Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deadlines all in a row

Lately I have been stressed. I know very well what stresses me. It's absurd, and I can't stop it, but I can recognize it and do my best to settle down. Early nights, exercise and ticking off the to-do list help.

When too many obligations stud the calendar, that's what stresses me. I'm programmed to do one thing at a time. One enormous problem is not an issue: I can handle that. Show me a terrorist or a book to write by Friday, and I will cope on automatic pilot. Show me a calendar with 50 deadlines and to-do tasks, no matter how small, and I crumble.

Right now all is well again. Aaah... When stress lifts, I feel an electro-chemical change surge through my body.

We are nearly half-way through February and I have been ticking DONE beside small items and large. It even helps that three of my to-do things will be over by Sunday night.
  1. Tomorrow, a rehearsal for our role in the Chinese New Year show at the TSB Events Centre
  2. Sunday, the performance
  3. Sunday, an open home for Novella, the apartment I'm selling by private sale.

Odd: as if nearly done is done.

And as if stress is a computable arithmetic progression. Now I'm working backwards. March is equally busy, and in April another progression will begin. It's all logarithms, I suspect. Or logarhythms.

This pattern I cannot blame on age, as I recall spotting exactly the same pattern in my thirties, when I began to perform in public.

What stresses you, I wonder?

Of dancing and books

Last night I went to Dancing in the Wake, a 3-person, 4-performance play by Jan Bolwell with much creative input from all involved.

It was terrific. Unusual in that dancing by Sacha Copland (inspired, demonic, confronting) is welded seamlessly into a literary script (hilarious, rich, shapely).

I say literary with reason, for with Lucia Joyce, her father James and Samuel Beckett as the central characters, how could it be otherwise? The play created a big buzz afterwards, even for an opening night. Insights into the works of Beckett and Joyce abound, but they emerge from the action: nothing didactic, do not fear.

Inspiration bubbled up in our group of dancing grannies. We found an excuse to spend more time with each other in future: we will start our own dancing book club. That means, I think, every couple of months we'll have dinner together and then—yay! Each granny will dance a book she has been reading. Or a chapter. No pressure and purely for fun.

The first book I interpret in a dance will be The Information by James Gleick. Probably Chapter 3, celebrating the miracle of logarithms and Charles Babbage's doomed attempt to create a computer in the age of steam. Bring it on!

So Jan read a book and created a play built around a dance, which inspired us to unite books and dance in another way. The wheels turn.