Variations On A Theme

Variety is said to be the spice of life. My own life has tended to embrace this reality, but when I am spinning from this to that occupation or obligation, I may long for  periods of simply idling through the days. Truth to tell, I can handle only the briefest periods of nothingness. I would much rather follow the precepts of my Airthly dance – trust the calm, sweet center to see me through the chaos. The balancing of these seemingly opposite forces could be said to be my “purpose” – albeit with the knowledge that balance can only be realized by tossing oneself on the wave of life as it tips and spills and scatters you this way and that. Braving imbalance inevitably shows you the balance that is not dependent on control. The result is variety, whether in dance or in life.

This past week has been teeming with variety. True I was not always aware of the spilling and scattering I have endorsed. It began with the relatively calm occupation of working with the wire. Having been asked to provide a few pieces for ARTWALK – to take place in downtown Ocean Springs in September – I took up the wire. I hadn’t done any animals for a while so I braved the possibility of a dog. The result was a humble hound: a calm creature, almost stately in his unassuming demeanor.  But, rather dull? Well… Being me I gave him the wings of an angel. This is certainly my experience of dogs. My furry angels… And then came the dragonfly. I couldn’t resist a touch of frivolity. Then came the puddle of water at the base of the air conditioner, and putting myself at the mercy Airmasters. These are supposed to be masters of air??? Before the week was done I’d been visited by five of these masters. Variety it was, but the mystery was much too mysterious for these nice guys who knelt or lay on the floor of my studio and studied the situation. The universe really tried to make things more interesting for me, but I wearied of this particular variety long before the last master left with an optimistic smile on his face. An hour later I closed the door on the roaring and vibrating unit with its seeping puddle and took my angel dogs to the park. When we returned, the floor was dry.

Even as this and other mundane examples of life’s variety was going on, I found time in the evenings to return to the wire and surprise myself with  an elegant little cat. This was done with the wire that had just arrived – supposedly the same gauge I’d been using for years. I found it more flexible and when I placed the cat beside the dog that was done with the last bit of wire on the old spool, I found it thinner and more delicate looking. No matter… It suited the feline form and was easier on my slightly arthritic fingers. My cat wears a necklace adorned with a flower. She, too, is winged, and even in her crouching state, she seems expectant – prepared for movement. Even as I see her close connection with the earth, it seems fleeting. She crouches only to spring into the air. I trust her rebound as I trust my own. The dancer and the cat have much in common.

Whoever reads this may question my use of the word teeming, but I havn’t mentioned the mothering, the grandmothering, or the sistering that the week contained. I havn’t mentioned the driving or feeding of grandchildren, or the phone talks with children who cope with their own lives of variety and longing. And what of my daughter’s amazing benefit for The Women’s Center: YOGA For NON-VIOLENCE? I was there as witness, observing the many devoted participants who would move through 108 sun-salutations under the guidance of my beautiful daughter. This took place at the Ocean Springs Community Center before my father’s glowing murals. A momentous occasion, and the very next day I accompanied my sister to The Biloxi Little Theater’s production of “Rent”. Yes, teeming…

Finally, I kept my appointment with my therapist, and gloried in the long drive through the rain – singing my earth-mother poem, allowing the words of my younger self to remind me of my ongoing connection with the earth as mother: “…curled to her broad warm back like a babe.” From my belief in this reality – this calming source – I can be ready for the dance of life, however varied the dance may be – wherever it takes me.

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2 Responses to “Variations On A Theme”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Your wire creations are reflective of the variations going on in your life. I see the slight difference in the wire, and I’m glad the new stuff is easier on your hands (better than the other way around). Is the air conditioner working properly now? I imagine it is still incredibly hot where you are. Maybe it’s time to visit Portland and cool off.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I woke up yesterday morning thinking of Paris – wondering if… Then I tackled this blog post and Paris (or a getaway) became obscured. Now you respond to my rather crazed “variations” by suggesting that I cool off in Portland. Portland or Paris… Havn’t I been here before? We need to talk…

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