Speak to me in a language I can hear, humor me
The year I turned 33 I woke up one morning, no specific morning imparticular and after I started the coffee pot, it just dawned on me that I hadn't any friends. Not acquaintances, but true blue friends.
No one called or answered the phone or anything you would expect your friends to do. I had realized after all these years, maybe I was the one who always had visited and flew across the states (and was the least “wealthy,” I think in hindsight) and who wrote letters, postcards and video chatted. When I stopped doing this, due to a city change, number change and all around life change, there was dead. air. No one reached out and I suppose that it was a little startling for me to realize, since I had never thought I would be in this particular situation. I had lost my best friend who stopped answering my calls without a single explaination. My other friend who I would have considered my twin spirit/soul got lost in Silicon Valley and then went on some sort of "Into the Wild" travel saga and hadn't reached out to me in a year after nearly talking everyday for six years. I had one friend left who I hadn't known that long and a dear friend who was always away traveling, popping in whenever in town to get coffee and hang.
I felt very alone in such a large city for the first time in my life. All the people I met traveling were gone, back home in their lives or still traveling. Other friends got married, re married, were ill or were chasing a career and family.
But I NEEDED this to happen. I needed to find myself (again) in the startling silence of the reflection of the everyday scratched up plexi glass bus windows. And in the pristine ballet class mirrors. And in the graffiti ridden store front downtown windows. To flower in dance wholeheartedly and run to ballets after work at the last minute in glamorous theatres while dressed simply. To flee to dance events after work (again) and do whatever was asked for endless hours, to just be able to “watch and learn.” To listen to classical music in my room on my record player (to the point where you become one with it) to hear the fluctuations and emotions of just one piece of music. To cleaning my studio in exchange for classes so I could squeeze in extra practice, browse the books on the piano and memorize the divots left by pointe shoes in the floor so I could figure out where I didn't want to stand in class. I started studying the beats of salsa, bachata and tango. I would read whatever I could get my hands on about etiquette, ballet, technique, epaulment and French. I watched every and all ballet documentaries in my living room and would shamelessly cry at some of the tragic stories that followed these dancers or I would be crying at their timeless pas de deux that you only truly understand when you dance ballet. I went from participating, etc., to entrenched in the art of dance and life. And it still wasn’t enough.
I also had numerous changes happen from within during thirty three. Most of them involve some sort of boring “growing” that people tend to write about and sell in books around this time in their life and other comical realizations while still surprising myself when I thought I knew myself so deeply. Ha.
This was also the year that the majority of my family became very ill. This was followed by illness being conquered by some and conquering others. Which led to what I'm about to say next.
I thought these series of events would lead to me seeking deeper refuge in my spirituality. This was my "least" spiritual year I would have to honestly say. I started to get sucked up in who what when where how why, mostly for survival mode in such a large rat race and didn't have one ioata of energy for meditation, spirituality, praying, community or reading of the sorts.
If anything, out of sheer honesty, I saw some of my spiritual friends as a bit kooky sometimes, (not exclusive to just spiritual friends however) by not truly listening to a damn thing I said and waiting to rattle off cliche words such as "season and pilgrimage." (side note: I also find non-spiritual friends equally annoying when we have no common ground spiritually and can only have surface conversations).
However despite all of this reflecting, today, a late day in spring, I managed to take two baths in a 12 hour time frame which entailed actually READING in the bathtub. I normally always bring a book with me but after one page lose interest and just lay in the tub until I’m drenched in hot steam. Or I just lay there and cry because my muscles are terribly sore from dance. But today, I actually read an ENTIRE chapter in the tub and relaxed and scrubbed my skin and just meditated. I actually was trying to whole heartedly relax. I was so exhausted lately from all these realizations and changes, I had noticed strangers stared at me a bit more with empathy.
One lemon, two white onions, fresh rosemary and crackers laid haphazardly together in my reusable grocery bag. I shuffled through the vagrant bartering stands in downtown Seattle, watching them hustle everything from stolen toys to chips.
I've written before the amount of money being thrown around Seattle. Every one from the old, generation-inheritance Washingtonians to the new wave of Asian wealth and technology. Everyone smells good, dresses pristine and eats at places called “batteau” and expect you to move out of the way for them on the sidewalk. Like faux paradise, where everything seems perfect yet something feels a bit off. Where the dogs are groomed better than people and treated better than people. Where 18 year olds dress like subtle young, future madmen and WASPS, with a look of power and disconcert in their eyes.