Rigor Sustainability Devotion

In the Meriam Webster definition of Rigor – “2. is short for rigor mortis…  From Latin, to stiffen.”

In beginning this blog posting, I have passed through a bit of this. A kind of holding.  And to write  requires me to have the first part of the definition of rigor – “1. the quality of being extremely thorough, exhaustive or accurate; severity or strictness.”

Rigor added to a process engages a ceasing of other activities, a channeling of focus on a singular attention.  It is more than discipline; it is having some kind of fortitude to use all that usually distracts one towards a particular frame, fulfilling it.  In a commitment or promise or agreement to undertake something with another or others with an independent mental engagement, I have to honor that commitment, that promise, that agreement.  I cannot just go bake more muffins (although I did this morning, hence eating while typing – a blur of my rigor or sustenance for it?)

So, o.k. then there is Sustainability. In order to have this fortitude, this strength to keep my focus on a thing that I actually want to do but get pulled from it because I live in a place where I can’t keep up with all that is going on around me, and then there is the danger of being an accomplished improviser where the ability to invent leads me down so many avenues of invention, different routes, albeit wonderful and with such great light and sounds there in this falling leaves time, (but I digress as I do)- to have the strictness to follow through on the road I said I would take, requires me to sustain myself.

Everyday things that one does that no matter what is happening in the world, in my country, in my city, in my home, in my thoughts, I still have to eat and sleep and provide for my body’s needs to not just keep going, but to live well.  Well meaning taking care of myself, body/mind/emotion/soul/.   To sustain a creative process, to be an instrument in an ensemble of artists, to ride my bike everyday across the bridge to the ferry, what does it take to sustain all this.   One definition of sustain says “to bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling.”  I dance so I can fall, and not break.

So, here, bespeaks the word  Devotion.  My thoughts go back to the word discipline for a moment.  I was told by a yoga teacher that discipline means being a disciple to yourself.  What a shift of attention.  I am not controlled by an outside authority with discipline.  I am following myself.  I think then that devotion is towards something else to receive what we need in order to do what we love.  Feed ourselves with the food of what we do to do what we do?

Devotion is towards something else with what one must have inside, is that it?  The definition supports that thought – “1. love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.”  I feel more and more that as an artist and a performer, it is in the act of creating for something larger than myself that I embody a practice, a process, an idea.  Personal action that is sustained by how I take care of myself with a rigor for the work I consciously choose to do accompanied by a devotion that brings meaning to it based on being engaged with the world I live in through it.

Just a few thoughts on 11/11/11 at 11:11 a.m.

Devotion/Rigor/Sustainability.  November 28th – December 3rd, 2011.  Movement Research Fall Festival.

K.J. Holmes, co-curator MR Fall Festival, dance artist, songstress, human citizen

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