This post has 2 parts, that are vibrant as I prepare for Sunday’s Torchlight event.
The event focuses on Surrender in birth processes and in dancing and the every day. I have been thinking about big changes. And small ones.
I have been speaking to midwives and have been finding out also about the roots of the word midwife.It refers to the act of assisting to bring something forth. At a talk last week, Guy Claxton referred to active listening that dancers practice as ‘attending as a mid wife does’. That the mid wife assists the woman to bring a baby forth but also this term can refer to others that assist to bring something into the world. I can now start to feel even more sure that my hunch that the role of the dancer and her practice of giving and getting attention might have some alignment to that of the word midwife.
2. At the last Torchlight event people shared their own experiences of the vibrant but messy time after a performance.
I noticed that it is when I get space and time to be in the mess that I’m able to more fully acknowledge an experience and how it has changed me. How change is inevitable and keeps happening … and I get the sense that I have to acknowledge that mostly change isn’t temporary …
In the last few days I have heard the word resilience or being resilient (as something we need to be or could be better or more skilled at being) used many times, in documents that talk about being an artist for longer, being better at the job one does, being happier. Perhaps I am noticing it more because its been making me trip up a little or perhaps it is a popular term these days. Anyway I have been trying to apply it to my own experience and also encountering how I perceive other living being’s experiences too. And it doesn’t add up, so I keep looking up the definition of resilience in case I have misunderstood what it actually means. I haven’t. Resilience refers to the ability of something (or some body / creature / sentient being) to bounce back, to regain its original form after being compressed by something (think rubber balls I guess). Affirming or promoting resilience implies that (I) am not necessarily changed by what (I) experience – somehow can be skilled up to not be changed permanently by what I encounter / come across/ am compressed by. I find this difficult to reckon with.
So when change is invited (or perhaps happens and I know change is not always through choice) I can learn/ heal/ grow new branches/ get thicker skin (if I wanted to) but I am always transformed/ changed/ broken/ mended and never the same again. There is no bounce back to a former version. And therefore strategies to make one resilient (and with my cynic hat on, more productive short term) might just deny the fullness of the change and the rich mess of Afterwards too.
Im interested to find out how this focus on resilience might impact the ways that that intuition and listening to change as it happens, might impact a midwife and new mother experience.