I inhale and smell the heavy aroma of evaporating rain drops on hot summer asphalt. I breathe in again, welcoming this pleasant and familiar aroma. I awaken from a static sea of darkness to find myself shoeless and standing in the middle of a city street, the wide eyes of the double yellow lines looking straight up at me from between my toes. I turn my head and look down one side of the street and then the other. Not a car in sight.
Well. This is my dream. I can make the cars disappear if I wish..
I look downward once again, black hair draping forward and releasing to the gravitational pull of the earth. There at my feet I see a rather large blue and white ceramic plant pot, overflowing with gigantic, blooming purple lilies.
I’ve never seen purple lilies before..
I reach down, simultaneously bending at the knees and take hold of this plant pot. My fingers steadily curl under the earthen lip as my thumbs pierce the moist soil beneath the blooming flowers. I brace myself as I lift, taking care to make sure my posture is adequate for proper lifting execution. I hoist the bundle upward until I finally reach a standing position. I look down to see only lilies cradled in my arms; the blue and white plant pot vanishes without a trace.
Funny, he didn’t tell me he was leaving.
So there I stand in the middle of a vacant street, clutching an arms worth of purple lilies, heavy raindrops soaking into my skin and listening to the hissing mist as it rises up from the hot asphalt.
Such a rare and beautiful sight, these elegant flowers. I must plant them and grow an entire field!
While joyously entertaining this thought, I watch in awe as the trees in the far distance part like the red sea, instantly exposing a lush, green field. Excited, I begin to make my way down the middle of the street towards my new destination, faithfully following the yellow line like a tight-rope walker.
Suddenly above my head a large *CRAAACK* of lightening appears in the sky.
Instantly my eyes dilate and hackles raise as a primal force awakens in my bones. My heart beats wildly as my toes and arches firmly grip the ground in reaction to the fierce electricity hanging gingerly in the air.
The purple lilies fall to the ground in a large colorful heap, littering the warm asphalt. Dew drops glitter on each petal.
Very recently I had the privilege of experiencing an enlightening conversation with an audience member at a venue where I was performing. Immediately after viewing my piece, I was approached by this curious individual, making it clear that he felt very called to speak to me. Often times after performing, I will receive a variety of feedback ranging from costume appreciation and ‘how can I learn to do that?’ to ‘where did you grow up?’ and ‘have you been dancing all your life?’
This conversation was of a wildly different caliber.
As we talked, the audience member described their experience of my dance, detailing a particular feeling it brought to them; a familiar sense of love, joy and remembering.
There it was. He saw it.
This comment prompted an incredibly large heartfelt smile and a hand over my heart, as I was (and still am) completely honored to have received this kind of validation.
I have come to realize and graciously accept that my artistic expression is a completely different animal than that of pure entertainment. While what I do may indeed entertain viewers, entertainment has never been my primary focus for any medium. In fact, it took me years to finally admit to others, as well as to myself, just how I viewed my art. Fear of ridicule, being different, being wrongfully categorized and enduring judgment of all shapes and sizes stopped me from truly embracing how I saw and experienced my artistic expression.
Then one day I forgave everyone. Including myself.
It was at this point that I finally accepted and honored myself as a Creator. I removed the suffocating collar of fear and judgment and as a result of this, the new feedback began to surface. They began to see the spark.
The inner spirit, the spark that creates breath in astonishment and simultaneously watches in bliss as you exhale, is where passion begins. This is the connection to life and existence at all times. This is where my creation starts; from the ignition of passion.
This spark instantly animates the body, the mind and the nervous system, flipping on switches and turning gears. As momentum builds the voltage increases inside every atom, making my insides vibrate with an electric creative current. Ideas and thoughts begin to form in my brain as the spark transforms into liquid lightening; rolling, tumbling and expanding as every corner of my existence is graced with its vastly growing tendrils. It crackles and snaps like a whip as sparks bounce off my interior walls, richly illuminating my consciousness as dances, paintings, words, sculptures and colors race through my mind.
The lightening cracks again.
Swirling, bending and flexing the brightly radiant tendrils move like serpents, making their way down my legs, arms and up my neck, illuminating their pathways as they travel. My insides are on fire; brilliantly vibrating with the fierceness of high-powered electric current.
The dynamic tension increases as tendrils search for their exit, writhing down past my knees and calves, slithering rapidly past my elbows and wrists. Instantly my heart breaks open and my fears turn to ash as the electric current erupts out of my feet and fingertips. Creative energy pours out of my vision as I gaze outward, strings of vibration flow out of my body like rivers as my forehead softens and the corners of my mouth curl upward towards the sky in an overwhelming sensation of inner joy and release.
A powerful force of nature and momentous outpouring of the soul, punctuated with a smile.
This temporary, dynamic moment of expression reverberates in the air, filling the space with its tremendous presence. It is in this moment that something miraculous happens; the vibration birthed through this expression creates a resonance inside of those who view it, igniting the light of inspiration and passion inside of them.
Generating a field of lilies from a single seed.
There are some who see the product of this passion and strive to identify with it. Yearn to copy the visual product. How can you blame them? Products of passion are beautiful, vibrant, soulful creations that radiate into the souls and emotions of others. They make the heart strings of the living sing and vibrate. However, sometimes those who are inspired by this vibration simply copy and reproduce the visual manifestation of this passion and attach identity to it, not recognizing it as the product of passion.
Then there are others that take this inspiration and explore their raw, personalized, inner passion, not focusing on the product; the product being just a physical manifestation of the passion that exists inside. No matter how this visually manifests outside the body (as a category, medium, label or identity), it all begins from one place; the spark of inner passion.
Being a Creator, I do not identify or find self-worth through my mediums; I do so through this spark of raw passion. The true birthplace of creation.
The storm is coming.
Let your spirit speak and let all fears fall to dust.