What a difference a few days makes.
On Friday night I went to a special Contact Improv Dance Jam at a different studio that I have never been to before. It was very strange. When I first got there, I was the youngest person in the room. I was happy though, to recognize a few faces from some of the other dance activities I frequent.
The facilitator then had us sit in a circle and handed out blindfolds. Yup, blindfolds. It was voluntary to wear them, but since I was in for a penny, I went in for a pound and wore the blindfold. I was a bit creeped out for the first 20-30 minutes. The improv dance was nothing like what I had previously experienced. I was used to standing up, meeting a fellow dancer with eye contact to gauge approachability, keeping some distance for a few minutes as we moved together, and perhaps moving closer as we both agree to the terms of the dance.
With blindfolds on, we stayed on the ground, with a strange random slow feeling and rolling around action. It was rather like a bunch of horny old people indiscriminately groping each other. I wasn’t actually groped or fondled in inappropriate areas, but the “feeling” of it was quite strong, especially in the first 20 minutes or so. Several times a got on my knees in Child’s Pose and just pushed myself backwards out of the circle to give myself some space. The facilitator was really great in checking in with me to gauge my comfortability level.
Once I eased myself into it, and let go of some fears, it was actually quite nice. And it was quite sensual as I rolled around on the floor with a rather sexy woman maybe five years my senior. It’s difficult to guess though, as I look about 10 years younger than I actually am. I accidentally took home the blindfold, so I need to go back again…. You know…. Just to return the blindfold.
And If I thought Friday night was strange…….
After a nice breakfast with my hiking partner and picking out paint samples for the house, I met with a fellow dancer friend for coffee. She invited me to a party later that night, and since she lives so far out of town, we decided to hang out early.
The party. It was quite crazy. It was a dress-up party with an Alice in Wonderland theme. I got the memo late that it was a dress up party, so I went as a character from before Alice went into the looking glass and down the rabbit hole…. Just normal street clothes.
There were many people from the dance community here. I recognized more than a dozen faces….people I have danced with, but never actually spoken to. It was really fun, and making new connections has been one of my goals this year. It was great to put some names and voices to faces. The crowd itself is very warm and welcoming, although perhaps a bit higher on the woo woo and Burning Man scale than I normally would hang out with.
Sunday morning found me at my regular dance class, along with many of the people from Friday and Saturday night. The good morning Hello’s were more frequent, the hugs a little warmer. It was very nice.
They played the Brother Iz song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" during the dance. As soon as the opening notes were strummed on the ukulele, the emotion was too great. I had to leave the room. I sat in the foyer listening to the music, and hearing the hundreds of voices singing along. We played this song at my wife's memorial service. The name of the album this song is on is called "Facing Future". It was one of her favorite albums the last year of her life.
And at the end of the dance, a fellow dancer invited me to a new Men’s Group that was having its second meeting on Monday night. Of course I said I would go.
I had already arranged to take Monday off work so I could get some building materials and design decisions made on the house. Found some awesome discontinued tile for only $0.38 per square foot. Enough to tile quite a bit of the basement. The day went by too quickly but I am feeling better about the house.
Yes, the house is bleeding me dry, but it will look great and I will be able to get roommates in pretty quickly after it is finished. I think I have made peace with the process…at least this week.
Monday night arrived it was time to head to the address listed for the Men’s Group. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The group lists over 45 members. When I got there, I was the only the 3rd person to show up. There eventually were 8 men.
The meeting went well enough, for strangers getting to know each other. The facilitator kept things moving well, and there were great topics that were brought up. I will be going back again.
My life is good, and I should be good with that.
Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World"