I know that the Culvers do not approve of blogging as a forum for online journaling, but I would like to argue that since I can't air my grievances in person, the internet may be the best method to converse with my family and friends. I abhor the use of the telephone for anything other than information retrieval (as my mom can attest), so unless you want to fly me somewhere for a personal chat, this is what you get.
I had the singular pleasure last night of visiting with an old teacher (as he does not hold a M.A. he refuses to be addressed as "professor", you who know Mr. Kern will I'm sure honor his idiosyncrasies). The conversation lasted well past the midnight hour, and in between cooing over Will and Cole (the two newest members to the Boise baby consortium) Andrew and I got to talking about my knee injury and its effects on my future goals and plans. For those of you not in the know, I'm having an operation on Tuesday that will bench me for the rest of the season, dancing-wise, and I have strong doctoral reccomendations not to dance "professionally" after that. Being the melancholic person I am, I take that to mean ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I have assurances from the doctors that it may be possible still for a few years.
As some of you know, I took a solo retreat in May, a time to reflect on what my goals and aspirations really are, and how my current occupations may or may not be furthering those. The conclusion I came to was that while dancing was certainly a passion, I really was interested in seeking employment in a more secure profession, looking toward providing for my own and any possible family's comfort and happiness. I had hoped that dancing might dovetail into this, that I could continue to perform while working through further education and planning to open up options for a more long-term career, but this injury has accelerated the need for such planning.
It is a strange and uncomfortable proposition, one that I'm barely now beginning to grasp the urgency and necessity of. Although I haven't danced long, I've fallen into the eternal trap of identifying myself as what I do, not who I am spiritually and emotionally. As I said to Andrew last night, I've never been forced to quit anything where I hadn't reached my own personal pinnacle, either in interest or in skill. He very astutely observed that it is the first time I've been faced with my own mortality, limitation being imposed on me. So, in a sense, I'm mourning my own death as a dancer, the body remaining, but the spirit crossing over, and trying to discover what that passing on leaves me as.
An interesting year in all, and the event, while grievous in nature, couldn't be more fortuitous in timing. My aptitude and opportunity for writing is blossoming, and I'm hopeful and excited to see where it takes me. I'm not content to settle for a year of recovery, and am determined to use this time for new discovery (poetry is purely incidental. I have no pretensions in that area). If I'm required to take one step at a time (or one step followed by a shuffle/limp in my case), I don't see the purpose in worrying about steps three and four. I'm grateful for the amazing support that my family and friends are providing, and will continue to be somber, silly, discouraged, hopeful, prayerful, bummed, elated, lethargic, weepy, giddy, and all around ready for this next stage of my life. What else can you expect from a born Gemini?

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5 responses:

Dad said...

I simply can't imagine just what you are experiencing but I have to say that I am personally motivated in a positive way by your desire to face into an uncertain future, redefine that part of "who you are" that is captured by "what you do", and to move ahead into the rest of your life. I will take your example with me as I confront my own uncertainties.


Sarah said...

Wow. I am amazed and inspired at your attitude. I'm sorry this is so hard, but so glad that you're taking it on with this perspective.
P.S. The Culvers like online journaling from others, they just don't do it themselves. I once asked an editor I respect a question and he found my blog and referenced it in his reply making me realize I have to be very careful!

Mm said...

Back in the 70s, the profound 70s (!) (that decade is okay,right) there was a famous poster. Most of the scene was of endless asphalt stretching into the distance... hard and grey and barren. But in the foreground was a crack, and from that crack arose a single daisy, the white petals perfectly formed as it reached up impossibly from its prison under the road. The caption read "Beautiful things are seldom easy." Poster wisdom, but true.
Once again adversity is proven to be the friend that leads us to higher things. I am eager to watch the journey.

meg said...

i like your online conversation...

(maybe sarah should write her blog under a more mysterious veil? then we could hear it from the culvers as well?)

I didn't know about your surgery, I am sad for you and the loss of something you cherish...but, this is a time of discovery and I think your choice of accompanying photo shows your fortitude, determination and lack of complete pessimism. I am happy for that.

Valerie said...

You are making me, who harbors the deep fear of being seen to cry, well up a bit in a very public Starbucks. It is strange to me that you and Mr. Kern have identified this even as a sort of death because it seem that I have been mourning your injury in a similar manner. Not that you have died, but I have seen this dream of yours, and taken pride in your pursuit of it, so the realization that it is brutally being cut short is proportionally saddening.
I miss you more and more, and wish particularly that I could be closer to entertain you during your "confinement." You should also be aware that I look forward to perusing the fruit of said confinement whether in blog form or some other media.
I love you.