusively at her own pace, in a way that is only present and only honest. She doesn't hurry to prove herself to the moment. Rather, she takes her time, easing her body into exquisite moments. She grows her body into beautiful backbends and arabesques, taking the audience on a journey of discovering space and the edges of knowing.

Noelle Andressen, director of Rubans Rouge Dance Company, performed a solo of personal transformation entitled Storm.  Andressen is a passionate performer whose continual growth has impressed me again and again.  Like the woman in her story, she seems to face adversity and overcome it with a resilience that few possess. 

4 Steps, choreographed by Robert Salas, is a deeply emotional, female trio, in which the lead dancer is separated by death and the others are forced to navigate their internal landscape of grief. Salas uses a balance between powerful athletic movement and quiet pedestrian movements to tell this story. I have seen variations of this piece before, however the modifications made for this version took this piece to a new level of storytelling.  The devastating story, now distilled, acted as a powerful adhesive, cementing the piece into a well balanced composition that moved the audience.

One World is Never Enough, created and performed by ArtBark International, is a dance theater piece  involving suitcases, newspapers, paper planes, and dachshunds (one real, one fake). The disparate nature of this piece is strung together by the environment the performers create through the placement of their props and their commitment to each moment. Of course, once the little dachshund runs across the stage and the paper planes are thrown from the audience, the audience is prepared to travel with ArtBark on any adventure. 

Pony Box Dance Theatre, presented a refined duet choreographed by director Jamie Carbetta Hammond entitled with(in).  The first and only dance work of the festival what was performed on pointe, this piece was a modern ballet performed by beautifully trained dancers.  The male resurrected the female from her cave of flowing organza fabric and lifted her up, carrying her effortless through the space until she was able to rise and fly on her own. The audience soaked in the dance with its familiar roots in ballet vocabulary. 

Festival Co-director, Misa Kelly bridged the concert dance stage with "outsider art" in her solo, Patchwork Chameleon, set to music by wheelchair bound Isa Topete. Isa's disabilities (due to chromosome deletion 1Q) keep her from communicating with words, but her love of music is clear and her piano compositions are a testament to the artist that lives in all people. The solo was aptly titled in that the design and  movement vocabulary seemed like a sampling of diverse gesture and actions patched together into a palette of images and dynamics. The final evocation of Isa in a primal screech by Kelly bridged these disparate worlds of ability and disability with a raw effort that hits the guts.

Cybil Gilbertson of NECTAR Collaborative performed a stunning solo, xYz, about loneliness and self acceptance. Gilbertson is a seasoned Santa Barbara performer who uses her height and length to her full advantage while inviting the audience into her world of personal liberation. As usual her goddess-like beauty and total down-to-earth sensibility charmed the SB audience into love once again.

It's a fact. The Raving Jaynes are officially my new favorite dance and improvisational comedy duo. Ok, so they are the first performers I have seen perform in this unique format, but, they are so good, that I am now (quite possibly) their biggest fan. They begin by taking a word suggestion from the audience. Tonight it was: blasphemy. What transpired after that involved co-creator Jamie Graham becoming broccoli, her partner in crime, Amy Larimer, wanting to taste her with butter, the two arguing about the future of vegetables and finally with Larimer choosing the life of a carrot. What is most exciting about this duo is seeing how the music and "dance" portions intersect with the more traditional improv-comedy format. These fine performers easily transition between the two practices and fuse them in such a way that it seems totally probably for broccoli to dance or a carrot to take root on stage.

The show closed with Megill & Company's cool and jazz tap dance, Stop. Listen. Dance, choreographed by yours truly, Beth Megill. While I was performing and cannot review my own performance, I do want to thank the audience for their warm reception of the dance. It seems once again that tap dance is brings people back to life driven by the sounds and rhythms.

Overall the ADaPT Festival was a huge success and a treat for the Southern California dance scene.

Did you see the show? Please post your thoughts in the comment box below. I write these review in hopes of sparking discussion, so please share your feedback with the community.  And, take a moment to follow this blog for more So Cal dance reviews.  

Review: ADaPT Festival 2013 (Program Arthur)

For a review of Friday night's performance entitled Program Jules: Click Here.

The ADaPT Festival is a treasure of the Southern California dance scene. Produced by ArtBark International under the direction of Misa and Stephan Kelly, ADaPT is a unique opportunity for artists to gather and share, support and celebrate.  This evening's program (Program Arthur), offered a distinctly diverse palette of dance and physical theater that was at times playful, shocking, intimate and powerful.  Here is a brief overview and review of the performance.

Harlem Renaissance was a pre-show social dance event in which four dancers from Santa Barbara Dance Center first demonstrated a swing dance routine before calling the audience on stage to learn the east coast swing basic and a few fun moves.  The stage was full of willing participants, smiling and dancing with strangers as if they were life long friends. This is the power of dance.

After the invigorated (and somewhat sweaty) audience members returned to their seats, the theater resonated with willing energy. The anticipation of the audience was virtually tangible.  Having broken the invisible line between audience and performer, this concert was no longer an experience of us vs them, but rather a celebration of all dancers and all humans.  The opening piece was one I have seen and reviewed before, a stunning duet by Jenn Logan entitled Coupling, Cycles 1-3.  This piece never gets boring or old. Scot Tupper and Katrina Amerine manage to keep this piece of choreography fresh and vibrant no matter how many times they have performed it. And, by the audible sighs and hums of the audience, it was evident that this performance swept away the audience as it always does.

Two Mythological Birds, by BodySensate Contemporary Dance of Santa Barbara was the first of the festival to be set to live music.  Clara Kim on viola (90% sure it was a viola), was a strong musician who gave flight to the imagery of the dancers.  Choreographed by Mathew Nelson, this piece had a nontraditional structure that read a little bit like a day in the life of these two birds.    The first bird (embodied by the choreographer himself) circled and floated through the space in cascading gestures and swooping circles, rising and falling with smooth effort.  The second bird was comprised of the other four female dancers who seemed more like one entity that multiple, confirmed by their exit in union.

Remembering was an emotionally heavy and earthbound solo choreographed and performed by Emily Berry of B3W Performance Group of New York City.  This female soloist, dressed in a simple purple dress, embodied powerful release technique, as she effortlessly dropped into the floor.  In general I was struck by the downward energy throughout the piece, emphasized by the weighted movement and downward gaze.  This piece was dark and heavy with images of back stabbing and the wringing out of one's soul. This woman's remembering was clearly one of suffering under complex circumstances.

Festival directors Misa and Stephen Kelly took the stage next in their quirky but sensitive duet, Recall is Never Replay. This dance theater piece combined nonsequitur text, with humorous gesture patterns and lots of love.  Most performed to silence and live spoken word, this piece was an authentic and loving rendition of their relationship that was a precious peek into their sweet romance and daily life.  The ending seated embrace, as Misa nestled into Stephen, was filled with all the joy, sensitivity, and honest love that exists in private behind closed doors.

Jessica Kondrath presented an a excerpt from a solo work, The Art of Breathing, performed by Julie Correia.  I have seen and reviewed this piece before as well, but as I stated for the last piece in which this was the case, this solo is one I could watch over and over.  It is crafted like a well-designed puzzle, with the body and the motifs scattered in front of you and then coming together into a well balanced visual account of line, shape, and color.

The Last Painting, choreographed by Lissa Resnick in collaboration with Michael Lightsey Fine Arts, literally made the stage a canvas for dance.  The piece began with an abstract painting projected onto the cyc. The lead male dancer set out his canvas on the floor, taping it down. Then the two muses entered with an air of serenity, carrying paint and brushes to him, then guiding him through his art making process.  The presentational element of this piece was a bit jarring for me at first.   The preceeding pieces had been so non-presentational that the painter's exaggerated gesture seemed out of place at first. But, as the female entered with a balletic walk that shared the same dramatic flare, I better understood this element as inherent to the style of the choreographer.  This piece was clearly influenced by contemporary jazz aesthetic, as highlighted in the upbeat unison sequence performed by the two muses.  The company is called No Strings Attached Dance Company, and yet I felt that this choreographer maintained very strong ties to many conventions of concert dance composition, which made me question the nature of how Resnick chooses to break the rules and how that resonates in her work.

The second half of the show began with the crowd pleasing duet Unzipped, co-created and performed by Misa Kelly and Joanna Nobbe.  Before the performers began, they invited two audience members up on stage for a special perspective on this dance. This alone was an interesting and unusual decision.  But, as the dancers whipped down their pants and undies, bare bottoms to the audience and bare fronts to the "specially seated" members, it all became clear.  What followed next was the most enjoyable and laugh out loud funny "naked dance" I have ever seen.  I am a very tough to please when it comes to nudity in dance and on stage in general. I have seen many examples of nudity onstage for the shock value alone.  And, in general I can't stand that treatment of the bare human form.  It doesn't shock me. It doesn't have to be precious.  And, most of all it doesn't have to be sexy.  This dance is the first dance in the nude that I felt truly warranted the nudity.  No apologies. No seduction.  No asexuality either.  Just the human form being it's normal butt squeezing, cheek slapping, shaking and jiggling NUDE self!

Ringing Rocks was a short dance film by Fred Hatt depicting a dancer weaving through a field of "lithophonic" rocks that literally rings like bells and chimes when struck by a hammer or other object.  The black and white film managed to blur the line between human form and rock in a way that was mesmerizing and hypnotic.

Valerie Huston, professor of Ballet at UC Santa Barbara, presented a solo, Black Earth, set on Megan Ragland, a UCSB student.  This young dancer was remarkable in her ability to turn, balance and release the momentum of her body through the performance space.  This contemporary ballet solo was physically and technically challenging, but Ragland danced with single focus and maturity, performing multiple pirouettes with seamless endings that conveyed both abandon and deep grounding.

The Union Project Dance Company, treated the audience to another live music composition in their piece Fearing the Unknown, by Mariana Oliveira.  This piece opened with a stunning solo by Raymond Ejiofor.  Ejiofor commanded the stage with his strength, control and agility in such a way that I wasn't ready to see other dancers enter quite yet. Compositionally, this piece lacked clarity for me, in that the dancers frequently changed relationships to each other, sometimes acting as the aggressor and other times the one's who feared. This switching back and forth made it difficult to decipher exactly who/what these entities were and the intent behind their movement.  Nevertheless, the piece resonated due to the virtuosity of the movement vocabulary and stunning execution on behalf of the dancers. The choreographer utilized the strengths of the dancers to such a degree that they at times seemed super human. 

The show closed with the Mini Rave by the Raving Jaynes from New York.  As they did the night before, these two dancers/improvisational actors took the stage with nothing more than an audience suggestion "Rose" and out of it emerged a fun story of Broadway bound performance, flowers, and discarded hats. This duo is fearless and fabulous. If you ever have the chance to see them, you should run. Don't walk.

For that matter, next time you even hear murmurs of the ADaPT Festival, you should be clearing your schedules and coordinating the baby sitter because this is not a show you want to miss.

Did you see the show? Please post your thoughts in the comment box below. I write these reviews in hopes of sparking discussion, so please share your feedback with the community.  And, take a moment to follow this blog for more So Cal dance reviews. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Notes from Puebla

I have been down in Puebla, Mexico for the past week teaching at a dance summer intensive with Karina Cepeda at her school Kinea (and with her company Quinto Elemento).

I have been here about 6 times over the past 10 years. It has always been a huge learning experience and time for reflection and growth. As a teacher, this opportunity to teach internationally forces me to center myself and "teach what matters." What do I want them to take away during my 2 week stay? As a friend and colleague, I am able to support my host in her life adventures of dance and dance making. As a person, I have lots of time to reflect on my way of life and the life I want to live.

What I have noticed about this visit is my ability to be less busy and still have a rich and meaningful time. Yes, I essentially teach and rehearse 9-5, but I have enough down time for a long lunch and little nap, and I have all of my evenings free. I have discovered that I love having this down time. I love having time to read short stories in Spanish, write blogs, contemplate choreography and enjoy relaxed meals. I is a gift not feeling caught up with the details of the everyday mundane and as a result am enjoying my time and feel good about the time I am "working."

I am also noticing the theme of patience in my visit.

First, I have been asking the dancers for "paciencia" with their movement. How slow can you go and how many connections can you make in one gesture or one action? How much can you notice in a given action? Your chest? Feet? Toes? Eyes? Are you giving yourself the time to make the connections strong and lasting? I also am realizing that their learning can be impressive in a given 1 1/2 hour class. They can transform their movement with just a few guiding words from me. But, the next day some of that learning holds while other aspects of it doesn't. So, we must be patient. As a student and teacher. To give less and ask for richer and more durable learning.

Then, patience in myself. I often feel like I am in a nervous rush, but for the past 2 weeks, I have felt like I have all the time I need to enrich myself and give back. This process of rejuvenation takes time for me. It seems like it takes more time for me than others, and that makes me feel self conscious. But, but having patience for my need of rest during the day and a good rest at night has kept me feeling really good (even through a little cold).

Patience with the world. I gave an interview for the newspaper, and before I knew it, I was telling the reporter that we need dance in all schools and that central to dance training is one's personal growth. Do I believe these things? Yes. But, I didn't plan to cover this in the interview. It just came out. The world is a beautiful and challenging place. I see the dancers here struggling with the same insecurity issues dancers have at home in the states. People are essentially grown of the same light and shadow. But, we make change one dance class at a time. Teaching individuals to be patient with themselves and invite self love and lasting learning into their life experience. The current world news is disheartening, as it always is. But, I must believe that I am creating a ripple effect on the world step by step. Action by action. Patient moment by patient moment.

I will try to post a link to my full article when I get on a proper computer! In the meantime keep dancing!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Puebla, Mexico

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Works Project 2013

There is amazing dance in your backyard. For those of us who live in suburbia, it can seem as if we have to go to the nearest big city to see good art (or in my case good dance). But, the reality is that art happens everywhere, and we shouldn't overlook the quality of what is happening right in front of us in our own neighborhood.

Last week I taught as part of a Summer Dance Intensive in Simi Valley, hosted by Robert Salas' Movement Theater CoLab at Dance Creations. The intensive also included an opportunity for dancers to work with regional dance artists and present a work in progress in a final showing called the New Works Project. I attended the show last Saturday, and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. And, I didn't have to drive an hour to see it! Awesome!

The choreographers came from all over the Greater LA area and each had a unique voice to add to the showing. The intent of the project was to invite choreographers to create with total freedom, to try new things, experiment with new ideas and play around with concepts with no pressure to create a final piece or even to create something "audience worthy." And yet, this showing was more satisfying to me then many full produced shows, because it was a celebration of the art making process: the ideas, the risks, the concepts.

I was captivated. Because each work was a work in progress, I thought I would share my reflections in a similar format. I hope that presenting the strongest images, movement concepts and questions that came to me while watching will give you an impression of each choreographer's voice.

The Paths We Choose by Heather Smith (emerging choreographer)
Jimi Hendricks! Why plural "we" in title? What is the nature of the relationships? Seduction. Strong. Power. Shape oriented movement reflects the rock sensibility of the music.

Untitled by Jesica Kondrath
Yawning bodies. Underwear. Demanding balances. Impressionist work. Well designed phrasing and rich movement phrases. Ability to accent a choreographic moment by deaccentuating the energy.

The Binny by Jennifer Curan
Africanist Aesthetics. Storytelling in dance. Don't be a Tom. Held gestures create extra demand in the expression of the lower body. Standing, sitting, looking. Head down reading the newspaper. Situations in meeting.

Untitled by Robert Salas
Interweaving bodies in space. Fascinating interplay. Counterpoint in the form of call and response. equality between genders. Rich in release technique. Stop!

Cat and Mouse by Luis Estrada (emerging choreographer)
Contemporary Jazz styling. Strong mirroring of music and musical accents. Subtle difference between the voice of the two dancers. A male duet. How do you build up to a "walk away" ending?

Soft Ambient Pulse by Kenneth Walker II
Captivating oscillations between kinetic energy and linear shape making. Contemporary Ballet. Hypnotic rhythms in a striped dress. Guides the eye with ease. Clicking of the wrists gave pulse new meaning.

Exchange in Three by Jeremy Hahn
Timeless experience of the process of movement. Patient. Meditative reflections. Progression of an idea into physical fruition. Music in three, timeless choreography.

Untitled by Michael Nickerson Rossi
Touch. Hands. Fall. Catch. Caring duet. Touching without looking. Robust movement requiring strength and agility. Connection. Relationship. End with female looking at male who looks ahead. Giving new meaning to focus.

Listening Part II by Robert Salas
Sliding contact. Linear pathways. Linear shapes. Movement thrown and caught in turn. Gestural phrase with arms. I want this arm phrase to go on forever. Exchange of gestures.

Untitled by Stephanie Nugent
Completely new premise for dance. All former expectations abandoned. Bobble. Bobble. Bounce. Bounce. Weighted. Released. Responsive. An unusual circumstance made to feel usual. Of course we bobble our heads! Short bouncy hair is a necessity. Stillness. Stillness. Stillness. Stop. To connect. Then bobble.

Although these pieces were all works in progress, I was completely satisfied as an audience member, maybe even more satisfied because they weren't trying to be all bright and shiny and perfect. It was dance that had guts. While sitting in the audience, I felt that I had been transported to another time when dance makers gathered in found and make shift spaces to share their art. A time when concept rather than execution drove the art making process. When the dance had to be shown as it was: immediate, raw, honest.

Did you attend? Did you perform? Did you choreograph? What was your experience? What are your thoughts?

(Please forgive any typos, I am writing from an iPad while teaching in Mexico! )

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Save the Blue Sweater!

I have a great, light blue, summer sweater.  It is fabulous. I bought it about a year ago at Anthropology.  It was expensive, as all things at Anthropology are, but so worth it!

I wore it for the first time today.

Say what??

You heard me. . . FIRST TIME! TODAY!!!

I owned this fabulous and flirty sweater for a year, and I never wore it! 

Many of you reading this are now completely confused and understandably so.  Why would I buy this incredibly awesome (and pricey) sweater and not wear it for a year? Answer: Because I am crazy.

I was "saving it," for the "right occasion," a "special day."  I didn't want to "ruin it!" After all it really was a luxury purchase.  Right?


I need to do the exact math, but I figure I have about 70 days left in my year to live (See former posts below regarding my Year to Live practice).  And, frankly, this sweater needed to be worn before the timer ran out.  So, I wore it today, complete with a necklace and earrings.  Oh yes, and I went out!

. . . to Trader Joes.

. . . then to a friend's house.

. . . then I took a nap (in said sweater).

But, of course there are other items in my closet with the tag still on.  Multiple items.  And, what am I waiting for?

I was waiting, expecting, hoping, believing that there was something else out there. Something better. Some better day to wear my precious and beloved sweater.   I reverse engineered my reasoning and figured out that not wearing the sweater was devaluing my current life (to the day). I figured out that not wearing the sweater was a metaphor for my relationship to lots of things in my life.  Not taking advantage of the present gifts I already possess.

When you are afraid that you won't have enough, you grasp on to what you have, protect it, save it, hide it.  Was I really worried another blue sweater was never going to come along in my lifetime?  Yes! Somewhere deep down inside of my cells that is exactly the reasoning behind my strange behavior.  But, rationally I knew another blue sweater would come along (have you seen the pace of fashion changes these days?).  The real issue wasn't that I wouldn't find another blue sweater, the root on not wearing the sweater resides in a deep seated fear that my life as it was wasn't worthy of such a nice thing.   Therefore I had to save it.

I don't have time to live my life that way (Hello! 70 days!). None of us have time to live that way.  And, I am not talking about spending your life savings on a whim.  But, rather, looking at what your actions and patterns say about your value set.  Mine included an insidious belief that there was something more, that there was something on the other side of today that was going to be better and therefore blue sweater worthy!

But, what would that day look like?

I'll tell ya, what that day looks like. It looks like a TJ's run and a visit with friends.

That's all.  There is no more.

So, put on the sweater. Wear it out. Wear it to spill coffee or dribble toothpaste on it!  Wear it with love and reckless abandon.


More on Beth's Crazy Year to Live Adventures (in reverse chronological order)
94 Days to Live
Finding Success
Diving Into the Experience
Boom!. . . Flat on My Back
Last Birthday in my Year to Live
Denying the Life that Is
Stones for Change
A Year to Live: 323 Days Left!