Friday, July 30, 2010

Duncan on 17th

Coming home I noticed someone has conspicuously propped a book against their fence, singled it out for free taking. I didn't want to pick up another street book, really, I always do that and then they gather dust around here. But it was hard to walk away from the face that stared out in black and white from within a red border, the face of Isadora Duncan, the famous portrait that too prominently features her neck.

I was going to walk by, but I had been reading Chögyam Trungpa on the train, poetry he'd written to the Dakini in all her forms, the universe animated by dancing dakinis, mandalas of them spinning through his dreams, in various forms: "Among them, there is one dakini with a single eye, her turquoise hair blown gently by the wind," others in the red that marks all emanations of Vajra Yogini "When I met you yesterday, you wore red clothes..."

So it was hard to pass this dancer by today. I didn't know how red she was. I opened to a passage where she is teaching Russian children the language of gestures, language that floods beyond the limitations of concept.
Children, place your hand here, as I do, upon your breasts; feel the life within you. This means man. Chevolek. And now raise your arms up to the heaves. This means universe. Vyselenaia. Now let your hands fall slowly downward to the earth. Semlia. Now hold your hands toward me in love and this means Comrade. Tovarish. Isadora Speaks, page 86
What is red anyway? Of course we know that true generosity and compassion is a personal intent that can't be state mandated, so lets remove red's superimpositions and let it remain as hidden as blood. According to Trungpa, within the vehicle of Vajrayana colors eventually speak for themselves.
Here colours speak through, as do shapes and movements, until the point is reached where there is no room for a speck of dirt. The perception of the energies for the first time is so intense and overwhelming that one is tremendously impressed by their purity. Here you regard yourself as a servant for the very reason that you are overwhelmed by the purity of the universe. So you employ thousand of ways of communicating to the universe in terms of bodily purity, mantras and mudras. Mudra, page 69.
I wonder if Duncan's talent involved some sort of similar perception that had to be expressed, that moved the world, that drew people into its orbit and allowed people to lose themselves as she did in her dance, as Sandburg wrote in her honor: "The wind? I am the wind. The sea and the moon? I am the sea and the moon. Tears, pain, love, bird-flights? I am all of them. I dance what I am. Sin, prayer, flight, the light that never was on land or sea? I dance what I am."

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