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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am a dancer with Minneapolis based James Sewell Ballet, a small, contemporary ballet company. I also choreograph independently.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Losing (Almost) Everything and Other Gifts that Keep on Giving

On tour in Kearney, Nebraska last week my hard-drive crashed. I lost everything: photos, essays, an old email folder from when I had a visi account with, like, a phonebook long collection. I could go on and on, and my brain does. I was up for two hours in the wee hours the other morning remembering more lost things: Rebecca's poem about the pain of loneliness after her divorce, my writings about Nic's visual art, Jack's and my Europe doings including the details of when he first proposed.

As a Buddhist I've been hip to the notion of non-attachment and other such lofty concepts. And you know what I've discovered? I still am!

In early 1999 while on a trip to NYC my back-pack got stolen. It had a ton of stuff in it and so I cancelled all the usual things. Jim was staying at my place in Minneapolis at the time and was able to send my passport so I could at least fly home. Along with my passport came a lovely note explaining this non-attachment thing (Jim introduced me to Buddhism), and all of a sudden his sort of glamorous/popular spiritual practice became practical and utterly sincere to me. And so I let it all go. Goodbye great book that I was in the middle of. So long favorite sporty sweat pants. Farewell perfect red back-pack given to me by my dear friends at Gaynor Minden. I think there was also a fair amount of cash and an uber personal journal. Anyway, adios!

The good folks at the computer store in Kearney (pronounced "carney") hustled me a new hard-drive and dryly explained that they weren't able to retrieve a thing from my old one. Ouch. A pin prick of pain followed by a growing pool of blood like the last scene in Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge". (As recently seen at the Guthrie. Magnificent!) It hurt like hell, was dramatic as all get-out, but somehow, like all good theater, there was a gift in there...

Of course I didn't lose any pertinent emails. I was just stalled for a few days. My METRO editor re-sent my latest piece so I could edit it. And during that wee-hour mini meltdown I remembered that about two months ago I actually put the latest version of my resume onto my zip-drive.

As I sit in my soon-to-be home (Jack's house) I am so grateful. It's three in the afternoon, and after my all-nighter driving home with Em and Steph I am on my second cup of coffee. I sprawl on the perfect little red velvet couch that Jack surprised me with in the fall. Geko curls up at my legs. Scented candles burn, and a live tree stands at the ready to be decorated tonight, it's imperfection suiting our needs perfectly as it nestles into the threshold between living and dining rooms. And check this out: it's snowing! I am carless, housebound, still unshowered and I count my blessings on every finger and toe.

I send up joy and prayers to Ellen Marie and her beautiful mama who just passed away from this life. May they both have a smooth transition.

Life is beautiful, hard, bitter and so sweet it hurts. That sweet hurt opens the heart, like a break. Break open


Anonymous Ianscot said...

Two springs ago, my car broke down in Kearney. It was a bad break, one of those abrupt 'clunk' sudden stops that took a weekend for parts to be sent.

The Platte River that runs through Platte is, at that time of year, a staging ground for the migration of hundreds of thousands of Sandhill Cranes. They fan out through the farm fields around town, picking over last year's crops, and settle by the thousands in the shallow river overnight. Springtime is for courting, and they dance in pairs as they settle on sandbars at dusk.

Anyway, when you ask what's to do in Kearney in early April, the cranes will be mentioned. Never would have seen it if it wasn't for that serpentine belt. Never would have woken up before sunrise and hiked to a blind in the river and heard them waking up and calling, hundreds at a moment, to each other.

7:15 PM  

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