In the studio, the imaginary sound of wings flapping on the water transported me to a lake.* My face glowed with the warmth of the sun, although there was not a ray of sunlight in this windowless space. I felt my body defying gravity as I took off from the water’s surface, playfully patting it in my early flight.
I became the water, as well as the clouds reflected on it. I could smell the muddy wetness and felt tall and willowy as my branches softly caressed the wind (or was it the other way around?). Following the pain in my back the water froze, and I imagined it melting in spring, softening the sharp shards of ice. I danced Dragon Fly and Frog and Heron. Their movements inspired mine as I hovered and leapt and stood patiently waiting on one leg.
The dynamics between these different life forms created such vibrancy. Not only a concrete tension of eating or being eaten, of alive now and maybe dead tomorrow, but also a metaphoric vitality that comes with living according to our blueprint, as close to our nature as possible, expressing our individuality exactly as we are. Water is often seen as a shape shifter, because it can assume so many forms. It reminds us, that so can we.
Translating that to my own story… dare I live all I can be? Dare I be different? Dare I assimilate different roles? Dare I dream big? I realised (not for the first time), that there really is no other way. Short of wilting and slowly diminishing, each of us simply has to live our unique expression, because if we do not, the world will be a dimmer, thirstier place. Can we encourage each other to do this?
I am curiouser and curiouser to the Power of Imagination, and its influence on our happiness and wellbeing. This is not to hide or deny pain or injustice, but to find a way that we can be radically inclusive of all experiences that make us magnificently and vulnerably human.
But hang on…
‘Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?’ asks Harry Potter, when he meets Dumbledore at King’s Cross station in the Deathly Hallows. A question I often ask myself, when encountering such experiences. ‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real’? **
And after the session, I danced on, into the rest of my day with a joyful spring in my step.
*) The winged song that spurred on this movement exploration is called Happiness, by Aaron Andreas Gantenbein on the album Deep Flight.
**) ROWLING, J.K. 2007. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury: London, p. 579.
Image credits: Falkenberg, Sweden, © Eline Kieft, 2014
Please note: I published an earlier version of this text on 25.2.16 in an older blog that has now merged with Clover Trail.