Dancing away the pain

Posted: June 30, 2007 in All and Sundry, dance, Rants

“Dance is a song of the body. Either of joy or pain.” – Martha Graham.

i miss dancing. not just in front of some audience but even practicing in the confines of my room because most of the time, i’d rather dance alone. but ever since i got sick last year and my muscles and nerves are going awry (what an understatement), i couldn’t even stand doing a plie stance in odissi because stabbing pain would be too much to handle.

i wonder when the time would come that i’d be able to dance away this song of pain my body is experiencing.

oh! i just realized that the best performance project i should do once i’m better is to create a piece about body pains. perhaps this is the best medium to help me exorcise the frustrations and feelings of inadequacy and bitterness against the universe. if you were to ask me now how mad i am at the world, i’ll tell you my anger is way beyond the richter scale.

what makes me really angry is that nobody fully understands what i’m going through. i really just hate having to explain how i’m feeling everyday to everyone. and what’s worse is that my pain is often dismissed just because i’m not suffering from some disease whose name people can put a finger on or can pronounce like cancer.

once, someone whom i considered as a “good friend” even insisted that my condition is psychosomatic! “maybe claire, you have repressed bodily desires,” she said. and even when i tried to insist to her that my pain was real and that i have been suffering this condition for 8 years, she shook her head and asked me: “but it became grabe (acute) last year, right? so something must have happened to your life that you couldn’t handle emotionally last year. that’s why it manifested on your body.”

the nerve! yes, it’s true that the symptoms of my condition came out eight years ago and that after that i was still able to move normally, even dance, despite occasional pain, it was only last year (around july) specifically that i experienced extreme pain while my left leg became weaker. after which, i still went on to do that movement piece for the beckett festival in november because i knew that it might probably be my last chance to perform. i could feel my body disentegrating.  but please,  do not dismiss possible proximal neuropathy and myopathy as “psychosomatic.” have you ever experienced your nerves and muscles slowly dying? have you ever experienced the burning pain in your lower back the lasts for a week or more while you’re left leg goes through spasticity (spasms) intermittently, it feels like something (some creature) is slowly eating your leg away. it’s torture. so please, if you are my friend, just shut up because you don’t know my pain!

and you don’t know the feeling of having to go through a lot of tests, not knowing what news you’ll get in the end. next week, i’ll finally get an emg test, and my doctor prepared me for it by telling me beforehand that it’s invasive and painful. in an emg test, a needle is inserted in the muscles while they are contracting to check how much muscle activity you still have. if this was some joke, that i’m pretending to be sick, my friend please go through the emg for me. i’ll trade my pain with yours anytime. anytime.

for someone like me who’s born a mover, who started swimming in competitions at 9, learned basketball at 12, danced to mc hammer at 15, and so on and so forth, not being able to move, much less exercise is very frustrating.

i’m aware that so much anger eats you up slowly but surely. this i have to manage soon.

and oh don’t mind me.i’m just plain angry.

shanti. shanti.

*photo grabbed from nityagram site.

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