Sticks in the Yard


On Thursday, I danced in the rain.

I had a few minutes to spare during our Moko Jumbie Mas Camp, so I took the chance to practice. It's been a little while since I actually walked. The Sunday sessions have been so busy, that it's been hard to find the time or rather the energy, to practice. 

It felt really good. No music just my own timing and an open courtyard to move around. #PonDeTwos* as my friend Richard would say. It's the movement that I really love, having to figure out where my feet go next, and what to do. Figuring out space and how to stand. There's a quote by artist Paul Klee, that follows me around.

To stand despite all possibilities to fall.

It means courage I think. With stilt-walking, your relationship to the ground is different. Like learning to walk a second time — its intuitive, but from a different angle/perspective. A simple step requires relearning. Stepping up or down does not translate in an obvious way.

There's a certain hesitation that increases the chance of falling. More as you get older. You correct for this uncertain movement and try again. Sometimes its mental and sometimes its physical. Standing is the result it seems of your body's eventual understanding of not falling. Also, there is nuance with each person. Everyone has their own way of walking. Those subtleties in posture and proportion all create different lines and unique movements — and with time: beauty and expression. To dance impossibly. That creates new language.

* 2 foot stilts.

This month marks six months since #1000mokos began. Not bad for not having a plan. We've hardly skipped a beat since our first session in February. If anything, added extra ones. The only promise we made early on was to show up to the yard each Sunday. I'm forever grateful to those who have — Josh, Michael, Richard, Damir, Xevran, Windsor, Jo, Jendayi, Arvinda, Shaun, Debbie, Akilah, and Jyotir — who keep me in check and give me courage to continue. What's special for me is that each of them makes the yard feel welcoming and safe for others to learn. It doesn't matter if the sticks are in the yard or not, there's learning to be had. It's not forgetting what it's like to be a beginner and the gentleness and patience that comes with that. To have space to make mistakes that strengthen the individual and in return, the community.

Another six months will be Carnival.