Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Solstice, 2009

(writings… on watching the video of my dance, remembering, having new thoughts. A new practice: To dance, improvise, follow and listen with the movements of my body, further into this journey. As I watch back on the footage of what I have done, I remember the experience, my intentions, the messages I have captured by doing this. I type as I watch, and remember. I improvise a poem. And transform the story to add specific meaning to the movement. Because it means something very specific to me. In this way, I can re-create an experience, and give more exactly of what I am sharing.)

Summer Solstice, 2009. Danced at Earthdance, Northampton Massachussetts, in the “quarry”.

on the other side of perception is a pond filled with tadpoles
and birdsong
here in the hills the rain falls soft
and the forest is forgiving
here, she has no sharp stings, no thorns
only soft quilt brown leaves
the sole of each footstep
meets the earth with the trust of a child
here I gaze at the upside down forest
I am wearing black dress, white scarf
On my head
This day, a day of balance
Hanging, a suspension
A perfect time for prayer.

The morning before, spent dancing
This small dance, with my center
Of gravity, standing
In line with the weight of her
Pulling me home
It takes no effort for me to stand like this
We humans, our form is telling, of why we are here.
A signature.
We alone have pulled ourselves
So far away from her
But still, even though we fly
In round metal boxes with wings
So far above her
Even though our capsules of survival
Have sent our earthly bodies hurling into space,
We must always return

Here I shake
The tree
I cannot be seen,
But my influence ripples outward
In the body of this tree
It knows I have used
Its slender smooth woodcelled body
For balance, for holding

We pretend we are not here
We pretend we cannot see
The rippling effect
We have on reality
We pretend we can disappear
Into the crowd
Into the vastness
And the waterdrop of my life
Enters seamlessly into
This pool

The surface of the water
Is always changing
Never the same
as one molecule slides
Beneath the other,
As I reach through
This permeable, breathing,
Cellular skin
This dimension from that

And yet there is even a line
That separates this water
From that water, underneath the water—
There are oceans and lakes beneath the ocean.
There are so many worlds
Contained in this one
We meet, we touch, and we are transformed
Through the touching

Because I have been here, my life will not be the same
Because I have been here
The molecules moved by my breath
And the air that would have been
Where my body is now standing
Have had to move
Someplace else
And even that small a change
Has an influence, a movement
Extending outward in ways
I can never understand.

The molecule of oxygen
Tumbled into my lung,
Has floated within the membranes
Of my cells
And has left part of itself
To join the union of me
And participate in the mission
Of my body’s life

We humans are aware of our experiences
As we are having them
Other creatures seem to dwell
Quite contentedly
In every moment
As it presents itself.

We alone
Have expectations,
And disappointment,
And from these we suffer.

We suffer, but in us, we remember
We know
Deeply in our cells
What it means
To simply be
To accept
To be at peace
With our changing reality.

Because I can only see
This moment, and how it has affected
The next moment.

I can see the train of moments, rippling toward me from my own past. I can guess where
My actions now
May lead.

We have a strange way of being,
Our culture.

We purposefully forget our past
Because there are wounds there
We want to leave behind us
We pretend
We are not now suffering, still,
From the effects of these actions

We are afraid
To open our eyes and see
Our own,
Or anyone else’s

This is a crisis of spirit,
As much as it is a crisis of the planet.

The only way, for healing, is to reconnect.

Wangari Maathi
The only way to save the land of her country
Was to go through its people
Was for them to fully understand
The connection
Between themselves, their own health,
And the health of their environment.

There is physical health, which is a motivation,
And there is spiritual health, which our traditions have drifted away from

So many stranded souls,

Wounded, and so

You hurt,
So you cause hurt
You wish to hurt me
Then blame me
For the reflection
Of the effect you had on me.

Here on this rock
I dance.

I dance and I pray
For a new weaving.

The surface of the pond
Is constantly regenerating.
Every drop
Which falls from the sky
Spreads across the surface
And its impulse causes
Every molecule to spin
Turn over
Turn around.

Surely my life
Is capable
As Wangari Maathi’s was capable,

Of falling into this moment
with a positive
to turn this reality
to a different future

A future of healing
Of all who are called to heal
To honor the work
To drop the distractions
And release my fears,
To understand, finally, that the only way to be
Truly happy
Is to understand and accept
The call
Of my own soul

Here I am turtle
Crawled out from my shell

Here I am salamander,
Naked on this rock
Breathing through my skin.

Here I am still.

Here I am listening.

Here I am
With nothing
But myself
With no defense
But my reflexes,
My trust

My ability to move
As I know I must move.

Here I am spider, spinning,
A web of intention
I am spider, harvesting
The gathered winged messages
I have, without hesitation,
Spun my listening strand
Around each mobile body
Ensnared it with story, alive
...saving it
To later savor its meaning,
To suck it dry.

Take what comes without pause

Give it the honor

Of wasting no part

So that all of it

May now become a part of you

There are times of plenty,

Times of scarceness

Times when my web of intention

Catches more flies than I can deal with

And other times

It blows dry in the wind

But the spider

Never stops weaving

Never stops ingesting meaning

Always enough

Always enough

So here I am weaving a web, following her movements: reach upward, to the last strand which was laid, so that the spacing matches
The size of my body
I spin a me-sized web
I measure, I stretch
To earth, to sky. I reach as far as I am able,
To pull toward myself and tie
With clarity
Exactly what I seek to know.

This solstice,
I spin a web

A web of becoming

This cycle, my intent
Is to harvest
Messages about my self,
About my true nature

To accept with open eyes
Even that which I have
A hard time loving
Because knowing myself,
I will know what I am made for.

My form, my life has a message
About my ability to heal:
A well-placed medicine
Will do more good
than one applied without listening;

This solstice,
I cast a web
To better understand
My own medicine-magic,
What I am created to do.
To listen for
The broken place
Which is crying for my touch
Which is waiting for my stitch
To pull together
This weaving
This larger weaving
The spell of healing
Which must now cover our
Sad planet
And its sad, broken beings

For life

For life

For Life.

We will always choose life. We are living.

We are whole

No one has ever done anything terrible

We are lost,

And we are on our way

Toward remembering

Who we are

Friday, June 12, 2009

Resuming the Journey...

Yes, the last post was in December!
What can I say?
It's been a tumultuous season.
I cut off all my hair, for one. Have been on several twists and turns, and I find that much in m life is now mirroring my new haircut.

I buzzed my head on Spring Equinox, the same day that I made this video. I recorded the music afterwards, as an improvisation with music and piano.

I went out to the prairies and woods of Carver Park Reserve, in Victoria, Minnesota, continuing the process I began for "The Survival Pages"-- (see for more about this project).

There's so much to catch up on, I hardly know where to start!

Major updates to the project
1. I spent all day today creating a flyer, calling for people to interview... gathering information from people. Offering $20 per interview, as incentive. Similar to what I did in "The Survival Pages": as research for that project, I walked around Powderhorn Park asking people two simple questions: "Do you come to the park often?" and, "What do you like about the park?" If there was time, I also asked them, "Do you think nature is important? Why?" These few simple questions led to a really fascinating journey, in which I ended up gutting a fish on camera, and talking to preschoolers in Spanish. My goal for "The Culture Pages" is to tell a story about culture and place-- and for the material presented to include more than my own perspective. So, I am gathering.

2. I've just recently abandoned the idea of having 4 main collaborators to work with, as equals on the project, to brainstorm material together. I put my feelers out in many directions, and have been postponing the project this whole time, out of uncertainty-- I did not want to come up with too many concrete ideas, so that the bulk of the material could come from a collaborative process with my artistic peers. For various reasons, this has just not worked out... and the persistence of its "not-working-out" finally led me to to the conclusion: I think it is important for me to stretch myself as a director, to really own that this is my project, and I am the one with the most fire and the most dedicated time to really create something which reflects all that is in me to express.

I am inspired by the MayDay Float I designed for this year's parade-- I created a shell-- a frame, that I then invited others in the community to fill in with their own vision. The end result was a crazy quilt pattern, that was so much richer for the array of mixed voices, literally woven together.

What I hope, is to create a performance that mirrors this process in its creation... to contain many different voices, but to exercise my leadership, vision, and director-ship in weaving it together into a cohesive whole.

So, I am gathering video-interviews as my main project over late June & early July, and will plan to see what emerges from that process. In late July I will put up postings for performer-auditions-- perhaps some of whom will be located through the interviewing process.

Update #3: In addition to performing the piece at some nice theater with lights and sound and the whole works, a new goal for the piece is to perform it in at least two unconventional venues, where it can be accessed by populations who may not see it otherwise. (I am inspired by the work that Zamya project does, in its work with homeless shelters)

I am finally growing in my certainty about what this project is, or what it could be. At the very least, a glimmer as to its aspirations-- and a reflection of the phase I am in, at this point in my artistic journey.