June 28, 2009

Day 7 One on One- Gifts

In my experience saying good-bye is always easier when there is ritual involved. When Rosy drops me at the Spokane airport to go to school we have a ritual. There is a walk way going up to security, over it is a big sign that says “Passengers Only Beyond this Point”. Rose has always liked to push boundaries, a trait she may have inherited from her mother. We have this game where she walks with me until we are just below this sign, then she quickly kisses me and runs back to her dad. This ritual makes the good-bye something she can predict, something she has a modicum of control over, it makes saying good-bye to her mama easier. For this reason I saved up most of the journals since the last time I gave them out in a cluster at Esalen. I learned that they can be used as parting gifs, to give exits meaning and closure. Some of the give aways here at camp were purposeful, I planned to give a journal to Karina for instance, but most were random, and this made them delicious!

Chris has helped me so much with this project, has been so supportive. I wanted him to share in the good-bye ritual, so I asked him to give one away. He gave it to his new friend Julie. Julie fell in love with Chris, and Chris with Julie. We met her on Friday night when she asked around if anyone wanted to join her in ushering in Shabas, the Jewish day of rest. She said there was no need to be Jewish. We are of course suckers for ritual, so we accepted, broke bread, drank sacramental lemonade and sang in Hebrew together.

As I was making up journals I overheard two men speaking about a workshop at Esalen. Something about a womyn who encourages creative journal writing as a method of documenting ones life and does this by giving people pertinent open ended questions. How could I NOT give them journals?! It was funny one, of the men was a little reluctant, and didn’t want his name put inside the front cover. The other was overwhelmed, and excited. They were the first to pick their journals, at this point I had an abundance, so I splay them out like tarot cards and had them choose randomly. They both seemed to like their question.

Next came Shankar, a lovely man I had danced with many times during my stay at camp. He always noticed where I was at energetically, and would comment and offer encouragement. He asked how we could keep in contact. I gave him a journal and asked him to email me. He was delighted and promised to be in touch.

I had to move before I was finished creating all the journals, the organizers were trying to break camp and I was in the way. I moved down to where Daniel was playing his guitar. Daniel taught Contact Improv, and had the ability to keep us on task in gentle and creative ways. Not an easy job with us free spirited dancer types. When I was writing my entry 3 days ago my mind kept wandering to him, I can not tell you why, only that it did. Today when I sat down next to him, I had two journals left to give away, I didn’t look to see which. He asked what I was doing, I told him and asked if he would participate. I told him how he had been on my mind while I created one of my entries, that because of this I had been wanting to give him one. He happily accepted. I offered him the tarot style of choosing, or said he could read the questions. He was clear he wanted to read the questions to decide. He did, and said something like, “Oh ya, this is the one that I am struggling with right now, this is the one I need”. I loved that the question spoke to him and on a hunch asked which he had chosen. I am sure you can guess which one it was. Amazing.

Along came Brad who asked outright with much curiosity what I was doing. Wanted to know all about it. Asked me to explain it as I would to a colleague. I was a little stumped by this, wondered, who are my colleagues? Brad got the last journal I had to give away, well kind of.

I came up with the idea for this entry before I wrote it. I so enjoy giving away the journals, these precious gifts which people love to receive. I hastily typed an outline for what you have just read, and wrote the following at the end:

“What is the best gift you have ever given?”

12 days journal #76

I quickly made up one last journal and hurried over to the final boogie and closing circle for Summer Dance Camp 2009. Earlier in the day, just as I began to make journals, a womyn asked about them. I had met her earlier in the week, at the time we were separated by quarantine tape. She caught the infamous stomach flu that rocked dance camp this year and had spent the last 48 hours holed away from the rest of us dancers. As we sat at breakfast it was obvious she was still not feeling 100%, she told of how she had been shaken by the experience of bonding with her fellow campers only to be cast out. I was imagining it as she shared, the story pulled at my heart so much, I knew I wanted to give her a journal. I found her on the beach, watching the crowd gyrate to high tempo tunes. She sat in the shade, under an orange brimmed hat. I saw her get up and I went over worried she might be leaving, and I would miss my chance. I asked her if she would accept the journal. “Really?”, was all she said at first. We talked about what was involved, then a little about journalling. She seemed to perk right up, she walked over to join in on the dancing. When I saw her a while later, just before our final departure, I asked if she had read the question yet, she said no, that she was waiting for the right moment then added, “This was a perfect ending to my week, what a wonderful gift!”. Could anything be more perfect?


1 comment:

  1. The best gift I have ever given? I have no freaking clue! LOL. I'm never sure if my gifts are truly appreciated...nobody ever really says one way or another. It kind of sucks, really. I appreciate feedback.