Just For the Love of It
Being an adult is about having an agenda. Most of the things we do in life we do hoping for some desired outcome. I write my blog because I want you to read it. I make movies because I want to be Wes Anderson. I sing in public bathrooms while staring at myself in the mirror crying to make friends. There is always some ambition, desire for success, and craving for approval that lurks behind my efforts.
But then I realized that there was one aspect to my life that maintained an element of transparency. When I was in college I fell in love with dancing, so much so that I majored in it along with philosophy. I know what you are thinking. Boy Toni, you sure know how to get on the right track to getting super rich. Since I lived in NY for a decade after school, I continued to dance because it made me feel whole. There were so many great teachers to learn from, and I went to class daily even though I never wanted to dance professionally. I didn’t care about being on stage, I just felt this urge inside me that I had to unleash.
After moving to New Hampsha and having a baby I stopped dancing for a while. I tried to supplement the longing with yoga and being in nature, but the expression of dance was missing. But I recently found a studio in Vermont, a partner to choreograph with, opportunities to perform, and this return to dance has felt so satiating.
It is nice to have something I do just because I love it. There is nothing more than the moment to work towards. I have this message to express esoterically with my body, and then it is gone. There is not point in filming dance, because it can’t be captured on film and maintain its essence. Dance is ethereal by nature. It is this delicate instance that cannot be duplicated and once it is out its gone forever.
There is something childlike and innocent to the act of creating art for arts sake.
Maybe that is why it is so easy to envy the purity of children. The Munch has no ulterior motives or ego wrapped up in her actions. She throws rocks in the water not because she thinks its going to get her an agent, but because she likes to watch a splash transform into ripples. Although I have to say, I do think she pays so much attention to her Elmo doll because she thinks he will introduce her to Cookie Monster.
“Hey Ma, did you see how far I just threw that?”