I owe you a bajillion (or like 4) more posts on the Beattitudes.
I've also been in hiatus for about a bajillion months.
My life has been changing at a crazy fast pace, and unfortunately, I've been too busy and too wrapped up in my new life and my truly unleashed brain to share it with my larger community.
But today there is a little something that I need to share, because it hit me this morning, and I feel like you might need to hear it.
Last night I had the opportunity to photograph a dance off event.
At first I was nervous. Especially because my little theatre ensemble was participating and I had already messed the thing up once during rehearsal. I was also nervous because I was surrounded by people I didn't know. Not just any sort of people I didn't know, but people I would like to know, and that made it even more difficult, because I wanted to make friends, but I'm horrid at small talk, so I mostly sat in a corner with my camera and captured other people's moments.
I'm okay with that.
And maybe that means I have a whole slew of other issues I'm just not ready to talk about right now, but ignoring that, I want to get to the dance off and the things I saw and learned.
The most important thing was that there are so many empowered, talented, amazing women in the world. Smart, funny, women who don't honestly care two licks about what anyone else thinks of them. Women who are assured in themselves and their sexuality and their sense of being.
I had met some of these women before. They were often hanging out at the artspace where the performance was held and my group rehearses. Just normal women. Doing their thing.
I noticed little things.
Their unshaven armpits.
Their leg hair.
Their vibrant smiles.
Then last night, I noticed their talent.
I guess I knew they were talented. They are a group of circus folk, after all, and I knew they were performers, but they were performers unlike any I'd ever seen.
They were able to just be on stage. Just let everything hang out everywhere - the good, the bad, the ugly - their entire personhood was there, beaming brightly into the lens of my camera.
I was frustrated with my inability to truly capture the magic I felt.
That these were women. In charge. Tough. Intelligent. Charming. Amazing. Brilliant. Lovely. It was so powerful.
One of the craziest things was that the event started 45 minutes after the time listed on the invitations. This makes me insane. I always feel like it's so rude to be late. I haven't changed my mind on that - but the way they handled it... they made no apology. 45 minutes late, they took the stage and the microphone and handled it. They were in charge. They were commanding. And no one cared one iota after the beginning of the thing that it started so late: empowerment.
It wasn't just the circus women. It was all the women in attendance. All the women who took the stage and awed me with their power and beauty and inspiration. Their beauty had nothing to do with their physical appearance. It was their energy. Their prowess. Their focus and ability and aura that just floored me time and time again.
When I thought it couldn't be any more empowering or amazing another woman would step up to the plate and bring me nearly to tears with the sheer magic of it all.
The best part for me was seeing my friend K take the stage.
We're still in the tentative stages of our friendship. We work together in the ensemble of which I'm a part. She's an incredible improv artist. One of the best I've ever seen. I love being on stage with her because she's so out there with her self.
But I know, because of some conversations had within the group, that K struggles with body issues.
Who doesn't? I certainly do.
I've been feeling pretty darned horrible about my appearance the last few months and I don't seem to be able to muster up the self-discipline to really do something about it.
Last night, she danced to Beyonce's Single Ladies. My photography was terrible, really, at capturing her on camera. I was stunned at her energy, her sexiness, her ability to go to that place with her dance, with her body. She's gorgeous. Stunning. Sexy. Fierce.
She has nothing to worry about.
I want that.
Even on stage I can't always get it. These women can. These women do.
It's my hope that every woman can get to that place of power. Of empowerment. Of strength.