I was laughing and crying as I left "company class" yesterday. (Dance Makers Workshop is not a company, but a community engine... nonetheless we host classes and they are kinda like company classes... chill but vigorous.) I reminded folks that DMW is hosting an open rehearsal on Saturday of "Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE,", and one of my good friends bowed her head sheepishly and asked if meat eaters were allowed at my showing. I sat there in astonishment! Then another one, who had brought eggs from her farm that many of us buy each week, piped in, "Yeah, what about meat farmers?" I'm sorry that I had no words for you just then. But here are a few.
I certainly don't knock on the door at Central BBQ and ask if I"m allowed entrance as a vegan! I go right in and order what I can. My eating choices don't define my audience range any more than yours do, beloved community. Keep that in mind.
But if you want me to promise to protect you from getting your feelings touched I can't. And I must tell you my feelings get hurt all the time--we are each sensitive in our own ways, and this world doesn't really care, does it? It all depends on how closely you need to guard your inputs in order to maintain your comfort level. I respect you completely.
What you can expect: a heartfelt and humorous engagement with the art of herding an animal. And I'd add, this piece is super duper child-friendly. I hope you'll bring your wee ones.
And I promise I won't bite you, as long as you return the favor my loves.
As a creative being, you are a builder of worlds. What kind of world do you want to build? Eric Maisel asked my creativity coaching group this question this week, and you could answer it too if you want.
I listened to Annie Lennox in a PBS broadcast per chance tonight while on a break from planting seeds in my parents’ garden. She was recorded in a live concert doing her most recent album of covers, and she ended with two of her older pieces.
why am I mentioning this? because it just so happened that I needed a piece of myself I had almost forgotten to come wailing up at me from the tangled corridor of my life, wearing Annie’s face and screeching with angelic ardor not my own but not not my own at the same time. And the words she was singing--no the word she was refraining from singing-- was why. She didn’t have to sing it. We knew it. We could hear it inside ourselves. And I wasn’t the only one brought to tears; wet tears, the kind you don’t try to hide. The kind that are rekindling world-building desire.
The world I want to build as an artist is so much like the one we already live in you almost cannot tell the difference except that it’s also the opposite, a bit like the chapel you can make with your hands then flip and see the people inside, all the fingers wagging. Fingers people, knuckles chapel, same thing, different. This question is such an excellent question it hurts to maintain it and it hurts to try to answer it. For now, I will leave it at this: I don’t know. I learn by going, I learn by doing, and I never know who is knocking on my door, only that I want them in with such ferocity, I have to set a timer to cool down, change clothes and persona to become the one they are waiting for, become overcome with sudden inexplicable dread, look out the window, watch them leaving, then grow the kind of wings that will let me catch them before it’s too late and before I have a chance to recompose my face.
Another go at answering, in a no-brainer fashion.
I want a wetter world. i want to lubricate the world so that the joins mesh and wiggle. In particular the join between body mind needs lube and I want people to play with how they partner these macrocosms. I want to build the kind of world where surprise is expected and people often provide them for themselves. I want to build a world made of unicorn hoofs--not separated from the unicorns!! unicorns must be live, fiesty, willful, and true! I want to build a world made of home made bread too hot to handle crafted from the softest, fleshiest childhood dreams, cultivated daily since birth in the sourdough method: take out and feed in in a continuous chain of culture, exchange of new oxygens with motherboard subconscious selected fantasia. To eat well from that, by your own hands. I want to build a world cram full of powerful, not empowered, people of every kind of face, body, style, smell, and sashay. Powerful people, loving powerful animals and forces of nature unbridled. Powerful people! People so full of themselves and so receptive to one another that we can be still. we can listen. we can watch. we can do nothing. we can sit down and grow next to a tree or build a world--but not because it would improve the world--no. but because we feel called by the lust of life to do so. I want to build a world where our vulnerability is exposed and we are invited to challenge each other and challenge expectations. A world where we can actually appreciate how fucking ridiculously cool it is to be alive, to have a sack of skin holding us in, to have the kind of casseroles that live inside our noggins crammed with exquisitely unique experiences and materia and dinosaur teeth and scum and folded grandmother lace and nails and literature and hormones. I want to lay bare the poetry of being. that’s the world I want to show; I’m not sure it needs building but revealing--craftily.
I want to speak to the god in people, because it is the god in people which dances.
Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer who has traveled the globe but recently confronted the adventure of bringing his mentality of risk-taking and exploration into a smaller scale. I'm charmed... he has people all over the world venturing out in the time zone between "5 and 9," and the only rule is, you gotta sleep outside. Adventure, indeed, is beckoning from all around us, from our very lives. Working stiffs like you and me are hiking out to their backyards and spotting owls, or taking the long way to their neighbor's house through the thicket, or what was once a thicket and is now a 24/7 shop, a parking lot, and a patch of daffodils.
I bring him up because he is commenting richly on the question of 'scale,' 'scope,' 'range'.... I find that at times, a narrower loop, a smaller room at the hostel, a 25 page versus 300 page journal... can bring out the mightiest in me and in others.
How can we travel inside the adventure of our lives?
With my meat space nest now a mile and a third away from my current habitat, I feel a bunch of slack in the line, and I'm yearning for a snugger fit. I am practicing but loose. The air around me lacks a certain compactness and viscosity. I am also bending the rules to the point of breaking.
It's fodder if I let it be; if I choose to use it that way.
I revisited my nest for the first time in over a week today. It was hard! A bit like cracking an egg if I had gathered it myself and it had been bright turquoise. I couldn't bring myself to step in there, it was formidable.
I took 7 breaths in the median, inside my ochre yarns which were sagging from the freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. I mushed the now muddy ground and stared hard at what was going on above me and below me. I still couldn't stand to look out at my fellow human beings driving past on either side.
I find myself coming back to the term 'in medias res' lately, particularly because my nest happens to be in the median, just right there in the thick of things. I wonder why it turned out that way, that my nest should be there and not somewhere else. I do believe there's something about working in the middle of things. Picking up my attention all at once and dropping it suddenly there, with all my might. I don't know.
So the next 10 days I'll be quick to enter and as quick to exit; if you drive by, please honk and wave. I could use a little nudge coming out of this shell, no matter how turquoise or hand-gathered.