3. September 2019

Flying Low & Passing Through

Flying Low is a contemporary dance technique, developed by David Zambrano. It focusses on the body as a spiral: A constant exchange of collecting and releasing tension lets the dancer move upwards and downwards, high and low, always rotating. It’s an intense technique – watch it here (but don’t try it at home).

It also describes my past month’s mood fairly well. The idea of gathering and sending, that the technique promotes, actually sounds like a common creative practice: You look at things, absorb them, and then you process them, work with them, and make something new out of them. Pretty straight forward.

But I’ve been struggling with that lately. Last month was quite exhausting: I took time for personal work, but it never really worked. I was discontent, the outcome was never good enough, yada yada, you know how it goes. But I always needed that “fix” of pushing it out to the world. I needed to publish something; to show something. It was almost like everything I made only had a right to be made and exist if it was out there. But showing my work was not the release I was hoping for, it just made the tension bigger. I didn’t know what to do.

~ Brief pause, deep breath, building up tension ~

And I still don’t.

I wish I was able to tell you how I solved the creative block, but I haven’t yet. It’s been about four weeks, and by now, I just focus on passing through it – by simply not doing anything. And actually, as I recently discovered fun activities outside of work for me, it might not be that hard after all.

Here is a jumbled list of things I’ve done, read and learned:

● I learned that the term “Carpe Diem” doesn’t translate to “Seize the day”, but rather to “Pluck the day” (“… evoking the plucking and gathering of ripening fruits or flowers, enjoying a moment that is rooted in the sensory experience of nature”), which is beautiful and reduces the anxiety to getting stuff done. Here’s the article about it.

● I am going to dance classes again, after I stopped for almost two years. Not to practice Flying Low (I have enough spiraling and gathering and sending struggles in my life already), but just to get moving again. It’s fun. If your mind is stuck, moving is a good idea.

● I need a book shelf! If you have recommendations for beautifully designed shelves, I’d be grateful if you shared them with me. Instagram aggressively advertised this Italian shelving system to me, which I love (it has all the good stuff: wood and metal drawers and mustard colors), and of course it’s extraordinarily expensive.

When the weather gets colder, swallows tend to lower their flight level. For September, I might stick to that mode, too; flying low, just passing through it. However high your level for September might be: Please pass through it safely.