Lost and Found

8 Sep

I went through a phase about 3 or 4 weeks after Ida was born when I couldn’t wait to hit the floor again.  I craved the feeling of falling, of hurling my body toward the ground.  I wanted my bruises back – my callous’ – my floor burn.

At least that’s what I thought.  So I went after it – determined to get the feeling I wanted – determined to be exactly who I was before I got knocked up and had to stop knocking myself over.  I danced (if you can call it that) my first show back 4 weeks after Ida was born.  I led my first rehearsal with her slung over my torso during her third week of life.  Two weeks later I performed at Dance Chicago so strung out, and sick, and on no sleep that I showed up to our technical rehearsal sans music and with only a vague notion of what I should be doing on stage.  Finally, when Ida was 6 weeks old, I went on an 8 hour location shoot.

I think it was right around the time when I was crouched on the bathroom floor at that shoot, alternately sweating and shivering while trying to “relax” and use a breast pump “real quick” before the light changed, that I let go of making dances for a little while.  That need for the old me – the one with the Technicolor bruises and the gnarly toenails and the carefully considered haircut for maximum sweat-management – just sort-of peacefully ebbed away.  I think it would have felt like a loss if I weren’t so relieved by the rest that letting go of that stuff brought.  Instantly I looked at Ida differently.  She wasn’t keeping me from anything anymore.  I secretly admitted to myself that I wanted a break.  It was scary.  It felt like the end.

I did a couple of dance things after that.  Some teaching and a performance.  I was always thinking:  “Is this it?  Am I back?”  But it never was.  I wasn’t.  And that was mostly okay.  Tiredness is kind-of wonderful in that way – everything becomes more-or-less okay.  It takes a lot of energy to get worked up about things.

In the spring, I took a yoga class at church and when the instructor came over to correct my (gumby-like) back in a posture she said “Oh, are you a dancer?” and I said “I used to be.”  It just came out.  It shocked me.   She believed me, so I did too.

But today I found it again.  Unmistakably for real this time.  I was taking another yoga class at Links Hall.  We were stretching forward – just sitting with our legs in front of us, bending and reaching forward with our arms and spines, something I’ve done a bunch of times since Ida was born – when all of a sudden a feeling came to me.  So familiar and welcome – like the last year was some kind of out-of-body experience and I just snapped back into it somehow.   I can’t say how I know, but I’m sure that the next time I go to move – to dance and make things happen – that I’ll be there again.

My life is very transient right now.  Everything is up in the air, and precarious, and infused with the terror of not knowing.  But today I felt like I got a huge gift – one that I know will deliver for me and prop me up through this unknowable shit storm.  I’m glad that it left when it did, and I’m really glad that it’s back now.  Lost and found.  Just in time on both ends.

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