From India, Cheers to 2018!
What I find most refreshing about the passage of time, is that one gets to reflect on one's life journey like a vineyard. Me, a few years from turning 50, I look through past photos and videos of the passion that has sustained me for 20+ years. I smile, I raise a glass of my favorite wine and say "Happy 2018 from India!"
It's nostalgic to scroll past screenshots of old social media like Myspace, Tribe, and Facebook and see the fruits of one's labor. Now, new brilliant dance artists and instructors in their own right are posting on the new social media we call Instagram and Snapchat. The students in classes in the past are now teaching classes of their own and the old stages are now "being owned" by new talent. I raise a glass to them, "clink" Happy New Year! As I look at my "Fruits", some of the seeds have been picked up and taken away by others who have fed and nurtured them. Some of the vines have been planted firmly in the ground, grown and borne fruit of their own. Then, there are the fruits that have risked growing to the tops of the whole vineyard where no one can reach them and you can only admire their glory as they sweeten in the sun. I raise a glass, I toast you. Happy prosperous 2018!
Every class, every stage, every student was a lesson in gratitude and growth for me. All of those precious moments carrying me as far as it could possibly go, even as I sit in India over looking the Arabian Sea. Those vines and branches are now reaching globally with one transition... a new seed, a new fruit. This dance no longer just serves my artistic ego. It chooses now to serve others who wish to leave a footprint, bread crumbs, guidance, food, shelter, and a light in this business of dance. Transition is an energy word. For some, it means freedom. That freedom translates into recognizing that old vines consistently bear the same grape. That freedom also translates into feeling proud of all the hard work and never having to apologize for acknowledging success, but ready for new doors, new growth, and new vines to take root.
This freedom is now watching new artists doing "the hustle" you have done for so many years and looking back at how many nights you only slept a few hours, how many holidays you've missed, how many miles you have logged, how many strange hotels beds you've slept in doing dance. I raise a glass to my legacy, memories, and the internet that will never forget. Once on the 'net, always on the 'net.
Belly dance is like a bottle of fine wine, if it's opened now, I can kick back, relax and enjoy. Savoring the moments, the memories. Or....I can wait and let it age a little longer just to see what flavors I will get out of it in the future. I sit here with the other dancers as we talk about belly dance being a dying trend and its future, hoping the extra time will be beneficial and recycle our beloved art form. I quietly I pour the rest of the wine in our glasses and we all toast to belly dance, laugh and then do a 'pour out' of libation on the ground for the memories of how great it used to be.
As I sit here in India, drinking the local wine, I'm finally content to sit in the shade of this tree, in this beautiful winery, and looking forward to seeing the most beautiful fruits of 2018. Cheers, Happy Dancing and Happy New Year everyone! *sip*