When these events happened, I decided each time to lose the memory. Thus I grew up, as adolescent and adult, without memories. The price to pay was the loss of my senses, which allowed me to forget as I went along in the real moment.
But at least I could survive.
The pulse of life had, however, deserted my body. I learned then to function by observing what others did. What kept me upright were my instinct for life and a complete respect for my body. It was my reference point and my joy.
At age 50, I began to pull “by accident” a thread of the ball that was buried and tangled in my subconscious but well engraved onto my cellular memory. The moment had come for me to get to work.
Then, year after year, I could search for my scattered goals, retie the threads of my life, find the pieces of my memory, and begin the work of healing because I finally knew what to heal.
This work lasted 15 years, and dance was the companion and the reward of these last years. So that passed. The many courses in singing or instruments taken over the years didn’t change anything, or very little. To hold my voice, I always needed another voice to support me.
Yet, on returning from the Amazon forest where, for the first time, my body had begun to dance freely, I decided to find a dance course, and I came to Malaïka.
I told her that I wanted to learn to live in the space.
The first year I hid, behind the mask of a smile, my desperate sadness.
In front of these marvelous women who danced with joy and confidence, I was telling myself that I had never been one of these women, and I never would be. To follow the rhythm, I watched the others. But there, in movement, I couldn’t content myself to watch them from afar. I followed them, without doubt intruded upon them, walking in their steps.
I was totally dependent, and close, too close …. What to do? Or I was counting my steps, mentally concentrating on the rhythm; 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, … I really couldn’t let go of that or I would lose myself.
And then the improvisations!
That meant that I couldn’t follow anyone, neither in my steps, nor my body movements, nor my expression. That meant abandoning myself to the music, which I wasn’t hearing, living in the rhythm, which I wasn’t feeling, and playing! Well, I tried to make myself invisible, which I know how to do very well.
Over time, the pulse of life returned, my body began to live by itself in the rhythm and to feel the music again, more easily with the music that I loved. My body, this companion that I was beginning to live in again, occupied its space with joy, entered into the game of the dance, in the game with the other, found its place, and the sadness was forgotten.
I danced with pleasure, entered into the energy of the movement, of the music, of the space and the ties which link us, finding the correct distance because I was depending less and less on the other.
I was claiming my autonomy. Forgotten was the concentration, the tension, the stage fright. Today, I no longer need to think to follow the rhythm. My body lives it, very simply, reconnected to the vital energy.
The inspiration residing within has regained its flexibility, and this joy of flexibility from within sometimes spills over into arabesques and “flourishes.” This discovery is so delightful to me.
I love beauty, I’m still learning by watching my dance classmates, being inspired by all the colors they express, but I am no longer dependent. Yes, I have confidence in my body. It too can express itself beautifully.
I am learning the grammar of a new language, and for these ABCs, I am appreciating the example of plain and simple gestures, like a child discovering writing. Rigor doesn’t mean stiffness, but structure and correctness of the gesture.
In the face of improvisation, I discovered that in letting go of my small ego and its fear, I could let myself cross over and be carried by the breath of life. It is then that I can really occupy the space. Each discovery leads me to a new apprenticeship.
One day soon, I will be able to speak my own language. I’ll be able to really live the music from within, savor the moment, live in the joy of the moment. My body straightens up, my breathing opens up.
In my professional work, life sends me groups that are more and more difficult.
Without a doubt, it’s now possible. I am here, simply, open to what comes, solid, flexible and centered, at ease in my body.
As in dance, I am expressing myself more freely and personally. M.A.M