Friday, December 31, 2010

Family & Gunshots in 2011

I thought a lot about where I wanted to be when 2011 rolled around and what I knew for certain was that I didn't want to see a single face around me that I was not totally in love with. So because everyone was going somewhere and somewhere includes strangers and even people I know but don't particularly care for I decided to stay in with my Mumsy and my nephew.

It was a great decision. We had red velvet cake balls and simply enjoyed each others presence. I remember being so homesick on Thanksgiving eve. I cried so much that night. I was filled with longing and happiness. So many mixed emotions. But I swore that I would give my family my precious time when I am able to because I know what it means to miss with all your heart.

So here I am.
Ready to solidify New Year Resolutions and suddenly my thoughts are interrupted by loud bangs. Not pretty fireworks but earsplitting blasts. I look out of my living room window and two houses away are 4 or 5 boys with big guns blasting bullets non-stop from the bottom of the street to the top of the hill. Shooting. shooting. Not aiming. well, kind of aiming up. simply aiming away from themselves and sending bullets to God knows where.

I can hear them now. three shots in a row. four more. one shot. two. three. The shots just keep going and going and now I am laying in my bed but they sound like they are just outside my window...I guess they sort of are. They aren't even 100 yards away from my house. How can people can be so careless? Why are these boys so lost?

I am glad that I am not expecting any visitors. I am glad because anyone driving down my street right now could catch a bullet in a flash. I won't go outside. I won't even stand by a window. I am nervous about walking by one because these fools will be shooting into dawn.

They have guns of all kinds. I am no expert but they have guns bigger than my 2-year old nephew who is sleeping downstairs and small enough to fit in your back pocket (granted your pants are quite baggy). They have guns that shoot one bullet with every pull of the trigger and guns that just need the trigger held down so that bullets fly incessantly.

In my house cake balls are chilling in the fridge. Christmas lights are still hanging.  There is a kettle on the stove. It is warm and cozy. And outside it sounds like a battle field.

*sigh* I forget that these streets can be quite dangerous. I forget that all the time. They weren't always like this but today is today and today this is new neighborhood. This is not the street where I played Any-Hop, built bike ramps, played hide-and-seek, and drove barbie cars.

It's a new day.  A new year. A year that I brought in with family and gunshots.
Hello 2011 and HAPPY NEW YEAR. Again.

Happy New Year

Across the the street from the Moscow Art Theater.

The Return.

I am not sure where to begin. It has been a long time since I blogged. 
So much has happened. So much has changed. I am still not sure what those things are but I can feel them. I can feel myself breathing with a new breathe- with a new internal rhythm.

I have been in Moscow for the past 3 months. Drowning the sweetest death surrounded by nothing but art.

People keep asking me how Russia was and I want so badly to give them something good but a trip like this one is hard to summarize. 
"it was amazing" -is usually my reply. That's all most people want to hear anyway. Or I say, "it was cold" and they giggle a little.

But really it just blew my mind.
* I learned what it means to be honest in art and in life. I learned that those to things are not at all separate- an honest life leads to honest art and without honesty you have nothing.

* I learned how to let go and move on. Essentially, I learned to try. let go and try then move on but continuously improve.

* I learned to enjoy the process. So often we go from result to result and we forget to enjoy the moments in between. I learned to stop rushing through life/art. As our Russian Movement teacher put it-
"If you work for a result and not for the process you are like an actor who enters just to make an exit. It is the moments in-between where art happens."

*I learned to "check up myself". Double check. Check again and again. Examine. Question. Refine. Define. Solidify. Make all choices clear and concrete. And when you think you've done it all "check up 
yourself" a few more times. The process never ends.

*I learned from a good friend and amazing performer Lydia Kapp that "God looks out for the little things."

*I learned to share myself or "give the scene to partner".

*I learned what it means to be dedicated by watching my instructors and seeing the Russian students. I learned and experienced what it feels like to sleep, eat, and breathe something.

*I understood how history informs art and how there is not one without the other. I guess that ties right back to honesty.  

*I learned the difference between "drama of life and drama in life"

*I began to understand Anton Chekov and even began to see the humor in The Seagull (partly because of Group 1's awesome performance).

*I learned that "it is possible" is a far more productive way to say "for example". No need for examples, "it is possible" to do anything!!!! (so do it!)

This is a small "peep" into what I have brought back home with me. Many many lessons that I hope I never forget

I wish I had blogged throughout my journey but this process turned out to be a very personal one. I did keep a private journal though. (I am proud of that).
Anyways, now I am back and still me with some pretty chips where old ideas have fallen away and new designs where I have gained perspective.

If you read my blog throughout the summer then you remember that I have been feeling these changes as the approach. On July 20th I posted  Refined Consciousness. In this post I discussed how I am learning to take my time and not rush, how I feel myself changing. 
The point is that this process began long ago. I am sure now that all things are connected all things happen for some reason and I take comfort in that mystery.
You don't know what you are preparing for or how each situation will help you in the future but it will or it can if you let it. 

For this reason I am a big fan of tomorrow (I hope I make it there) but I am an even bigger fan of today with the spicy mystery of tomorrow.

Speaking of today and tomorrow-

more soon...

-Jacqueline Naami