Morning Reading Nov. 23.

Hi everyone!

Here are some interesting quotes from my morning reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. 🙂

Waiting meaning without things. Meaning love sometimes dying out, sometimes being taken away. Meaning that often he lives silent in the middle of the world’s music. Waiting for the best to come again. Beginning to hear the silence as he waits. Beginning to like the silence maybe too much.” — From “Waiting And Finding” by Jack Gilbert.

Here’s my favorite of the day:

“But that smile is strangely stirring. You can tell she’s having an absolute blast, as if there’s nothing on earth she’d rather be doing than here, on this lost trail in the middle of the Appalachian wilderness. Even though she’s just run four miles farther than a marathon, she looks light-footed and carefree, her eyes twinkling, her ponytail swinging around her head like a shirt in the fist of a triumphant Brazilian soccer player. Her naked delight is unmistakable; if forces a smile to her lips that’s so honest and unguarded, you feel she’s lost in the grip of artistic inspiration.” — From “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall

Adventures in Ballet 1

Oh if I could only count them, as we prepare to hit midterms. Today is when I hit my Spanish midterm exam, and I’m a little terrified of it, but that’s another story. But I figure since I haven’t written nearly as much this semester as I had hoped, it’s time for an update.

Ballet 1 has led me to meet some really cool people, and it’s gotten better even as the semester has progressed.

Terminology is a fun thing to learn, because it’s in French, and that’s different since I’ve previously studied/continue to study both Spanish and Italian. But I get excited every time learn one. I don’t mean “learn” like hearing it in class and repeating it, etc. I mean the type of learn that is evident in situations like rehearsal for show pieces I’m in. At moments like these, I’ll hear the teacher rattle off a list of French words, like she’s speaking it natively or something, while she instructs us on the next routine during warmups, and I’ll get excited for just a second because I’ll be realizing in my head that I totally understood everything she just said! Or, in other circumstances, I’ll be watching as she works with another dancer and she’ll be offering them corrections and she’ll say something like “You’re doing that pas de chat well, but you need to come up on relevé more” or something like that.

Those little moments are when I usually go up to one of the nearby dancers, most often another guy in the department named Chris, and give them a high five and say something like “Oh yeah! Getting that ballet terminology.”

Small victories, in the society we live, are seldom celebrated. Often this happens because we are too busy beating ourselves up for failures of the same magnitude, the little tiny ones that is.

I’m trying to remember to celebrate those :).

Other things that have been great have included Ballet rehearsal for the piece I’m an understudy in. It’s a massive, really cool ballet, and I’m honored even to just be at rehearsal and be learning it, even if performing is unlikely due to the theme of it. Learning this one has been a challenge, and a joy, and I’m progressing in a way that makes me rather happy. But, more on that in a future blog post. 🙂

In the meantime, Ballet 1 happens every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s a fun little group and lately we’ve been working on lifts and partnering stuff. I really enjoy it more than most of the solo stuff we’ve done. I love movement in general, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something really joyous about getting to turn a girl and knowing the trust it requires her to both have and show. You have to trust her to be strong and she has to trust you to be strong as well, since she’s in elevé (meaning she’s basically standing on her tip toes).

Ballet is such a gorgeous thing! So much of it is about almost acting in a way! When the girl pushes off then looks back at you with her right arm reaching out to you as she prances away to your left, while your left reaches out to her as if to say “but you didn’t have to leave,” just before you turn to catch the next approaching ballerina :). All of this, of course, is done without words at all, and it’s done with such a subtle but impressive sense of discipline that any man would likely love it for that reason alone. Forget the tranquil beauty of both body and in most cases mind that the dancers you work with possess, just the required mental and physical discipline of Ballet makes a man want to stick with it forever.

One of my fellow bloggers, another adult beginner and a person I hope will become a friend through our shared work, said it best in her most recent post:

“I feel like I’m getting so immersed in dance, and apart from seeing my dog at the end of the day it’s the one thing I really look forward to.”

That’s a lot of what I feel right now. I’m starting to get my writing feet back under me, so I’m sure I’ll write more about this later, but for now, I’m excited. Today is Tuesday. Ballet 1 day, and it’s going to be heavenly. 🙂

Keep smiling everyone 🙂

“Be Inspired By Someone Else”- A Blogging U Assignment Inspired By A Woman Named Vanessa

I’m in this “Blogging U” class via WordPress. A couple of days ago, I got the following assignment:

“Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!”

Initially I wasn’t sure I was mentally “inspired” by any of the blogs I’d read, at least not in the way that’d warrant a specific post dedicated just to that. But then I read an amazing post called “Reasons You Should Date A Yoga Girl” on a site I followed called “GlamourGuilty.” Click HERE for the link 🙂

Now before y’all go judging the sites I follow, I want to justify this one with two things. 1) The writer talks about fitness and dieting a lot. Fitness is something I’m getting better at, while eating healthy is something I’m completely lost at. Girls/Women tend to be more concerned about their body image than guys, and moms tend to be more concerned about healthy diets than about anyone else (which she is), so why not go to them for advice on how to maintain a healthy body if you can. And 2) The author is just a good writer. 🙂

So with that said here’s what jumped out and inspired me in this post. There were a couple of them actually. First:

She cares about you, and she is excited to hear about your day, but she isn’t thinking about you all the time. Girl’s got her own thoughts to worry about!”

and second:

“The girl who is addicted to yoga knows that nothing is perfect, and she has learned to hold people, and herself, to a realistic standard. She values her life and what she has rather than worrying about things she does not have.”

What makes me smile about this and inspires me about it is actually the truth that there’s so much to this. Girls who practice yoga, in this world where body image seems to be all that matters for them sometimes, really do have a certain swagger to them. In the year I’ve now been practicing, I’ve been amazed at just how confident yogi’s tend to be. It’s encouraging and sometimes slightly intimidating to be around people who are just so…grounded. At the same time though, it makes you as a guy, or at least me, eager to come back and chat more with them. They don’t mind random conversations, and they’re incredibly friendly, but not so much as to seem dependent on you as the person starting the conversation. Girl Yogi’s (I capitalize both words out of respect for the nature of both) are friendly but seem completely in control when you talk to them. Sure, they may have enough energy to outplay a room full of elementary kids, but there’s just an aura of pure calm to the way they speak, especially the veteran ones who I know that teach. You can strike a conversation with them and never feel like you’re forcing, but never feel like you’re dragging it along either.

In other words, you can tell that just like this wonderful writer said, they like you, they enjoy you, but they’ve got their own stuff to deal with too, so they won’t be mad if you only have time for a few words. While I’ve never dated a Yogi, at least in my casual interactions with them I realize this doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but to new friendships as well. And, it kind of inspires me to see it stated so plainly by the previous writer, because that approach that Yoga Girls possess is something we all could benefit from learning to use in our own lives as well. I know I could :).

As for the second quote above, I love how truly it talks about Yoga Girls setting realistic expectations on herself and others, to include her relationships. This is something that really resonates with me because I believe before this year I was in the habit of placing too much pressure on relationships with higher expectations than those relationships were ready for. My amazing girlfriend Caitlyn said something a few weeks ago that brought that to my attention, and it blew my mind. I’ve gone through so much anguish at friendships that didn’t work out because I was so excited for them to “become more” that I just didn’t celebrate them as they were happening. A major theme this year for me, in fact my whole primary goal this year, is to focus on not doing that anymore.

The idea that Yoga Girls tend to value what they have, rather than what maybe could be, is so vital a lesson for us as adults to learn. I love how the writer addressed that.

It’s also one more reason Yoga Girls are completely out of my “league” 😉 lol 😀

Check out Vanessa’s website for more great stuff like this:

In the meantime. Hats off to all you Girl Yogi’s out there. 🙂