Saturday, July 7, 2012

Painting a picture of myself

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.” ~ Frida Kahlo
After almost a year away from crafting, sewing, painting, I'm here again.  This time, hiding in the cool darkness of our apartment, away from the scorching heat outside--literally scorching the green grass into brittle brown spikes and toasting the earth like a hard, burnt marshmallow.  Upstairs in the new craft room/loft, it is hot under the skylight, but Sasha still lays in the sunlight - a reminder of winter's cold encrouching on the apartment, a time when sunlight was precious and noteable.  Now, we're praying for rain as the earth cracks into bloodless, waterless crevases under the endless heat.

So, it is Sasha and I upstairs, as I labor and she luxuriates.  I reopened my online "souk" last month, and with a closer focus on bellydance, rather than bridal fascinators, I've had three sales so far this summer.  I am carefully crafting a beautiful skirt right now - black stretch polyester with ruffles and white and cherry-red lace accents.  I want it to have this circus/steampunk feeling.

I am cleaning out the closets too...  trying to set whole outfits from days long gone dancing with Ashar Dance Company.  I say "long gone" because we've been slowly deconstructing, or should I say "self-destructing"?  As troupemembers need to leave the troupe for focus on other things - family, project, career - I find myself the last dancer standing in a lonely studio.  So, I am hoping it will feel cathartic to sell my costuming and do something new with the money.  Something inspired by me, the now, and perhaps, the heat!  I want to start another dance troupe.  I want to feel inspired by another dancer.  I want to be together on the stage and feel that sisterhood.  When I am alone on stage, it is just me and the audience, and I show them my lonely heart.  Like Frida.  When I am together on the stage, I feel the strength of a sisterhood with me.  It is this community that drew me to tribal bellydance in the first place.  I want to improvise with another dancer.  To know them like my own skin, and to have them know me, in all my quirks and undulations.  I thought we were getting there with Ashar... but then things fell apart...  not in some big dramatic way, it just was little by little people got busier and less committed and less able to make time to do projects together...  I miss it.  I miss them.  Already.  And I'm hoping with Frida's spirit that there is another group of mad dancers out there, looking for me.

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