Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deep, dripping, gray pouring fat rain. A day to stay undercover. I'm going to a cafe soon, to get some work down and just to get out of my room.

Yesterday, we had a practice for the See How We Almost Fly show. It was great fun, dancing, singing, moving to the poems, squeezing the lines for all they could contain, isolating words and finding movements to go with them. I danced hard, all out, and enjoyed the great conmpany. This is my favorite part, the very raw beginning of the process. Closer to production rehearsals usually become less about creating and more about perfecting, there are tech rehearsals and the spectre of failure. Luckily I won't be so involved in that part. And Elizabeth is directing with such grace that it may not come to that.

I've ordered the DVD of For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf for Elizabeth (really for myself--I want to see it.) Years and years ago, I saw the original production with my mother, and it has stayed with me ever since as a model of what can be done when poetry and dance marry. Seeing that show was a spiritual experience.

Later that evening, I went ice-skating with a new friend at the old rink Iceland, which is going to be torn down. This was an act of extreme courage on my part as I get easily discombobulated doing things that require balance. I could feel every muscle in my feet, ankles and lower legs tightening, gripping, almost twitching with the desire to clutch earth. But there was nothing to hold onto. I clung to my friend's hand and touched the railing around the edges. Tried to sink my knees, bring weight into my feet.

Push off, wobble wobble, glide, push off again. All would go well for a few seconds and then my body would freeze up and my feet start slipping and turning wildly in unpredictable directions. Meanwhile, tiny kids were racing and dancing and swooping and flying all around us.

I blame this whole experience on my nephew Theo; he brought my poem, At the Ice Rink into his second grade classroom last week. The thing is, I haven't been skating since I wrote the poem, ten years ago, when I went with Ruth and Hilary, who are both much more accomplished skaters than I am. He --or the poem--must have evoked that activity again into my life.

I made it around the rink successfully a half a dozen times or more, and even eventually into the gleaming scary middle of the rink where the ice is smoother and there's absolutely nothing to hold onto. Victory! It was fun, and after we took our skates off, we had "ice legs" like a sailor's sea legs, wobble, wobble, sway.

My Little Sister called me yesterday--she's bored out of her skull because she got suspended from school and has nothing to do. She wants to come over and MySpace again, but Julie had a better idea--she thinks she can get us in to watch the Youth Speaks Poetry Slam try-outs. I'm hoping I can take her to that!

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