Ever since we moved out of the in-laws' place i have been able to practice on my drum at home on a regular basis, and i can feel myself improving each day. It is putting me in touch with the sensations of my fingers, the way i touch and hold things, and it's giving me a much deeper sense of rhythm. I always thought i had a pretty good sense of rhythm in my head, but being able to hear something and then feel in my fingertips how it's put together, it's much more sensual, more experiential. I go back and listen to songs i listened to years ago and discover them anew because the way my mind is processing the rhythms has changed.
The whole world is pulsing with rhythm now - all the time, not just for a few days after a good night out dancing. I can sit here typing and that has its own beat, i can dice onions and that has another beat, the grasshoppers outside have their own crazy jam going and i can listen to my heart in a whole new way. My eyes are opening and i've caught glimpses before but now i want to keep them open because it's like the world has become that much richer.
Then a few weeks ago i started working with some techniques that involve focusing on the sensations in specific parts of my body. The goal is to try step back from the racing thoughts, to let anxiety wash past instead of consume me, to accept whatever is going on in my head without becoming it. It has been helpful to a degree, though this week i went a little deeper and it ended up fueling the fire a bit... uncovering emotions i forgot i had. But that aside, the deliberate experiencing of the sensations of being in this body, i think it is helping me to rediscover my physical self. I actually want to get to know my body better again.
I think it's been almost a year now since i did any serious physical work. When i injured my back last year i slacked on basketball, and i even avoided going out dancing. Now with this new awareness i have been stretching and doing some exercises and i feel like i need to push further. Getting back into basketball would be one option, though i am a bit nervous to face the skill level of people who grew up in North America. Dancing is... it's something i'm just not ready for yet, i don't have the confidence to do it in a school environment, and i can't afford clubbing. One thing i do feel comfortable doing is taking some self-defense classes. There's a school just a couple blocks up the road, which makes it all the more appealing. It might be a way to really smash through those limits, increase my strength and flexibility, build up some confidence. I'm feeling a lot more connected to my body right now and i need to channel it somewhere.
Last night J was out with some old friends so i had the house to myself. After drumming for a few hours, i turned on some tunes that made me happy and danced around the lounge room till my feet could take no more. Our whole place is tiled (except for the bedroom, which is hardwood), so it was tough on my ankles but nice and slippery for spins. I think dancing is the holy grail for me because it's combining my love of music and newfound sense of rhythm with this new awareness of my body... Oh, to be able to really move...
I really, really, really fucking miss going out. It's the only time i can dance with no anxiety, because at a good party no one is judgmental (or they're too off their heads to care). I can't even dance freely at home when my partner is around, how stupid is that? All i can do is goof around. It's all MC Hammer's fault, you know. Ever since that fateful day in front of the TV i've felt like everyone judged me on how i moved. I've got a long way to go to cast off the chains of self-consciousness. But every time i move my body, do something - anything - physical in public, that's another step. And some day i will dance wherever i like with my head held high.