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Emily Johnson
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Call & Response + On Dance & Performance
Teach Me How to Fall With Grace
What I Should Have Asked My Dance Instructors to Teach Me

May-June, 2008

Teach me how to fall with grace.

Please.
Not the falling daintily that those with the technique to do so, do,
but the falling with grace that is falling from grace, as we all, with or without knowing it, do.

Because
1. I have come to know that grace is hope and movement through:
I am too hammered to rehearse today.

And 2:
Even now, I do not know who I am sometimes.

Too drastic?
My fall, the one that crushed my kneecap
leaving indentations of the hard oiled wood and nails on skin and a pain within,
under cartilage, under bone? A pain like a lancing,
creases immediately set on my face, especially around these eyes -
No,
no one ever called me dainty.
And I would rather fall to crush than fall or rise or live, softly.

I wince when I see a perfect thing:
Too perfect! I want to scream (and sometimes do).
It cannot be true.

And truth from what we make is all I am after.

Truth to modernity (do we think our bio-diesel cars will relieve the world its problems?)
Truth to what we do not know (can you call an Eskimo an Eskimo?)
Truth to loss
and, of course,
of course!,
to joy,
always,
truth.

Grace is all of this,
from ancestors who are gone (but here, maybe, again)
and you,
who draw,
who write words to break my strongest bones with truth,
whose music and dances are everything and nothing at once.
Not soft,
not still,
not unnecessary.

Softly said (yes, softly): "this is where we are now."
And softer, still: "alot of past to remember, but more so, even to live."

We can, afterall, manifest our own manifestos:
1. Do not make things too perfect (they will trap you).
2. Do not make anything you have seen before (use a gold bead in the midst of your white ones).
3. Let the making sense reveal itself (because we do not know how many were killed,
    or are killed, daily, now).

Innocents and dissidents,
we make nothing without the ramification of having put it here alive, on earth.

In happiness, be true.
In truth, be constant.
In what we make, be both.
And also, (hell yes!), filled with grace.


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