Shaun arrives and we head to Winston Salem to witness our friends getting married in true Southern style. I booked the room the day before, and didn't take much care as my beautiful godchildren were climbing over my lap and smashing their tiny hands to the keyboard; under the circumstances, I was glad I successfully booked an inexpensive room and not a boat.
We arrive at our accommodation the next day. "Oh look," says Rachel, "we share a parking lot with a restaurant, score!"
"why is it purple and doesn't have any windows?"
This is how I discovered that, although in many ways I do not feel like a bona-fide adult, I am too old for budget accommodation when it includes a strip club in the parking lot. Next time I will call on all the waspy roots of my upbringing, and throw a few extra dollars at the problem to avoid being urged to lock the door by a metal plaque by the lightswitch.
I'm pretty sure a hooker OD'd in that shower sometime earlier in the week.
In GREAT contrast to the lodgings I failed at, Mr. and Mrs. John Jackson's wedding was a gorgeous affair I would not have wanted to miss.
Also, I've seen beautiful before. I have beautiful friends. But watching Abby get ready for her wedding was like watching the sun come up. We were all of us gaping at her. There are no words.
Everyone cried. No one was spared. The reception was fabulous and ended with me doing some sort of improvisational modern dance with the bride's father while Shaun took gangsta photos with the other groomsmen. This is how weddings should be.
I bid farewell to my love the next day, and took the tiny pocket of time I had to escape with mama and my sister to Edisto Island, a place that, once entered, became very clear would be the site of mama and Bob's retirement, and their reward.
I don't think I can say any more about that.
Mama drove me to the airport in the driving rain.
Week 1: arrive in Ireland 7:30am, successfully have coffee in perfect time before catching the bus to Longford. Meet Jym at station WEEEEE! and drive to the Backstage Theatre. There I find Chantal and more Fidget Feeters, Sianna, Aisling, and Lee LOTS MORE WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
We go to work. We work until 6 or so and head back to the farmhouse. We have wine and dinner. I stay awake the whole time LIKE A BOSS. I bask in the presence of these fine people who do not mind that I am floopy.
Continue waking up, going to the theatre, and working for 7-11 hours a day intermittently choreographing the hoop routines for Fidget Feet's Elves and the Shoemaker, and working with Ether, a young aerial company making a new show, Fallout to debut in August. Surround self with the bounty of energy, effort, youth, and glorious, glorious work. Come home each night exhausted and filled with a shaking joy. Sleep in Jym's office surrounded by paintings, twine, art supplies, musical instruments, and other bits of magic that give me epic dreams. Wake up to oak trees and more glorious work.
Week 2: Irish Aerial Dance Fest, bitches! Many familiar faces and lots more new ones, here we go on a two-week rampage of teaching, learning, crying (lots of crying) and laughing (lots of that too). At the end of each day (6 classes oh yeah!), me and Chantal lock ourselves into the theatre and take the precious 30 minutes we have to ourselves to train toe lifts, pull ups, climbs, and the like. We drink protein shakes afterwards and gaze at each other in the way that only the sublimely mad, determined exhaustion of working 11 hours and then conditioning together can give you. Like a boss.
Thanks to the creatine in the protein shake and the maca root, we are only 1/10 as fucked each day as we would normally be after such a workout, under such circumstances. Go science.
Week 3: the IADF continues after getting an actual day at the beach, courtesy of Adam O'Keefe's massive powers of organization. Ireland becomes an unreal 85 degrees and the Irish are all sunburnt and sweating. Me and Texan homegirl Amy Ell and my new Costa Rican aerial sista Carolina are finally thawed. Sianna hides her perfect porcelain complexion grumpily under an umbrella, which I find hilarious. Jesse has as usual brought enough to feed an army. Aisling attempts to nudify with beach, with some success. A round of falling into the sand one at a time ends up the day, with Little Cat certainly taking home the medal for balls of steel, landing face first in the sand without batting an eyelash.
Me and Chantal continue to inflict great amounts of strength training into the shortest time possible each night. Chantal's guns swell up and so do my abs.
Somewhere in those weeks I turn 31, and end the evening jumping up and down and screaming the words to Titanium with Chantal in Voodoo Lounge surrounded by the boiling, churning bodies of IADF participants. I try to watch the lovely chaos for a moment but Timmy O' Sullivan carries me to the middle of the floor and I head bang until I fall over. It's a fine evening and I got to eat a steak, too.
The next day I bought the hottest pair of heels ever and a sparkley dress on 4 hours of sleep. Not too shabby at all.
One of the beautiful things about the IADF is that it's so intensive and requires your full facility, any insecurities, hangups, and hidden agendas coming wailing to the surface each day to be throttled into submission with hip keys and lab exercises. That was a run-on sentence.
This time last year I promised to do three things before I turned 31:
- discover how to best personal insecurity (don't make decisions or take action based on it)
- I forgot immediately what promise #2 was
- discover how to extricate myself from unwanted conversation (you tell me, I have absolutely no idea)
And now for the promises of age 31:
#1- learn to drive a stick shift (shut up, haters)
#3- is a secret
Is anyone still reading this?
Anyway- five weeks is too much information for one post. And, I have to go get on a plane.