Saturday, September 6, 2014

Life As A Dance, Life As A Painting

Only love can bring the rain that makes you yearn to the sky. Only love can bring the rain that falls like tears from on high. Love, reign o'er me. Rain on me.

-The Who

I was remiss in posting in August through some fault of my own and some fault of my internet connection giving me the virtual finger for a bit. Damn you technology, how I both love and loathe thee. Just as well because while I had many thoughts bouncing around in the big rubber romper room that resides in my head, few of them reached any sort of conclusion. Good writers can simply write . . . about almost anything . . . at almost any time. An average human, such as myself, taking up space on the planet and on your computer needs inspiration.

I am inspired today by emotion and expression and a movie I just watched. I am quite fond of British movies because of their beautiful use of language, because of their dry and steely wit, because they have far better music than most American movies, because the actors are quite regular looking and not all Americanized glamour-y, and because Brits have the ability to be restrained even in the most egregious situations. They have a calm, regal, stately demeanor that I sometimes wish I possessed. There are, of course, the Sid Vicious types (there are exceptions to every rule) but the general population seems to be far more understated and elegant.

I am rarely understated and elegant. Oh how I wish I were, was, am, could be, will be . . . but alas . . . I almost never have a firm hold on elegance. The movie I watched is "About Time", a sweet story about families and love and the usual bit of happiness with an order of time travel on the side. In this family of well read, well bred, and well spoken English countryside dwellers is a sister who breaks the mold. She is not quiet, she wears purple, she gets in trouble and, quite contrary to all around her, displays emotion quite openly . . . and they love her. They love every loud and brash and strange and different bit of her. They never question who she is, they never ask her to change and even when she finds a calmer way of life, she is still herself. Her brother is the "good one" and he marries a "good girl". I watched the movie thinking how lovely this young couples marriage is, but then I remembered, it's a movie. In real life people who love each other also get angry and have fights. I'm sure when this movie couple of "good guy and good girl" has fights they sit down in the parlour, pour some tea with milk, play Nick Drake in the background, and validate each others feelings with thoughtful and poignant verse. I imagine there are people like that in real life, but I don't know them; that's because my life is a rainbow incarnate and not a snooze fest.

I wrote before about wishing we could change things in our lives, wishing we had done things differently. That feeling affects us all, but unlike the movie, we do not have the ability to travel back in time (at least not that I am aware of) and make things come out right. We do, however, have the ability to look back at those times and move forward on to new times. It's natural for people to get frustrated and want to leave jobs, leave relationships, and sometimes move away. Even as adults we get the child like notion of running away, of fleeing. But what does that fix? You'll just repeat the same things over and over at a different job, in a different relationship, in different surroundings, but nothing has really changed. Stifling emotion, running away, switching partners rather than muddling your way through either a fight or a chat in the parlour with tea and biscuits won't change a thing. So I say . .

let it the hell out peeps!

Showing emotion is not a detriment and, in fact, is a miraculous way to break free of the bile that you've been holding back. It allows you to get to know more about the situation, the person, the frustrating job, and it propels you ever forward. You don't always need to change the situation, you don't always need to change your surroundings and your external influences . . . instead see what happens when you let it all out and stay, learn the value of staying, express emotion and stick with something. Emotions are a glorious painting of who we are, wide brush strokes and vivid colors. Some people are more like water colors and soft kittens, how lovely and peaceful that can be, but even the mewing kittens of the world have claws, so don't think you can hide from it. Expression is a dance, and while it may be a nice waltz at times, there are also times for a full on get down on the town boogie. I remember hearing an interview with Eric Clapton many years ago about his son, Connor, dying. The mother of his child is Italian, he was saying how her side of the family was wailing with grief and how his side was so reserved and almost embarrassed to express their sorrow. It opened his eyes to the wonder of letting it all out. He found it strange and frightening but also, enviable, as he felt forced to mourn privately by his very British-ness. I am wildly unfamiliar with this feeling of reserve, just as I am wildly very familiar with other feelings, I am wildly expressive about pretty much everything. And I love it in others, I want to know when you're hurt so I can help soothe. I want to know when you're uncomfortable so I can be there to comfort. Without expression, how can others step in to give you what you need? As most of you know I love going to yoga. I love it for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is you can cry all through class and not one person will look at you like you're the crazy one in the bunch. I have cried in class and I have witnessed others crying in class, yoga is safe harbor for your emotional deluge, so let it pour like Morton salt.

There have been times in my life when I have truly wished I was a little calmer, a little more obtuse, more of sweet walk in the park and less of a weekend long festival. But in the end, I'm ok with being me. While it's not always easy bein' green, it beats the hell out of beige. And the sweet wife in the movie that always does everything right and never raises her voice?; as the years pass she cuts her hair and starts wearing mom jeans with baggy, mundane sweaters. No amount of life force zapped from me will ever make that come to pass. I will take wild unabashed emotion and floral prints mixed with plaid any day over that.

Get out there my loves, and get it said!