First, it’s Friday night and I’ve spent the day fighting a panic attack. I left work early, laid down on the floor of my bedroom and cried. In a private local women’s group on Facebook, I posted to express my current anxiety and my unease with how to deal. I’m 35. I can’t bang my head into a wall so hard I see stars; though it would certainly shake me out of the madness, it wouldn’t help halt my mounting list of concussions. What can I do during a panic attack that doesn’t require harming myself? As I submitted the post for approval, I heard back from Embur with her address to come see her.
I met Embur back when I first moved here when I had attended an event thrown by the local circus community. If friendship-at-first-sight is a thing, I felt it for her. We’ve crossed paths in smaller settings since that time and shared brief moments of acceptance and admiration for each other. Somehow, I knew I could turn to her. As I made my way toward her place in a few layers including my winter coat and fleece-lined leggings, I was greeted by her on the steps outside her apartment building wearing a hoodie, short shorts, knee-high leg warmers and the barest feet. She took me in and asked me to tell her what was going on with me; she looked me in the eyes and remarked on how beautiful she thought I was; and she talked to me about me moving into a downstairs apartment like I was her best friend and she wanted me near.
She shared what was going on in her life, too. She cried and I laid down against her leg and held her just so slightly that she would know she was safe to keep talking. We didn’t speak too much about our community or about our shared passions with circus even though that’s how we came together. Our sharing of interests in shared space, our sense of community toward one another, developed a foundation for friendship. It made us not strangers in a world of strangers.
Then, it’s Saturday night at the Mercury Café – inside the entrance, I’m greeted with choices: ahead of me is a staircase and on the door to my left is a sign about “the show outside and …
A week ago, all of Colorado was hit with a Category-2 cyclone named Ulmer only later in the evening after several tragic events already occurred. For those of you unfamiliar with weather terms, a cyclone is a hurricane that forms in the Pacific Ocean rather than the Atlantic. They were calling it a “bomb cyclone” here – a reference that a lot of folks considered to be a dramatic description for what seemed to be a normal snow storm for the Denver area. In fact, the term was generated from the technical term “bombogenesis”: a weather condition known to cause significant damage due to extreme and quick barometric pressure drops.
Ulmer was no joke. Unfortunately, too many people thought this storm wasn’t even worth knowing about it or considering. I followed the storm progression for the two days prior with an unexpected familiarity with the weather tracking I’ve done elsewhere. Having spent about two-thirds of my life all over the state of Florida, I’m used to the almost year-round hurricane season that stresses out populations across a massive expanse of land. There, hurricanes usually form far off the eastern coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Due to conflicting pressure systems and temperature changes in the water, we never quite know where the hurricane is going to land. Speaking of land, once a hurricane hits the coast, we can’t predict its path of destruction nor whether it will strengthen or weaken as it moves. We’ve seen hurricanes pass us by in southeast Florida, cross the entire state, and then decimate South Carolina. We’ve experienced hurricanes that zig-zag across the state, hit one area before strengthening again to damage another area ten hours away. Tropical storms because Category 1…2…3…4…5 hurricanes in a matter of hours. Because we experience this for the majority of the year – year after year – we know to at least pay attention to the news.
I can’t say the same for the people of Colorado. As proud as you are to be natives, or to have spent decades settled in this state, y’all don’t seem to know much about the weather systems that affect your local experience. Too many of you have concluded that meteorologists can’t be trusted. Ignorance plays a disappointing role – as weather here can be impacted by a multitude of factors none which have anything to do with trusting …
The weekend before last, I just about missed my opportunity to experience the Jam Hoops Winter Jamboree due to a nasty cold that stuck around for a full two weeks. I wanted to be devastated and stomp around about how much I looked forward to the weekend. The Jamboree events are twice-yearly flow arts workshop events that span Friday-Saturday-Sunday and entail jamming, partying, learning, teaching, growing, and connecting with the flow arts’ world. Mainly focused on hoops, the Jamboree events are almost single-handedly created and organized by miss Maggie Brown. I don’t know how she does what she does – but for years, I’ve watched this woman build her Jam Hoops’ business and organize Jamboree events out of a truly authentic love she has for hooping. All I can say is: Fuck Yes, Maggie.
I tried my best not to cry over the money spent on the weekend ticket and all the workshops and parties I was missing while in bed trying to remember what breathing through my nose felt like. We’ve all been there, right? I wonder how other people have learned to treat themselves when they get sick. Me, I’ve been attempting to enhance my perspective, find abundance instead of absence, seek kindness toward myself and remain centered even when external forces seem to overwhelm me. Somewhere along the way in my life I realized I was responsible for caring for myself, and dammit, I had to put myself to bed and miss two-thirds of an event I’ve had my sights on for months. Because…guess what? Getting better is more important than getting to have an experience. Uggghhhh, I think I might be an adult now, hi.
Since I’m still pretty new at this, I accept any and all reinforcements for my good behavior. When I awoke Sunday with the ability to get out of the house and make it to Melissa Daly’s “tipper tech” hoop workshop, I tossed a confetti pile of thank you’s over every inch of myself until all I knew was gratitude instead of the understandable bitterness about what I had missed. Who cares? I’m here now and I’m going to enjoy every minute I can.
Better known in the hoop’sphere as albinoplant, Melissa began as a poi flow artist before sinking into some serious technical genius with single and double hoops. In my early days of hooping, …