Tuesday, August 02, 2005


And trying to make them graceful. In classical piano it was called phrasing, and I excelled at it. It was where I could put all my excess enthusiasm and emotion without being labelled "crazy" by linear society. No, I was an artiste who could make the piano weep, as Mom always proudly shouted from the kitchen.

As you know from my resistance to the passing of my cat Calliope, life transitions knot my stomach into little clenched baby fists, stabbing at my innards. Not so fun.

Mom is in the middle of one right now, spiritually deciding should she stay or should she go. As hard as Nurse Sis and I have fought to keep her on the planet, maybe she's done here. It's up to her, and I fully acknowledge the last two months (at least) have not been the lifestyle she was sticking around to enjoy and participate in.

If there's one thing I learned about Calliope, it's that I clung on too long. I'm not going to make that mistake with Mom. I'm here to support her either way. Even if she stays, it will be a transition for her from who she was just six months ago, to accepting a much different lifestyle and body to inhabit.

At S Factor this week I had what they call a "Breakthrough Dance." Because of summer vacations it was a teensy tiny class, and everyone had to leave at the end before I danced. So my amazing teacher Kathleen stayed to let me dance first pole/lap dance for her. I chose this extremely soulful, sad, lyrical remake of "Wild Horses" by Charlotte Martin. Go download it from
it's shattering. Anyway, for the first time I was able to dance alone without pacing myself to the other students...and everything clicked. More specifically, the transitions between each section of the routine felt like pulling warm taffy.

And I don't think I've ever walked into the pole tricks better. To misquote Oprah, I WAS GONE. I haven't felt that comfortable and carefree in my body since I was a teenager in ballet. It was so spiritual. Kathleen was so supportive and excited. I think that she was most impressed by how sloooow I was...I doubled a three minute routine, and wasn't even winded at the end (the next song came on and she growled "Keep going!"). She said I danced like a fourth level student, and that it was so unbelievably sexy. Which is bizarre to hear, but cool. Learning to accept the applause and the "You're gorgeous"es from other women in this revolution of ours. Learning to become addicted to the female support and Woman's Code of Honor.

I kept telling myself I wasn't going to buy my own pole until I dropped fifteen pounds...Eff that. I think I just earned my pole.

But I shouldn't get too cocky yet. Next week we learn the pole climb. Week after that...UPSIDE DOWN. I'm shaking in my feminist Cinderella stilletos.

From Sheila this week: "We teach women to move into their bodies and their curve and away from the linear. We teach women to have no more apology in their body. We teach women to celebrate and find the joyful in their movement."

Jesus, the radio station is actually playing New Kids on the Block. Talk about a BAD transition. It's sooooo bad, my ears are burning. For better music, check out my iTunes playlist S Factor Slow: id=437606


Anonymous said...

My prayers as always, kiddo. I'd give you some kind of wisdom on this, but I have none. However, I will give what I always give -- praying/ leaning/ venting capabilities.

Hang in there. Best to you and Barbara and the rest of the family.


Lynne said...

That's something Bernie talks about. When life is no longer what you need it to be, it is ok to let go. It isn't a failure, but it is a significant sadness for those left behind.

My heart goes out to you and your whole family.

She may rally yet, and surprise you all. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for her too, and I put myself in her place always.

hugs to you

Anonymous said...

PS -- Don't knock ALL New Kids. Senior year high school, and one of my good friends is up for homecoming queen. I tell her during our last class together before the game to "save a dance for me" -- in gest, really, more to wish her luck.

I swing a last-minute ride with a buddy to go to the game and the dance. My friend wins; I figure I'll congratulate her at the dance if her courtly duties permit.

Halfway thru the dance, she taps me on the shoulder, and before I can congratulate her and give her a great big, silly hug, she gets the first word in: "May I have this dance?"

At that point, I am overwhelmed by her sweetness and friendship. Probably the ONE attractive girl I didn't have a crush on in high school -- but I loved her all the same, for the one-of-a-kind friend she was.

And, of all things, "I'll Be Loving You Forever" is playing in the background. Oh well... :)


Kidsis said...

MIM, Okay, well this was "The Right Stuff" playing. Can I knock that, please?

Lynne, of course she might rally. She's full of surprises. But her bad days are outnumbering her good ones, and none of the doctors have figured out why she's standing on a muddy cliff.

Cookie said...

Having stood exactly where you're now standing more than a few times, I really do understand.

Just take care of yourself. It sounds to me like your head and heart are in the right place. You simply have to let go and let your mom lead the way for you all.

Thoughts and prayers to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Ain't nuthin' right with "The Right Stuff."

My prayers as always.


Modigliani said...

This was a beautiful post. When I grow up I wanna be just like you: Pianist, daughter, dancer, and all!

You earned the pole, girl! Go for it.

ecogrrl said...

I LOVE that song. I also love this post - it's poignant and beautiful. So is being able to let go.

And yes, get the pole! :)

Kidsis said...

Cookie, thank you. I cheated a little tonight by sneaking Hero into Big Unnamed Hospital. After visiting hours, too. I walked past the security guards like I knew what I was doing, and kept my purse in front of Hero's Sherpa carrier. I was a little nervous. But it perked Mom right up after one of the worst days she's had in a long time.

So I'm not so neutral to what she chooses. So sue me.

Mo, *sniff*, thank you! When I grow up I want to teach like you!

Meg, thank you. I'm so glad to get these warm responses to this post. I still felt like I was dancing when I wrote it.

That is my new favorite song. I can't get her emotion out of my head. Especially the part where the piano cuts out and it's just her,like a lovelorn coyote in the night.

Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry to hear it's come to this. I can't even imagine what you, your mom, Brenda, and Brian are going through... not to mention Hero... and Stat... geez.

What an incredible decision to make. My thoughts are with you.


I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
--from Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"