Back in Austin, where all of this started. I plan on staying for a while. The bus adventure has been extremely eye opening and educational, and of course, filled to the brim with adventure. I like adventure a whole bunch, and I like movement, but I’m tired, y’all! I’m ready to sink my roots down for a while. Transplantation is always a possibility, later on down the line. I am young yet, and everything, even working a regular job and paying bills for the sake of stability and security, is impermanent. I know I will have my adventure again.
But right now, what excites me so much is being back home, helping my good friend Dawnielle organize her house, and diving back in to the world of dance for the first time in years. I used to dance every single day. Rehearsals, conditioning, running drills and technique classes, and choreography, were all normal features of my daily existence. Now, looking back on those days, I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to go to the school I did. The Fine Arts Academy at McCallum High School is such an amazing amazing program, and I really had no idea, while I was actually attending, just how unique and wonderful this school is. It is a public school with a fine arts academy incorporated into the curriculum. Kids that are in the academy attend all of the same core academic classes that the kids that are not in the academy attend, but also have access to some top notch arts education. And since McCallum is a public school, this extra education is nearly free. So, now that I’m an adult that pays for my own dance classes, I see how fortunate I am to have gone to that school and had access to art education as I did.
After high school, dance wasn’t really a part of my life anymore. I hadn’t really had to pursue it so much at McCallum because it was always just there, so leaving that comfort zone definitely changed life in a big way for me. Really, I wasn’t even aware that I was sort of just giving up dance. Its just the way that life happened. The summer after senior year, I got a job at a pizza shop on sixth street and moved to a rickety old house on the east side that didn’t have central air and heat, but certainly did have a cockroach problem. And that was my life, till occupy. So again, I’m fortunate. I only lived that existence for a handful of months before the Universe picked me up and threw me down the path that I am on today. Clearly, life has more grand plans for me than to work, pay bills, and smoke weed in my free time to decompress.
I see now, though, that there has been a huge hole in my life since leaving the dance education that McCallum provided me. Dancing in the academy brought me a great sense of community and sisterhood. I miss being surrounded by other dancers, all working to improve their technique and better their dancing, or hashing out choreography, or lining the mirrored walls, stretching as they chat. And god dammit, I miss performing! There is nothing like it in the world. It is a feeling I really don’t think I could get enough of in life. All of this has been missing from my existence, and I didn’t even recognize it until now. But I am so ready to get it back. I have to dance.
Oh, and it feels so good to be back home in Austin! This is the city where I grew up, and though it is changing and growing all the time, it remains the same in essence. You can’t take the magic away from something, no matter how much you try to bottle and sell it as a product. Magic doesn’t die, it transcends the limits of this realm because it is without form, without time. It isn’t a mathematical equation and no one, not even the most talented mystic, can wrap their minds around what it is, which is why magic can be so enthralling. I have seen many places on my travels over the last 15 months, enough to say that magic is everywhere. But in different concentrations. Austin is an extremely magically concentrated place. A vortex, if you will. No amount of development of new condos or influx of tech industry enthusiasts or hip new craft beer joints will ever dilute the magic that is present in this marvelous city. The magic is, perhaps, a major reason that all of this change and growth is happening in the first place. But it is all so surface, because what is really true, deep down in the clay and limestone, and has always been truth, is that magic flows freely here, unbounded, bubbling up from the rocks like an ice cold crystal spring on a hot summer day in Texas.
I am so happy to be back home. Do you know how comforting it is to be in a familiar place after a year of unfamiliarity? To know exactly where you are and how to get to where you want to be, in almost any part of the city. To have memories on almost every street corner you pass! It’s such a relief. I love exploration, too. I love learning the ins and outs of a new city. But alot of energy gets used just doing that. Here, I’m able to focus my energy on other things. Like dancing! I’m going to start taking dance classes again, and fully immersing myself in that world that I so missed. And I’m ecstatic. It feels like I have come full circle. Its bizarre, when we arrived back in Austin over a month ago, it almost felt like nothing had changed, like we had barely been gone a few days, and here our city was, just waiting patiently for our return. But so much has changed. Some changes, like the ones inside me, are invisible. Some are very visible… have you seen the downtown skyline recently?! And some things, like the love I have for my magical hometown, will always remain the same.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot