Happy to report that as of Sunday July 23rd, I will have art hanging in 3 cities:
Bellevue (the Department of Ecology; Overlake Hospital)
Burien (the Burien Community Center--this show is nearly done)
and Anacortes (opening the 29th, and the Arts at the Port activities are open August 4-6.
Oh my goodness, the Art at the Port juried show has invited these girls to be exhibited July 29 - August 6th!
Restorative is all about support. All yoga, of course, can be supportive, and in powerful ways. And while that is true, Restorative Yoga provides an aspect of deep rest that is particularly important in today's world. At a time when we are all so busy, either with our own set of lists of to-do's, or the needs of work, family, friends, a practice of simply being in our bodies in stillness, and quiet--with acceptance for what we experience--this can affect people profoundly.
One student came twice, in 2016. She reported adding legs up the wall to her daily routine, specifically to combat migraine headaches. She told me she doesn't get them anymore.
Another student reported initially feeling tired, as she let go of the immense amount of habitual holding and tension she had become accustomed to over the years. It was as though she finally realized how tired she really was. Then, after attending regularly, she tells me she feels better, has more energy for the rest of her life. The practice, she says, changed everything for her.
I know that when I practice at home (which is not always easy, as there is so much to do!) I feel I come back to a state of deep alignment with the calmness in my center--that calmness is there, even in the roil of stressful times. It isn't always possible or easy to find a grounded state. I certainly didn't feel grounded today, for example, but I also know how to look and find that state again when I forget it exists.
For me, finding that sense of rootedness takes two practices, Restorative Yoga and Feldenkrais. These modalities enabled me to befriend myself in stillness, understand my patterns, find ease in movement, and find more real grounded-ness in myself regardless of what happens around me. I can more easily hear my intuition when I practice, and when I teach.
I remember being told that after a stressful event, we establish a new normal, but can never return to the state from where we began. This might look like this: You begin with a stress level of zero, then you have a car accident. Your stress spikes to 9, and then drops after some physical therapy and yoga to a 2 or 3. That is your new normal.
I don't believe this anymore.
Restorative yoga and somatic work (Feldenkrais) can bring me back to zero.
Information on the upcoming Restorative Yoga (Trauma Informed) training here or contact Jodiboone@gmail.com
I know just enough Deriga to greet people Be kher? (All is good?) La Bas? (no problems?) Mezien? (good?) Hamdoollah! (thank goodness!). Then, people get all excited and they start a flood of words.
Misunderstanding: I really thought that the fruit seller across from the door of the studio was asking how my show was coming, saying it would be beautiful (Meziuowena) and that he would come see it on Saturday (Samedi).
What he really said: I found these 6 kittens. Each one is a different color, fampti? You understand? Here is where I should have said Ma Fampt Shi—I don’t understand. They are beautiful. I will bring them to you on Saturday so you can draw them.
So, I know just enough that people think I can speak really well. But really, I know about what a 3 year old knows: I want this, how much, I go here, I do this. I find myself wanting to reach out with my words to ask more about others, but I am tripping over the lack of vocabulary. But in the end, we all end up nodding and smiling. They say "Misquina" poor little one--(I think it sounds like poor little mosquito). But they like me because I am trying. If I am lucky, someone is near to help translate, and all is well.
Packing up more today, and leaving tonight. I just know that these stories will slip away, and this one was too good to forget.
Hello from Tetuoan.
Today is Thursday, and back in Seattle I hope you are all sleeping well.
Yesterday, I went to Rincon (the beach) with Sumaya, my wonderful Derija teacher and friend. We crammed into a taxi—a blue Grand Taxi, think 80’s or 90’s era Mercedez. 6 of us actually rode—two in the front seat, 4 in the back seat, plus the driver. Sumaya tells me they call this “Tender Taxi”—the incredible intimacy of being so close with a stranger. Sometimes, Sumaya tells me, you will see a man with his arm around a woman in the front seat, merely because that is the only way they will both fit in the car. You will think they are together, but no, they are not.
We were quite early. 10 is early for Morocco—most people aren’t out and about until later. That is most visitors: the net menders, the seagulls, the cats, they are all out and busily doing their jobs—tying knots, cleaning scraps, and lying in the sun digesting (respectively).
The day before, Sapi and I visited Chefchaouen together (I haven't processed the photos yet). We purchased all the 6 seats in the cab so that we wouldn’t have to wait for more people (cabs don’t leave until they are full), and made our way to the very blue city, which is about an hour away. Chefchaouen caters to tourists—Tetouan feels more that it is made for the everyday people of the city itself. I am certain there are places in Chefchaouen that are less touristy, but I couldn't tell.
They paint the city 5 times a year. You can have your photo taken with a colorful bird.
It is all quite beautifully blue, and in varying shades. The doors are quite tiny, and yet are really in use, with children everywhere. It feels like a genuine experience, yet also I was reminded (sadly) of a smurf exhibit in Disney Land. I pretended I didn't notice until Sapi said something about it.
We had a wonderful traditional meal of Tajine at Aladdin's Palace—(seriously, that is the name). Tajine. Yum. Think meat and vegetables (or Chicken and plums, or Chicken and lemon and olive) served with bread. The meat and veg have been baked somehow in a ceramic container (this is what Tajine means). The container looks strangely like the hoods on the Jalabas that people wear. Jalaba: think the first desert scene in Star Wars and everyone is in hooded cloaks. The lid of the tagine is like a pointy hood on that cloak.
Today, I meet with new friends who I will go with to a wedding. The original purpose of my journey—to gather experiences—is certainly being fulfilled. Meanwhile, some art is also occurring.
Love to all of you back home!
Monday, 6pm Moroccan time.
I have been quite sick for a couple of days. Actually, Sunday, I was out of bed less than 20 minutes total, most of that being a late afternoon shower. Saturday, I stayed at the studio working all day, not hiking, as I knew I was a wee bit tired. Seems that I caught a bug—then, BOOM. Sunday. Thanks to lots of support I am much better now, thank goodness.
That is one way to keep vigil with the women marching around the world. There may have been some lying down on cool tiles.
But I’ll take this time recovering here in my princess sheets to tell you about my latest adventure.
Friday afternoon I had an adventure that would definitely not happen in the USA. I went to the patisserie with Sapi, the other artist-in-residence at Green Olive Arts. She and I ordered coffee and cookies and sat in the dark back seating area. It’s a quiet oasis, calm, and safe, with just the king to watch over us. Café normal means straight espresso (or Café b’la haleeb, means coffee without milk); that’s what I order. Sapi likes café au lait: the barista(o?) brings the little glass of espresso out to the table and then pours the milk for her. The napkins are thin green sheets of paper cut into triangles. Cookies this time are something new and seem to have almond inside.
A lady comes back to have her coffee. Quite soon after she is speaking to me in French, and I move to her table so I can hear her amongst all the noises of the café and the road work outside. She is from Brussels, and invites us to couscous. “Yes!” I say. After some more conversation: “Maintainant?” (now) she asks? “Yes” I say. Sapi needs to continue to work.
So, this woman and I—without even knowing each other’s names, leave, jump in a taxi and go off to a part of Tetuoan I am not familiar with—past the Modern Art Museum, the Lovers Park, the Artisan School, and past even the Muslim cemetery (a massive eternal city). We arrive and I am welcomed generously by her Aunts (pretty sure), her two daughters, her grand-daughter, and her son. Orange Juice is offered (so delicious). After about 10 minutes, we are off again. Her eldest daughter drives, baby as copilot in baby seat. In the back are four of us of to Martile. Martile is outside Tetuoan about 20 minutes, near the beach.
Apparently, it’s been 2 years since everyone went to the other sister’s house, and so we are lost for quite some time, winding in and out of nearly identical narrow streets with nearly identical constructions. So many new buildings have sprung up it is no wonder they can’t find the apartment building. The buildings are massive cement structures, rectangular, basically the same color. No names for roads, and even when roads are named, no one knows how to navigate that way. Instead, you navigate by what things are close. I am not sure how we get there, but we arrive.
I am so graciously welcomed here too. This is tradition—the couscous on Friday afternoon with family. Every Friday—prayer day—families gather all over Morocco for this wonderful dish with couscous, vegetables, chicken or something, and the caramelized onions and chickpeas (my favorite part). I can’t believe that they would invite a stranger. I am so honored.
After we eat, all of us gathered around a table with a massive platter, each our own spoon, and many urgings to eat (mashi), we are all full. We have fruit afterwards.
Somehow my high school French suffices, at least until my brain gets completely tired out a few hours later. Luckily, the 15-year-old daughter knows some English, and everyone is so kind that we all seem to communicate fairly well.
It has been quite cold here, snow in the mountains. People don’t have heat much in the homes, and cement buildings with tiled floors get cold. All are wearing fleece under their clothes, blankets spread over laps in the homes. Here it is the same.
Ines, her daughters, her son, and I, all pile into the car and go to the beach. It is nearly identical to Miami, but with two camels (I thought they were fake), and people in lots of layers. Palm trees. Sand. Surf. Beautiful.
We return for a lovely desert with Moroccan mint and green tea with sugar and various goodies—corn bread, pastries, warmed honey (yummmmmm). It takes me a long time to understand the word honey—its amazing that “Oh-Knee” was that hard for me to get. And then Inez made a sign like a buzzing insect, and I said “Flies?” and she says “Not flies” and then all of a sudden, I know: OF COURSE! “HONEY”! Yum.
I speak to everyone as best I can, and eventually, I feel like I can even understand some of the Derija, but I might be so tired that I don’t know which end is up. And even then, I am quite comfortable and happy with this lovely family. (I have blurred faces in the photos.)
I am pretty sure I’ve been invited to a wedding. I hope they mean it.
When I’m well, I plan to find out.
Tuesday update: All better, I think!
Wondering: If not even the locals know the street names or use them to navigate, how does anyone get mail here?
Otman the cab driver explained that the Mint and Green tea of Tetuoan is the "OUWISKEE of M'ROC." I miss it, now that I'm home.
For those of you that would like to see some photos of work, the new page is up:
Morocco Exhibition. This is an informal gathering of photos of the exhibition, some photos of my creation of the work.
"Home again, home again, jiggity jig..."
I am grateful for:
Am full of images to process. Here are a few to share.
I'm making friends with the M'dina. Medina means city, and the old city is made of what you might imagine to be wide hallways lined on both sides with Hanouks (tiny shops) and workshops smaller than twin sized beds, with no entrance other than over the table of goods. It is overwhelming, and sometimes like Pike Place Market on a busy tourist day, with no tourists, just narrow full hallways of people rushing here and there.
Heather Danso wears many hats. As an artist, she playfully explores work in Acrylic, printing, and multimedia, creating portraits and abstracts that explore expression, playfulness, identity, and the possible. Her CV is here.
She is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method® Practitioner, yoga teacher, Awareness Through Movement® teacher, and helps people design and manage their own websites.