Blogging Bi Day, Dance by Night

All things Bi, Dance and random musings for our edification


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All things new

Have been busy dancing a lot lately. That is one reason I have not been posting anything but the bigger issue is that I was stuck in terms of coming up with any bi themes to write about. Ergo, starting today I want to broaden my scope.  What I will write about. If some bi issue is  out there, I shall ponder it,  put quill to parchment and publish away. But what I want, what is most important to me now, is to organize my thoughts, discipline my writing,  and write about what’s  going on in my soul, which may or may not be bi related.  Since the last post I’ve written a quadrillion words it seems about what has been going on in my dance life and what has NOT been going on between the sheets.  And I don’t know if that  twain shall ever meet up.

Found a great songbook at the senior’s home this week and made a list of more than two dozen songs I will play.  I was so happy making this discovery. The arrangements were simply excellent, very much at my level of playing and the songs were so appropriate for my audience.  While  it is fun for me to play say Bruce Springsteen or Gordon Lightfoot on the piano I doubt any 85 year old resident would enjoy that.  Some of the sacred music (hymns) have been fantastic and even some patriotic music.  This  strikes me as deliciously ironic given I am not a fascist, I mean a hyper nationalist,  flag waving reich wing conservative nor  am I especially religious these day s (I once was).

Met up with a friend yesterday to say goodbye as he is leaving for work. It was simply a joy and a delight to debrief for a couple of hours at a coffee shop.  I felt like a million bucks and it was all so simple.  Just two  people chit chatting in  a pleasant surroundings, telling their stories and  narratives,  with each listening in rapt attention.

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cha cha

chacha

Today at the dance school learned the cha cha. Which means I will be thinking of the line in the film The Godfather  Part 2 at the Havana nightclub when Fredo Corleone (John Cazale) says to the assembled crowd that they are to watch out for a certain member of the group  because he does a mean cha cha cha.  Had another perfectly bi day  doing salsa dance  lesson then rocketing to another part of town to meet up with my beautiful bi sisters and brothers for a film and then coming back for more dance (another lesson and then a practice party).  Was it Shakespeare who said that in  life, a person may wear many hats (paraphrasing).   Saw that quote applied to Teddy Roosevelt once.  Roughrider, trust buster and many many things more!

imagesI cannot get enough of these “keep calm” quotes.  Mark Twain said that the Lord may forgive us our sins, but our nervous system never does.  Told someone today I was bi and it was not a big deal.  Amazing the change in half a year on that front.  The twenty third person I have come out to. Since the fall it has been one per month, on a need to know, case by case basis.  Below is a cute dog photo I came across.  Love the puzzled, quizzical look on it’s face, as in what is going on here?  Someone told me if nothing else I keep them amused. So at least there is that.  To me laughter, a sense of humour never ever goes out of style.  Next up on the bi movie front might be the film “Caravaggio” which is supposed to have a big bi theme to it.  Report to follow when in fact I watch it in a month or so.

dog


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The Quadrivium

Things are going well with my own personal daily quadrivium of:  dance, blogging, reading and  piano.  When I get back to running more regularly again it will be a pentathlon daily.   Of course, life gets in the way of what you want to do.  Below wiki naturally throws some light on this subject:

The quadrivium  are the four subjects, or arts, taught after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning “the four ways” (or a “place where four roads meet”) and its use for the four subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th centuryTogether, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts (based on thinking skills),as opposed to the practical arts (such as medicine and architecture).

The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium made up of grammar, logic, and rhetoric

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What do you do daily, weekly, monthly that makes you feel creative?  What is your idea of fun?  I have been trying to think of the second biggest fear I have in my  life  and am stymied!  As noted, dancing was the primo, numero uno, #1 fear.   Read that overcoming our biggest fears can give us our biggest joys.  That has been true in spades for me.

Below is a beautifully illustrated manuscript that I could not resist inserting.  What do I think after looking at it.   The slow cooking food movement.  I ponder “process” and not just end results of arriving-getting to someplace, or  some accomplishment.  Slowing down when necessary in life.  Living more in the  NOW.  Dance has been fantastic at concentrating the mind that way.

mss


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Vivir Mi Vida

What a fabulous night of dancing last night with people from the school and then other strangers at the Latin nightclub we went to.  Maybe ten dances with people I knew and then at least 15 minimum with strangers at the club. Rejections too though to be honest about it.  Stayed until 2 am. Amazing but true! Feels like I have written a lorryload today of emails trying to process it all, unpack it, debrief my  soul as it were.  Felt like I knew what I was doing much more than a month ago, which makes sense.  Was dancing bachata with a woman for a very long time and then the song I have been listening to over and over came on, “Be My Baby”, (by The Ronettes)  the Leslie Grace (princess of bachata) version was played.  Wow.  I was in heaven with that.  Told the woman that I loved this song and sang  parts of it to her.  I doubt she heard anything as the music was loud and drummed out my words.   A very sweet moment in time.  Think we may have danced continuously 15 minutes?

Have listened to this song many many times today.  It is so perfectly fitting my mood and where I am at now. It expertly captures my current sensibilities. It was played last night of course and I enjoyed dancing salsa to it a great deal. The chorus-refrain says basically:  I am going  to laugh, dance and live my life.  Yes indeed a fair summation of my existence at present.  Lots of good energy going on in the video and my life right now.  Other verses in the song speak about carpe diem, getting over hurt,  move forward,  and living in the moment (which I have challenged myself to do).  Sunday (tomorrow) a big day at the dance studio with a salsa lesson, another group lesson and then a practice party.

Below is  the refrain from the song in the subject line from Marc Anthony, Sept. 2013. Enjoy!

Vivir Mi Vida

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la

Live My Life

I’m gonna laugh, I’m gonna dance
[I’m gonna] live my life, la, la, la, la
I’m gonna laugh, I’m gonna enjoy
live my life, la, la, la, la


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Down on the corner

What a wonderful night of dancing. A long set piece of choreography that took about 50 minutes   (tango) plus practice party (30 minutes, many different dance styles-steps with partners changing all the time).  A great way to learn your stuff and have so much fun doing it.  Danced rumba,  salsa,  hustle, foxtrot, waltz, single step,  merengue, bachata,  and tango.

Was reading the book “Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life” by  Martin E.P. Seligman that someone had suggested.  There are lots of questions  to fill out to figure out how much of an optimist or pessimist you are.  It was instructive   to compare my current buoyant mood since August versus  over three  decades of being a grouch, grump, curmudgeon.  A friend said so many of us traipse through life with a   movie camera playing in side our head recording what we think is happening or we should be doing.   The ongoing interior monologue we all have was discussed at length in the book of course. My favourite image in terms of negative self talk was the drunkard accosting you by the corner and shouting out at you all kinds of nasty things  that are not founded in reality.  Do you take that person seriously or do you let it go? Seligman says we correctly do not get into a knot by what a drunkard says but we foolishly take as gospel truth the vicious inner monolog we conduct with ourselves that is just as unfounded.

Played piano best yet at the seniors home today.  You improve is when you make a mistake.  Obviously you are trying to avoid the wrong notes but you need to flop, fail to truly get better.  You cannot go so slowly that you don’t mes up.  I thought it was an excellent  snapshot of life.  Mistakes are when  and how you learn.

Certain gentle sweet blog readers will be incredulous but it is a true tale.  Was watching this bachata video, told somebody and they said “the woman singing is so beautiful and sexy”. I had not noticed I was so focused on the  song, dancing, lyrics that I was oblivious to her eros.  Rage and lust down 95%  from the old me.

I hardly focused on the half year anniversary of coming out but I did bring a min-cupcake to my dance school to celebrate one month since I started taking lessons.  If I  see further now, it’s because I am standing on the shoulders of giants as the saying goes.

me

Above ,  is a self portrait last night on my way downtown to the dance school, by bike bundled up given the weather, snow etc.  I was getting ready and saw my reflection  in the window of the car (which is in the garage) and thought  I’d capture this. It reminded me of the  two assassins on motorcycle as portrayed in the film “Veronica Guerin”  the true story of the Irish journalist who was investigating the drug culture of Ireland and was murdered (portrayed by the wonderful actress Cate Blanchette).   I needed a ski mask, cat, scarf, helmet etc. to brave the elements!  In  the film’s climactic scene (her murder) the very haunting and beautiful song “The fields of Athenry” (by Pete St. John)  is sung to great effect a capella by a very young lad (to my ear out of tune but it is more effective that way).  Check that song out, it is so gorgeous and bittersweet.

Below,  was an extremely unusual and moving moment 2 years ago at a football (soccer) game when Spain was beating Ireland 4-0  and in the 87th minute, the  Irish fans broke out into a spontaneous rendition of the song “the Fields of Athenry”.  I vividly recall the incident as I was watching the game on the tv.


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The original bad girls of rock strike again a half century later!

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I was giving  Brian Wilson a run for his money in the last 24 hours listening to the Ronette’s song “Be My Baby” (1963, picture above of them)  Evidently he went through a period when he was so enchanted with this song he was listening to it “100 times a day”.  I had this bachata remix   video on in the background and then I heard  an English-Spanish version (set to bachata beat)  and I was completely in love with the version instantly.     Bachata is one of my favourite dance steps that I am learning and I  enjoy  the music too.  I have always liked that song.  It is so perfectly attuned to my mood lately, one of innocence and joy which is a ridiculous distance from almost all of my adult life of being a crusty cynical curmudgeon.  Light years away. Below is Rhumba the dog that just got a bath and is being rewarded for putting up with it by getting a treat from the butcher shop. Adorable photo I found online.

Rhumba-3

Do you rhumba?  Why yes of course.  Ok, then  pick a a rhumba from 1 to 10.  -Groucho Marx. Talk about delayed gratification for a joke. I first heard that line in a Marx Brs.  movie as a kid,  maybe 10 years old and had to wait four decades to use it and appreciate the dancing connotation.  My pa loved those movies and that is a happy childhood memory for me.  Growing up we had this record of famous  songs such as “Be my Baby”,  It’s my party” (1963 Lesle Gore),  “The Great Pretender “(1955 The Platters), “Johnny B Goode”  (1956 Chuck Berry), “Rock around the clock” (1954  Bill Haley and his  Comets)  etc.

Lego Birthday Party - Rhumba Feet Dance Steps Diagram

I remember with affection  part of a  lecture   on the many types of love captured in the one Greek word and the theology professor said in certain circumstances it was NOT just platonic love at work or a sisterly-brotherly love (philia)  or the  selfless love mentioned in the New Testament (and elsewhere).  I only mention this in passing because  of my dance teachers and the deep affection I have for them.   Was talking to someone and they could not figure out where they were on the LGBT spectrum because they have had long serious committed relationships that were same and opposite sex at different points in their life.  Love-sex-romance is so imprecise is it not?  We crave exactitude in an inherently dynamic process.   Was it Heraclitus, the pre Socratic  philosopher who wrote that we cannot step into the same river twice because it is moving-changing.  To grow, to live, to change and my heavens you just hope the person you are madly in love with is evolving in a way that makes your lives compatible! Pity you if they are growing away  from you.

Above,  found the bachata version of Be My Baby. Enjoy! Once upon a time I fell in love with a woman from Spain (Madrid actually) on a ski trip so naturally when I returned home I enrolled in Spanish lessons pronto. A true story.  Those who know me well were not surprised.  At university I was madly in love with a woman of Ukrainian heritage  so the obvious thing to do was to take courses in Russian Literature which I did and relished immensely. Once was tremendously smitten by a lass of Irish parentage, ergo I threw myself into all things Irish.  The heart wants what the heart wants.


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Coming out versus coming out

Last year a friend said that the biggest, most important thing you can do for yourself mental health-wise is to come out a la the LGBT fashion.  This does beg the question for straight people, what might be an equivalent, if anything. Until January 2, 2014 I would and did concur 100% with this notion of importance.   The Lord or Law of the dance as a friend put it has changed everything  for me.  Have been trying  to think why the dancing has been such an earthquake in my soul this past month.  The dawn of my sexuality would be as a teenager but when did any bi issue truly come up in my life? It is not co-terminous  with my first same sex experience but years, decades later really when it became some sort of facet of me.  As noted many times, I did  not perceive it as a problem-issue-question for me at all for so long.  However in terms of how I felt about myself in terms of appearance, looks that goes back to my childhood. To the age of 6,  or 7 at the latest.  Ergo, that has a far longer history than whatever bi stuff was going on.  Dancing has given me this confidence,  poise,  grace and self confidence in that realm. Plus it is a constant thing, that is the face you present to the world whereas the bi nature is much more restrained. And if you get into the whole “passing” thing, then it is truly subsumed!

I felt a quadrillion times more oppressed in the image department which dance has helped immensely with whereas I never felt oppressed because I had same sex desires and opposite sex ones. What I am certain of is that I would never have taken up something like dance if I had not come out first because that gave me so much more confidence in myself.  One has lead to the other. Of this, I know. There has been this coming out of a shell.  I guess I first needed to come out to myself,  then I could come out of my cocoon to the world.  Recently our dance school held a party and it wanted to showcase different levels of skill, so I was chosen to demonstrate (the  beginner level, given how new I am).  So I did this with my teacher and we danced a foxtrot and merengue, maybe a minute each in front of say 50-60 people and I was not really nervous all that much.  I was so focused on the task at hand and my teacher that I pretty much blocked out the crowd.  It went well and we were pleased.

The next few days are the six month period of coming out and it lends itself to some mini checklist, report card, gauge of what has transpired, how much-little I have done.  Tomorrow (Feb. 3) is exactly a month since the first  dance lesson.  Lenin’s quip comes to mine of how for decades nothing happens and then in weeks, decades happen.  I made the blasphemous but true statement to people that January 2014 was the best month of my life since June 1981.  Ridiculous right? But correct!  How can that be?  The multiplier effect I think.  Coming out gave me a lot of strength and now I am building upon that.

Above,  it is so perfectly fitting my mood lately, when I discovered it tonight I had to share it.