Monday, November 17, 2008
November 2005, 6:45 PM, backstage at Fresno City College's main Theatre, Jana Griffin and I were excitedly applying our "beat" (stage makeup) prior to the start of the show. Jana's phone rings in, no doubt, some incredibly indie-band song (Jana is amazing, but the biggest "indie and obscure" music snob on earth). We peek at the text message with curiosity. Leon. Old boyfriend and current best friend of Jana Griffin. The text simply says "Scoop That Bloop! And I'll see you after the show!". Jana and I fall into a fit of giggles as we attempt to keep lipstick from smearing on our teeth and our mascara from running. What the heck?! Scoop that what?! What does that mean?!
Jana, oh Jana. How I miss you, my dear. "Scoop that Bloop" became a common phrase between us, often placed in conversation where nobody knew quite what to say.
I have left this phrase undefined for years, simply allowing it to be whatever I have needed it to be at the moment. Today, however, the meaning found me.
First of all, let me just say that I am feeling splendid today! Yesterday was much of the same, until I lost my patience with life and did something stupid. Something very, very stupid. Normal Laura would sit around regretting that stupid action for days, maybe even weeks, and never focus on the good. I read this yesterday, and loved it:
"You only see the bad in yourself. All people see mostly the bad in themselves. They become attenuated to the good, because it causes them no concern. - Truth." -Matt Burr.
I have been asked to let go of the bad, forget it, and focus only on the good. Let go of my mistakes. Yikes. . .
Am I allowed to do that? I have always felt and intrinsic sort of obligation to not only recognize my mistakes, but to make verbal note of how abhorish they are, and how I will avoid them in the future. I attributed my lack of success in these attempts to the fact that I am human, rather than to the fact that it is simply a really really stupid and self-degrading method. When I trouble another, I want to tell them that I am aware of my mistakes, why I made them, and how I will avoid them further. I just want to, ok?! Even if it doesn't help...
That is not forgiving oneself. That is holding on to the negative. Unless I were to go around equally noting my successes, and... well I just don't have time for that.
To increase the mount of responsibility and improbability, I was asked to let go of a mistake... no, several mistakes... I had made only MOMENTS before. My tears and red face were fresh and still coming, and I was asked to stop and forget about it. Uh.... huh?
This is something I have never attempted. Even when I miss a class, I spend all day justifying it to myself. And when that doesn't work and guilt overcomes me, I find a day to miss class for no reason just so that I can tell myself that I deserve a freaking day off now and then. You don't need to be perfect, Laura. Chill out.
All of this on my mind, we began another fantastic modern class today (after a kick-trash ballet class! Athank you! Yes! I'll be here all week! Tip your waitresses!). Ruth is so rejuvenating! She allows us to begin class on the floor daily, laying on our backs so that we can relate our weight and structure to the floor in order to be more stable in standing. We go through constructive rest, a bit of meditation, somatic discussion, pilates, then bits of yoga before standing. The second half of class is a wild ride of movement in standing. Occasionally, she will teach us some Tai Chi. I LOVE this study!
Back to my point... Focus, Laura!
At the start of class, Ruth likes to share what she has been reading that week. She spends most of her time outside of school reading up on... oh... EVERY STUDY IMAGINABLE! This woman is nuts! Seriously! I don't know how a person can read so much, but I thought I had the curiosity bug... HA! Ruth takes the cake. Today, it was psychology. Her suggestion to us was that we are beings who seek negative correction. Perhaps it is our culture as Americans or as dancers. Who knows? The difficulty is maintaining a powerful presence and an understanding of the possibility of improvement. In a dance studio, when an instructor calls out one correction for one particular person, it is understood that every student applies that correction to themselves as well. In this way, we as dancers are constantly correcting ourselves, always hearing a voice of criticism, never of celebration or affirmation. We are NEVER good enough. Never. Yet we carry this image of our perfect selves, as if we just have to save enough money so that we can run down to the local "Flawless-R-Us" and buy the latest edition of ourselves. And people wonder why I have a hard time taking compliments. . .
So when I say "Scoop That Bloop" to myself or anyone else from now on, in my mind it will mean that I am giving permission to let go of flaws and celebrate strengths. You have permission to roll your eyes after this next statement: I will be, quite literally, scooping out my bloopers. Roll eyes... now. Ok, stop. That's all you get.
So SCOOP THAT BLOOP, Y'ALL!!!!
Also, I need another root canal.... Joy.