Years ago I wrote a series of poems based on the autobiography and writings of Isadora Duncan. I never did anything with them because I decided (arbitrarily) that there needed to be 16, and I only wrote 11.
One of the poems was called “Stasis,” and it described Isadora’s desolation after the tragic drowning of her two children, Deirdre and Patrick. She was so overcome with grief that she couldn’t dance. Her one passion, her consolation, her solace–it was gone. She couldn’t move a muscle.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that poem lately. Not because I’ve experienced similar tragedy (thank goodness) or even because I’m particularly unhappy, but because I know what she’s talking about. I’ve been in stasis for a while now, and even minus the personal tragedy, it’s the opposite of fun.
I’m a dancer and a writer. I express myself through movement and through the written word. And yet for months I’ve been struggling against inertia. Resistance, perfectionism, stasis…call it whatever you want. It’s been growing and growing until I can barely remember the last time I danced–danced until my brain shut off, anyway–and until my blog no longer feels like a home, but like a giant “should” hanging over me.
I’m exaggerating…a bit. But the essence of the feeling is there: Stasis.
I’m taking steps to change it. I’ve set up a standing desk at work, made a point of stretching and moving my body regularly. I’m listening to music and swaying in place, dancing with Xander, and taking walks when it’s nice out. I’m tweaking my diet to try to find the sweet spot where my legs don’t ache. I’m playing with the look and contents of my blog to make it feel better. I’m writing this blog post after weeks of not-quite-doing-it, and realizing that, actually, I just inadvertently wrote a list of things to write about.
These baby steps are what will take me from stasis to movement again. These baby steps are all part of the journey.
I know that stasis has lessons to share if I look for them. Deep down I know that this experience is important and that I’ll be grateful for it in the future. Something about this process is shaping me, honing my focus, helping me grow. I know that the first step to breaking out of stasis and including more dancing and writing in my life is simply making space for those things.
And I know that even thought it’s simple, it won’t always be easy. Space must be opened up. Choices must be made. “Publish” buttons must be pressed.
I’m breaking out of stasis one baby step at a time.