momma bear love

Posted by on February 27, 2011 in bear, hat, maureen freehill, momma, momo, momobutoh dance company, mother, nursing home, purple hat | 2 comments

“Anyway, what’s the purpose of our being here? Ultimately, aren’t we here to link hearts?”
Kazuo Ohno – Maureen Freehill’s sensei

One of the many things I learned from dancing daily for YearOfButoh in 2009, was that the dance practices that were most meaningful for me were the ones in which I was able to express something that I felt strongly about. On the days I was not inspired to dance, I danced anyway – not caring so much about what my dances looked like as I was committed to my daily practice, regardless. The intention was to dance as freely and spontaneously as I could wherever I found myself in life.
Although the experience of this most recent dance practice held much emotional depth for me, the film itself didn’t feel like it reflected my inner feelings… part of this had to do with the awareness that, at any moment, one of the nurses might enter into my Mom’s room in the nursing home unexpectedly :~) Not to mention how on the film I am cutoff at the neck for most of it, too… oh well… i am trying, and greatly challenged, to let go of my need to create things that have a certain aesthetic…
When I first arrived to my Mom’s room, I couldn’t help but notice the pink paper heart that was taped to her closet above her head as we were chatting. It was probably put there by her grand-daughter months ago. In keeping with our theme for this month, ‘Love and Family,’ it felt appropriate to dance with the feelings I was experiencing in her room.
I was initially drawn to the teddy bear collection on her dresser. She wasn’t sure where they came from, although I knew that friends and family had given them to her as gifts over the years that she has resided there.
I was remembering how bear cubs are born within the darkness of a den in the depths of winter where they are nursed and nourished by their Mommas and then when spring comes, they exit. I was also remembering how Momma bears are one of the most ferocious mammals when it comes to protecting their cubs…
Feeling much love, as well as melancholy, for my Mom on this visit (I never know if it will be the last time that I will see her), I was inspired to take my inner feeling tone of connection to her as well as what Momma bears symbolize, and dance spontaneously…
My Mom asked at one point where the turquoise hat on the end of her bed came from. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t a hat at all, but, a folded blanket… and so I danced it as ‘hat.’
Today, dancing with the bears, my Mom’s purple straw hat (that was her favorite sun hat that she hasn’t worn in years as she rarely leaves her nursing home due to her disabilities), the blanket, and the love I feel for her.
Grateful to be sharing my dance practices with you here as I gain so much inspiration from you all… Lee
Music: Aiko Shimada

2 Comments

  1. So sweet and so powerful. Your mama is very lucky to have you in her life. This reminds me of the days I spent with my own mom in the nursing home. How difficult those days were! I wish I could have danced with her then as you dance with your mama now.

  2. I remember when my Mom died and we all were sitting next to her. It was the most powerful Letting Go experience in my life. I loved hearing what your Mom asked about as if it was part of the dance … the turquoise "Hat", and how you used that as a resource for your movement, brilliant!
    The music! where do you find these pieces? I know Momo showed David and I, we will see. What a beautiful Mom you have. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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