Vive La France

There are private experiences that a girl has that she never tells anyone. There are other private experiences that a girl has that are too good to keep to herself. This will be one of those posts…….
It was the Spring of 2010. Bellydance had given way to the scandalous world of pole. New sights and sounds were captivating me and a new lifestyle held me in its arms. Hip scarves, coins, and glitter, had been traded in for heels, skin, and lots of naughtiness. It was great and exactly what a repressed Lady needed to allow the abundance of her sacral chakra to manifest. That is my attempt at being subtle. Allow me to be direct: pole turned me into a Lady on the prowl.
Easter Sunday was when I received the call. An artist friend wanted me to assist him with a project. He wanted to created a brotherhood circle with a new artist in town from France. He wanted people to be able to go back and forth between the two galleries and enjoy culture: art, music, dance, food, wine. Life at its finest. Within days, I visited his gallery to get a feel for the entertainment space. I was soon taken to the gallery of the visiting artist from France.
The meeting must have caused quite a sensation amongst sensitive people. My friend told me prior to entering the gallery that I should do something that called upon Egypt of yesteryear. As my feet carried me into the all white gallery, my eyes turned to the left and there was a painting of a harpist in the court of a pharaoh. What are the chances….
After admiring the artwork, I followed the sounds of Creole and French. Apparently, the artists were having a conversation. As my eyes took in the sight of the gorgeous piece of chocolate from France, strange things began to happen. Lots of blinking was necessary because a large white light was surrounding him. I felt calm and happy at the same time. We did not exchange a lot of words because neither of us knew what to say. I had to step away for a moment to take in everything that had transpired. Who was this gorgeous foreigner and how did I end up in his presence? I was the person that was going to arrange the entertainment between both galleries?! How did I get this lucky. He immediately invited me to have a drink with him. All of us ended up in the previous gallery dancing and making general merriment well into the night. It was official. The art world had swallowed me whole.
Gallery night soon appeared. One by one all of the dancers that had been confirmed vanished for one reason or another. The entire performance segment fell onto my shoulders. With my cd in tow, I danced to my own music. It was a surreal experience for me. It was a lovely evening. People gazed upon the art with sheer admiration. Wine was poured and laughter was everywhere. As my night came to a close, I found myself in the arms of the handsome Frenchman who had captivated my attention only days before.
It was necessary for me to go home as a pole class was on my schedule for the next day. I packed the harp and left.
The next day, the handsome Frenchman invited me to visit him at his gallery. I politely declined because of pole class when it hit me. There was a very strong attraction happening between us. He was leaving for France in a matter of days, and I probably would never see him again. It would be okay for me to visit him for a nice friendly chat. Perhaps he woulds serve tea and crumpets. I decided to stop by his gallery prior to pole class in the Grove.
My hair was perfect. My outfit was also quite nice. I waltzed up to the gallery and knocked on the door. He unlocked it and allowed me to enter. I asked him if we were alone. He responded yes. There was not a lot of conversation after that. All I can say is that for the next three days, we were inseparable. Before he boarded the plane to return to France, he thanked me for a wonderful visit. I thanked him for the memory of a lifetime. This is the reason that I will always have a special place in my heart for the country of France.

Lady of Harp: THE BEGINNING

In 2010, The Beginning was released as my first cd. It had occurred to me that I had fallen into simply doing performances that enabled me to be in the background; this is something that I needed to change. Music has been a passion of mine since childhood, and there was more that I could do with it besides my normal endeavors. Compositions began to appear and the impromptu songs that I created suddenly surfaced as a new skill for me: improvisation.
Since releasing that cd, interesting collaborations have occurred. Poets have poured their hearts out on stage as I plucked tunes behind them. Some of the songs on the cd were written for: Flamenco, Ballet, and Middle Eastern Dance. I even used my music while teaching at a local womens’ shelter. There was once a beautiful pole dancer that freestyled for ten glorious minutes while I created her soundtrack.
When I think about why I live this musical life, I think about how the music makes me feel. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and step into an extraordinary life. My mind can go somewhere and take the audience with it. Words do not have to be said; the music does the talking for me. It can convey the deepest of emotions and the heights of joy.
Harp was not available to me when I had a fleeting thought about it in middle school. As my senior year of high school came to a close, my father suggested that I try it. It was not long before I was performing at local events and with various ensembles. Life serves as the inspiration for me to continue this journey with my harp. There is so much to share and explore with this rare instrument. It brings me a great deal of satisfaction when people are able to get in touch with their feelings because they were able to listen to me perform.

Along the journey of life, I discovered meditation. It soon dawned on me that the harp would be beneficial to such a practice. It was then that I created Harpitations; meditation to my improvisations on the harp. This was something that I pursued at a local spiritual center for a year along with womens’ circles. People would share their visions and feelings of being balanced after the sessions. It was always an interesting exchange of energy. I would offer the music and the people would return their words of elevation. In the near future, I see myself developing this into something that can benefit more people.
As the year progresses, new projects shall appear on my plate. Celtic Harp is something that shall be a pursuit of mine in addition to a possible Soprano & Harp recital. Composing is always around the corner, and there has been more than one request for another cd. Narrowing down the theme shall be difficult as there is so much that I can do: angels, lullabies, popular music; it is so hard to choose. The one thing that is certain is that the life of a musician is always full of wonderful things that entertain not only the audience but the musician as well.

An Emergence

It has been a very long time since I even looked at an exercise class. Zumba and Mat surfaced last Fall, but they simply did not hold my attention for long. The spark did not take for me at all. My stubborn streak returned me to a place of doing absolutely nothing with my body. A short walk with the dog was all I would consider for physical activity. When the overwhelming stress of work started causing health issues, the writing was on the wall. I was going to have to do something in spite of the fact that it was not the glamourous dancing that I once enjoyed.
My fingers found the account login information for my old haunts as I enrolled in a Sultry Vixen class. It would consist of a light dance routine that would not immediately put my person in a body bag. It was not easy to find something to wear, and the heels were misplaced. As I trotted to class, I thought about how surprised the instructor would be to see me. She hugged me twice.
In true Lady fashion, the routine was a simple skeleton for me to color. Once I saw my long legs in the full length mirror prancing around in heels, a great deal of satisfaction filled me. The slow music helped me sway and become the soft sensual character that takes over in such an atmosphere. The lighting was just right and so was the temperature. When it was my turn to freestyle, I saw the me that I knew so long ago. The stage was there with spotlights awaiting me. My smile broadened and there went the music. It was easy for me to paint the picture of the amorous lyrics. Applause filled the room as the music faded away. Another smile crossed my face. It was nice to see myself again.

The Arts are not Free

The other day found me wandering around Facebook. A group post caught my attention. An organization was interested in showcasing the diverse talents of its community. It wanted to reach out to dancers and musicians in various genres to audition for a chance to perform on stage in front of people that would be interested in their work. The top five acts would be selected for this wonderful opportunity. Because I do not engage in Facebook drama, I posted something on my on wall.
What makes people think that artists want to perform for free? A quality arts education program is not cheap because most of it is done through private lessons. Such people often train from childhood and have a wide variety of fees which are associated with their passion. I wondered if this organization would feel comfortable conducting business without a financial transaction? If musicians perform for free, they can not eat dinner. If an artist paints a picture and gives it away, they are unable to pay for more paint. If a dancer performs without proper compensation, she may not be able to get that massage that her body needs because she has been in the studio for hours everyday working that routine.
The arts are not something that just happen over night. It is tradition and appears in every single culture on earth. They contribute to health, wellness, religion, and spirituality. Whenever the arts are removed from schools, the crime rate increases. It goes against the natural order of life. Is it that severe you ask? Think about starting your day in the Spring and never hearing the birds sing. How would that make you feel? The next time that you watch JAWS, turn off the sound and see if that shark is still as scary. Visit the churches in Europe without paying attention to the artistry.
People fail to understand the value of such beauty. People do not understand the passion that is involved in creativity because perhaps they lack it themselves. Such lack of respect and ignorance contributes to this constant advertisement of: perform for free, do this for a lower price. I see it everywhere. I should seek an organization that fights such things because it is getting on my nerves.

Monday: My Day

Monday is the day when my roads are normally opened. They may be blocked, winding, or even messy but they are opened for me to make choices. After a rather pleasant weekend, my workday began with the new process of creating my face. It did not take as long as I had anticipated and soon, I was out the door en route to the job that I wish to change. Because of the paint that was applied to my face, I was a more effective person today. The amount of compliments that I received for my appearance was simply amazing. The positive energy lifted me into other dimensions that I recognized as former haunts. It was a good feeling for me.
The experiences that my body has been through since the car accident last July continue. Another doctor must be added to the list to address my nervous system with x-rays. Apparently, now my neck wishes to go through muscle spasms and remain tight as a rope without any regard for the efforts of my physical therapist. My exercise of choice has been elimanated from my routine for months now with no hope of it returning anytime soon. However, my former pilates torturemaster remained on my mind. I felt as if I needed something healing while my body goes through aging and adjusting to trauma. The medical background of the torturemaster combined with her knowledge of my body make for an excellent canditate to assist me with remaining bikini ready as all of this is thrown at me. However, it was not until my mother mentioned that she could help me that I finally called her. Alas, I wanted my dance strenous and harsh as it may be. Its not what is needed at this time. My first class was this evening, and it felt nice to sweat. The rest of this journey is tba as I am living it day by day.
The rain falls to the earth to replenish her green and nurture the oceans. The thunder rumbles and shakes my home as the candles flicker back and forth. My summer vacation is around the corner and there is much work to be done if I am going to truly meet the challenge of my career transition. My trusted advisors await my next move. It was necessary for me to stop doing everything at once. It was not accomplishing goals and work makes it impossible for me to focus on the new trials and tribulations of working for myself full time. The idea of answering to myself without the boring routine of nothing changing and ineffective leadership is quite attractive to me. It is my intent to bake this delicious cake and then, have a nice slice of it. Perhaps, I shall add a scoop of ice cream…..a glass of champagne would not hurt either.

What is Left

Sometimes, the process of going through the motions when you have no other choice, can leave you feeling numb. The ho hum drum of daily life can be wrought with being rushed and overwhelmed with too many demands from sources that are not on the top of your list. Isolation and desparation may also rear their ugly heads. How does one add a subtraction sign to this equation?

It is important to focus on what is important. As long as I am working towards an ultimate goal that has meaning to me, it puts the entire picture into perspective. I am not looking to win a battle because the war is the end result; there is where the victory is of the utmost importance.
My goal is to transition into a career that is rewarding to me on all levels.

Before this day, I do not think that I realized how much this change would consume my entire life. Sacrifices on all levels have to be made. The change alone is a full time position in itself. Tweaking resumes and networking are constant efforts especially while trying to maintain regular responsibilities at work and home.

I have also learned the hard way that there are many people that do not agree and oppose the mere thought of leaving a career behind or retalliate to venting of the situation. Some people have truly hurt my feelings with some of the most horrible comments. However, how could they truly know what I am experiencing without being in my shoes? It doesn’t help when those closest to me state that I should be thankful to be employed and to remember how hard it is to get a job elsewhere…what would I do? (Lesson learned: understand that you can not vent at large…..)

It is true. I should be thankful that I have a job, and it did take me a long time to figure out what to do. The fact of the matter is that the lessons learned from my job will help propel me into the next chapter of this story, and I am thankful for maintaining what will be my background one day. Since finally coming to a conclusion as to what I should do with myself, I have chosen to not broadcast it to the world lest discouraging words are thrown at me like daggers. Positive company is needed at this time as this is not an easy road to tread.

Fortunately for me, the universe has been watching. Information and people have suddenly appeared to help me along the way. The Career Transition card from my oracle deck appeared this morning much to my delight, and I posted it in the LadySpeaks fb group. The Business Reflections Workshop covered how one can begin to plan an exit strategy. My pen was quick to copy all of this information because one thing is evident. Either I do something drastic or I will continue to be here looking for ways to deal with a situation that grows worse by the seconds. Some days are better than others with today being in the others category.

In the meantime, I have found myself wanting to stretch more while wearing my black and white leg warmers because they are funny looking. Just when I think that I want some company, a friend calls for tea. This week was suppossed to be quite busy with an event happening every night clear into next week. That has also changed, and I now forsee myself working diligently on my homelearning assignment from the workshop. My mind must stay calm if I am going to be able to focus on keeping myself in one piece while dealing with everything at once. Candles help and so will dancing. I have taken to cooking interesting meals with green veggies and have enjoyed a long period of silence this evening. Tomorrow is another day, and my bed chambers are calling me.