I feel almost aphonic, audibly and even through my typing fingers. My students and families took care of me this weekend in so many beautiful ways. There is no way to describe it. Not really. Words won't be sufficient enough.
My Mom died a year ago. When I returned from St. Louis after a couple of weeks, we went into a competition weekend. As I was receiving hugs, I ended up noticing everyone wearing a tulip on their jacket. I started to wail.
Tulips were her and my special flower.
This weekend, a year later, was going to be a hard one for me. I prepared myself as best as I could. I felt comforted by the fact that I was going to be watching so much choreography that came out of me in an attempt to understand myself without my mom physically here, to understand my grief, to understand anything about my mom dying without any warning, to understand memories, to understand her. I felt comforted that I was going to see these artists, who my mom called "my girls" and (insert boys names), go on stage and share this information in their bodies whom I had entrusted with fully.
I didn't know that this weekend was going to be, maybe, even more emotional than a year earlier.
Team Tulip was a group the students started. I am not quite sure if this an ongoing group they have or if it was for this weekend specifically. I found out, mid sobbing, when I saw that they were all wearing tulips, again, on their jackets. I had no idea... I knew they were with me always in this process, patiently awaiting me to return from the bathroom or in the room from crying, etc. But, I had no idea just how sensitive they were to what I needed. They, honestly, knew what I needed even when I didn't this weekend.
I literally can not describe what happened to me physically when tulips started gracing the stage. They all figured out, together, what pieces made sense for these to show up in. Even with one person, or a group doing it, it was a team effort as they converged and figured it out among each other. A bouquet of flowers came out at the end of a solo when I thought she just decided to continue to go off stage at the end, but then returned to the floor with the flowers. Another soloist acted as if he was plucking flowers from the tulip only to return to it at the end in hand and and against his heart. An entire group beautifully added them to their hair for the first piece that I decided to attempt to move through my understanding of mom's death. I don't know what happened to me, but the part of me that feels carved out on the inside and completely abandoned, felt filled with light. These artists, they have so much light....so much love.