Tuesday, March 31, 2009

INSTANTLY OBEY SYNDROME

When Fran, who designed my Website, says DO something, I do it ... maybe mull a bit, argue a bit in my mind or in an email, but I do it.

If my guys, JC or JD give me a criticism, I may squirm, argue, protest, but I pay attention, and even if not immediately, I obey.

Recently Dorothy, our maid who's more like a sister since she's been a part of my life, making my surrounds orderly for years, said -- you need to fix the books. It's a huge pile paperbacks. I've read every book Robert Parker wrote, almost all of Elmore Leonard's books, all of Nelson DeMille's. They're favorite silent friends who keep my night time mind occupied, teach me about plot but give me no orders I'm compelled to obey.

Anyhow, Dorothy's suggestion made me reorganize the baker's rack in our green living room (bright green enamel floor with white wicker furniture so it looks like we're living in the country.) Ever since she gave me the gentle "order" I've been re-doing all the bookshelves, especially every time I order more paperbacks from half.com

Yep, I obey -- employees, independent contractors, lawyers, accountants, salespersons, policemen, doctors, nurses, messengers, doorman, cabbies, chauffeurs, even helpful strangers.

Today, oops, out of the blue, my Internet connection stopped working. All 3 computers wouldn't load. I had a fun few hours 100% obeying, double-checking each step, making sure I did executed each instruction right. It was exciting, fraught with a touch of fear that it wouldn't fix. Hurray. It did.

I obey tech people, assiduously. Assiduously avoid some of my older friends. Also change the subject before my real sister (JB) or relatives butt in. More often than not, their "take a vacation, rest, relax," advice is w r o n g for Calvinistic me, but I allow myself to nod with a pleasant smile and murmur "mm hmm" even when I'm thinking "no way!"

Early on, I didn't really obey my parents, two sisters and brother, I mostly wanted to test the DON'T DO's and secretly rebelled, even when I seemed to be following orders. I was a good little actress.

Taking my first dance classes started me into respecting the Rules. You had to do lst, 2nd, 3rd 4th, 5th positions perfectly. Eventually I did, but never could I master a tap step (a shuffle, step-hop, ball change that a beginner can do) and complicated ballet beats, brisé dessus for instance, defeated me for years. Okay -- I learned that memorizing, repeating a sequence over and over, squinting, blurring small details helps you get a sense of the basic left - right, forward - back, up - down, turn - jump - run steps. Confession: I don't watch, can't watch the dance teams, or dance crews on TV -- I get tied in knots mentally doing their steppy, tricky fancy, wildly acrobatic convolutions.

My near death experience did it. Taught me OBEY.

When I was recovering from partial paraplegia, (car accident--see "Encore," bio about me, or check out Book II, Miranda in "Somebody.") I had to relearn sitting up, turning over, moving my toes, standing, peeing etcetera -- re-train my body to do what it knew instinctively, including dancing.

I had to obey, hear every word, follow each small/medium/ large command. You put your mind on it -- a place on your body, a muscle, a ligament, a bone, a joint. And like a funnel, pour all of your thoughts into the funnel's cone, fill it up till the thoughts slide down, (thank you gravity) and land inside you -- find the spot, tip-touching, tweaking, till you're feeling something. A warmth. A tingle. A twitch. Then, that barely perceptible move transforms into ... movement.

So stay back, friends, relatives, and Fran, Sue, Bethy, Dorothy, JD, JC, Docs, Shareen (amazing daughter-in-law), even Phil the Super who can fix anything. Better not tell me what you think I should do. I obey, slowly, sometimes licketty split.

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