Celebrations can be such weighty convergences of the little and the big, the trivial and the fundamental: toys and family, scarves and service, red reindeer noses and remembering. The nights are long, my friends, but we certainly don’t feel rested! Our children swing from ecstatic to inconsolable as we teach them our traditions and trust that they will understand their significance, which is that the decreasing daylight and end of the calendar year are a time of reckoning, of gratitude, of coming together, and of hope for our future.
We are grateful to have all of you Framers come together for soirees, performances, classes, and online sharing. You give us hope that our mission to bring modern dance to more and more and more of Houston can be and is in fact being achieved.
Below is a letter from our Artistic Director, Lydia Hance, and a coming soon are a few suggestions for this season of shopping lists, cookie trays, and high-stakes family time, so look for those. It is truly our pleasure and privilege to spend a part of this season with you.
We made it to winter break. I usually love this time of year because I love to celebrate Christmas, and I yearn for that feeling that I’ve earned a break. But I’m struggling with feeling like I’ve earned it. Let me back up, because I always like to list my blessings before I start to complain, as if it’s going to give me perspective on my grumbles.
We have had an absolutely incredible year at Frame Dance. We hosted the first, very successful, Frame x Frame Film Fest with artists traveling internationally to attend and premiere work. We had two additional performances just this fall with Horse Head Theater and our Midtown Winter METROdances. This summer we had a literal blast at our space-themed Wiggle Worm Dance Camp for kiddos. We pulled off the zany 80s prom-themed immersive performance that subtly broke down the artificiality of the 80s aesthetic and tapped deeply into heartache. There has never been a show more fun to create than that one (my dancing to INXS and Tears for Fears has previously been limited to solos in my kitchen). Our education programs have been so rich and fruitful. Amazing and passionate people are finding us, including those certain kindred spirits who appreciate our values and offerings in a way that makes me feel supported. (You know who you are Rebel Families and Creative Souls who prioritize nourishing yourselves artistically in community). And in between all of that we* created a Strategic Plan for the next few years.
Still, I feel like I’m drowning, trying to balance on an underwater teeter totter of ideas and actual to-do tasks. I’m behind on thanking people for Giving Tuesday. I still haven’t finished that grant report. I can’t find the new shoes I bought for my son anywhere. Artists contracts need to go out. People are waiting on ME for things, which is something I avoid like the plague. And speaking of plague, I’ve been very sick twice since Thanksgiving. I feel like I can’t quite focus and finish the things I’ve begun– like I might burst into tears at the next thing that is just a little bit difficult. I feel like I am letting people down. I feel disappointed in myself for everything I can’t remember I need to do. And I’m sulky because I haven’t had even a moment to myself for the past three months until now, when I sit down and complain to you, friend. Have I thanked you for listening? Nope. Forgot that too.
But I have come to the conclusion that right now, a lot of stuff is rough. And that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for the great stuff.
-We had a major leak in our home’s bathroom that seeped under the floor boards and so we ripped it all out, and now going into the fourth month of people coming in and out of my house all. day. long. There’s debris, dust, decision-making, and arguing, and so much more that goes along with this.
-I was rear ended badly in October on my way to our performance with Horse Head Theater, and the driver was uninsured which delayed it getting repaired for two and a half months.
-One of the major Frame Dance funding sources cut funding, and we received 50% of what we had planned for. Read: I need to find those funds somewhere if we are going to accomplish all of the beautiful things I have planned for 2019.
-My friend, sole co-worker, teammate, and confidante Cori Capetillo is moving. I’m grieving the loss of my friend in Houston, and also dealing with how Frame Dance will change without her. More on this later.
-Parenting a toddler while sick is…very hard.
There are about ten more items like this (let’s get together and I’ll tell you the juiciest one of all). I keep telling myself to choose joy. Sounds good, right?
I am giving myself the grace not to gloss over the difficulty of the present, but asking myself, What can I learn from this?
So far I have this:
-I will not successfully juggle all the balls all of the time. Homework: How do I see myself when I’m not living up to my own standards?
-Sometimes I just have to ride the wave.
-No one promised me that life would be easy, so probably best not to expect it.
-I need to learn to ask for help. Even when people say no. Ask again.
I do believe that joy will come in the morning. But it feels like a long, loud night. I am with you in whatever is difficult right now.
Warmly, and still thankful for every blessing,