Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reflection on PAO and Home

[Editors note: The following was contributed by a PAO dancer who chose to remain anonymous due to the personal nature of the writing. The was written in response to a prompt asking dancers to reflect on their personal journeys from home and in search of home.]

what i feel when i think of the words journey, displacement, cleansing, and hope
a story, a life, a path.
frustration, aggravation, trapped, helpless.
clearing, washing, freeing, renewing.
faith, courage, relief.

what i feel in the PAO performance movement
moments of despair
overwhelming sense of constriction
drama. why so dramatic?

moments of faith

what war am i fighting in this piece?
sometimes with each other.
always with ourselves. our bodies, our minds.
sometimes with the earth.
sometimes with disease, a country, a storm.

what are we fighting for?

what am i embodying?
the fighter.
the victim.
the "winner" 
the "loser"

what is my light at the end of the tunnel?

what i feel like when i see, discuss, hear about victims of war & agent orange
indescribable feelings
desire to help
desire to fight for them
desire to bring peace to them and peace to those who brought this disoriented life upon them
unable to relate
unable to fight this battle for them
unable to bring peace to either parties
loving vibrations

personal story
I am about as unconfrontational as they come.
So what does it mean for me to embody war, to embrace the journey of war and destruction and displacement in my body?
A spirit guide recently told me that, in my past lives, I fought many wars. The final battle was possibly the battle of Antietam, if not something equally as gruesome, and I was a rebel from the south fighting for the north. Although we were victorious, at that time I declared that there would be no more fighting.
Yet in this life, said this spirit guide, I am incessantly searching for a cause. I am passionate about the cause. I am still searching for a battle.
So here I am, advocate of peace, scared of war and fighting on all levels; here I am representing how war is carried through the body in this PAO movement.
Funny how the world works.
How do I cope with this? Maybe I find myself in denial, unable and too frightened to relate at times. Maybe I tune outward and channel the energy of the victims in my body without having to physically feel their pain myself.
Or maybe it’s my time to confront war, to be horrified and disgusted and hopeful on a level I could never understand and to let it emanate through my body.
It’s ironic because I avoid the battles, but I still fight them. I am fighting in the performance itself, I am fighting for the cause, I am fighting for what I want for my future.
I am on a journey, sometimes I feel displaced, sometimes I am fighting and then cleansing; I am always hopeful. I suppose everyone embodies these qualities, and now it is my time to confront it for PAO.

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