Day 268: Nine.Thirty.13

There is a new someone I have been telling bits and pieces of myself to.

Sharing stories that make up the person he thinks he knows. Or wants to know.

It’s such a strange thing, to get someone caught up on all of the intricacies of what makes us who we are.

I realized hours later, after one of these sharing sessions, that I had mixed up the series of events in my recounting of two childhood/early adulthood stories. Not on purpose. In fact, we had been having a conversation about whether or not humans are innately ‘good’ or not. I haven’t decided. A book I’m reading is challenging my views on that one. But I do know, regardless of whether it is innate or learned behavior, that I am honest.

I am in fact a terrible liar.

But these stories came out so easily. Just as if they were true.

The mix ups don’t change anything fundamentally about who I am or who I portrayed myself to be. It’s just so interesting that they came about at all.

And I don’t know, now, what to make of either the fact that they happened, or that I remembered later that they were not, in fact, fact.

I do, however, know that I like being able to recount stories – fully real or not – with a new someone.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 267: Nine.TwentyNine.13

There’s a space I want near where I live.

Just for a little while.

It’s clear someone else has already put this space to use for creative purposes.

I just want to continue that.

I don’t see why this wish should be so difficult.

Once I learn exactly how to get in and make this a viable endeavor – as many have done in many other cities – you can be sure I’ll be the first to pass along the secret.

Vacant Space - for art?

Vacant Space - for art?

Vacant Space - for art?

Vacant Space - for art?

Vacant Space - for art?

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 266: Nine.TwentyEight.13

I am to perform a solo in front of the waterfall at the FDR Memorial today. Originally set to ‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime?’ but performed today, with no music. The theme is that of struggle – what we face as artists. What we give up, sacrifice, are willing to do to be fulfilled by the ability to move, dance, create.

FDR Memorial

I will dance anywhere, anytime, to any music.

But it has suddenly occurred to me that I am afraid to perform this piece.

It’s almost certain we will be stopped.

I’m afraid to upset people, disrupt the serenity of this place.

Our intentions are pure – we wish to share a bit of joy and beauty and art with passersby. We mean no ill will. It’s part of a larger collection of movement and dance throughout the city, called #danceaboutdc. Such a great idea – you purchase a ticket and then are emailed instructions on where to go to ‘find’ the dancing. We all love a secret location. This is fun. Happy-making.

And yet, I feel afraid.

What does this make me, then? If I am not willing to risk a little bit of personal discomfort for my art form?

We were indeed stopped. The compromise was us moving to a public piece of land outside of the memorial. Not the same effect, but safe and upstanding and non-fear-inducing.

I won’t ever be the kind of person who fights. It’s just not in my nature. But I do hope the brave pieces of me continue to develop. Today, maybe, I partially succeeded in this.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 265: Nine.Twenty.Seven.13

bal·ance
[bal-uhns] noun, verb, bal·anced, bal·anc·ing.

noun

1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

4. something Emily possesses little – if any – of.

*Definitions 1-3 taken from dictionary.com.

*Definition 4 taken directly from today’s life lessons.

I had a wonderful physics teacher in high school. He made it fun – or at least as fun as he could. I’m sorry to say I don’t remember much of what he taught. The one lesson that has always stuck with me, though, is that of Newton’s law of motion. Most specifically, the notion that an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

I sometimes can picture myself in these terms. Fully at rest, unable to move. or. Fully in motion, unable to slow my speed.

Things are good, right now. Very good.

And I’m trying to enjoy it. It’s just, I know – can almost see – that this lack of balance is going to bring me to a screeching halt soon enough.

But for today, right now, I am liking the lack of balance, the off-kilter way I am spinning.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 264: Nine.TwentySix.13

I have been saying for years – years – that I needed to find someone else to help with my business idea. Not just another idealistic artist with a good heart but no real ability to keep money in their pockets. But someone with an actual business brain who could help make this thing actually run.

And then one day, he just showed up.

I don’t think I got, until tonight, just how utterly amazing that is. That this stranger showed up in my life at the exact right time I needed him to. Or he needed me to. Or something like that.

My new business partner and I attended a meeting tonight to discuss how we might be able to work with another group of artists on like-minded projects.

My business partner and I haven’t known each other long. We haven’t worked out all of the details of our business or partnership. We haven’t actually WORKED on anything together yet, save for the all-important work of creating our soon-to-be arts space.

It was fascinating to watch, though, how well we were able to articulate our ideas to this other group. They even asked us questions we hadn’t yet discussed and the answers magically fell into place between us.

I haven’t had any second thoughts since we first sat down together to discuss.

There will be bumps in the road and disagreements and hiccups to be sure. But there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this isn’t the right thing for both of us for right now. And man, that’s a totally incredible feeling.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 263: Nine.TwentyFive.13

Lunch at Eatonville today, part of the Communal Table event series we’re trying out.

The food is beautifully prepared, and the walls are wonderfully inspired.

Eatonville

Eatonille

Eatonville

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 261: Nine.TwentyThree.13

Many times I talked myself out of going to the show this evening.

The final time was the moment I walked INTO the show this evening.

Being alone is so uncomfortable. Even when it’s technically by choice.

I had the opportunity to work with Nick Hakim many years ago. He was still in high school, I was still working in the nonprofit world. I organized a large event at 9:30 Club, he performed. Fabulously. Even then he had the presence and talent of someone who, no question about it, was going to be great.

I love love love Emily King. So when I found out she was performing at The Hamilton (a venue I have been wanting to check out) and that Nick was opening for her? No question about it, I had to go. I have listened to her for so long I just feel like everyone of course knows who she is. Apparently, I have some more sharing I need to do in order to get everyone else hip to this beautiful music.

Nick Hakim at The Hamilton

Nick Hakim at The Hamilton

Emily King at The Hamilton

Emily King at The Hamilton

I walked in uncomfortably, made my way to a large table right in the center of the room (best viewing seats, in my opinion), and asked the one couple sitting at the other end if there was room for me. I took my seat at the other edge, trying to take up as little space as possible.

The table continued to fill up – the couple kept multiplying. Friendly people arriving, hugging, sitting. Except for the one couple who sat directly opposite me. The woman complained from the time she sat down until the time she left. I’m surprised she even had a moment to enjoy the music. I thought about moving. It just seemed like this was going to turn into a less-than-pleasant experience.

There was even still time for me to leave, I calculated.

And then, somehow, instantly, the night was transformed. It turns out I was sitting at the table with Nick’s mom, family and friends. We began chatting – they were lovely. (Excluding for the couple sitting opposite me – they, like me, were just looking for good seats and were not a part of the family.)

And then the music started.

At that moment, of course, it clicked that this is why I was here – why I had waded into uncomfortable territory and was sitting alone in a room full of friends, couples, groups. Because, of course, this was to be a magical night of music that I would have kicked myself for missing.

Nick’s sound has evolved, become so much more mature in the five years since I knew him. That stage presence and assurance (not to be confused with cockiness – no, this was just a feeling of comfort, that the stage is the exact right place for him, home) is still there. It was a beautiful set.

Emily is the kind of performer you feel like you KNOW. She is an artist in every sense of the word – from her vocal ability to her connection with the crowd, her band… She is just spectacular to watch in person.

It’s the kind of music that MOVES you. Me, at least. I found myself going for a ride right along with her – all of her songs are personal and emotional.

I told Nick’s family that I was sure he wouldn’t remember me – it feels like so many lifetimes ago we were doing that show – but that I was so excited to support him and his work, and glad to be able to see him back in DC.

As it turns out, he came right over to the table after his performance and gave me a big ol’ hug. Super appreciative that I would come out to see him perform.

With Nick Hakim after the show

With Nick Hakim after the show

The night was proceeded by several text messages from several people I most certainly had no expectations of hearing from.

Somehow, letting go of my deep-seated fear of being alone in a crowd (if only for one night) made some monumental shifts in the universe. My universe that is.

And if nothing else, I have confirmed for myself that any amount of inner personal discomfort initially, is worth the gift of participating in such incredible moments of creative energy and talent. Because if you let it, that energy will reach right out and embrace you.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 260: Nine.TwentyTwo.13

I attend dance performances at a far smaller ratio as compared to all other arts eventings.

My reasoning is that I can’t afford the shows I would want to see on a regular basis. And the ones I can… well, I just frankly don’t want to attend. Completely hypocritical? Yes. I’m admitting my shortcomings here in hopes of redeeming myself I suppose.

It’s just, I guess, much easier for me to forgive less-than-stellar art in other genres. Appreciate it for its effort, even.

In the genre I have been trained in my entire life, the one I most associate myself with, it’s almost a physical reaction when I witness work that isn’t well articulated, thought out, heartfelt. This in no way makes me some kind of expert on the subject. Just too close to the art form to be objective.

Witnessing work that IS well articulated, thought out, heartfelt, however, is such a spectacular experience.

Let’s just say I witnessed some of both kinds tonight.

And thus the struggle to support dance and dancers in a legitimate way while maintaining my integrity and spirit continues…

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 259: Nine.TwentyOne.13

I really enjoy my new (to me at least – the location is obviously far from new) neighborhood.

Today in particular, it’s just downright awesome.

H Street Festival has grown tremendously over the past years. Today there was no shortage of talented artisans and performers, delicious food and drinks, or neighborly spirit.

I loved being able to both take part as a member of the community, and as a contributor of the festival. (Did a demo with Yoga District.)

Even the torrential downpour couldn’t keep this crew from rocking.

H Street Festival

H Street Festival

Coexist Coffee

Coexist Coffee

'Gumps Dumps' Furnishings (on Etsy)

‘Gumps Dumps’ Furnishings (on Etsy)

Atlas Performing Arts Center

Atlas Performing Arts Center

Yoga District Demo

Yoga District Demo

Here’s to another day of creativity…