December 5th, 2009

asleep at mal 9/09

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asleep at mal 9/09

I'm stuck...

A writer I'm newly discovering posted this in her journal recently:
I crave exercise, fill my closet with sensuous textures — leather, silk, velvet, suede, high-quality cotton — and have yet to outgrow my fondness for clubs, since dancing, music, lights and crowd act as cathartic ritual.

It felt like she was talking about me and clubs - I live in fear of the pain becoming too bad, unmanageable, of the hurt keeping me from dancing. And I keep trying to figure out what it is that going to the club and dancing gives me, why I struggle to explain this very physical need.

Those of you who know me well and have been around me when I miss dancing for a few weeks in a row have seen this: I start to lose my ability to think clearly, I get angry at stupid things, and am no longer calm and rational at all. In other words, I am not myself. I can't explain how it works, the physical release, the emotional reset dancing gives me. I wish I could make sense of it, figure out how to find that peace, that center another way.

But there's some combination of the right music, a crowd of people to share it with, a safe space, putting on club clothes, and moving (and usually singing along) with the music that impacts my body and brain in a way that almost nothing else does. I can get lost in a book, work out until I'm totally exhausted and feeling the endorphin rush that brings, get deep into a sewing project, watch a great film or good TV, even have amazing sex, but none of those things have taken me there.

I'm not a trained dancer, hell, sometimes I feel like a complete dork, and always it hurts. But the pain becomes irrelevant, my lack of natural grace is a moot point, the rest of the world and all my problems go away for a little while. And I owe huge thank yous to the dj's, bands, fellow dancers, and promoters who've given and keep giving me the chance to do that: xianvox, djpsyche, alchemy_dc, ego_likeness, mohawkadam, maggot93, T, B, A, , pyrogus, deadmoonrising and too many more to name.

The only other time I've felt as comfortable in my own body and mind was when I was climbing and doing it well. But for me, climbing was always a dance, albiet a more intricate and dangerous one than the club, and even outdoors there was music playing in my head. Perhaps someday I'll be able to do that again; I'd really like to feel well enough, to hurt less, so I can give it a try. I still have dreams of climbing at Joshua Tree (and it's been over a decade since I last climbed even in a gym), now that it's a reasonable drive away I hope I get the chance.