the day we got engaged(!!!)

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The morning began with a walk to one of our favorite coffee shops, Fragments, with two of our best friends.

Then off to Marchée Bastille to share a crêpe and do some people-watching. You insisted on buying me a bundle of lavender…

Off to discover a new-to-me Parisian path- La Promenade Plantée. Serenity in a french highline, walking eye-to-eye with the most romantic rooftops in the world.

Then on to another new discovery, Village St-Paul, where we snuck through the block, to the inner layer of hidden shops brimming with antiques and the curiosities of yesteryear.

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A short walk to Le Marais for some famous falafel. A circle around a pop-up artisan market to remind us of Providence. A quick “bonjour!” to our friends at Place des Vosges.

Home for a shower and suspicious phone home.

On to Les Enfants Perdue for “no salades!” dinner.

A walk to the Green Linnet for “no wine!” Gypsy Jazz.

A quick whisk into a slow über to arrive at La Tour Eiffel, exactly at 12:01, minuit.

A “no fruit!” nutella crêpe, a walk to Trocadero, a seat on a bench, a conversation about bunions, babies, some bravery, and…

A question.

A “YES!”

A clock striking the first hour of the new day in the form of a glittering tower.

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un rêve à retenir

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greeted by her eiffel highness
midnight mark
historic park
rumbling, rolling, romantic, righteous

bite for bite on a sweet, cheap crêpe
across the seine
sneaking then
to a quiet bench, we two escape

noses close, we chat and laugh
minutes pass
french rats dash
la lune illume on your cheeks abash

with a tuck and a roll, you’re on one knee
brown eyes wide
some dreamy ride
I watch my body float up over the trees

madame Tour winks and twinkles on repeat
hands clasped
running fast
we rush to recieve her blissful bonne nuit

along the river, smiles bloom and steep
bartered bubbles
foreign doubles
who look like us, but with a promise to keep

strolling towards “home” in the middle of the night
this living love
hovering above
the greatest hour of my favorite flight.

11:04 pm — on a rainy porch in providence, one week later.

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tracing our tracks

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with the chill of an april night in may,

we march out again to float above the river.

365 days dustier, our train tracks seem only to have magnified in magic…

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so too has my aversion to such height-induced adrenaline,

but now we are we, and together we walk free.

clutching your expert hands I tread since-vanquished coals with care as if they still burned.

I follow your flippers, tracing your tracks and placing each velvet slipper on the rail behind yours.

someone else’s mother’s leather floats across the divide and I trail…

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it seems 12 months time has erased my subtle cool completely, and I freeze.

please.

please wake my feet that they may flee in tidy take off,

incite my knees that they may ensure a steady landing,

and oh please, leave my racing mind at peace that it may not tempt curious eyes to seek the water below.

a shaky leap and at last I meet you for the first and five hundredth time…

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we turn to face           a searing sky.

burning hearts pressed together,

now above the train tracks

over the river

we fly.

 

5.24.16. written on a cool tuesday morning, dreaming of the past weekend…week…year…and all of the painted skies to come.

peace one day

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” -Elie Wiesel

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In a world where human nature seems to be more heavily focused on hatred and violence than love and unity, a day of worldwide peace sounds like a lofty goal.  Billions of us, all of differing race, religion, class, opinion, as a planet of people, we appear to be disconnected at the very core.  But! Obstacles aside, 24 hours of globally observed peace-making is precisely the goal of Peace One Day.

Grown from film-maker Jeremy Gilley‘s ambition to bring a day of active non-violence to the world, Peace One Day is nonprofit organization dedicated to the globalization of an annual day of cease fire on September 21st (Peace Day).  With its unanimous support from member states of the United Nations and the massive success of its inaugural observance in 2011, Peace One Day has quickly bloomed from a small seed of hope into a truly attainable objective.

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I use the term active non-violence to express peace in a form it may not always be considered: action.  The opposite of peace is not violence, it’s indifference.  By not actively engaging in violence, we are not contributing to peace, but instead creating its true opposite, indifference.  As a dancer, I often turn to movement and activity to understand concepts that are much bigger than me.  From this perspective, peace requires we take action.  One Day On Dance, the movement initiative of Peace One Day, is that call to action.

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“Peace One Day is passionate about the role dance and movement play in developing empathy and its ability to fostering togetherness, to overcome differences and eliminate boundaries, empowering individuals and communities to make positive change.”

The very root of dance finds its foundations in celebration, joy, and a uniting of people.  With the support of international dance companies including the Joburg Ballet, STOMP UK, Ashley Banjo’s Diversity, Lukas McFarlane, Alleviate, Flawless, and the English National Ballet, One Day One Dance uses the power of organized and flash mob-style performance to bring people together on a global scale.  This year, they hope to grow the community of active participants from one billion to three- and you can help them do it.  Take action.  Get up and dance.  Inspire.  Spread the word- September 21st will be a day of active peace-making through movement, speech, love, and dance.

first two photos by Garance Doré.

saturday morning realizations

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It’s been exactly 2 weeks since our Nutcracker, and I began my morning watching a video of the ever-charming Jeff Cirio and sparky little Misa Kuranaga of Boston Ballet dancing Grand Pas, also known as 10 minutes of movement and music I swore I would not be able to stomach again until November 2015.  But there I sat, on my comfy couch tea in hand, pointer finger poised in the form of a digital Mickey Mouse foam hand hovering above the play button, like an arsonist gently gliding a match against phosphorus- not heavy enough to ignite, but just to feel the coarse kinetics vibrate through their extremities. My willpower is wanting, so I click.

Nine minutes and fifty-six seconds later, the tracking line has gone red and the dancers freeze frame. For a moment I am in sync with their immobility, equal parts satisfied from such beauty and shocked at the fact that I have relived this particular pas in such close cadence with our closing. You can take the girl out of the Nutcracker…

After a moment of self-chastisement, I can’t help but acknowledge the glaringly evident fact that, despite my aching body’s attempt to tell me otherwise, I love my job.  I love hearing the same classical composition day in and day out for months, I love my stinging toes and cracking hips.  I love my internal rhythm running on a count of 8.  I love finding false eyelashes in the car and peeling the weekend’s worth of dried glue off of them with equal parts pleasure and disgust.  I love the runs in my tights, the marley burn on my ankles and the hairpins in my laundry basket.  I love being a creator, a soldier, a perfectionist, an artist, a dancer.  I love this crazy life in a way that I never saw coming, and am fairly certain I will never see go.

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The best gifts are made with love.

This weekend my favorite cousin and I finally reunited after a significant drought (3 months of separation- the struggle was real!) and she gave me some belated birthday presents, one of which left me completely speechless.  A quick tear of the balloon-stamped wrapping paper revealed vibrant splashes of  hand-embroidered flowers, blooming together into the ever familiar shape of two resting pointe shoes.  And I do mean very familiar…these pointe shoes are my own!  The portrait’s base is a photo I took of my feet on the final day of Peter Pan rehearsals back in January.  Leave it to M to turn something from battered to beautiful.  So much talent.  They remind me of those gorgeous Jose Romussi ballerinas I fell in love with a few months ago.  Now I have my very own embroidered photograph, personalized and stitched with love by one of my loves.  Does it get any better?

And you know what they say, April flowers bring…embroidered flowers?  I think that’s how it goes…

happiness

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Sometimes life can get you down.  When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you burn your toast, you’re stuck at work all day, and (in my case) your technique shoes are jamming your toenails so far into the tips of your toes that a simple tendu to the back brings tears to your eyes.  But, being a firm believer in the theory that you make your own happiness, I find on these days it’s best to remember the simple joys in life.  Inspired by Jill’s post and my OCD love of list-making, I’ve compiled some of life’s little moments that make me all warm and fuzzy inside…

1. Vacations.

2. Waking up slowly.

3. Free food.

4. People that look like their dogs.

5. Falling asleep in the sun.

6. That moment during take off where the plane finally lifts up off the ground.

7. Velvety triple pirouettes.

8. Crisp grapes.

9. Testing out new restaurants.

10. Freshly-shaven legs.

11. Pretty sunsets.

12. Giving gifts.

13. The smell of onions browning on the stove.

14. Vanilla chai teas.

15. Red lipstick.

16. Halloween decorations.

17. The smell of my hair after being in the salon for 3 hours.

18. Noticing something I like about someone, and actually telling them.

19. Holidays spent with family.

20. Being in love.

I’d love to know, what makes you happy?