Everything Is As It Should Be

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October was about being thrown off centre from my original plans by the universe. And finding myself being grateful for it.

# La Fille coupée en trois (The Girl Split in Three)

Four days before I took off to America, my iconic friend H who was supposed to come with me on my New Orleans and New York adventures got offered a dream job in Japan. She had to cancel. We had planned to rail trip across the country and write the script of her short movie on the Amtrak. We were calling our train-to-be the “Mystery Train” in tribute to Jim Jarmusch. I got the news that it was all falling through on a Friday night as I was all dolled up, waiting for a girl I had met once for a sexy date.

Throughout the night, I was a girl split in three. Head against body against soul. As I was giving and receiving sex, and liking every aspect of it, my brain was running high speed to establish plans B. Cancel everything and go take care of my injured brother? Swap Louisiana for Canada? Get on a sleep cure to recover from the last thirteen years?

My body was fully present though. I had an awesome night. But in between the waves of fever, I was briefly struck by the ocean of my loneliness and the meaninglessness of my life. The truth is, my heart was sinking as I was realising that I had let myself love H more than I should have. We had grown mysteriously close over the last two months and I was sensing the presages of our becoming creation Siamese twins, intellectual lovers. My feverous gaze was intermittently focusing on the black void on the other side of the barely known body that was bringing me to trance. I was contemplating the redoubted limbo of love where I was surely heading, perceiving random shapes dancing in the dark. I was shortly carried back into action and sensations and my gaze was getting out of focus again to celebrate life just as it was coming along.

After multiple tergiversations, I finally maintained the trip as it was originally planned, on the verge of exhaustion and with a cloud of question marks in my head. New Orleans has been the wonder that it has been and changed my life in some ways. The day that I arrived in New York, H sent me a brief message from Japan which was turning her world upside down: “It feels like our lives are aligning right now.”

It was so right to be taken apart by the universe on the path to our respective adventures. We both found some missing clues about the true nature of our existence. And I thank-godly aborted falling in love with her.

# The Teacher Training Miracle

On the last day of August, I submitted my application for the next 5 Rhythms Teacher Training starting in Spring 2015. It would imply that I’d be on a marathon to complete all the missing pre-requisites workshops and raise a shit ton of money to pay for the tuition fees by the end of next year. Why not? I love challenges that seem out of reach. I needed a short-term goal to escape the ordinary.

In October, after a few days at the Cycles workshop in Philadelphia, it was getting obvious that I wasn’t ready to train as a teacher six months later. I was instinctively guessing that I needed to take my time, absorb and soak in the fun and ecstasy of being an achievement-free student. It is not in my nature to renounce, though. My application had been submitted, so I was going to go for it if it was successful, just to commit to myself as I always do.

The second to last day of the workshop, I was happily walking to the yoga warm up in the automnal sunshine of a beautiful morning. I was feeling light, bubbly, at the right place. The assistant of the teacher – a renowned 5 Rhythms lady that I sometimes dance with in New York – was coming in the opposite direction and stopped me. She kindly asked me if we could have a chat. She is on the 5 Rhythms teacher training board and she told me she had read my application the night before.

“How do you feel about the training?”, she asked me. What a relief! I told her the truth, that I was full of doubts and had overestimated my readiness to teach. I just wanted to dance and be naive about it for a couple more years. We agreed that I’d postpone my application to 2017. Who cares? I have all the time in the world. I have to learn how to enjoy the path to my goals rather than beating myself up to get it over with. She hugged me and thanked me for my honesty. I entered the yoga class feeling much lighter, as if this tiny lady who is my height had freed me from a massive burden.

I went to get a coffee after yoga. A girl from the workshop was coming in the opposite direction, and again she stopped me with a huge spontaneous hug. “So nice to dance with you!” she said. “What’s your name?” We started talking. She wanted to do the 5 Rhythms teacher training but she felt under pressure to start in 2015 so she was going to apply for 2017. She said word for word the speech that I had given an hour before to that kind lady. I laughed. The timing was just so clear and so funny. I wanted to high five the sky and tell the universe: “I received the message. Thanks for checking on me!” This super cool girl with a Maori name is going to do the Mirrors workshop in Bilbao next year. So am I. Ten days of intensive 5 Rhythms dancing. She told me: “Mirrors is life-changing. I’ve done it once and I divorced after it.”  (For the best).

I am guessing this person will be an important relationship for me. I felt connected with her and I am grateful we are meant to have crossing paths.

# Vivienne Was Waiting

Right before my US trip, I bought a Vivienne Westwood dress for £80 instead of £445. I wish every woman to at least once slip her curves in a Viv dress, just to experience the feeling of being embraced by a designer with such expertise of the female body. I wore it for a drunken karaoke night at the office so it got immortalised in a few embarrassing videos. The day after, I heartbrokenly returned it to pay for my New York-Chicago flight. When I returned from America a month later, I went back to the shop, moved by hope but free from illusions. The darling was well hidden, but still there. I couldn’t believe a Vivienne dress had been waiting for me on a hanger for a whole month. I touched her soft fabric, admired her patterns again and whispered to her: “I couldn’t get you out of my head”. The belt had gone missing in the meantime, so I was given a further 20% discount. £64 for a Vivienne Westwood dress. You got it.

Vivienne was the cherry on the cake which reinforced my certitudes.

Everything is as it should be.

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October Is For Whores

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I’m starting a new American chapter at Newark Liberty international airport, New Jersey. I don’t even get excited any more when I pass the immigration test or see my first American flag cause I feel like I partially live here now and I’m just going home, away from the mean people. I already screamed 15 times on the inside “I love Americans!” shaking my forearms like an idiot (also on the inside).

I could furtively see my beloved NYC skyline when touching the ground. I blew a kiss to “my” Empire State Building cause I’m going to dance the 5 Rhythms in its face in 11 days.

The new Alt-J (‘This is all Yours’) will be the soundtrack of this trip. My favourite line of the entire album is “I’m gonna turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet”. Whoever comes close enough to me next in life is going to hear that and I’ll pretend I invented it.

My flight is delayed and I’m eating a Manhattan chowder. I’m kind of bummed cause I returned a Vivienne Westwood dress to buy a second flight to Chicago that lands earlier, and I’m now stuck Vivienneless with 2 tickets for planes landing at the same time. Dadaist drama. Clever budgeting.

I’m transiting to Chicago where my Whore friends – this is how we call each other – already gathered. A member of the family is getting married on Saturday and we are all punk maids of honour. I’m the last one to arrive, and also traveling the furthest distance, so I will have a prodigal son moment later today when I get my collective welcome hug. They told me to get my body ready for squeezes. That’s exactly one year that we saw each other altogether, the 5 of us, after the Route 66 fun.

October is for Whores.

This group of gals is very special. I would even say “exceptional”. I met 3 out of 4 whilst studying at the tragically bad “Dance & Visual Art” department at Brighton Uni. We ended up living 4 peeps in a bedroom for two. That’s how we got so close. They went back to America after 6 months so I dropped out of Uni in a particularly theatrical manner. Good times.

We are a bunch of arty slashers, so we all are pretty hard to describe.

α is a filmmaker/puppet maker/ random stuff maker/yoga teacher/ event organiser at an architects firm living in NYC.

ε is the bride to be. She is a Chicago-based painter/pie maker/former best nanny in the world and has now a variety of jobs that I’m losing track on.

α3 is a painter/caver/photographer/life manager for all of us and also does business in her spare time, selling some kind of paint that makes your old furniture look like stainless steel. She lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. All that she does is hilarious (but that could generally apply to each one of us.)

H is a filmmaker/camera operator/photographer working in LA. She hangs out with the red carpet people but giggles about it the same way she giggles at everything else.

And there’s me, the European refugee, the only one who was not born and raised in the Midwest. Like most of the groups I’ve belonged to, I’m the only foreigner/accented. This said, even when I was hanging out in Paris (where I was born) with a bunch of French, I was told that I sound Belgian.

I sometimes wonder if there are any  people who speak like me? It is so much part of my identity now – the mixed influences “citizen of the world” twist. (I hate this expression).  I’d like to meet someone like me at least once to team up with another odd-one-out. We would have a long conversation tainted with the different shades and tones of our various life experiences.

Next fall is H’s 30th birthday. Another hot Whores gathering in sight.