I know how important sleep is and how yucky it feels to wake up at 3am. But when an amazing and off the wall image comes to you, take it seriously. In my humble opinion, that is a moment that is more important than sleep. If you are going to pursue an artistic life, when those images come to you, whenever they come to you, wake up and write them down. I have lost SOOOOO many of these early morning down in the dirt holly roller snap shots because I didn’t want to wake up. I am not a religious person. I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in any type of saviour. I believe that we live in a random, chaotic, and stunning universe. But the way these moments of wild come to us at 3am, the way we collapse them and then collage them together as artists, the way we let the illogical build and build and build until it becomes logical, that is like Ellijah actually showing up for a sip of wine at the passover table.
So if something comes at 3 in the morning, put your head lamp on and write it down. Know you are not alone. If I am lucky enough, I am hopefully doing the same thing. Then go back to sleep. Or don’t. If it is that good you might be up for awhile, so relax. Make some mint tea, have some toast. Yeah, so you’ll be a little tired the next day. That’s the price you pay my friend. That is the price you pay for this kind of magic.
When I dance, when I improvise, when I am in the throes of an artistic process, I feel the curve of the earth beneath me and the expanse of the sky above.
I don’t feel this all of the time.
Not even most of the time.
Maybe it happens once in a blue moon.
I glimpsed it on Saturday at the last summer dance vacation, and I felt it on Sunday at a family dance day. I saw it on Monday when I was watching Chrissy, Johannah, Peg, and Toby in the Racquet Ball Court at The North Boulder Rec Center rehearsing for dirtland.
And that is why I wake up, put my headlamp on, and jot down the meandering, twisty, and unreasonable moments of witchery that come to me when I am not looking.
I am not willing to let these moments slip by me anymore.
And the more I give these moments the time they are asking for at 3am, the more they start to knock on my door at a more reasonable hour. Like today, one came at 1:30pm and then again at 3pm, yesterday at 10am, and the day before that at 5pm. I wrote them all down, and gave them the respect and time they deserved by brining them to rehearsal today.
Most of these moments got thrown out, or put aside for another time. But the one that stuck, the one with the suitcases filled with dirt, I am ready to let that one in and stay awhile.
So little chicken.
Did you set your headlamp on your bedside table?
Is your notebook ready?
Are you ready to get to work and wait for her to knock on your door so you can welcome her in at an unreasonable hour?
Because if you do, she will start showing up more and more often, and at a more convenient time.
The dance mission for this week is to dance before dinner and to dance before bed.
Have your headlamp ready to go and see what happens.
I will be right there with you, making my tea and toast.
Joanna and the Agitators.