Thursday, April 3, 2014

Longing for movement

Shane and I almost never watch award shows, but this year we ended up seeing most of the Grammy's and the Academy awards. I typically watch for a few minutes, then read my book/look at my phone/sew on something, so while I heard Pink singing her Grammy-nominated song Try, I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on on-screen until about halfway through when Shane said, "You should probably be watching this." So I did, and then I loved it so much that I rewatched it, and then I watched the video and bought the song, and now I am blogging about it.

(But first: have you seen her Grammy performance? Here, I'll give you a link. Pink - Try. Or, even better, watch the video for the song. It's a big gritty, but oh so good.)

Something about this song makes me feel something big. Part of it is about movement itself. I cannot separate the movement from the music. I listen to the song in my car and while I run and as I walk from the train to work and while I do chores around my house. Sometimes I just watch the video and it feels me with a longing for movement that I've had my whole life. It's what took me from turning cartwheels in the store to doing gymnastics for hours every day. I filled my high school and college hours with dance of any kind, and now I substitute running and yoga and the occasional improv combination in my kitchen. Music and movement are inexorably intertwined, and I combine them to give both my longing for movement and my actual movement context and memory and feeling. 

The other part is the story that is told in the video (mostly the official video, but it is hinted at in her Grammy performance as well.) Maybe it's just about a really crappy relationship, two people who fight and fling themselves at one another and cause physical pain on a regular basis (but even at that level, I still appreciate it - Pink is an incredible dancer.) (I get so jealous watching her. I almost don't want to watch because I wish so much it was me being that amazing.) But I read the movement as the complex emotional dance that is our life: the stops and starts and sometimes violent crashes that happen between humans. It makes me remember the desperation of last year - of wanting something, of fighting about it all the time, of no one winning, of trying every day to get back into step with my life. It felt like every day, I was flinging myself at my husband, at my expectations, at my anger, only to feel the weight of them flinging back at me. It was messy and discordant and a little bit ugly. The words in the chorus - where there is a fire there is going to be a flame, where there is a flame some one's bound to get burned, but just because it burns it doesn't mean you're gonna die, you've got to get up and try, try, try - they get me. I feel them and I remember and I think about the burning that didn't burn me up. And I think about how movement during most of that time was a solace that I didn't have. 

And so I when I listen to the song, I think about it and where I am now. I didn't burn. Or maybe I did - maybe the part of me that so desperately wanted that life with the third baby was burned away. I let her go, and something new came out of from the ashes. A new chapter grew into not just my life, but my family's life. We aren't the same four people. Events and people and places came out of last year that I know wouldn't have happened if we had made a different choice. 

I think I like it so much because somehow, its lyrics and movement allow me a sense of nostalgia. Strange that I would feel that, since it's like picking a long-ago healed scab; why do I want to keep remembering? Maybe it's because of what I can see that came out of it. Maybe it's gratitude for the less-frantic dance I am currently living. Maybe it's the mobility that I have now, and the way I don't take it for granted the way I did before. Maybe it's just that I really, really love modern dance, and that I appreciate the symbolism of the colors that stain Pink and her partner by the end of the video.

I sort of can't decide where to jump on this post. Am I being all fan-girly about Pink? Do I just really like dance? Am I jealous that I don't look like her? Is it the remembering of last year? I think yes, to all of them. So, in conclusion, I guess I should ask: do you remember your painful times of life with a sort of fondness? Do you like Pink? Do you giggle a little at how big Nate Reuss's feet look in his part of the song?