It made me think...and of course being someone to jump into the shoes, or shoe in this case, of another....I imagined myself the man with the one leg...and contemplated how would I feel at the end of the performance, seeing that I had moved an audience to tears.
I did a theatre course a couple of years ago with our beloved teacher Jose Vásquez, titled, "Contact with the Shadow"....the idea was to go into ourselves...and through a particular difficult exercise, I realised that no matter what happens to us, even if we have all of the physical problems in the world imaginable, we are still, believe it or not, us.
Some days I wish I could just have a rest. But alas! I must always be with me. No escape. So, after the video I imagined myself, in the position of the man with one leg, and imagined how I would react (all half unconsciously - you know that internet half-in-half-out approach...) and came quickly to the conclusion that I would probably react like this:
"What the f am I doing here?....making audiences cry just cos I´m dancing with one leg....What am I here on this planet for?....What is my existence worth?....Why should I not just kill myself?..." and on and on....
The sensitive reader will discern that I had, emotionally wise, a rather difficult November. Again.
But at that moment of hundimiento....of falling in on myself....into and far away from my imagined one legged body....a little voice came into my head.... not strong but small and gently wise....and said "You are right. It´s no good dancing just to make an audience look at you admiringly be moved to tears" It continued "....you would only get the satisfaction, the fulfilment you are looking for, if you danced because it is what most you wanted to do in that moment, because it is what you LOVE to do."
And I would say, humbly, that that little wise voice inside of me is actually quite wise....
I Ching says:
- When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worth while, and all is well. (Hexagram 10, 9 at the beginning)
Maybe this is all so simple and obvious to others, but to me it was a sort of breakthrough. So I apologise if this would seem ridiculously simple, but I realised how important it is to listen to your heart, and do what makes you enjoy life, what makes you happy just to be. If people see you doing it, and themselves are moved to do what their heart whispers to them, (which also makes them happy doing something, with a love of the action-result to want to show others too), well, that is just beautiful...and if no one sees, or they do but don´t applaud, well, just by having done the action itself brings the feeling of it being totally worthwhile. Personal fulfilment is gained by simply living with a balance between the desire of our heart and the possibilities of our mind.
I would hazard a guess that what we are innately trying to acheive is Beauty. It is what fills us with fulment. Beauty, according to François Cheng is what manifests between yin and yang, between the femininine (in all of us) and the masculine (in all of us), between the right and left brains, between performer and audience. Between the polarities of life manifests Beauty like an end of a rainbow. We cannot create it....we can only do our bestest in expressing our part, in the way in which we feel most purity, most harmony with who we are, in the hope that Beauty manifests.
In her wonderful talk Elizabeth Gilbert talks at one point about the Moors who invaded the south of Spain. Their dancers would dance night after night, dancing, dancing....but once in a while a dancer would "click in", would tranform and in so doing would seem to float in the harmony of their movements, they would appear more than just human as if a light were shining through them...and the audience would shout "¡Olé! ¡Ole!" which was "Allah! Allah!"....the divine shining through. And that, I guess, is Beauty.
But we cannot dance in life if we are not dancers, just to achieve what someone else really liked and got fulfilment from, and got audiences shouting "¡Olé" at them....for as Oscar Wilde put succintly "Be Yourself, everyone else is taken".
And so I realise that I have been moved by the ballet of the two people in the video…moved to think about myself, to think about my actions, my motivations, to think about Beauty….I have been moved to write, to play with words….but I´m telling you, even with two legs, if I were to dance for you, you´d all fall about laughing.