Sliding Door Moments

I take my title of this post from the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. Seen it? I saw the movie many moons ago and actually watched it again when I thought of writing this post. Silly me. It’s a lighthearted romance/fantasy movie made long before Gwyneth uttered those misguided statements about motherhood.

Here’s Gwyneth in her two separate identities:

"Slidingdoors". Via Wikipedia -
“Slidingdoors”  Via Wikipedia –

I know. You want to flip it over, don’t you?

In the film, Gwyneth’s character’s experiences two separate lives based on the sliding doors of a train:

Scenario A: She misses the train and hits her head.
Scenario B: She catches the train and meets a new man.

Each scenario brings along with it new possibilities specific to each Sliding Door reality. Scenario B obviously is much more fun.

At this point in my life, I’ve had countless moments when I could have made different choices. Marriage, jobs, careers, friendships, hair styles. I could get lost thinking about them all. But the reality is, I don’t even need a sliding door of a train to experience what I call my “Sliding Door Moments.” Really, Gwyneth,  you never needed a train.

Burning the Salmon

IMG_0195 (1)
How could this happen? I don’t know. I closed my eyes and this is what I saw. A Flash Burn maybe?

Scenario A: Grill the salmon to perfection and enjoy a tasty meal.
Scenario B: Burn the salmon and be forced to eat chili from a can.

Well, you know what happened here, don’t you?

Not only have I now been denied a healthy and delicious meal and those essential Omega-3 fatty acids, but I have also suffered a tummy ache and was up half the night, so missed my early morning run, and pouted all morning and didn’t go out with my friend who was going to reveal to me her new sex toy and what’s more important than that? All this denied because I had chili.

Okay, I made all that up, but it could have happened. Just checking your attention span there. Except, of course, for the burned salmon, which did burn. Pictures don’t lie.


 The Mystery Mound

The brown mound in the corner…no, it’s not that. Look at the picture.

Just part of the old room decor?
Oh, my. We have a mystery on our hands. What could it possibly be?

This fluffy mound presents a myriad of possibilities in my day.

Scenario A: The opportunity to stretch your arms, put items into organized piles, and later distribute these piles throughout the house to designated areas.

Scenario B: Lay your head on something soft.

Nope. I’m not even going to open this door. Indeed, you have the option to not open the door at all.


My Morning Sliding Door Ritual

Truthfully, I have a “Sliding Door Ritual” each and every morning before my feet even touch the ground.

I wrestle with the following possible scenarios:

Scenario A: Boot Camp at 6:00 AM  – Get your sweat on.
Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.

So, it’s sweat, sleep, sweat, sleep, no sleep, c’mon sweat, but I’m too tired, sweat, sweat, but my pillow is soft. Get that workout in. I can’t open my eyes…sweat, sleep…sleep wins!

And then it’s too late for Boot Camp. Next. 

Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.
Scenario C: Get up and write like a real writer.

Write, sleep, write, sleep. Can’t I write when I sleep? I’ll write my dreams when I get up. I promise. I’ll work out my plot problems in my dreams. Dreams are good for writing, I just…write, write, sleeeeeepp wins again!

I just…I don’t want to be Crabby Pants all day…zzz. Next. 

Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.
Scenario D: Rise and shine.

Just a few more minutes…I can sleep, I can feel it…wait, my eyes are shutting. It’s time to get up! I might actually drift off. Hey, I never went back to sleep. Not fair, not fair, not fair.  I’m exhausted. Up you go!

That door slammed in my face.

What about you? Did you see the Sliding Doors movie? Do you have any daily “Sliding Door Moments” or rituals you’d like to share? Do you have early morning ambitions? 

photo credit: Metrò Parisienne via photopin (license)

Six Degrees of Pina Bausch

Pina Bausch, 1940 – 2009

Last summer on a flight to Colorado, the passenger sitting next to me was a German videographer. Specifically, he recorded dance pieces. I had danced for many years, decades even, so we immediately struck up a conversation about the complexities of recording dance and how usually no one is satisfied with the result. Then he went on to tell me how he worked with the Pina Bausch dancers. Pina Bausch! I knew all about Pina Bausch. Just two summers prior to this meeting I had danced with a theater group who did a whole tribute to Pina Bausch. Coincidence?

I had heard about Pina as a college student, but did not know much about her as a choreographer, other than she was cutting edge and, of course, German. When I joined this theater group in mid-life, which was quite by accident I might add, I didn’t know that much more about her. Now I know that she was an amazing choreographer who, perhaps, valued the process as much as the product.

When her dancers learned a part in a piece it was something they carved out for themselves, intrinsically unique and intimate, something that came from a deep place, perhaps even deeper than what they thought possible. The result was a role they could not teach to anyone else, because it fit as personal as a second skin. It was who they were as real people.

My German friend had seen Pina’s process up close. He had to tell me all about the dogs. The dogs?

He told me about this dancer who was afraid to go to rehearsal everyday, because once she was there, they released a pack of wild dogs on her, and she was afraid for her life. I guess the dogs were part of the piece? Wow, that seems a little extreme, I commented. Wild dogs, huh? Yes, the night before a session with the dogs, this dancer couldn’t eat or sleep. Nothing like a pack of wild dogs to help you really get to the bottom of things, find out who you really are, what you’re made of.

Then, my friend went on to share that he actually met Pina Bausch. He happened to wander into this cafe where members of Pina’s company were dancing the tango. It wasn’t that they were rehearsing for anything in particular. They were just dancing the tango together, because that’s the kind of thing they did. Or, should I say, they lived to tango.

It was in this cafe that my German friend saw Pina. What? You actually saw her? Not only that, he sat down next to her.

I asked, “Didn’t you want to dance the tango with her?”

“No,”  he said. “No, I was too shy. It was enough just sitting next to her. Then I accidentally knocked her leg under the table.”

Her response? She socked him right back with a big punch to his knee. He said he wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way. It was perfect just like that. I understood.

It was at the moment that I thought we had the sixth degree thing going, but it was more like two degrees. Was there more to my connection with Pina Bausch? Or, will it simply end with this strange post of mine?

Have you ever met anyone with whom you felt you had a fateful connection? Maybe from a past life? I won’t judge.

This maybe calls a different question to mind altogether. Have you ever been chased by a pack of dogs? How about at work? Could imagine if you went to work everyday and once you sat down, they said, “Okay, release the dogs!”

I’ve included a trailer from the Wim Wenders documentary film Pina, nominated for many awards. It looks incredible, and I think you will enjoy the video. If you’re not a big dance fan, I’ll bet you’ll like the music. I have yet to see the film, unfortunately. Have a look. If you’re interested in more video clips, there are many on YouTube.

I promise a follow-up post of my personal experience dancing in a tribute piece to Pina Bausch.

photo credit: coolibrimagazin via photopin cc