February 17, 2012

Dancing Through Writer’s Block.

(Photo: Pinterest)

I don’t get writer’s block that often.

Life seems to be fraught (that’s right I said “fraught”) with things to keep my creative juices flowing lately. Sometimes I think I’m out of stuff to say, and then I’m in the shower or driving or in class and I’ll get an idea that starts buzzing around in my brain and won’t leave me alone until I get it out. That’s what happens most of the time.

And then sometimes it doesn’t.

Last night, I was trying to write something I’ve been trying to write for several weeks. Unsuccessfully. So, I took a break. I took a dance break. Some people go have a cigarette. Some watch television. I like to dance. I don’t typically sit while I’m writing anyway. Sometimes later on at night I will, but in general I put my laptop on the counter or something and flit back and forth from it. Sitting around is just not my thing. This constant flitting resulted in a nickname from my little brother (and if I really like you I might tell you what it is).

So last night, as I was flitting between writing, skyping and Facebook, a friend made a comment that piqued my interest and threw me right into “break” dance mode:


How can you sit still after that?  I can’t sit down now after posting it. Sometimes dancing is a lovely, graceful creation, but sometimes it’s just getting all your crazy out and not caring how it looks.  I realize this must sound a little ridiculous–me dancing around in the middle of the night for no reason. It’s only ridiculous to those of you who have never done it. (Try it. I dare you!)

So, after my own private three minute pajama dance party, I recomposed myself and got back to work for awhile. I wrote something else and called it a night.

This morning, after a 40 (39) day yoga challenge, I decided I needed something different. I love my Vinyasa practice; it feels like dancing through asana most of the time too. But I just wanted something else today. After warming up with a few sun salutations, I thought I might dance–for real. I haven’t choreographed anything in awhile. I thought maybe pulling on that part of my brain might shake some things loose. So I started with this:


It was a perfect pick to dig back into my ballet days. It’s a slow, mournful fouetté en tournant series for body and heart. But as I danced through it I felt sad, wistful, nostalgic, and vaguely aroused all at once. And that wasn’t what I wanted. So I moved on to this:

and this:


and then some Florence + the Machine, some Beirut and some Geographer.

And I strung it all together for a free-form wake my brain, shake my heart, stretch my body dance. It didn’t cure my writer’s block. I still don’t know how to wrap up that other piece. It didn’t magically make me figure everything out. But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? We keep moving. We think we’re stuck, but in reality we never stop moving.

We are like hummingbirds.

Sometimes there is so much changing so fast that we can’t even see it and we think we’re standing still. And I don’t know how it all turns out. I don’t even know how tomorrow is going to turn out. I don’t know…so many things.

Maybe someday I’ll figure it all out, beat writer’s block for good, change the world and get all my laundry put away.

Until then, I’ll keep dancing.

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