Recently, my days have been a bit freer than I’d like them.
Our first program is beautiful, but small, and my roles rather brief. Though productive to a fault and never one to complain about free time (hello, homework!), I’ve been fighting to keep this light rehearsal schedule from affecting me emotionally. I don’t like to admit it, but my relatively dance-less days have been getting me down.
Fortunately, as if sent by the gods of interweb revelations, this blog post made its way to my browser in the peak of last week’s pity party. One paragraph and a few sips of chamomile later, something remarkable had happened; Through the shared struggle of someone a thousand miles away, my spirits were lifted. I felt a strong connection to a dancer whom I’ve never actually met (thanks for that, technology) and the emotional slump we were experiencing together, but apart, suddenly seemed a whole lot more manageable. Mahallia’s grace, in both words and dancing, reminded me just how strongly the prosperity of my mental health relies on expression through physical movement. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in ballet’s brain game that I forget to simply enjoy the inherent therapy in motion.
I found the above quote taped into my new locker at the start of this season. An excerpt from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet left behind by an over-thinking dancer of the past, these ten lines felt wholly uniting. They seem to be speaking directly to us- those who move to live, those completed by their career, those who find themselves making a living which makes them right back.
If ever you catch yourself toiling in the unsolved answers, I invite you to stop. Stop looking ahead. Stop searching for solutions. So curiosity may drive an exciting ambition, but why not experiment with that potent thirst? Direct it towards the questions themselves, and dedicate some time to examining what it is you’re asking. Relish in the observance of negative space, of blank pages, and empty hours. Experience the unraveling. Live the questions.
End rant. Happy Monday!
first photo by Michael Collins.