To The Side I Dream. In The Center I Become

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I am not sure that I have ever felt a sense of belonging at any time in my life. As the baby in a family of five there never seemed to be a space as the little one that made things uneven or imbalanced. That and knowing from a very young age that who I was didn’t seem to line up with the family’s religious or cultural views. And yet, off to the side I was, dreaming and building worlds in the heart of my imagination. Sitting within that space I realize even at such a young age I found my center and I started to become the very heart of who I am today.

As a child in school growing up I also felt quite different and not quite like others. To say I felt as if I was the one of those beings unlike the others would be an understatement. I think I realized very early on the importance that modeling kindness and love for everyone I encountered seemed to create relationships that mattered and therefor love allowed more space for imagining connection even if I didn’t feel I belonged. And so through kindness I found my center and started to become the very compassionate being I am today.

As a teen I played all kinds of sports and was involved in all kinds of activities. I was privileged to be able to have these experiences and yet they scared me to death. I hated being out in the outfield because there was no other place to put me. Standing out hoping a ball wouldn’t come my way. Batting time and again and hoping to get walked simply to avoid the humiliation of striking out. And yet, when it came to being seen always being recognized as the sportsperson of the season because of what I was capable of doing for others around me. Wishing to be a ghost but seen as a strength for others. And so through support I found my center and started to become the empath I am today.

And who couldn’t forget the football team? I mean really? The size of me doesn’t really work with the power and the force that my friends were capable of harnessing. And even in this instance, despite the mismatch and lack of talent, I loved it. Not only that, but I loved the friends that I spent my time with. I always felt cared for and protected despite not feeling like one of the guys. But for some reason, after games, we sang. Yes, we celebrated and we enjoyed life come the rain or the shine. And even if I was on the “field”, mostly sidelines, I found my center made of joy; joy that came from liking doing something with people I admired and respected which started the notion that I could lead others in song even if it wasn’t on the field.

And then I found myself in theater. I took a risk to embrace being different and choosing so I found a small part of my voice. I stumbled upon my actual voice. I opened the door to a world of lovely people who were kind and who I realized began to see me perhaps as me even if the revelation of my full being remained hidden from public view. And yes, I seemed to thrive in this industry but always felt an outsider as I had no formal training or experience. Would they found out I have no idea what I am doing? That on top of the fact that I am not at all what I seem? Yet even so, I found my center “hearing” myself for the first time and thinking I might have a chance to become the listener of something if I worked at it.

Following my voice and the theater I came to realize I enjoyed it and found great pleasure but like all other things in my life, I just didn’t seem to fit that world. Once again unlike the outspoken others I was finding out that where I really found great joy, as the introvert that I am was in the animation and training of my physical voice, the body. I fell in love with dance as it was the thing I could do hiding behind my dyslexia and crippling fear of being found out that I did not see the world and words as others. So being on the outside now became the inside as I listened and learned how my body worked and how it would become the tool of my life. I found my center at the center of a moving body and breathing soul.

And here I am today, after all these years in the field having had a career as a dancer, choreographer and educator, still with the same feeling of being in dance but not of dance. I have made an incredible life in this art form. I am so grateful that it has given me so many beautiful experiences, friends, travel and the manifestation of breathtaking work. So much gratitude for it all. Yet, as most people know, I am not in the “game” of dance just as I have never been in the game of anything I have done. I did it and do it out of the joy and love I get from doing it and doing it as if my life needs it as I need breath. Oddly enough I have also realized how much I don’t need it as I have also found a way to breathe with the soul that has been with me all along in the times I have been to the side living in my dreams.

I guess after all of this living in the shadow of fear, isolation and not belonging; I realize I belong to myself and to the dreams I have been able to manifest simply by giving into the center of myself in everything I did. I have been living in the center of becoming and in doing so, I have always belonged. I recognize that in accepting I belong, I have always been able to see the unseen, feel the unfelt and dream the impossible. And in the end, I accept all that I am and honor that at the center of it all, we all belong if we accept the center of ourselves.

 

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Remembering Through Light

scott dance 114Even after all the darkness, a spark can reveal itself reigniting and enlightening what has been present all along. It has been a long time of not seeing, a long time of numbing and a long time of suffocating. In all honesty,  I lost my spiritual compass along with the knowing and understanding of my value, being and the alchemy of my work.

In this darkness I was unable to see. In this darkness I could not breathe and was unable to feel. In this darkness I was unable to hold the space for love. In this darkness was a well meaning meandering spirit not knowing where to go, how to get there or even which direction to first step. What remained was a shell of an exhausted wanderer beaten into the darkness by disappointment, fear and shame.

And then, out of what seemed to be the end, came a spark; carried by a fellow traveler, friend and confidant igniting the light through reminding me to be present in the work  and to open the eyes of the heart. In doing so, I recognized the memory of joy and the reason for my being. I could remember again.

I have been there all along with my work and yet it took just a little bit of light to recognize, remember and reconcile where I have been within that darkness.

The light reminds us. The light inspires us. The light is us. To be the light is the practice. The practice for me is a return to body and a return to seeing myself as worthy of the light and worthy of being the light.

I may have been here all along or rather the shell of myself has been here all along. I have so much sorrow for all I have missed, lost, hurt and have not allowed myself to experience. Yet despite this sorrow, I am reminded that in order for me to be present I must be present in the physical practice of bodily awakening.

I remembered after all this time that this kind of practice was the reason I found dance and began dancing in the first place. Dance was the vehicle for this practice and my lens at which I came to understand the labyrinth of my body. I did not fall in love with dance, I fell in love with the ability to transform my body through the excavation of a body in motion and being a geomancer of space.

I recognize my second journey has begun and I am being gifted the opportunity of acknowledging, knowing and remembering that it was never about dance but always about a spiritual journey of a body in motion as the vehicle to animate and enlighten my soul. Perhaps this second exploration will remind me not to saunter through life this time but to finally realize what it means to sonder through life.

Ironically I have always known I was not a dancer, dance teacher, choreographer, and for gods sake a dance academic. What I have been is an archeologist of body excavating the kinetic landscape while unearthing the history and prehistory of my being lost beneath the layers of my life.

Here’s to digging! Here’s to digging deeply in the light!!

Back to Body

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When I return to my body

I return home

When I sit quietly with this beautiful body

I sit in immense gratitude

When I remember my body speaks

I remember to listen in love

When I am lost and the noise of the world immense

I look within to find the grounding of spirit

When I return to spirit

I return to body

 

A Shield of Spirit

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I am not like others. I have never been nor will ever be. I have always wandered through places in untraditional or conventional ways. I have traversed these places alone while carrying with me only a shield of spirit. Despite this, this chosen shield has always been porous letting in things wished for and also things unwanted. Some might ask “then what good is a shield of spirit when it doesn’t fully protect you?”. The point was never to be protected but simply to slow down the overwhelming amount of of love being given on a regular basis.

With this remarkable offering there is sometimes some of the unwanted that gets in alongside the wanted. The real magic is then watching the way in which love swallows the sorrow while transforming it into energy. Watching this alchemical transformation then reminds me why I picked that shield up as a little boy; this spirit that is one with all things is one with love, and in the end, love prevails.

Honoring the Space of Loss

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It is amazing how much space there is in the absence of love. Deep vacuous space in which a magnanimous soul inhabited. Recognizing this immense openness I become aware of the enormity of the spirit that existed here and am strangely filled with an incredible admiration and gratitude for being present in its grace.

I am also deeply aware of the energy and light that filled this space and all that was given to me. I have been graced with an incredible gift unlike I have ever known before.

As I absorb and simultaneously absolve my grief, I do not desire to diminish or close off the space that remains due to loss of physical presence. What I realize is I must embrace the absence of body and let it remain open and filled with spirit and the essence of the very love of that spirit. Thus, the space is honored by the immense peace that continues to resonate from it.

Love and the loss of physical presence does not mean that love is lost at all. All it does mean is that we need to celebrate and honor it in just a different way so as to let it continue to grow within us. You see the space of love is not meant to be filled or diminished. As a matter of fact, just the opposite is what the gift of loss is.

What I have come to understand is that what happens next is to find the courage and the strength to expand the heart even more to create even more opportunity to let love in again. Just as the universe continues to expand so too shall our hearts. So too shall we mirror and reflect this growth and so too shall we encourage and welcome even more love than we ever felt or knew possible.

I have been graced with such big love that I shall feel graced once again if I only risk to push open my heart and allow for the bigness of a heart as wide as the expansive universe itself.

If I have the courage to do this then then I have the conviction to welcome all the love there is. And if I welcome all the love there is, I have truly honored the love of the space that is left and that I embrace and live within at this moment. I am reminded once again and it is confirmed; there is no loss and there is no loss of love.

With gratitude for the forever graciousness of every being I have ever shared a moment,

Scott

When It Rains Farewell

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It was a constant rain, just as it was with the tears. It has been raining from the sky for the past few days as much as it has been the heartbreak has been falling from my eyes. It has been a long last few months with watching my boy Baxter fight through what I have come to know as immune-mediated thrombocytopenia which is a drop of blood platelets which can cause a severe issue for dogs. Early on we were able to catch it and find ourselves on a path for well-being which was a relief at first, but now, it seems as if the boy I have known for the last 11 years has somehow faded with the falling of his platelet counts.

At first he was doing well. His numbers went up into a healthy range and we were looking good. That is if you were not looking at his loss of muscle mass, severe panting and uncontrollable thirst; side effects of the steroids in conjunction with his other meds he has been taking for all of this. Even so, on paper and with numbers he was doing well. Yet, the boy I have known was somehow unseen, at least from the naked eye.

What has been always so magnificent about this boy of mine is that he has always had the spirit of a saint and the fortitude of a warrior. They eyes are the way we spoke and with just a look, a tilt of the head or a severe paying attention; he communicated with great sweetness and with incredible wisdom. Many times I would seek solace in those eyes and in the exchange that would be our physical conversations. And boy were there many.

As a matter of fact, the moment I saw his rich deep soulful eyes in the crate he was in during the adoption event, I knew we were to be together and I suspect he knew it too. Immediately there was a tremendous connection and a realization that this boy needed me and perhaps I needed him even more. His first year of life was pretty traumatic with his being abandoned by a dumpster and having sarcoptic mange. He struggled through that just as he would struggle through many obstacles in which he seemingly navigated with great dignity.

It has been a journey with this one. He has shared some immense compassion, joy and empathy that many will never show in a lifetime. Yet this one, he somehow was able to break through to my heart and model the way of a sage. At many turns I would look to him to see a better way to be and live in this world. I would look to him to see a better way to be more fully human for those I shared my personal and professional world with. I suspect the essence of his spirit will live within me and through me for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone recognized the spirit of him through me in times to come.

And so as the rain continues, so too does the tears. Witnessing the decline and struggle of a being with whom you have shared so much and have loved so big is rather hard on the heart. Even if the heart was made so sweet and soft by the very presence of his being. Difficult yes, but never hard for there is no going back to a life that isn’t full of unconditional love.

So his brother Bradford and I have been doing all we can to comfort, console and share our love with him during this time. We have snuggled, rubbed, stroked, pet, massaged, carried, hand fed and poured our love all over him this day. I will fondly remember that the last thing his sweet lips took from me was small little bites of banana. Bananas are his favorite things to eat and has been something he beamed with delight over sharing in the mornings for breakfast with his pa pop. It will tickle me that in his final moment we have shared together I knew he had a banana belly and that him taking the banana was a show of love more so than truly being able to eat.

And so it rains. And so I pour out my heart. There is pain, but only sweet pain because of a life well lived together. And yet even in the end he reminds me of importance and the need to let everything go. And in the letting go we are letting ourselves live and continue to live in the spirit of one another. We live large daily so we can live eternally in one another heart and in that beautiful park and lake of the light. Run and swim on my love. I am with you and you are with me. And when I run I run with you. And when i swim I swim with you. And when I love, the world will know it is because of you.

Lean Into the Wind

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Lean into the wind of creativity and eventually it will gale so forcibly they will pick you up and carry you.

One might think they are flying, in fact it is actually the wind lovingly carrying you as you express the soul of the world through your work.

Be mindful of making the mistake of thinking it is you who are soaring. Be humble in the act of creation and those winds will always be setting a course for your heart to sail.

Lean into those winds and not for once lose faith in your song.

Love Will Prevail

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Beautiful blood

Beautiful mind

Love will prevail

Love everyone

Devote yourself to patience

Re-examine your soul

Re-examine your flesh

Re-examine your body

Look to the light in the eyes of the boy who sings your heart

Face him in love and you will see eternity

Beautiful heart

Beautiful lips

Love will prevail

 

 

 

 

In My Mind/In My Heart

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In my minds eye

You see you have to be careful

Bearing with him

He really thinks of you as sympathetic

Putting ideas in your mind

Putting ideas in your heart

Anything you wish

In Spirit we are stronger than blood

Long walks to wander for hours

They take care of things

Awake

Awake

Awake

Nothing will change us