Hi Milan and Zuna,
I've been meaning to write the two of you all week but until now I haven't felt like I had found the right words to express my gratitude and the magnitude of the week's influence on my life. Maybe I still don't, but I'm going to try anyway...
It seems ridiculous - to claim that I feel like a different person after spending a week with the two of you and 25 other incredible, human beings, but it's true as true can be.
The power of the natural world we were continually surrounded by was undeniable, and extraordinary. Consciously liberating ourselves of the technology that overtakes our daily lives was so rejuvenating; I laughed with Harald when we arrived at our hostel in Prague on Saturday because even though we had free wifi I had no desire whatsoever to go online, and since I do much of my work online here in the city (when not dancing and teaching) that was quite unusual :)
But that sort of change is minimal in comparison to other effects of Pecin that have surfaced in my life already. I still cannot fathom how much I learned from you and my new friends, artistically and personally. Thanks to your early morning class Zuna, I now feel capable of finding a deep connection to my body in the early morning; I began to rediscover my voice with the support of your improvisational structures and opportunities; I regained my desire to move from the inside-out, rather than trying to always align my body with the shape of another or to meet another person's expectations; and thanks to your quiet encouragement and patience I was able to find the courage to throw myself into realms I felt uncomfortable in or that I'd never explored before.
This is all so heady and too much about me, and really just touches the surface of what I've been thinking about since leaving Pecin... What I know I really want to say though, from the bottom of my heart, is thank you. The two of you inspire me to no end. I love that you follow your curiosities, that you work so hard to reach your goals but carry such a modesty with you along the way, and that you offer yourselves so generously to those around you. What you believe you practice. You consider learning to be a never-ending process. And you exude such serenity.
All this I can only hope to take on in my own life. I've come back to the States a tea lover, with the fervent desire to study Taoism and Chinese medicine, the will to turn off my computer in the early morning and late evening and focus on my food while eating, to supply my body with the energy it really needs, as well as the determination to live simply yet fully.
At the end of the day all this contemplation seems a bit lofty, but that fresh, green grass in the field, the warmth that flooded the kitchen and table as we prepared our meals and ate together, and the laughter that moved through the cottage almost constantly is still so real to me. Memories like these remind me again and again how brilliant that week was and how I so hope I can join you in the mountains again (and hopefully with many of our dancing group by my side).
Best of luck with your teaching and realty and creative endeavors this year. Thank you a million times over for offering us all an opportunity to alter our lives for the better, while dancing with you in the mountains. I hope to see you again soon.
Much love, Liz