What ever magic happens... happens
Turned on my Pandora station this morning to New Orleans Jazz and sat back remembering the wonderful city of NOLA. It was my third time visiting this past weekend, this time I went for a Belly Dance Event - Shimmy Soul featuring Sadie Marquardt and Simon Sako, organized by Karla Marie Cochran. A wonderful and homey event, it was definitely a good, little vacation for me. I stayed with some good friends, rented a car and booked my trip in the city with time to explore and re-visit my favorite places.
Flew in Thursday afternoon and lounged with my two good friends, Sebs and Lis. Love them! Catching up with friends is always a pleasure. We went to dinner at a place called Korea House that night - wow… amazing!!!! Food in that city is just… said in one word at a time… WOAH, daaaaamn, OMGEEEE… you know… all of those expressions! Haha! So flavorful! I also have friends that know where they're going, which is a plus if you're in a new city. Friday morning I hit my favorite brunch place in East Corrollton/Uptown. Andres (my man) and I have to visit that place every time, we've made it mandatory, a tradition. Those grits are to die for! It's a small, quaint local place and fills up pretty fast. Take your food to go or eat there (which I recommend), and enjoy that cozy place. They're only open half of the day until around 1-2pm, depends on the day.
After Refuel I took a stroll around Audubon Park nearby. The weather was gorgeous - mid to low 70's, breezy, completely refreshing! It was the perfect start to the day. I took my time to mediate, enjoy the cold, and give thanks to all the magic that has happened and that is to come.
Lunch was with a wonderful student of ours, Cheryl! She adores New Orleans, has been going there for 45 years! Always energetic and happy, we had such a great time having lunch in the French Quarter! It was fun to see a student outside of class in another city! She also took Saturday's workshops with Sadie and Simon, Cheryl doesn't stop!
Friday night's show reminded me of when Belly Motions started 12 years ago. It was a small, warm, cozy and genuine vibe. Belly Motions is still like that, but there's a special, one-of-a-kind feeling when a studio is just starting out, when a belly dance community is still young. I loved it! It's a fine start to a good future and I wish Karla and all the students in New Orleans the best!
And of course… the performances of Sadie and Simon were magical! I felt like a little girl watching them perform, full of surprise and happiness! It's like I was seeing dance with new eyes every time. Saturday and Sunday workshops were unique and soulful, all 5 of them! I learned new things and was reminded and reinforced on other things. Can't wait to see Simon again for Lebanese + Egyptian Love Affair, directed by Valerick Molinary, next February 2017!
Loads of material to digest. I'm inspired and can't wait to add new things to my classes at Belly Motions!
The last day there was a rainy one. There was so much in all the crooks and crannies of the spaces around me, from driving to walking the streets of the Quarter. By the time I drove into the Quarter the rain fell very softly, just enough that I could still walk around without a rush, a care in the world - except for the time to leave to catch my flight! Haha! There was so much magic in those streets. Traveling alone opens so many doors to explore both within and without. I had a coffee and beignets at Café Du Mond, listening to all the people around me and the clarinet player nearby playing Christmas songs. It chilly and I was so happy! I walked to St. Louis Cathedral and stood in there for a while, thanking the universe for a humble and wonderful trip. Cathedrals resonate in my soul, though I am not religious. It would be nice to visit mosques and temples one day to experience different sources of peace and thought. I walked around the Quarter after wards, taking in the architecture in the rain. I walked to the Market and last to the river. As always, my mind wanders thinking about how much history there is in this city. I imagine how lives of individuals were in the 1800's, early 1900's. What it must have been like. Their clothes, the look of the city, less cards, more dirt, heat, cold, smell, vibes, everything. All that I can capture from what I've learned from documentaries, books and movies. The weight of all those thoughts, I know, doesn't compare to reality, but I internalize so much that I believe I can feel a small fragment.
As I was leaving back to my car, the sky opened up for a moment through the dense fog in the sky. There was no more refreshing rain, but a bright breeze as if the city was saying it's farewell. Magic happens in spaces least expected and at the right moments. Music was in my ears and heart and I felt so much love for that tiny little city.
Always keep learning, stay open, stay humble, and above all love what you are doing in all areas of your life! Whatever magic happens….