Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Walk #3 in HMB: Nancy

This week in Half Moon Bay was focused on half marathon time. On Sunday, I ran 13.51 miles! In a strange way the 3 hours and 14 minutes it took to run felt like 9 miles that went by in 30 minutes and 4 miles that felt like a day....dragging my ass to the last .2 miles. There to see a sign that said run the last .2 in memory of the Boston Marathoners. Wow, I had to walk a bit and I felt bad. But I ran through the finish line, and I have never felt more accomplished! I was exhausted and my insides had revolted against me. But I had done it! I started running in January of 2012 and in under two years, there I was running a half! What a feat! In the moment it is hard to dredge up the manic happiness of jumping up and down but it was a fantastic feeling.
It also meant that I put off Walk with Me walks until this week. I was too nervous to prep for a half marathon and the nerves of walks. Nancy emailed me two weeks ago and we had our walk set for Oct 2. She sent me her arts website so I could know a little bit about her.
Immediately I really enjoyed Nancy. She didn't realize the walks would include hand holding and she joked about me being her daughter or granddaughter or her girlfriend. And it made me feel at ease. Nancy is a vivacious 66 year old. Who noticed that holding hands did change the dynamic of what we said on the walks. She is a mediator and a creative who is used to guiding and inspiring people and she definitely prompted me to answer big questions about who I want to be while walking. And I was available to be a listening ear to Nancy. Nancy is INCREDIBLY intelligent and lived a fantastic life of arting. Working on the AIDS quilt in St. Louis Missouri and doing all sorts of incredible things here in the San Francisco area. Like a one woman performance in her 60s. There is no "can not" in her vocabulary. Truly. Which is even more inspiring than her prompts as we walked. Truly she can do whatever she wants cause she knows she can. What a great feeling!
What is hard to admit while doing the most successful art project of my life. Is that I feel like I am being called out of art into healing. But really there isn't an in and an out. I get to have it all. Nancy said. I can make art. I can become a healer. I get to make up what the world will look like in the future. Cause no one knows what the future will be so why not put in the effort to make it a more magical place?
She asked me if money and time wasn't an issue what would you make. I said a play space. A safe place where adults could get away from having to make something for money. And make and be without a monetary goal in mind. I was thinking I could give movement workshops like open heart improv dancing, stretching, meditation, even nap times for adults. Then art and craft hours. Where people could come free style with all the supplies I can gather. And then also I could lead some workshops if people wanted to make certain things. Or maybe if someone wants to lead a class themselves. I could train to be a life coach and after playing if folks wanted to talk about where they want there lives to go....I could help them. And then of course, there are parties for birthdays where we could all make something for a loved one. Or Scrabble nights cause I just love drinking tea and playing scrabble. Writing this now, it reminds me of what I would like to give myself everyday. Time to play.

Nancy told me almost immediately that she is getting some tests done because she is having some cognitive issues. She is having trouble calculating numbers and such. She will find out more form the test she is having today. What I didn't say to Nancy but thought almost immediately was, this problem it doesn't take away your amazing personality. The amazing person you are is not wrapped up in this issue. Yes, maybe it is Alzheimer's or dementia...but meeting her yesterday she is one of the smartest and liveliest people I had ever met. These issues are immensely stressful but she still found time to give to me. My grandmother has dementia. Unlike Nancy, who remembered what happened on our walk, my grandmother's short term memory is gone. My grandmother doesn't really know who I am on the phone anymore. But my Grandmother is happier now than she was for decades before dementia started taking her memory. Whatever happens health issues can't take away your spirit. It was a powerful powerful walk.
Nancy and I found a mutual love of Somatic Arts. We talked excitedly about Anna Halprin and about modalities of learning through the body. I think it is an amazing form of expression and learning. She then invited me to a Feldenkrais workshop in Montara and she offered to pick me up! Being a non-driver is becoming such a pain....cause all these little beach side towns are far apart walking isn't an option. The good thing is I am trying to sequester myself here so I will make ART.
So our walk discussing bodily energy, our artistic lives, and memory ended with a promise to meet up very shortly after that. I felt light after walking with Nancy. Like something had been lifted off the middle of me. Like I was floating a bit in my stomach and chest area. Like a kindred spirit had been found. I liked how Nancy jumps into life. How she jumped into the walk. How in just minutes of starting we jumped past the introduction part and just got to talking about the deep stuff. I have backed off from searching out what I desire and just settling and that doesn't do me any good. Getting out there and searching and trying out things...that is what keep me alive.
The most important question Nancy gave to me on the walk was "How can you make life better where you are right now, as in the location you are living, and with the resources you have?" I had discussed how I lived in La the past 5 years...and here I am thinking of leaving LA. And she asked me what could we create that would make me want to stay in LA?
After the Feldenkrais workshop, all I can think about is leading and healing through movement. How can I get trained so that I can help people move easier through life?
Amazing walk with an amazingly creative and inspiring woman. Thanks Nancy!

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