To begin, I cannot say I have any real answers to our central questions. This has led me, really, to more questions. I think for me the central question became one that I posed before we began at the museum and that I found manifest in my experience over our several days working there: What happens if we say 'human being' instead of 'body'? (A caveat is how does the terminology of a field clarify and restrict its possibilities?) I found this manifest during our work primarily, I think, because I am not a dancer and have no training in dance, no technique (in that sense) on which to draw. And, I'm not in good physical shape. So, I had to fight with my whole being to even make it through. It's good for me that I'm stubborn and competitive.
I found myself engaged in a constant and sometimes explicit dialog between mind a body. This is something of course not foreign to me, and it's not that I have no performing technique on which to draw; however, this experience involved dropping that core into foreign waters. The process of attempting to integrate and interact with the new currents proved often stimulating. Thanks, I'm sure, also to Ximena's use of water imagery, I did feel often that I was floating in an unknown sea. When I found myself in surroundings that at least seemed familiar, however, when I was able to step into familiar waters, I became closed back into my self and my performer habits. The body -- and its thoughts -- became automatic. I like the floating in the waves. (Am I nearing something here, Ximena?)
I would say also that I'm interested in bringing down the boundary between pedestrian and performative bodies/ordinary and extraordinary bodies, yes; but, rather than making the performative pedestrian, I enjoy trying to make the pedestrian performative. To see what happens if I can approach the energy and body of performance in daily life. From that place, then, how is it to enter a performance? And how is my life? I'd also ask, can we present 'through' the body? What is manifest then? Do we want to present, or do we want to embody? How can we choose what we embody?
Some short notes, not in chronological order:
In stillness: freedom fluidity ease expansion
Fast and slow, mix and match the in and out:
When inside slow and outside fast, I experienced the inside of me as if floating and yet touching point by point, moment by moment. At that time also, the outside, though still moving fast in reference to the room around me, felt like it was moving much more slowly that when both inside and out were fast. It felt like time itself had slowed, giving me time to touch each moment.
When we returned to slow movement after fast movement, I felt fine at first and then, after some seconds, I felt like hot death coursed up through my insides from the floor, through my feet and up inside to my head. It was soft and wet and hot and I really had the thought my insides were all about to explode. Yet, also here, I could in this state experience more point by point the movements and processes inside my body. I was very aware of my organs.
Tied to the wall: I went through several phases. First, I was with Shige as he tied me. Second, I was alone, tied. Third, I was joined by Alex facing me. Fourth, we were joined almost out of my eyesight with another couple and told to move in some kind of coordination with them that I didn't understand. As I moved through this progression, my experienced changed from a rather more cotidian but concentrated interaction with Shige to an energy-focused one to one more concerned with coordinating physical movements. My alone time was very interesting to me. Then, some moments with only Alex, something really caught me that was both energetic and physical, where the integration happened -- and this opened momentarily the door of sub-persona connection with the other human being. It was interesting to experience the contrasts among when the contact was between two moving bodies/objects, between Jeremy and Alex, and between two human beings.
Balancing - Standing, where the muscles activated in panic and when moved unnoticed, clear, unified
The egg - it happened rather quickly. First, I sensed that I had to center my body in front of the egg, so I sat up from leaning sideways and placed the egg in line with the center line of my body. Then, as I played with it, I realized that I had no not look at the egg but up and elsewhere in the room. Then, I felt a direct line from the center of my body to the egg. When I felt that drop in, I knew I could let go of the egg, and it would stay. It did.
I love the idea Ximena shared of the egg as our teacher. At the same time, I could not shake the thoughts of Carlos Castaneda, or rather of Don Juan, his shaman teacher, at the end of Una realidad aparte (A Separate Reality). Castaneda has spent years learning from and attempting spirit journeys at the hands of this master; who has told him, in my understanding, that normal people, trapped in the illusory reality are luminous eggs. By the end of this book, Castaneda feels like he has gone through so much and, perhaps, that he has changed so much. Yet, at the end of all of this, his master tells him:
Ya tienes la necesidad de vivir como guerrero. Siempre has sabido cómo hacerlo; ahora estás simplemente en la posición de tener que usar algo que antes desechabas. Pero tuviste que luchar por este conocimiento; no te lo dieron así nomás, no te lo pasaron así nomás. Tuviste que sacártelo a golpes. Sin embargo, eres todavía un ser luminoso. TODAVÍA VAS A MORIR COMO TODOS LOS DEMÁS. Una vez te dije que no hay nada que cambiar en un huevo luminoso. Nada ha cambiado realmente en ti.
I'll attempt to translate:
You now need to live like a warrior. You've always known how to do it; now you are simply in a position to use something that before you rejected. But you had to fight for this knowledge. It wasn't just given to you. It wasn't just passed to you. You had to yank it out from inside yourself. But even so, you are still a luminous being. You will still die like everyone else. One time I told you that there's nothing that can change in a luminous egg. Nothing has really changed in you.