tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
Spent the first weekend of March at the Tech Squares weekend at East Hill Farm. It was pretty fabulous. I managed to get a balance of social/time-to-myself that I hardly ever manage at an event like this, plus I tried new things and learned new things and saw new things, plus all the dancing.

I did less dancing, I think, than a lot of people at the weekend, but I feel like I got enough. Lots of squares, some contra, a waltz. Square dancing in the pool. Next year, I am going to try it on ice skates! (I chickened out this year; it's been so long since I last skated. Then again, I was also distracted by amazing wooden jigsaw puzzles during that block of time. A Wizard of Oz puzzle! With 3 pieces in the flying monkeys section that were actually SHAPED LIKE FLYING MONKEYS!) I felt really good about the dancing itself, how I adjusted after a couple of tips, and just about all of the people I danced with.

The cross country skiing was excellent. I love pretty much any excuse to wander round woods without any other people. Usually I do so on foot with Keila, but skiing was equally effective. It was a new physical skill, which meant a few falls and the source of some of the weekend's aches and pains, but I've always felt more emotionally stable while in motion. Skiing was faster than hiking, and I was contemplative in a different way than I am when moving more slowly. When you add in the sense of accomplishment from a new skill, plus being surrounded by trees the entire time, it was exactly as good for me as I hoped it might be.

Their easier trails are a maze of interconnected ones, so I explored every branch of the trail I could find and skiied the ones with the best snow conditions three times. I took Dad's camera along (in a ziploc bag inside its camera case), so now I've got photos of the trees and of my three new donkey friends. I fell on the icy hill after leaving the woods, you see, and stood up to find said donkeys staring at me as if wondering what possesses humans to do such foolish things. You would never catch a donkey on skis! Then they brayed at me until I extricated myself from the skis and went over to say hello.

Sunday I saw two lambs being born and then standing and taking their first steps. It was really cool. I've never seen any animals born before. I did much less cringing at bodily fluids and afterbirth than expected, and watching the lambs struggle to stand before finally managing it would have been worth overcoming a much stronger aversion. There's something about the shaky effort to get upright, and the triumph in said effort, that I feel really privileged to have witnessed. I went to lunch 15 minutes late because I wouldn't leave until the second lamb was on its feet. I've seen human babies as they struggle to stand, months after their birth, after crawling and standing with assistance, finally gaining the ability to do so on their own. Seeing that whole process compressed down into just a few minutes was really amazing.

I can't remember ever coming out of a weekend of this sort feeling as good as I do today. Part of it, I'm sure, is that we all had the connection of Tech Squares, which isn't the case at other big weekend events. You don't go into a convention knowing most of the people at least by sight, even if you do have a group of close friends present. Another part of it is that I let myself have the time I needed. I needed to ski by myself? Fine; there is no obligation to be social all the time, and I don't need an exit buddy. Needed to hide in the room and read a book? Good. Didn't want to play games or dance? That's alright. I got over my silly issues about "what if I miss something?" I don't feel like I missed anything. I got exactly what I wanted and what I needed.

Then I came home and slept for 3 hours.

And now, pictures! Various farm animals (including newborn lambs!), trees, snow.

No dancing because I hesitate to take photos of people without their consent. You'll just have to imagine that, or wheedle pictures out of someone else who was present. There's a sketched start of a self-portrait in progress, so maybe you'll at some point see how I did my hair Saturday night. I attempted sketching people while they danced, but my mental snapshot skills need some work. I'll try that every once in awhile on Tuesday nights, I think, and see if results improve.

Obviously below the cut is very image heavy, may or may not load slower than snail's pace, etc.

a fraction of my weekend in photo form )
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
A couple weeks ago I was stressed, and exhausted, and it was a bad day. I was at dance that Monday night, and I said something stupid. Someone corrected me immediately, and while I was in no mood to appreciate the attitude adjustment that night, I've been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks.

Me: "I have to dance tomorrow morning too."

The response: "You mean you get to dance tomorrow."

I'm not asking to be happy all the time, but I want my baseline attitude to be, "I get to dance tomorrow." I want to make sure that I do eventually come back to that idea when I become depressed and lethargic. I get to dance tomorrow. I can dance today if I want to. If I'm not up to dancing right this minute, it's okay, as long as I remember afterward that I love it and come back to it soon.

Since dancing has recently become a metaphor for all the positive influences I sometimes forget to keep a part of my life, that meant even more than he probably thought it did when he said it.
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
AAAAH, that was AMAZING!

Tonight was the first time in years I have danced with other people around.

There was a capoeira group at my school tonight as part of the international/multicultural series and it was so wonderful. I am so glad I went. I walked by it partway through and hovered in the auditorium door for a moment before perching gingerly on the armrest of a chair. It took me several minutes to settle in, ditch the backpack and the tupperware & the brownie pan I was holding, and take off my coat.

The spectacular thing about this performance is that it wasn't just a performance to watch. They invited any students willing to come up onstage, and were great about maintaining a balance between including and putting on the spot. It was perfect because while you were pulled into the center of the circle to dance, you weren't alone there. One of the experienced dancers was with you, so there was an interaction to base your movements off of. They didn't leave you lost. The energy was wonderful. Just getting a chance to move while drawing on the energy of a group, without getting too self-conscious, was so very much exactly what I needed.

I almost didn't go up there; I debated for 5 minutes and nearly chickened out, but I knew I would regret it and surprisingly managed to force myself out of the chair. Granted, it would have been that nebulous sort of regret that comes from not knowing what you might have missed; if you've never done something, you can't know how much you would have enjoyed it, how rewarding it would have been. And this may have been the most rewarding thing I've done in years.

I was grinning foolishly my entire ride home. I actually started crying when I realized just how much I had missed moving and being part of a group. I'm so overemotional right now, in all the best ways.

Edit: I am aware that capoeira is technically in the realm of martial arts, but for the purposes of this post, it is a dance. Yes. I've decided to define it as a wonderful combination of the two.

Profile

tricia868: (Default)
tricia868

May 2014

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
1819202122 2324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios