I Showed UP!

2019 is about showing up for life, not just talking about showing up for life. Today I did!

Literally, showed up.

It was the first hoop practice for Jazzy’s Celebration of Life. Perhaps I understated a few days ago how scary it is for me to show up alongside these talented, intimidating women. I felt like Jazzy was up there cheering for me! If anyone believed that everyone was welcome, it was Jazzy. It means the world to me to be a part of this performance.

There’s so much informing my anxiety.

My skills are shit. These girls are all close friends, in and out of the hoop, and they’ve performed together innumerable times. They don’t have to learn their combos. They just get together and play until something falls into place. Then they set it. There, choreography.

Here, I show up, remedial at best – years ago – having to assess, “Do you know this? Can you do this?”

“No… Once upon a time, but never really solid…”

I didn’t want to to hold them back in any way or make them dumb it down for me.

I was at battle with myself last night. I can’t tell you many times I decided it was okay not to do this. I’m really not ready. That’s the truth.

Another equally true voice reminded me that it was about rehearsing together. I can always opt out of the performance. I want to be with the people who loved her, together doing what she loved. I knew that this was the opportunity to break through the personal barrier that kept me away from a rich part of the community I always wanted to belong to, but didn’t know how or dare.

Practice this morning was early. I’m overwhelmed with three other dance classes, and I’ve been in a moderate Fibro flare for over a month. I’m tired. My body hurts.

Christie, get up! You’ll be glad you did.

I had set the alarm for 7am – I felt proud and brave – and then I forgot to turn it on!

By some miracle I woke up at 7:45. I was, of course, relieved. Totally off the hook.

I really meant to get up, but there’s no way I could get there on time now. I lay back down.

It doesn’t matter if you’re late. Get up. You’ll be glad you did.

I didn’t question it. I didn’t fight with myself. (I was too tired.) I just put my feet down.

I was late, half an hour. As I approached the Hub, I saw only one car in the lot. That’s more intimidating than a large crowd. I almost turned around.

GO IN.

I approached the entry. Locked. I went to the back access. Locked.

I tried. I was triumphant. Nothing to regret. I really tried! (I was so relieved.)

I turned to leave, but stopped. I went back and rang the bell (which doesn’t reach upstairs to the dance studio, but I tried anyway). I knocked.

Running late, I left my phone! I couldn’t even message the Facebook page.

I rang and rang.

Okay. Admit defeat. Girl, you showed up. You get your gold star. And you get out of it!

I started to leave, but just couldn’t exit the parking lot, quite. Why? There was only one car. I’d been all around the warehouse. No one was up that early and working.

I just lingered. I knew if I skipped the first practice, I could talk myself out of all the rest. I stayed. I searched.

Finally, I turned to go home.

And there it was! A car exiting the lot. I got the code to bypass a key, and up I went!

I was the only one! Other than the three pros who are choreographing the thing, me.

Oh, god. I should have turned back!

I told them how scared I was. I told them I don’t want to affect the group with a garish skill gap. I told them it was Jazzy who got me there.

“I don’t know how else I showed up,” I admitted. “I talked myself out of it a million times. I’m terrified!”

“We’re so glad you’re here!” they all said, and wrapped me in a hug.

I KNEW that’s what I’d find there! But … but, but, but!

I did it. I did it. I did it!

Thank you, Jazzy. You knew.

We felt her.

Jazzy and Jeffrey brought hooping into my life. Jazzy brought it back.

Thank you for giving me the courage to approach your friends. You broke down the wall for me and got past the fear. It held me back for so long. Thank you!

2019 is the year I pick up my hoop and push beyond old boundaries. I have a whole community now that I’m not afraid to ask, “How’d you do that?”

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Jazzy Blue Brite

Twelve years ago, a beautiful light of a girl caught my eye at Burning Man. I’d seen hula hooping before, even stop-in-your-tracks hooping, but never that. Jazzy Blue Brite is the quintessential picture of my first burn, and burned in my brain.

It was 2007, and I was afraid of the desert. As far as I could see, life was not meant to survive that ancient, desiccated lake bed, so I didn’t drink anything but water. I was dead sober, and Jazzy Blue Brite was the moment that trance entered my being.

We go to Burning Man for an altered state. It doesn’t take long. It permeates that city. But that night, that party, there she was. Magic. Light. Pure beauty.
jazzy blue brite burning man 2007I was transported, without a drug or a drop in my body.

I found out my campmates had taken me to Ganesh, a camp and artcar from Salt Lake. That makes sense now, but at the time I knew nothing and no one. I had only met the guy I went with a week prior to leaving. Everyone was a stranger.

They’re my own community now, but Jazzy eked out a special place in my heart.

I had been hooping a little that summer with Jeffrey, who had beautiful flow and energy, but I wanted lessons from her and signed up for a workshop as soon as I got home. I was so intimidated and nervous.

From that 6-wk course and a dozen years of festivals and festy parties, Jazzy and I formed a bond that is so dear to me. We never hung out one-on-one, but every time we saw each other we ran to hug on each other. It was so validating, to know that she was just as excited to see me, every time, as I was to see her. She loved me.

I loved her, too.

Jazzy died on the 4th of January. She had been in an accident almost 10 years ago that took her friend. She was on the back of his moped and sustained serious injuries herself, but it was her heart that never recovered from the loss and survivor’s guilt.

Her carefree partying morphed. We were losing her. She wasn’t as visible on the circuit as she had been. Then again, neither was I. But even I had occasion to see the change, a year and a half ago. She was wasted at an afternoon hoop jam.

In fact, a friend of mine said after we left, “What’s up with Jazzy?”

“Oh, nothing,” I dismissed her. “We’ve all been there.”

Frankly, I thought she was being judgmental. Lord knows I’ve been the drunkest at the party before, and will be again. And most of us have been sloppy, even embarrassing, in the company of sober friends a time or two. Big deal.

I confess I do feel a little guilty about that day. She was so obviously going downhill, I see now. Hindsight.

Anyway, I love her, that sweet Jazzy girl. She’s a great loss, to our community and to me personally. I’m pretty philosophical about these things, but losing her hit me hard. I cried quite a bit. I began to perceive that maybe I’m not so placid about life and death as I claimed, but used that belief to distance myself from loss.

I feel the loss of Jazzy, in my whole body. I feel a little punched in the gut, and I’m quick to tears about her. I was supposed to see her that afternoon!

She’d been in the hospital for weeks, with organ failure. First, doctors told her family not to expect her to wake up from a medically-induced coma, but she did! Her organs recovered, except for her liver, and she was on the list for transplant.

She had a long road ahead, facing mental health issues and the great heartaches she had drowned, and learning to live sober. Transplant, too, is never guaranteed. Even with the best immediate outcome, her body could reject it anytime.

As a community, we settled into a schedule of taking afternoon shifts, so her sisters could go home to their families. A friend and I were slated for 2pm, and then we got the announcement. She passed peacefully in the morning, surrounded by family.

I had a strange sensation of grasping for her, just missing her, but feeling simultaneously that I was with her. In that hovering between – especially right when they leave, I imagine – our friends and family must see our closeness to them in thought, love, and intention.

It was quite beautiful, honestly, but very discombobulating. Those of us who were on the roster for the day went to lunch (for hours) instead. I connected with old friends and strangers alike. It was truly one of my happiest days. Everything you can imagine about such a day: Laughing, hugging, sharing stories, holding hands, holding each other.

We’re having a big Celebration of Life on the 27th at Utah Arts Alliance, and the Hoopologists are putting together some choreography in memoriam. They want to include as many as would like to participate. For her, I really really do.

I’m terrified. I haven’t hooped at all since the last time I saw her, and hadn’t much in the years prior. I was never that good at my best. Another situation in life that I plateaued at a few fun tricks, but didn’t want to work for it afterwards. Taurus laziness, if-it-doesn’t-come-easily, familiar pattern…

But I’m doing it. I’m going to rehearsals with girls who intimidate me and I’m performing my part in the background. Think 1980s low-mid-high level aerobics, haha!

Jazzy inspired me 12 years ago and she’s doing it again.

Get up, Christie.

Live fully. Work through the hard parts and DANCE when you get past them!

****

Jazzy’s family is left with large medical expenses. If you’re in a position to donate and feel moved to do so, please follow the link to GoFundMe. Thank you!

Jazzy Blue Brite’s Medical Fund

jazzy blue brite

exactly who and how she is ❤

****

1.15.19 (payday 😉 ) ~ I don’t have much, but I figured 10 bucks every 2 weeks for a couple of months will add up, and it makes me feel great. I loved this girl.

Imagine my delight when I clicked on the donation page and realized that I needed only to up my bi-weekly contribution by $2 to get the grand total to date to my favorite number: 222, plus one for good measure.

2222 We love Jazzy Blue! 🙂 ❤
2222 i love jazzy blue

Eclipsed and Bitter

And tongue-in-cheek as ever. That’s a good sign.

I’m recording my thoughts in real time, to edit and add to during the day from my desk. My ugly, utilitarian desk in a warehouse in an ugly industrial complex in the bowels of Salt Lake City. I should be enjoying the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, complete with good viewing weather, and that amazing, once-in-a-lifetime solar corona, in my beautiful, mythic Western Idahome.

But I’m not. Because my family sucks. And I fit right in, ‘cuz I suck the hardest!

I’m getting my wicked sense of humor and strange spirituality back, the dance between naughty and nice I enjoy about my life, and I’m on the road to recovery. But make no mistake: This day is not easy for me, and I’m very cranky about it.

IT WAS MY BIRTHRIGHT, you bastards!

Bitter is easier than weepy. *sigh*

I’m drinking a 6-pack of cold Coronas with lime after work to commemorate missing the cosmic corona of my life. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d experienced this day with my family, with God, and the Mormons.

So there’s that.

*SOUR!*

I’m quite enjoying full indulgence in this tantrum, if I’m honest. It’s fun, and a relief from pressure to call on the strength of my higher self. I’m actually doing much better emotionally, having given myself permission to just be a brat. I’m not adulting today.

****

Hashtag This Is Happening!

The moment I saw the eclipse beginning I started hooping in the parking lot of my ugly industrial building, and making a TOTAL FOOL OF MYSELF, in honor of the total solar eclipse I’m still furious for missing. We’re visible from a very busy road.

I’ve been laughing so hard! It feels good to lose it.

It’s been a long time since I did anything other than cry and rage. Hardest summer/romantic break-up/familial divorce/pet emergency of my LIFE!

Seriously, Universe? Why you gotta pile on? What else you got for me?! I can take maybe one more thing, and then you better lay off while I do the work of getting myself re-situated and well.

Let this partial solar eclipse – that I’m pissed as hell about – be that one more thing, the cosmic smack-down that I’m finally willing to listen to, and have done with it. 91% is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

And guess what? I accept it. OK, Universe? I accept. I’m okay with that right now.

And I’m having fun! I’m so relieved.

*sigh*

****

Well, I just hula hooped for an hour in my parking lot with coworkers. I don’t even have jealousy in my heart for missing the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE in my Idahome town.

91% ain’t bad, folks. Not bad at all. I’ll take it! … With joy, with zeal, and maybe even a modicum of humility for a minute.  

*sigh*

My mom always warned me, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Dare I say it? … Mother was right.

That really was cosmic, and I feel great.

bowing to the mother

warehouse meeting~ Supervisor Mark getting in on the ridiculous ~

When I learned my boss had gone to Burning Man one year, and came to know more about his wonderful wackiness, I said, “I KNEW this was the right job for me!”

He’s been a great friend. He’s retiring in December, and I’m sorry to see him go.

(I’m not the best hooper – won’t devote myself to consistent practice – but one thing I’m good at is getting the shy-folk to JUST TRY IT. I won’t take no for an answer, whether you like it or not, and I love this pic of my colleagues in the hoop.)

We’ve been Eclipsed.

corona

I ended a beautiful day with Corona-and-lime to commemorate the Solar Corona I missed not going north to Idaho. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d spent the eclipse with my family, with God, and the Mormons. Perfect!

222

I confess I find myself in a malaise this 3rd WordPress anniversary.

I’m struck by thoughts of “Too late, ” “What’s the point?” and, generally, “Meh.” I catch myself in fantasies of my 20s, thinking what I might have done if I knew then what I know now. It’s such a useless enterprise, and yet I find myself perpetually there.

I think, “Well, start now!” See above.

This “blah” has been sitting on me all year. I was waiting to get depressed. When that didn’t happen, I waited to snap out of it. Neither so far.

I’ve tried 3 times now to write something meaningful or interesting in any particular on this blogiversary. The truth will have to suffice.

Having said that, I am looking forward to Hottie Hoop Camp next month. I thrive in the classroom, and I’m excited about the possibility of unlocking this brainfreeze I’ve been stuck in (for years) with my hooping. I’m so ready for a lengthy visit with my best friend. She moved last summer, and I really feel the lack of her in this blasé phasé.

The End
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