Sunday, August 19, 2007

brest



When they said Le Manoir, I thought they were being facetious. But it IS a manoir. With huge grounds. I am staying in the tower adjacent to it. I feel I ought to have long golden braids to throw down to my prince lover.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

time

On Sunday, we watched the first Harry Potter film and squealed and marveled at how YOUNG everyone had been.

Earlier, Junhong had insisted on bringing out every photo album we had and looking through them. He marveled at himself as a baby. David and I marveled (and were shocked) at how young we had been when we first met.

Today David and I had dinner at Brix(what a fantastic winelist!) and celebrated our 21st anniversary (which is actually two days away but I shall be on a plane..), and marveled that part of the accumulation of a life together was, in fact, the accumulation of loss: the loss of youth, of a certain kind of love and desire. What we gain in its place, however, is the capacity to raise a glass (and two, and three) in celebration of that loss.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

love & pain

Today was my last class with Yang Shifu before I leave for France. My ankle was acting up so he gave me a leisurely massage, my foot on his lap for half an hour while we listen to David and Naman discuss details of the broadsword form. He lectures me on the importance of being still in order to move (I know, I know, already). He is affectionate though and it's not the lesson that's important here. Sometimes his thumb digs into very tender places and I yell and hit things around me in order to cope. He laughs and says, no, this is not pain, what is it? (I don't know what it is. But must reluctantly admit that it is, in fact, not pain. Maybe just fear)

Later, in an abberation from his usual business-minded self, he gives me a short tassel. Refuses any money for it.

He loves me. Despite myself, I love him too.

I am not looking forward to when he dies.

geekdom

I bought a new sword yesterday. A chinese straight sword - very beautifully crafted. Very well-balanced. I bought it from a sword shop on Cambie. This store carried all kinds of swords, from samurai swords to medieval ones. The store was filled with geeks. A guy who took five minutes to bend over and five minutes to stand up again walked out with a tomahawk. A really chunky guy who did not look like he did any exercise at all bought a very expensive samurai sword. As I walked out with my purchase, the 8th in my collection?, quite turned on actually, I had to admit that I too was a sword-fetish geek.

Friday, August 10, 2007

happy

I am inexplicably happy. I got a good review from Seattle, performing to a bunch of strangers. And my usual cynicism about journalists is merely a faint annoyance. I am tanked. On a cotes du rhône and then a spanish thing.

This morning I practised Bagua in the courtyard and it was transformative. My hard-drive had fallen off the kitchen counter before that and being irritated, feeling like the electronic world was conspiring against me, I didn't think I could make it through a bagua practice. But I actually managed to flow through the small palms and then the big palm set. Afterwards, it didn't matter that I had lost everything on my hard-drive. The practice is so perfect. It gets you COMPLETELY ready for anything, COMPLETELY able to cope with anything.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

punci szag, not putzy sog

Apparently, Eva, when she was dancing with Trisha Brown, was performing "glacial decoy" and had forgotten to bring her underpants, so Vick, the other hungarian dancing in the company, offered her hers. Eva told her that she would be happy to wear them as long as she didn't mind her punci szag on them.

This reminds me of when May Lyn and I were in Teater Kanak-kanak, on tour with Si-Geroda to some small town like Batu Gajah. Arriving at the dormitory-like accomodations, late at night on the bus, one of us (we were 16?) discovered that our period had just arrived. The other one of us was at the tail end of our period. And in an act of girly friendship, we shared a used sanitary pad. I actually no longer have ANY IDEA who lent whom whose bloody sanitary pad...

But I will forever love May Lyn.

Monday, August 6, 2007

true north

I arrived home, late, to find a sign by the door, propped open invitingly by a shoe:

"Wake Junhong up! And snnugle."

Then, on the kitchen counter, next to a glass of Malbec and a bowl of fishballs and porkskin stew from the night market, another sign: "Have a nice snack"

David sat with me as I ate and we exchanged news, got caught up with our lives and loves.

Then, after a long bath, I woke Junhong up and we snuggled..

land of the free #3

It is a good thing that nature abhors symmetry.

My last day in Seattle:

I skipped class with Stephanie Skura and had a long and delicious breakfast by myself at Café Presse (thanks, Brian, for the introduction!) - baked eggs with ham and gruyère.

Later, I had equally delicious dances at the final jam. Goodbye dances with the handsome boy from day one (who turns out to be Blake from Iowa) the mountain woman from Montana (who turns out to be Jen); plus new dances with a whole slew of others. I taught Seattle how to make paper airplanes.

Sitting around in the circle, "harvesting", I was reminded of why I love dancers again. The simple joy of sharing a good dance can make you fall in love with strangers.

The greyhound on the way back to Vancouver was pleasantly uneventful. In a perverse impulse to test the laws of symmetry I HAD to buy a pepperoni stick at the duty-free shop. It did not taste like dogfood. But I did not finish it.

The moon, no longer full, was a wedge of apple (some people say peach, but I insist it was an apple) instead.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

putzy sog

I performed an excerpt of my solo last night at the faculty show. I made people laugh! I was funny! Yes! I found my clown!

I realised later - for some reason it hadn't occurred to me earlier - that this was the first time I was performing the solo to a room full of strangers. (No wonder I had been nervous beforehand) It was exhilarating.

Later, at the very rigorous feedback salon facilitated by Vanessa DeWolf and Kris Wheeler, Eva Karczag taught me how to say smelly cunt in Hungarian.

And then, much later, back at the house, I drank wine and chatted with Teri Carter, Linda Austin and Eva and caught a glimpse of the American lineage back to the Judson Church. I felt honoured.

Friday, August 3, 2007

permeability #2

Yesterday, in Stephanie's class we worked on a Skinner technique of imagining wisps of mists travelling along the skin, following the spiralling tendrils of that mist in order to move while soft and open. Later, we worked in partners on touch, one person touching the other benevolently, yet surprising the partner with sudden changes of rhythm, direction, pressure. As a dancer, you are left in a place of surrender to the nudgings of your benevolent partner, dancing with a new freedom and abandon.

Similarly, you can follow the nudgings of your beloved's imagination, wisps of mists that curl, wrap and graze along your mind, surprising you with sudden changes of rhythm, direction and pressure. Thus, you are rendered soft, open, released and in submission to your benevolent master.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

submission

There is a moment, in class or in rehearsal, when the dancer arrives at a state that is new to her. I see her body soften, her eyes bright and shiny with a new-found pleasure. She submits to me. I feel like Shiva, her dance-god-lover come to serve her, lead her to her bliss.

land of the free #2

I have not found a good meal yet. Yesterday I had dinner with my roommate Linda at a restaurant nearby. I had a strange looking and strange tasting albacore tuna which left my tummy feeling not so good. Way more expensive than the pepperoni stick but not much better.

I have, however, found a very nice café. I am now sitting in it, having a very good soy latté and eating a very nice slice of chocolate orange bread. Yesterday, the owner Brian gave me a sprig of lavender as a gift. Thus charmed, I am going to come here every day till I leave.

I taught a good class yesterday and in the jam last night I had a nice dance with a good-looking boy who had also impressed me in my class. Later I flew about on a mountain woman from Montana.