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“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

November was exceedingly strange.  Here are a few pictures I’ve taken this month of things that happened.

There was this…

trump-wtf

 

Moving on.

 

 

tired-bear

“I just can’t” said the bear in the Costco parking lot.

 

 

(I was waiting on a friend in the car when the bear showed up seemingly unaccompanied.)

 

 

dino

“Rawr” said the dinosaur.

 

 

(The dino was my contribution to a SoKaN event for #901 Rocks – a delightfully fun community craft movement taking the city by storm. These are some of the other SoKaNers’ painted rocks…)

901-rocks

[And finally, coming home fr0m this mad, funny, heartbreaking, and beautiful world to  retreat (not to be confused with retweet) and recharge.]

 

cat on my book.jpg

Mad Catter crashing my tea party

 

 

 

 

 

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Thinker on a Rock, Sculpture Garden in D.C.

 

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Somewhere in the bowels of D.C.

 

 

 

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South Main, Memphis, TN

 

 

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An Invasion at the Squirrel Nut Zippers Concert

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a video of another dance from the show Philomena’s Dream.  This medley is a collaboration of two dances across three different dance groups in Memphis: IDA, Jasmine’s Jewels, and Mystic River Dance.

The  choreographer of the candle dance is Isidora Hart. The song is Pachyderm Picnic by Brent Lewis.

Jasmine (of Dance with Jasmine) choreographed the second dance.  The song is Misirlou by Mosava.

This is us, this is love, this is where I’m home.

Emeli Sandé

We’ve been on staycation for the last week. It’s all my fault. How can anyone be expected to vacate when the moonflower is unfurling all her Love across the fence? I mean really!

moonflower 2016

the moonflower leaves sweet Valentines

I can’t possibly tear myself away from this. Someone must remain present to witness it all.

 

Time tending the garden must be subtracted from time in transit, from time absorbed by electronic screens, and from time preparing agendas and itineraries.

Planning a vacation sounds like work in comparison when there is a Magic Queendom just outside the doorstep…

squash 2016

a squash blossom forest

 

…amusing sights abound at every turn.

cucumber 2016

this from a tiny seed dropped in the dirt!

 

Ants parade around accompanied by birdsong bands. A lizard mama skitters away-quiet as a whispered secret-when the hiding place for her glowing eggs is suddenly revealed to a startled human female, who quickly restores their cover.

lizard egg

Over the course of the week, we did venture a short distance from home. Just around the corner is an enchanted land where fairies frolic and gnomes make homes.

Sherry's fairies

And just a little further out, though still remaining firmly rooted in the City of Kings,  there was another garden to visit.

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El-D commands the sea creatures

 

And that is what I did on my summer staycation.

 

 

 

 

 

For the last six years, the ladies of Shimmy Mob Memphis have joined women across the world in danced to raise funds and awareness for local women’s and children’s shelters to help end domestic violence.

We invite you to join us this Saturday, May 21, 2016 for a fundraiser show and silent auction at Club 152 on Beale Street at 7 p.m.  Admission is $15.  Proceeds go to the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County.

Our performers will include the beautiful dancers from Alima Tribe, Tribal City Bellydance, Pyramid Dance Company, Sahar, Mystic River Dance Company, and of course Shimmy Mob Memphis.

There will be presentations about the Family Safety Center and a silent auction with lovely items on the auction block.

(Bring cash or a check for the auction!)

Please join us for a fun and sparkly evening in support of a great cause!

 

SM 2016 group

SM 2015 group

 

 

I realize that most people probably think other people’s resolution reports involving statistics do not make for interesting reading material.  I get it, I do. But whatever. It’s my blog. I do what I want!  If I want to whip out a t-test or a flowchart, I will!  Just try and stop me.

Actually, October is not a month for t-tests. October is a month for life beyond spreadsheets; it is a month for magic-y magic and wild, wily witchery.

subdued witches

subdued witches

not so subdued witches

not so subdued witches

Poetry Witches5

I might have been on a bit of a witch kick.  I tore through three of Paula Brackston’s books:

The Midnight Witch

The Witches Daughter

The Winter Witch

I haven’t bought The Silver Witch yet, but it’s on the list. I love this author! Necromancers, hedge witches, and warlocks, oh my! Each story was set in a different period with unforgettable characters. The language was beautiful and the magic strange.

And as if by magic, I did manage to make some progress on the resolutions…

1. Cook something fabulous and complicated every other week.

I did! Four times fabulous with varying degrees of complicated.

2. Eat dinner before 7:30

I had a 61% success rate here — up 8 points from September!

3. Tend the garden.

I spent over 9 hours out there planting mums and pansies, pulling weeds, removing dead flowers, picking arugula and planting Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, and lettuce.

MoonPie smells the roses

MoonPie smells the roses

4. Finish Inferno choreography.

Done!

5. Write a book.

I got a whooping 5 hours in his month.  Better than last month, but I need to invest way more time here.

6. Meditate 15 minutes a day.

Not even close. Only got in 2.5 hours.

****

What were your happy accomplishments in October?

In the middle of our life journey, I found myself in a dark wood. I had wandered from the straight path.  It isn’t easy to talk about it: it was such a thick, wild, and rough forest that when I think of it, my fear returns….

Dante, The Inferno

Dante's Inferno

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Inferno choreography was released into the world.

Inferno (2)

The idea for this dance has lived in me for over nine months. In the last trimester alone I poured out over 20 hours of zeal and profound love on just the physical creation of the 4 minute and 23 second dance. That doesn’t include the hours I spent reading, researching, and thinking about Dante’s heroic verses.

Inferno

Before this conception there was a courtship, of course.  My notes date back to August 15, 2014, when I responded to Dante’s call to his Readers:

O voi ch’avete li ‘ntelletti sani,
mirate la dottrina che s’asconde
sotto ‘l velame de li versi strani.

Oh you with sound intellects,
Observe the doctrine that conceals itself
Beneath the veil of these strange verses!

–Dante’s Infeno, Canto IX

Inferno 01

That’s when I began studying Dante’s work in earnest and trying to interpret the mysterious verses. It’s astounding how a 700 year old poem continues to resonate through the work of contemporary musicians, painters, writers, singers, and other artists.

By the time of the performance, most of the choreography was set, but there were unnerving parts I had to improvise.  I haven’t seen the video yet, so I don’t know how well the improvised parts went and whether I was able to express what this dance with Dante meant to me, but I do know that I learned a lot through the process of making it.

IMG_4916 (2)

If you’re interested in seeing the images I collected to guide the choreography, they may be found through the link here on Pinterest:  Inferno inspiration board

Inferno Finale

 

The poets leave hell

Grace Flow Yoga

Greetings Friends!

Naturally I’m all in favor of group exercise classes. The benefits are numerous. First off, they are a great way to meet new people who share your values (health, fitness, and fun!!) and who are likely to keep you motivated and inspired to meet your goals.  Practice time seems to go by a lot faster when you’re with a group.  Another advantage of group classes is consistency. Having a regularly scheduled class can help you develop a regular routine.  A third benefit is that instructors are generally trained to offer safe and effective exercise programming.  We take into consideration the need for warm-ups, cool-downs, focus on particular muscle groups, etc.  When we practice on our own, it’s human nature to skip poses that seem “boring” or to focus on our favorites.

All that said, sometimes we just have to practice on our own due to scheduling or logistics.  For that reason, I’ve compiled a few of…

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Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

~Edgar Degas

First you get a song in your brain, and then it comes out your body, and that’s how you dance.

~Davis James, age 5

Shimmy Mob Memphis is dancing to change the world. This is our fourth year of dancing for the cause!

This year we dance to raise awareness and funds for the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. 

Shimmy Mob 2014 flyer

How can you help us end violence and strengthen families?

1. Dance with us

2. Let us dance for you

3. Donate to our cause! Visit www.fundly.com/shimmy-mob-memphis

Related Posts & Links:

Unbreakable

Dancing to Change the World

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2013

Shimmy Mob Southaven 2013

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2012

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2011

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