Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Date A Girl Who Dances"

There's something magical about knowing that other dancers, other artists, truly understand you. Especially when it seems like most of this world just can't, or won't, see what makes you tick. 

I found that elusive empathy in an article called "Date a Girl Who Dances." But it's about much more than dating dancers; it's about learning to see people for who they really are, and understanding how to be a meaningful part of their meaning-filled life. In my life, I've found that people are often intrigued by that intangible inspiration that seems to follow, or maybe lead, artistic people. But few people really dive deeply enough to become a permanent part of it.  

If you know someone who shows every feeling through their movements, or who draws every idea in the air or on paper as they speak, or who thinks and asks and responds to the little details that you'd never noticed before, then this article will help you understand why they think and feel so much. It will show you how to dance together in ways that transcend physical movement. And if you're that someone who moves or draws or sings and feels deeply and viscerally for everything in your world, then this article might just bring you to tears like it did to me...and it will certainly inspire you to dance. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Case in point

At 3 AM, a poem came to me and I posted it here with a comment about the unpredictability of writing. In the next 15 minutes, another came to me, but when I went to transfer it from my phone's notebook to this post, I hit a wrong button and lost five lines.

As if to illustrate the point of my 3 AM poem, my 4AM brain decided to forget those five lines entirely. I stayed awake until about 4:15 trying to re-create them, then I finally fell back to sleep. I've worked on it again for about a half-hour now and still can't figure out anything that felt as good as the original. I decided I should post it before I lose anything else! But maybe I'll come back and change it later. It's kind of funny to see that a single poem ended up showing how effortless and laborious the writing process can be.
I was strong enough to build you up,
To save you from what you might become. 
But when I fell and needed you,
You weren't strong enough to catch me. 

I lamented my shortcomings then 
To fall so far below your arms. 
But then I saw: unable, unwilling,
You had shortcomings of your own. 

I see it now as fair injustice,
To have changed myself, to help change you.
But to lose myself, and you, along the way;
You let me lose so you could win. 

I thought I needed you to save me,
To show I was worth saving too. 
But now I know not to trust in those,
In you, who needed me to lead in the first place.  


A different poem started creeping up in me a few days ago but it can't seem to get out yet. I was lying in bed just now, thinking about it, when my mind started thinking about my somewhat unpredictable writing process. This new metacognitive poem was the result of that tangent. At 3AM. My brain has a mind of its own. This is what it had to say. 

Sometimes they just flow out of me, like they've been ready all along. 

Other times they wander and rush through my head for days,
Like they're trying to find each other 
In the chaos of emotions 
They've beat down, befriended, or become along the way. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

But first, let me take a #selfie

You might have a selfie addiction if:

1) Your solo pics outnumber the pics of all your friends, family, and the rest of the natural world...combined. 
2) You can snap a self portrait in a single shot but you need twelve tries to take a picture of a person or object in front of you. 
3) You've crafted such an exquisite collection of online self-images that people don't recognize you when you meet again in person. 
4) You choose your clothes or jewelry based on how they'll make your cleavage look in your pictures that night. 
5) You've run out of reasons to take "legitimate" selfies (I.e. Just chopped off three inches of hair, just got a massive sunburn, just wanted a creeper pic with the celebrity you're stalking), and you've resorted to posting each selfie with a favorite song lyric or motivational quote just to give the illusion of purpose. 

Now, about this #Selfie song. Any chance it will help these addicts take a more realistic look in the mirror? Will they see it as satirizing or glamorizing their Saturday nights? Will it annoy them enough that they'll decide to go get help?  

And the next logical question, can anyone recommend a reliable rehab center for selfie sufferers???

Let me take another selfie: Take 2

On a more serious note, it looks like some professional organizations are starting to discuss this self-documenting lifestyle. National Geographic recently reported that 73 million selfies have been posted on Instagram since 2011. And numerous other reports are investigating the long term results of these heightened habits of narcissism.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A picture with a thousand (or more) words

Education reform is not a current trend. It is a never-ending cycle. Once one type of reform takes hold, a new one comes creeping up behind it. So when I ran across this article from 1990-something, I wasn't surprised by what it said. I was, however, surprised by what *I* said. Apparently, I had already begun developing my educational philosophy by the age of 13 or 14. Looking back at it, I kind of feel bad for the teacher who had to read these pretentious middle school musings. Then again, maybe she was reading it and laughing during her spring break--just like I am today.