I am sitting on my bed looking up at the Alhambra. (No, I am not joking.) It is almost 1am, and I am in Granada. I was doing almost this exact same thing at almost this exact same time last night.
In a moment I'll get to this week's letra along with a great raw video of Junco singing and playing guitar for the camera.
But first I want to tell you more about yesterday
I began writing this note to you in my little book yesterday evening at the Mirador de San Nicolás while listening to two guys playing rumbas with (once again) the Alhambra as my back drop.
Writing saved me in Jerez, ... And then it got in the way.
Today I want to talk about how writing can become, well, detrimental in class.
I'll begin with another excerpt from my notebook:
April 19, 2011
Mercedes scolded me once again in class this morning, calling me back out onto the dance floor. Clearly I was to be dancing, not writing.
Yes, once again, Laura and her book has come up. It comes up a lot. No one else writes anything down in Jerez.
They don't get me, I know, but I totally don't get them either!
I can't imagine learning flamenco without pens and paper. I really can't.
On paper I take notes. On paper I figure things out. On paper I put the thoughts that circle inside my head. And there's just something I like so much about the feel of the pen moving atop the paper.
I often write in little books
They helped me a lot in the beginning, in Sevilla.
They help me today.
And they helped me a lot in Jerez.
Here's another one from the little book that Melinda gave to me,
Dicen que no siento nada
y las carnes de mis huesos
a pedazos se me van
They say that I don't feel anything
and the skin from my bones
falls off in pieces
Another from this book.
by José Cenizo Jiménez
Ya llega la nochecita
con su negra soledad,
con esta soguita al cuello
cuándo me amanecerá
The other day I made a great discovery. (I'll tell you about it in a minute.) But first I want to talk about noticing, something I did a lot of last year. It helps me to focus. It teaches me all kinds of things. And I intend to keep it up.
At times I record the noticings in little books. At times I share them with others, like you. At times they just stay in my cabeza. Other times in my cuerpo.
Noticing is good.
It shows me stuff. Like tendencies to rush, to stop listening, to leave my body.
It tells me what I need to work on.
It points out when I’m enjoying myself and when I’m not, to what factors into that, and how certain things feel.
It teaches me about how I like to create, about environments I work best in, about how I like to dance, why I like to dance, and who I like to dance with.
I can't imagine learning flamenco without pens and paper.
I really can't.
On paper I take notes. On paper I figure things out. On paper I put the thoughts from inside my head. And there's just something I like so much about the feel of the pen moving atop the paper...
I often write in little books.
They helped me a lot in the beginning, in Sevilla. They help me today. And they helped me a lot in Jerez.
An excerpt from Spain last year to help explain...
Ok, so there is this one thing I've noticed that really, really, really has a BIG effect on my dancing. Is it the biggest effect? I don't know.
But it's big
I know how important it is, yet I still refuse to consistently give it the credit it deserves.
I want to remember to do it. Or no, not remember, I want to do it even if I don't want to.
You know how much I like stories, so let us begin with a story.
It was a Wednesday much like today, sunny and hot that is. I was in Jerez. It was the spring of 2011...
The rest of the story comes in the form of but another excerpt from my journal.