One of the gifts I have given myself for my new life in Boulder is a dance class. Unable to set up my art studio in the first few weeks of relocating due to J putting down a beautiful cork floor, I discovered a movement class that echoes how I approach my visual art. Using intuition, the wisdom of the body, the idea that there is no right or wrong. Secretly, or not so secretly, I have always wanted to be a dancer. This class has been a saving grace amongst the confusion and upheaval of moving. For two hours I feel part of something bigger than myself and there is such comfort in that embrace.
The reality of our move is settling into my bones. It doesn't feel like we are on a two week vacation anymore, but rather we are this anonymous family floating in a city much larger than Jackson, trying to find our way to a new sense of home. There has been a lot of grief the last couple of weeks, as I mourn familiar environments and my beautiful friends faces and curse my dependence on Google Maps for navigating streets. Couple this with our country being devastated by an insane narcissist, my son breaking his collarbone, and the ever gaping hole of no Olive dog in my life.
Yesterday I didn't want to be at dance class. The franticness of dropping kids off at school and the enticing quality of my empty house made me just want to be by myself. I am getting to know more intimately this part of myself that wants to be alone, and have discovered that while solo time is my rejuvenation it is also my way of retreating, of choosing safety over courage. And that choice often doesn't make me feel very alive.
So there I was, lying on the cold wooden floor, warming up my breath and my body, feeling the energy of the room and trying to be present. It took longer yesterday to let my mind turn off, but by the end of class I realized that there had been a point of shift where the creative process had taken over. A threshold of sorts where I had gone from discomfort to comfort, from uncertainty to surety, from fear to trust and release. I realized that it was an important discovery: sitting with the uncomfortableness and the grief openly and honestly and letting my body guide the way brings greater clarity, peace and comfort on the other side. And that really there is no other way to do it. We have to face the unknown, the sadness, the hard experiences head on, not with rigidity but with surrender and certainty that the path will become clear. And bear unforeseen gifts.
I realize that I want everything to fall in to place easily here. That I want to have friends in Boulder already, that I want to be able to navigate myself around this place effortlessly, that I want to skip to the end (what end?) where my life looks rosier. But being in creative process reminds me that the goodness and really the most interesting parts are in the awkwardness, in the blindly moving forward into the unknown, in the newness of change.