You are like a ship
Made of wood
I am aboard
The captain said
We’re going this way
And steered the audience aboard
Welcoming them full heartedly upon the wooden vessel
Once a tree
now here lies horizontal
Sensations like mist
Flowing hair tendrils
What am I doing here?
…I am beside the sea, under two great big pine trees, that to be honest, for the
past few days
I have not noticed
They stand between the buildings and the sea.
I see her roots here are somewhat exposed, extruding from the earth.
I stand upon them and lightly lean in toward her round trunk
It is wide
And the light is bright towards the sea
I widen my legs, a deep plié and lift my arms up over head leaning both over to the right
towards the sea breeze pulls me.
I look up towards her many branches and imagine fine spider like threads upon which I
pull myself upon, to stand upright again. And I repeat, deep plie’s lowering and then again rising
She is holding great hands of pine needles that fall into mine
Landing like heart beats
Yielding through flesh, weighting thighs and feet find their placement
I swish, my arms swerving rotating around my hips, my pelvis
Like a corkscrew I lower down and slowly again rise
With an Internal focus
Centered at my waist
As if following an order
I head out
I walk forwards towards a tree standing in front
Slowly each step sensing my tread, ball foot first
My gaze is wide, so wide that I can almost see behind me
I try to keep in view as far as I can see above and below me, and as far as I can see either side
of me, the feeling is en-veloping, I become tiny
This must be what it is like for reptiles and insects
One twitch and I maybe caught, or worse; eaten alive
As I step my next foot forward, this is the plank I think, and with the next, the thought is gone
at once forgotten
And I am far at sea
an infinity you can only dream upon
With a soft firmness in every step
I keep walking
travelling until I am poised a metre before her
Upon this journey that seems like a lifetime I have come to know my nature, maintaining slow movements, and consistent passes I feel quite sure of myself, still inside and there as though shot by a film, a memoir in pictures arrives into my body, a battle at sea of swooping swords and falling branches, still soft and firm, slow and consistent I draw it out. I will not die here for I am immortal, already dead one thousand times over. I have no fear for I am deep inside, swallowed by many and buried beneath one hundred layers of skin, I beat heavily like a drum. I am hot and at the same time cold sweat slides off me. Surprised that I am caught of guard, my steps falter a little out of beat as I feel passers by in the background stop and stare. Around me the world appears to be shifting. I have no choice but to turn myself inside out. Hands facing down I curl my fingers under and gather my inards up towards my diaphragm, piercing through thick muscle, in under my rib cage I gather her up from the back, and offer forwards my heart, all that I have. A mere gesture, and yet I feel the pain that lies behind the shocked eyes of the onlooking passers by that despite heart and inards all exposed, she’s shed no blood, for of course I am immortal. An old soul, in a young womans body, with many past lives.
*Why dance with trees?
I’m just thinking, reflecting on dancing with trees. Today I danced with a red langrofra on west head point and I remembered why I dance Contact Improvisation, why I got hooked; because I feel my body changing, I feel that way with the trees.
I speak of nature, but I ought to perhaps say this place, though that seems also a bit separatist
I am learning that my gestures of sprinkling, of sowing seeds on the land, on the same place where I place my feet are a kind of spiritual offering. I offer my spirit to the earth. My nature, my state my quality. (May 2020)
I feel that I am finding a new way of dancing here and a new understanding of what it means to dance in nature that is perhaps more akin to the indigenous people of this Country. I notice at times I dance from nature - that is to feel inspired by and to be moved by nature. At other times I dance with nature - in that I feel supported and accompanied by the essence of one plant or just some part of it. More recently I find myself dancing for nature- I dance with the feeling that I give to, that I gesture to place, an offering of my energetic state, and a kind of dreaming that comes about through being and moving with the feeling in my body and my bones. As I move these sensations, I improvise a dance that I give to this land. You may call it imagination, yet it exists both in the imaginal and the physical all be it ephemeral. (May 2020)