Published by National League of American Pen Women, Atlanta Chapter, Pen Graphs, May 2022
One moment I’m in the Chattahoochee River dancing with dogs and the next day I’m in a cave with my character, Myra, pregnant and alone.
The collaboration with other dancers in the river for National Water Dance Day was profound for me. I had anticipated a spiritual experience, a oneness with the flow of the water, the environment, and the meditative satisfaction of moving with other dancers. My takeaway was that risking it all in performance as the freezing water’s current and the unlevel riverbed prevented sure footedness wasn’t supposed to produce flawlessness. I stumbled twice. Laughing at myself now, I see an interesting raw connection with the dancers throughout the USA symbolizing the necessity for us to work together to conserve and share water.
I can’t help but feel the National League of American Pen Women, Atlanta Chapter’s upcoming May speaker, Dr. Mariana Mcdonald, will bring artistic synchronicity to the subject of climate control and what we can do to protect our planet for the generations to come.
A note about mental health and selfcare:
After my Off-The-Shelf author interview sponsored by Sisters-in-Crime and then participating in the water dance on the same day, I was depressed. After the performance endorphins faded, my energy was low for a few days. This is normal for me but inconvenient when the next rehearsal or writing project needs my concentration and commitment. Too often I try to forge ahead when I know dancing is the only activity that scientists have found works every part of your brain. I forget to honor myself with what Joyce Carol Oates relayed in her author’s interview, years ago at Emory University, that the thinking and synthesizing process of creativity is vital. The actual pen to paper activity or choreography development is the seed growing from the soil.
Finally, I rested and vegetated.