Friday, August 5, 2016
Stroll to Remeber pt 2
“It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails became thoughtful a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science( Philosophy of Walking).”
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! These numbers entered into my life with a whole new meaning at the age of 11. Each number not only represented the tempo of the routine but also a dance movement. It was exciting spending hours and hours rehearsing and choreographing numerous dance routines. Each count and dance movement added fuel to my heart’s desire while releasing my passion for performing arts. It should come as no surprise that the two topics that stand out me in Nietzsche’s quote are walking and dancing.
Walking and dancing correlate in so many ways. According to Webster the word walk means to move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and settling down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once. Dance means to move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps. The common thread between dance and walking is the concept of picking up one feet and sitting it down rhythmically. Since moving to Tennessee I’ve been working for a non-profit organization, Moves & Grooves, Inc. where we infuse a perfect blend of education and dance. This summer I was brought on as a dance teacher. In my role as a Dance Teacher I used my talents to inspire elementary through middle school students to create for themselves, discover, learn and grow through the arts. They learned Salsa, Caribbean, Hip-Hop, Bollywood and African. My favorite memory to date was watching the students perform at their Summer Showcase that was held a few weeks ago. What a freeing experience! “The freedom in walking lies in not being anymore for walking body has no history, it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorial life (Philosophy of Walking.)"
Even though the rhythm of dancing is faster than walking I like how Gros explains in chapter one that walking releases a suspensive freedom. “You chose to leave the office behind, go out, stroll around, think about other things. With a longer excursion of several days, the process of self-liberation is accentuated: you escape the constraints of work, throw off the yoke of routine (Philosophy of Walking).” This stood out to me because dancing does that for me! When I dance it’s a way for me to escape the stresses of life. It’s a time for me not to be a student, a teacher, a daughter, a friend but Angel. A time for me to be selfish and get to know myself better as I experience different challenges.
When dance is not available to me I also enjoying walking to have me time. Mood doesn’t matter when it comes to walking. I’ve walked when I’m mad and happy. Gros makes a statement that in order to make progress when walking anger is needed. I disagree that anger is needed to make progression; however, it can be an outlet for anger. I took into consideration of all the happy walks that I’ve encountered so far. I wrote about this in a previous post.
At first glance I was in agreement with the statement “Anger is needed to leave, to walk" but after taking some time to think about it I disagree. I like to think of myself as an optimist so I almost, ALWAYS, find a positive outlook on situations. I agree that walking can be an outlet for anger. It’s common to hear people say “I went for a walk to blow some steam or even to clear my head.” Walking could actually deescalate a hostile situation. Chapter 5 mentioned how Rousseau wasn’t walking to escape the world and horrors. Walking could be used for this purpose. When my kids have a conflict with one another I make them take a walk before we sit down to resolve it. This gives them time release anger, frustration and even figure out a resolution. So yes, I agree that walking can be an outlet to release anger.
I also agree that walking can be a time of happiness and celebration. Some examples of this are: a bride walking down the aisle to meet her groom, a college student walking across stage receiving their degree or a nice family stroll through the park spending quality time together. Walking can also generate creativity as it did for Rousseau. “Rousseau claimed to be incapable of thinking properly, of composing, creating or finding inspiration except when walking.” This week I had to choreograph an African dance number for the student’s end of the year showcase. On my stroll through the neighborhood, movements immediately came to me. Now this was easy to do because I didn’t have any distracts. Being outside was peaceful and I enjoyed it. It was like having the best of both worlds. Enjoyment and creativity all at once while walking. For me life is about balance. I like schedules when it comes to certain things and certain times. I also like spontaneity when it comes to certain things and certain times.
This comment also reminded me of the many walks that took while exploring in the Big Apple. May of 2014 I moved to Brooklyn, New York. I had no job lined u. I don’t remember the exact amount of money I had but it was less than $100. The only thing I had secured was a place to live and 6 months of paid rent which was a last minute graduation present. When I arrived to New York I knew I had to hit the ground running to secure employment. I printed out resumes and walked Spring Sreet in Soho dropping them off at clothing boutiques. I arrived to New York on a Monday, I landed an interview on Friday and I began working Saturday. I’m sure you all know that I spent a lot of time walking! Walking the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan for one year and 3 months taught me a lot about myself spiritually, mentally and physically. I even gained some experience working at a production company! My mom always uses the phrase “You found yourself there” in which I refute “Finding myself would imply that I’m lost which I am not. I was being spontaneous!”
August 2015 was the end of my expensive walking days in New York. I decided to move to Tennessee to figure out my next plan. The idea of grad school was the plan; however, nothing was concrete. After a few months of some dead ends here I stand. Attending school has put a hold on my spontaneity for sure. Living the routine lifestyle has been productive; however, I am missing the gratification of spontaneity. As stated earlier, it’s all about balance. Who knows where my walks will lead me after graduating. I hear California has some nice hiking trails!
I’m looking forward to the strolls that are in my future and where they will take me. I am also excited to see who I will meet on these strolls and the many doors that will open and close. I will keep in my memory bank all of the exciting and complicated things I’ve learned in class and somehow someway apply them to my everyday life. I would love to stay and write more but it’s time for my daily stroll!!