love and fear

In a little dance studio, out in the fields, the last rural outpost within the city limits, down a dirt road, only land, all around, doors and windows thrown open to the prairie and the wind, the sound of meadow larks filling the space, under the radar and far from the mainstream — something is brewing.  

As this country unravels at breakneck speed, we are slowing down.


The dance we are doing in this little studio on the edge of town is unhurried and meandering.  It's a tiny blip in a world that can be mean.


But it’s our blip, and as this country and the current leaders of it, break the codes that keep us standing, we keep dancing, in that unhurried and meandering way.


Valuing stillness as much as movement, and silence as much as sound, this dancing:


Can it keep a world that is falling, or so it seems, aloft and possible?

After I taught class yesterday, I picked my nephew up for our weekly hang-out: a drive in the mountains, talking and listening to music.


He came up with a game that we played for two hours straight.


Mikey’d say a lyric to me from one of his favorite songs, as if we were in a normal conversation.  I would answer back, also as if we were in a normal conversation, but not with any lyric from any song, and he'd respond, with the next lyric from the song.


Our game was funny and dark, poetic and absurd. Mikey laughed loud and long sometimes, and then got quiet, as the language became strange.  We both absorbed the expanse of it as the game wound down and the light started to wane.

I got excited, as I do, about a conference, that I will not go to, but for one whole day, thought I might. This here, is the vision, the question, of what they will be exploring at this conference.  It is why I wanted to go: 'Somatic practices can be understood as reflective processes of undoing existing patterns so that new ones can emerge. How can this transformative undoing be extended beyond the body of the individual to the body politic or the social body?” This question of "a transformative undoing extending beyond the body" is what keeps me up at night, because I cannot abide, as I know you can’t either, what is unfolding and has been unfolding for a very long time, in our country: A system that I don’t fully understand, that hurts people and appears to be growing in size and strength to hurt people more.


And animals.


This system hurts animals.


The planet too.


So I hold onto this, this “undoing of existing patterns so that new ones may emerge…" because if I don’t, I fear that I will never move or find stillness again, and I can’t do that to my nephew who makes up quirky games for us to play as we drive on a summer night with the windows down, wondering aloud about the incongruity of our world.


Your dance mission for the week dear << Test First Name >>,  is to notice when a pattern that you know and understand collapses onto itself and reemerges as something new.


I haven’t slept in days, my mind churning with the decisions being made at the highest level of government, and how those decisions will effect those I know well and those I don't know at all, so if my language is odd, if my grammar is off, if the tenor of my voice is not quite right, this is why. I am, as you are, holding my head above water right now.  Treading my legs hard and fast to stay afloat.


Yours, With warmth and exhaustion, love and fear, movement and stillness, Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending PS: Speaking of! If you want to be on the Gather To Talk email list which focuses primarily on resistance, action, and conversation in regards to our current leadership, sign up here.  Our group took a break in May, but we are back. I am hoping the quote about the undoing of existing patterns will be the force from which we move forward.