Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The man I love proposed to me last night under an eclipsing full moon on the night of the winter solstice. This is a combination of cosmic circumstances that only come together once every 450 years. HOW COULD I SAY NO?!
So I said yes. Yes, yes and a thousand times yes. But it just so happened that in the moments before he popped the question, I was staring at the sky contemplating my fears surrounding marriage: worries of eventually disappointing the person who in this moment loves you so much, or of falling asleep in life so that you forget what tingled your spine in the first place, the monkey mind that always wants to find a problem not letting you live being happy in love, or that he/she won’t get you or worse of all that he/she (this is my greatest fear) will judge you silently for your humanness and slowly build up a brick wall of repulsion. It is not enough for me to survive this journey… I must forge ahead and expand the limitations of what is possible between two people in the realms of understanding and LOVE. But from a young age we are told that we have to “be sure”, “think things through”, as if through a careful series of questionnaires and time spent buzzing about in our already maniacal minds we will come to some quantifiable conclusion. Where is freedom to rip open your heart and let its contents scream to the heavens “OH MY GOD HELP I REALLY WANT THIS TO BE BEAUTIFUL PLEASE GUIDE ME!" This is such a magnificently tender and frighteningly exciting time and I want to be fully open, free of self judgment enough to see the gift in front of me. And I can’t think this through, I can only feel my way through it… and it feels so delicious.
Always an advocate for self-honesty and the dissolution of expectation based paradigms, I am embracing the fears I have of all the many challenges that lie ahead. I’m not going to pretend that I am fearless in the face of this immense change in my life. I am a human woman who is evolving at the rate of as-fast-as-she-can, praying for the state of grace required to take another human being into the deepest folds of my heart and release my fears at a sustainable rate so that more moments can be lived more fully, until one day when I am very very old and wise and a grandmother a dozen times over, I will know what living truly is. But until that day my vow is to compassionately monitor my human mind (and sometimes sulky heart) and let myself walk forward over the fire of good intentions and promise that I will use my human hands to build a home for our ethereal hearts to find solace every night when we need to lay down our too full heads. Let us feel the fullness of this experience. Block nothing, allow everything: fear flow freely, you are my many mountains upon mountains and ignoring your existence only means I’ll miss the views at the top of your infinite peaks.
Ask me your questions. Whisper to me your fears in the dark. My story will become your story and yours will become mine. And I will always be me. And you will always be you. There is space enough for all our love and for all of our crazy. And forever more it’s going to be you and me.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
my eyes seek a sunrise
beginning, peeling back,
somewhere on the horizon
around the curvature of all there is,
The earth turns
but we call it sun rise
Maybe if I undulate to the rhythm
of the earth beating against the metal
thrown upon it
Maybe then I will strain my eyes
A new sky
That in it
Always has Suns rising
Moons fat, full, slivered up
and Stars falling, crashing
into the artful splash
Say I needed something
would that be all that bad?
You who are untainted by need-
Teach me not to need a sun rise…
To accept darkness when it comes
and judge not the sticky web
of night fall
- and all she brings to minds too
fast for hearts to know much at all
Back on the ground
(Beneath the silver masses of impermanence
atop the playground of the life cycle
of all the creatures that we are)
A cat calls to the dust pan alley
She’s hungry for the wildebeest
she used to be
I’m ferocious, she’ll tell you
Don’t you dare leave me no milk
Catatonic, lost, dreaming of these fearless times
We tread too lightly and for what?
I’m a sodden lampshade hung from a gnarly branch
Outside a haunted house
You just see your own eyes
And deep within the rings of years there’s a better story
I see you
And I know of this lampshade
Of your raggedness
Tender, pulsing, too hot, laughed at, sacred sorest spots
All is well
The earth will turn again
Monday, November 29, 2010
All too often we block ourselves, we hurt ourselves, we perpetuate patterns of pain that keep us trapped in the cycles of suffering we are for some reason terrified to leap beyond. With the power of a reflexive mind this is often all too clear... as we move far beyond having to provide for basic survival needs into the frontier of creating our own unique realities based on the principles of freedom and individuality, we are at every turn confronted with the shackles that keep us tied to the notion of struggle. For some reason we are addicted to the drama of self sabotage. And the tenderness that comes with the willingness to transform is often so acute that we shudder and turn our backs on progress when the metamorphosis begins. How will we relate to a new kind of identity, one that goes beyond form and categorization? Can we let go of the attachment to the idea of who we think we are and what hardships have molded this tiny speck of humanness? Could we accept a life that is joyful? A life beyond struggle, inner or outer?
We continue to create... what will we do with this immense power?
Monday, October 18, 2010
These, I believe, are important times. They are acutely pointing toward a truth nearly ready to emerge. They are footholds up, up and away. They are vortexes, opportunities to receive by their intense forcing open. These are times to listen, to be alone, to feel everything and allow it to penetrate and affect my being. These are times in which I want to distil myself into a piece of fabric, or a drop of a flower essence, or three bars of music and then feel, taste or hear the truth of what I am.
Life does not allow for these times to flourish. Things are fast and all at once; there is little room to unravel. That’s why our heads are down on certain days. You don’t want to look at anyone on the subway? Okay, you can be invisible for a day.
Today I honour the propensity of those in the metropolitan marketplace to withdraw, retreat and be alone even though surrounded by millions. I get it.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Patience is a Simmering Soup That Knows its Going to be Frozen for Months but Flavours Itself Up Anyway
Patience is your rib cage pried open by field mice
Patience is the only hope for sanity
Patience is everything everywhere that was ever once something else
Patience is the only thing more beautiful than an old dainty woman in a fancy hat
Patience is mostly stumbled upon for pockets of non-time
Patience is usually denounced in favour of turmoil
Patience is a fat birthmark in the shape of the essence of creation
Patience is no body’s business but mine for me when I want to feel it
Patience is no coconuts falling but the taste of sweet milk filling your mouth as you stand below shaking the tree
Patience is the only way out of the fear trap
Patience is an orgasm on the cusp of enlightenment
Patience is a naked tree in January
Patience is the smell of a half inked tattoo bleeding with the promise to be something beautiful and forever
Patience is a halo
Patience is the power to live through it all, especially love
Patience is my black coffee not waiting for my sugary spoon
Patience is the baggage handler with no passport
Patience is my father
Patience is unconditional love flavoured ice cream on a hot night of the soul
Patience is the letters we used to write on paper that came from trees we used to cut by hand
Patience is Shakespeare waiting this long for Sir Ian McKellen to be born and grow old enough to play King Lear
Patience is my intestines who never get any thanks
Patience is a whole nights sleep with no peeking at what is coming next
Patience is kneeling at the foot of desire
Patience is walking only on the cracks with reverence for how they formed
Patience is not advised for the weak of will, it will only lead to the throwing of plates
Patience is the mouth on my face and the mouth in my mind shutting for long enough to feel the mouth of my heart open and
get her turn
Patience is the reward for its own effort
Patience is so boring sometimes
Patience is the journey of every single rock on earth breaking free from some giant slab and becoming itself
Patience is God’s funniest one liner
Patience is the most aerobic activity out there
Patience is something I one day hope to feel as easily as I do feverish desire or reaching outwards
Patience is the sandiest bathing suit of all time
Patience is the impeccably shiny brogues on a gentleman standing at the arrivals gate
Patience is a necklace made of broken hearts worn only on special occasions
Patience is no game or trickery or cunning slight of hand
Patience is the earth’s response to the incessant stream of dirty footprints on her living room floor
Patience is no place for a stranger in search of revenge
Patience is my obsession
Patience is the sound the sky makes as every colour on its canvas turns carefully towards sun-setting brilliance
Patience is the stick you dropped from the bridge into the stream and watched disappear into the reeds
Patience is the renunciation of the need for a spiritual teacher that lives outside my own heart
Patience is the name of the Cobbler who I want to make my walking shoes
Patience is a yellow brick road toward the real Oz
Patience is the threshold of pain exceeded in childbirth
Patience is the visionary who sees the beautiful future unfolding but knows not to break the snow globe in an attempt to climb inside it
Patience is the word before the thought knowing its worth something
Patience is the anti-feeling in the belly of the glassy eyed teenager who just lost his virginity
Patience is the cut off crusts of the lunchtime sandwich
Patience is the catapult we must climb into in order to reach the castle beyond the battlefield
Thursday, October 7, 2010
On my way home from the grocery store ,with my purse full of ingredients for a delicious veggie chili (I paid for them… was just saving a plastic bag, not shoplifting shoving things into my purse I swear!), I saw a woman on the corner of E 4th St and Avenue A with a giant tropical bird on her shoulder. Un-accustomed to such sights but wanting to look cool like "Yeah, of course. In Canada people chill on their cell phones with exotic winged creatures perched pirate-like on their shoulders all the time”, I waited until a local family stopped to gawk for my cue to join in and stare in wonderment.
“Look!” exclaimed the father to the son. “Wow, a parrot!” the five year old replied. “Mom, look a parrot!” he yelled to his mom who at this point had already crossed the street and was about to enter the same grocery store I had just exited. “Cool!” She yelled back “Stay with your Dad, I’ll be there in a minute”. They just yelled back and forth at each other while the rest of the after school crowd rushed around them, and then father and son proceeded to observe the bird, taking no notice of the woman it was attached to and not for a second questing her or her reasons for having a bird of this size and origin. All the while she continued her conversation like everything was totally normal (you got the impression that this was her version of totally normal), with the knowledge that we were fixated but with little regard for our general existence, or the bird’s for that matter. And let me say, this is the heart of my point: there was no nastiness or irritation or even ignoring of us… everyone was aware of everyone else in this… but come as you are and do as you please: have a crazy parrot, stare at people with crazy parrots, talk on your cell phone, yell across the street….
There are over 8 million people in this city, so do whatever you want because even if someone DOES notice, they either will have seen it before, or find it mildly amusing before moving on to the next sensational sight or heading home to make veggie chili.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I am a British Canadian which means that I am usually either repressing some deeply rooted emotion or apologizing for it. The thing is, I am actually a highly sensitive, overly expressive human. This combination of nature, nurture and my truth as an individual soul apart from where I come from and what I’ve been taught, has led to some pretty confusing times. Add into the mix that I can be extremely intellectual and analytical, wanting to understand everything that is happening all at once in real time, and you have for some very interesting dark nights of the soul!
How on earth do you find your truth? It is a line of universal wisdom “Find your truth, find your truth, find your truth”, a mantra that resonates deep inside but cannot be comprehended or explained. Seekers, if determined enough, will embrace the inward journey and maybe, if this lifetime is meant for it, find some sense of it all eventually on the other side of infinite personal mountains and canyons. Most people will pretend they never heard the words at all, feeling a kind of dread at the thought of unravelling all their personal demons and being laid bare at the sight of their own imperfection. Because we all intuitively know that the process of finding one’s truth is a rocky, scary, lonely, weird one and if fully committed to WILL lead to some very revealing, vulnerable moments and probably some uncomfortable changes both at the core and periphery of one’s worldly life.
Well, that sounds hard.
It is. It sucks a lot of the time, especially at the beginning. I know this because for some glorious and extremely annoying reason, I apparently have no choice in the matter; my entire life, I am learning, is and always has been propelled by this unravelling, this innate need to understand through a process of exploration. Every major choice I have made in my adult life has been driven by this burning desire to expand. I need it to keep on living. It’s completely exhausting.
It has also led me to some pretty incredible places, people, and experiences. I have stood on literal mountain tops and smiled at the cloudy face of God, boarded many a plane with a heavy heart or smiling heart or nervous heart, I have had many a homecoming hang out with friends feeling safe and cradled after a particularly ragged soul stretching city stint, I have lived in the bottom less pit of depression and then found the light, felt my molecules shift in the slow stretch of my favourite yoga class, I have spontaneously sung reggae on the London Underground with an illegally busking Rastaman amassing a crowd of commuters willingly missing trains to stay and hear our version of “Natural Mystic”, been ignited in a fury of creative fervor and written a song in a matter of minutes, then burned my brain trying to remember it months later! I have done all these things and much much more; the things I have experienced as a result of my willingness to journey past artifice and really put my guts into it are my greatest accomplishments.
Something came to me last night as I lay in floods of joyful tears and raw feeling... even though I know that this kind of behavior is usually reserved for the insane, it is in these moments of expressive emotional ecstasy, when I am feeling to the fullest reaches of my capacity to unite my spirit and humanness in an epic unravelling, that I feel the most true. I have tried for a lot of my life to keep my bubbling emotions in check with the pointy stick of a sharp mind. But, in those moments of unrestrained in the moment experience, I can't understand how I can ever move through a day or minute WITHOUT constantly choking on huge emotions in response to my very existence! The majesty of it all, the sheer dumb luck that I am even here in the first place... my life is magnificent in every small and luminous way. Some mornings I shake and groan in response to my first delicious sip of tea, or before that even - languor in bed for an indulgent moment (or 60) because my face and the pillow are making some sweet sweet comfort love, or when I am relaxed enough to actually hear the music I am listening to and cannot do anything else but exclaim or gyrate wildly in response, this is when I know that I am LIVING, that I have cleared out enough mental and emotional cobwebs to actually get to FEEL. But, these magical moments are most usually experienced alone... especially that last one...
I cannot reserve them for only my private moments any longer. It is simply not possible. It is busting, bursting out of me and I can’t care what anyone thinks. The sensorial expression of experience makes people uncomfortable... especially the British! I love my family more than anything, but they all think I’m completely nuts. They love it, and embrace my crazy, they actually love it the most when I am so beyond overboard: putting on a show either on stage or in the kitchen being overly dramatic or silly or singing Frank Sinatra into a ladle. But folks, it ain’t just pretend. The life we are actually living is always infinitely more amazing... because... it is REALLY happening! Dress-up and Story time, elaborate Opera’s, massive graffiti tags, free-jazz, fantasy, Monet’s enormous three paneled “Water Lilies” (went to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC last week... had NO IDEA it was that big!!!!!), it is all this... the need to expand. And we LOVE it! But we just don’t all want to do it all the time. Which is totally fair, I get it. If I had any choice in the matter I might not do it all the time either.
We now have arrived at the definition of what it means to be a star-shine. Everyone HAS star-shine, it is our birth right... but having star-shine and BEING a star-shine are two very different things. Being a star-shine is the willingness to try and live your star-shine. The truth. For you. Whatever that is. Star-shine, it is something ineffable, something magical at the heart of creation. You could call it many things, but I guess for these purposes we can call it truth, there is nothing more magical than truth.
I am a star-shine. There. I said it. And the people I am aligned with are almost all star-shines. They either, like me, have no choice in the matters of unravelling and discovery or have uncovered this option to live out their wildest dreams, going to great lengths (sometimes purely within themselves, clearing out old pattens and beliefs that are blocking them) in order to experience their life fully. Then there are those who resonate deeply with the meaning of star-shine, who have been given a shit-load of it (pardon me) but are afraid to love themselves enough to use it. There are a lot of these people in my life too and I try and keep my big mouth shut about it because I know how freaking hard it is... but you know who you are!
Life is crazy and beautiful. But for the star-shine its double time (that should totally be a bumper sticker and if you’re a star-shine you’ll get the joke). I pray for the support of the star-shine. Not just the artist. But those who are willing to go on this journey and make the world better one heart and mind at at time. We are at some points suffering from the weariness of the journey and at others want to open ourselves and rejoice. Let us support those who are willing to feel everything, who are working to make the insides match the outsides and be a clear and experiential contribution to the network of energy we are all connected to.
That saying: “Do something today that scares you”, is not wisdom because its healthy to give yourself heart palpitations everyday, it is true because we are afraid to expand but breaking through that barrier of fear feels FUCKING AWESOME.
Again, the Canadian in me apologizes.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
We never thought we’d have one of those fights. You know the ones I mean... the fights that neither party will ever under any circumstances admit was a fight. The ones that are largely silent and filled only with the echoey voids of communication breakdown. In the middle of it you know you’ve both lost, lost the race to being perfect together if even if totally imperfect alone. Because until then he’d mostly filled your silences or you’d let your need to be understood fly free with faith that somewhere somehow you are being understood in the bizarre and beautiful parallel universe where everything is perfect.
Understanding. Is it real? Yes, but it is not some eternal state. Once you’ve found it, there is no telling how long it will stick around. Like everything else, understanding is impermanent and requires great and tender focus, openness, egoless-ness, and presentness (the ingredients required to slip into a state of grace) before she’ll take you in her arms. When the balance is upset great holes appear... Or is it more like a game of snakes and ladders? The snakes are often the demons in our own minds bringing us right back down again. And the ladders? What are they? Nuggets of wisdom? The strength to rise? To accept the ascent as readily as the descent? Its all a bit too much sometimes... this world, these tasks and thoughts all at once. What will we do with our playing space?
It is my belief that expansion is the meaning of life. There are infinite universes within everyone of us and it is their slapping together that creates an incessant stream of big bangs, opening every moment to the creative potential. Ultimate understanding includes the understanding that this is a very difficult thing to live with. It is happening within every organism and inanimate object all the time. But as human beings with reflexive minds we are (depending on our desire to seek) living with some level of awareness of this fact. It is painful, it is scary, it imbues us with a sense of responsibility for the quality with which we receive and process this knowledge. Add into the mix my universes crashing against yours, trillions of particles displaced with every embrace...
Can physics explain why marriage is hard? Will we one day be able to map out our irritations and sore spots like constellations? Will super microscopes take the place of eye glasses and will we then be able to see the arrangements of quarks in our beloved and know... Uh oh... Will we one day have therapy sessions and dialogues that start off with “Honey, when you leave the toilet seat up it really creates a black hole in my 856th universe”, or “Babe, my 8th dimension is going crazy right now, please just pick an outfit”. Seriously though... as science reaches toward filling in the gaps in our understanding of the stratosphere and beyond, how does this knowledge relate to the life inside? The intuitive arts have always discussed energy fields and the results of vastly different intentions and desires interacting in close proximity. We all feel this phenomenon... it is such a part of daily life that it almost shouldn’t be called a phenomenon. Walk into a room where two people have just had an argument... you bet you’ll feel the flakes of that fight hanging. The grumpy guy in the cubicle beside you finally got laid... You don’t need to see the pervy photo’s on his phone to know something is definitely different. Some of us are better at immediately recognizing these energetic discrepancies than others, but we are all hard wired to receive information about our environment and fellow tribespeople within it. When we are up close with a particular person for an extended period of time we start to get acquainted with the seeming constants and variables in his or her personal equations. The intuition then starts to fine-tune to this frequency... but it doesn’t always find resolution or reconciliation when it shifts. And sometimes it is the fact that we think we know where the frequency should be that makes us especially irked or thrown off when its not where we expected it to be.
It is my feeling that the goal of enlightenment is motivated by the desire for ultimate understanding- communion with the ever expanding, the birth and continuation of all things. In order to do this, a lot of fear has to dissipate as does much need for glorification. I am also starting to think that enlightenment and understanding are the clasped hands of two cosmic lovers. Enlightenment requires a certain craftsmanship of thought, and can be encouraged along by a teacher under which one can apprentice. Understanding is the unfolding of the metaphysical heart, and is the most private of journeys. It is simply and not so simply the willingness to feel exposed and tender and turn off that pointed discerning mind that so eagerly wants to practice what it has been learning. Understanding is achieved when there is inner freedom enough to just love and be loved.
So what? What about the void? Avoiding the void... I hate the echoey void. It is in the echoey void that I become my alien and cannot be reached as there is not reception on my home planet. It is in these times I want to cut out my own tongue just to give myself an excuse for not having the right words. It is here that I want to make random apish sounds and articulate myself in some loud, raw, primal way. In these times all I want to do want to sing a soccer chant and hold up a giant foam finger that reads “Understanding is #1!” But maybe thats because these are times not for words, not for cognitive comprehension. These caverns and canyons between the particles in my heart and those in yours don’t actually exist in this model of expansion and constant crashing together. That feeling of painful passing in the night is not real. For any of us at any time. Everything is connected. Including my sulking and your confusion. We can always reach each other if we are willing to sometimes not know how. The gut feeling to get quiet, to not talk it out is right sometimes. Understanding can at times be reached through words but other times through food, sleep, staring at the sky, working silently on something, mediating on the unraveling of the heart, a kiss on the forehead or quite simply the clasping of hands.
I pray everyday for understanding, in love, in life, in work, in my art, and all the time with all the tender fractious hurting humanness of wanting to feel the ever present but often so hard to tap into truth that everything is happening all at once and is connected to everything else that is also happening... and that means me too! We are all on the inside. We are all in the know. I pray for the dissolution of whatever it is that impairs my ability to resonate, to feel the harmonies rising up to meet in the space between. Heaven for me is understanding, and understanding for me is hearing the symphony and moving motivated by its lilts and tempo changes, all the while recognizing that my involvement will in turn contribute to where the next movement resolves itself and again finds form.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I am about to reveal the writer’s deepest non-secret, their most obvious, over developed and ugliest talent: procrastination. Sometimes its the idea of the hard road ahead, the sweat and tears WORK of it all that gets me off the page or screen and onto the couch or yoga mat or street or phone or internet. Sometimes its the tenderness, the fear of failing, of writing something “bad” or revealing too much or having an idea so ready to bloom but without the skills yet to articulate it that pushes me to do anything but hit the keys. Today I have a very specific task ahead of me, and very localized angst and fear and discomfort at the sheer thought of facing up to it.
I used to worry that I didn’t have the self motivation or “get up and go” to be an artist at the helm of their own creative endeavours. But time and again I have watched myself, marveled at myself and the energy that rises up from a seemingly infinite source and propels me up out of bed at the crack of dawn to be on a set or run around the city hitting auditions with three outfits in my purse only to get back at work by 5 to put in enough hours to pay the rent or even staying up until 3 in the morning after a double show day writing just to feel and see and explore. I know I have everything I need... and also a bunch of stuff I do NOT need... to stumble ever further down the rabbit hole of this journey towards that holy land of manifestation. So I try not to judge the tired, the weary, the frightened, the feelings of being monumentally UN-special, and chalk it all up to humanness with trust that it will come out when it wants to and like all the times before when I’ve really actually wanted something I will find the guts and the hot sticky desire to make it happen.
But... I don’t just want to write for self-exploration and catharsis. Here’s another secret: I want to be a writer. For an audience. I want to conquer these blocks and aversions to just DOING IT so that I can write articles and books and plays and poems and make it part of my WORK. And when you are, when I am, writing for work, for something outside ones self... it has to be a labour of love and devotion and stubborn bull headed often awkward forcing out. Sometimes it will flow making sense of itself as it reveals what it means to word after word. And sometimes it will eeek out like nails on the chalkboard of your mind. Oh god. I want to throw up.
I have to read the first draft of my first play today. I don’t want to. I want to pretend I never wrote it. But I know in my heart that not only can I absolutely not abandon this little creature... I have to learn to love the warts and folds of fat and finally accept that I gave birth to this totally imperfect being. And then after cradling it in my arms and feeding it from my own body I will trim its gnarly mane (that it most certainly inherited from its mother), take it out of its potato sack dress, pick out some party shoes and maybe frilly socks (too much?) and then set it free to roam the creative kingdom and fend for itself warts and all.
I want my work to be accessible, inclusive. I most certainly write from myself, a personalised voice that I will never apologize for or try to change, but at present my play is a philosophical play about philosophical things. And that’s all well and good and will remain the case even after the 4th draft, but I want it to stimulate and entertain and not just be a selfish vomiting of my existential escapades. It is so hard to make that switch, to stay rooted in truth and authenticity but be writing for the market place, writing something with the intention that it will someday be shared, interpreted and (ouch!) probably judged. This blog has been my bridge to the outside world. I have been writing faithfully for the last six-seven years: poetry, ideas, journal entries, stream of conscious gibberish, mini articles, scrapings of dialogue, but it was always for ME... And here I write knowing I will most likely post this and even when it gets super intellectually wanky or all about my personal feelings I can justify it by saying: I never ask anyone to read it. I don’t publicize this blog or tell people its “good”, if you find it by accident and choose to read on: cool. If you are one of the handful of friends or family I have invited to check it out then, well, you know me and I’m willing to bet that none of these often nonsensical ponderings really come as any surprise. If you’ve read this far and you hate it... well that’s your own fault!
But my play... and all the other plays that are starting to stir in my belly... I want to be proud of them, I want to hand out flyers on the street, I want to advertise them and ask people to act in them, I want to ask people for money at the door and re-coup my costs. So... it needs to be worth someone’s time. And oh god... what if its sooooo not!? I still won’t let my parents see some of the film projects I’ve been in because I’m afraid they’ll ask me for that 5, 10, or 80 minutes of their life back. But bad movies, bad plays, bad business ventures get made, get supported, get invested in all the time (please immediately click on these links: Hawaii Chair and then Patton Oswald “Death Bed”... TOTALLY worth 5 mins of your life and illustrates this point with much more hilarity than I can). So why not this? Why not MY idea?
The answer: Well Laura... because it isn’t done yet. Its in first draft form, it is a fetus. It is totally unready to be bought, sold, have the hands of strangers upon it. And if you don’t love it enough to stare it in the face and love it and accept it and put YOUR time into it well then why should anyone else? Oh god... wisdom... you are so annoying sometimes... I was just here writing about the fear of writing... procrastinating to the HIGHEST degree (the fact that I have now written over 1,000 words about why I’m afraid to start this, to start to finish this... well that kids, is the definition of creative procrastination.
So here I go... I am diving in... any minute now... but wait, first I have to read over THIS... and then edit a few things... then pull up my blog website... transfer it in... post it... re-read it on line... do one more edit... check my email... send my dad a happy birthday message... order another cup of tea... oh SHIT! Then it will be time to go to that movie. Darn
(My monkey mind... with the voice of an evil professor):
Ha progress! I’ve escaped your clutches for one more day!
PS. Just for the record... I'm not going to that movie. I'm going to get to work. Self honest awareness can be a real bitch sometimes.
Friday, September 24, 2010
You know what’s hard?
Exercising conscious mental will, choosing thoughts that are beautiful and understanding with love the tendency to create problems that will feed the analytical mind.
It is not enough to be happy, to be bliss, to be one... not for the wiring, the way we’ve come to understand the world. To let go and let everything connect in a jumble of things is a frightening endeavor. The inability to live without the cerebral capabilities of categorizing and labeling is the source of much mental illness. But the mind has evolved to include a reflexive quality and in that reflection it is clear that perceived understanding through the ordering of things is no real peace at all. The self imposed superstructure is both a crutch and a false lead in terms of where we come from, where we’re at, and where we hope to go. These lily pad leaps of mind move towards nothing more than hypothesis. The giant experiment that is one’s life will inevitably yield data that both supports and contradicts this teeter-totter thesis. From these supposed smatterings of findings we then go about our days working from the belief that what we’ve gathered in our play pen laboratory is truth. We are bad scientists. We are not scientists at all. Just because we have silently and collectively agreed on the parameters of this test piece doesn’t mean everything isn’t still a variable. The attachment to this idea of life, the dependence on it and our relationship to it and the expectation that things will always be in alignment with how you see them is what leads to mind crushing pain and disappointment and the need to hold on and go to sleep.
This is one reason why things are not as they seem. This is one reason why gut reactions always reveal more of the truth then long drawn out pro/con paradigm based decision making.
Nothing is real. Nothing is right.
And this is not a sad thing.
Friday, September 10, 2010
My mum has always gotten the brunt of it. I have been my whole life blossoming and growing and shining and rising and with every layer I peel back, with each level of wisdom unearthed I time after time hand her the skin I’ve out grown and then run off to play with my friends.
Most know me now as an aspiring actress and singer unafraid to fill a room with voice, with energy, with light. But there was a time when I was sick with nerves, when my voice shook from the first note to the last and when I would cry until my heart was a stone after every exam, recital, competition. And guess who drove me to all of these? Guess who I snapped at the whole way there? And guess in whose arms I balled afterwards?
I left Vancouver Island this past Wednesday afternoon. It was a beautiful day and I was in every sense setting out on a new set of adventures pure in the knowledge that I would be returning soon. But still I was a mess. I was miserable. I was terrified. It is safe there, it is healthy, my parents love me, I can be an earth child, I can wear no make up, I can do yoga on the beach, swim naked in the ocean, I can be quiet, not have to prove anything to anyone and be still, let the moment be enough. And as I stared down the barrel of my own crazy aspirations, my insides tangled up and I forgot once again where I truly sought comfort (and who had all along facilitated this epic journey in every sense). Mama.
Mothers and daughters. Why is it so weird? Are we mirrors too close to ever see anything clearly? Or are we so clear to one another that it reveals too much all at once? Expectations? Sure. Lots of them, on both sides. But the love. Oh, the love. How many of us really know how to be loved? I think if I could really let all the love I have in my life fill me I would spontaneously combust. And I think mothers have a hard time feeling loved. I think they must forget how to feel it because they are so busy pumping love OUT. And eventually if they really do forget how to feel it in return, and/or how to fill themselves up again then they start to take pieces of themselves, break them down and convert them into love. A good friend told me that her mother said to her the other day, “Oh you and your universe!”. How weird it must be to create this human and then watch it wander off into the sunset of its own experience. And how horrible when they won’t let you be part of it. 1997-2007 must have been pretty rough for that hey Mum? Sorry.
So this is my formal invitation, to my own mother to invite her to be a part of my universe, and to anyone who wishes to share their tender fragmented human spirit with the one that gave them breath. Welcome to my universe Mama, I made you a key... come and go as you please. And if you ever feel like doing some dishes or my laundry on one of your visits, I’m totally cool with that, it would NOT be considered robbing me of my independence.
For a more sensorial salute to mothers check out one of the most beautiful modern folk songs: Alela Diane "Oh! My Mama"
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Free to release,
Trickling between them
there can be no choice
Of what flows out
Fearlessness, in the face
of the blue storm
facing everything, smiling
at the whipping wind
Arms stretched, aching
in their reaching
in their welcoming
Trying to free the heart
from its cage between them
Back to the ocean
which is everything
Expectations are binding
God only knows what will stick
So until the heavens
Call my name
All I can call is my
painful tender hope
and you and me
we are connected by the space
There is no form without space
No love without loneliness,
And no receiving without letting go.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Often times we try and impose a structure to a day, a set of chores, or even the development of art. Until recently these self imposed boundaries have terrified me. I have feared that in the attempt to shape things in a particular way I would rob that exploration of the openness to receive spontaneous visits from creative angels. When I give my writing, music or acting infinite room, no pre-conceived notions, beautiful things happen. But there comes a point in every artists life where you have to get over yourself and your own superstitions and rise to meet the art rather than demanding it come down from heaven to fill you each and every time.
I believe in technique, and I desire a life of craftsmanship. I want to be able to do a 6 month run of a show and not have to rely solely on the spiritual transformation of my own soul every night. But even amidst this wish for a creative career that is a viable and consciously conceived entity, I know I’ll still love it every time whatever I thought I was building falls apart and the raw moment reveals itself. I take these workshops and I read these books and I immerse myself in these rehearsal processes and what I feel like I’m being taught is: be present, whatever is there is what should be there, the space between is the tender part, listen to it, and stop trying to do something that someone will think was smart, be willing to let the music play you, prepare for its arrival with respect and hard work, and don’t ask for that hard work to be rewarded, hard work is the currency with which we pay for divine intervention, and do we ask for a round of applause when we pay for a banana?
But there are hundreds of schools of thought and it can be daunting to sift through it all for what it is we’re looking for. And isn’t what we’re looking for just a way in? Or a way out? I said a while ago that the only thing I new to be true was: start now, do everything and experience it fully. This is how I approach learning, creating and expressing myself. And I am learning the value in preparation, in structure, in form and in the conscious choosing of a process. The balance I seek allows for the angels, invites them even, but does not take it personally if they don’t appear. My cognitive and imaginative development and artistic manifestations of this journey are both totally up to me and not up to me. I promise to show up, and I endeavor to offer something true, and craft it in such a way that it is worth someone’s time; but whether it rings for days in the deepest meatiest folds of your heart or butterflies fill the air and block your ability to see the words or the stage in a fantastic dance of revelation... well that part’s not up to me. So I’ll try to continue to be here, in the place between passion and least resistance, and work to make this space comfortable, welcoming, safe and hospitable so that when the winged messengers come calling they might stick around for a day or two enjoy their stay and then decide to move here.
That’d be nice.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Somedays feelings come rolling in over the hills of the heart and instead of breezing through, they hang in the valley and loom large threatening rain but never fully letting loose. These days are both ripe and muted. And sometimes muted wins the meta-physical tug of war and settles down damp and camps out, blanketing everything with a beige mist. Melancholy is a paralysing non emotion. This indifference towards all things is a void completely out of the moment and answers to no one. It is a bully, and when it smells vulnerability it pounces and slowly sucks the life blood from its prey.
What is melancholy apart from playground anti-hero? A sort of psychic vampire? This abominable grey-ness seems to go after the light, or at least snuff it out when no one’s looking. Some times he comes in the night when eyes are closed and hearts are open looking for easy targets. Once in, he can stick around for a desperate moment or an entire numbed lifetime. He is one of the strangest and slipperiest tricksters in the crime files of the human experience.
Poets throughout the ages have written of and continue to be stalked by this cloaked monster. Sensitive beings are the first to be attacked during melancholy’s massacres. They are often on the cusp of the exact things he is drawn to: hope, desire, love, tactile emotion, yearning, inquiry, excitement. These are delicious nectars from which to suck. And turned in on themselves they are hilarious puzzle pieces for our villain to try and jam together again. It is as if an entity possesses us when melancholy takes hold. Our spirit calls for us from a richer mental landscape, but there are bars on the windows and we are lying on the floor barely conscious enough to hear her reaching out.
How do we get up again? How do we rally ourselves and make a break for it when our arms and legs have pins and needles? The first thing, is to relax rather than resist. Resistance pleases melancholy, it reinforces his sense of strength. That's how bullies work: the more scared you are the less work they have to do. Then, once the walls start falling down you can allow for the spiritual membrane to be permeated by whatever is in that moment. Melancholy wants you to cave in. But a willingness to non judgmentally observe one’s surroundings is this brand of self obsession’s greatest tonic.
There is wisdom in fully experiencing each moment, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward feeling; I have learned through trial and error that repression and denial lead to no paradise. But indulgence is as futile as resistance. So, I let the waves wash over me. Sometimes I have to work my way back to the surface for breath, but I play in them even as I get smashed and tossed around. I honour the fact that the ocean of life is far more powerful than I. So, when I feel too tired for either fight or play, I simply sit on the sands and observe with reverence that from which I came.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
In the face of change, do we run or do we thrive? For all of my adult life I have changed either geographic location, job, school, my romantic relationship or entire perspective on life (or some combination of any/all of these) approximately every eight months. One would think then that I thrive on change, that stimulus and the shifting sands of uncertainty are great friends of mine. But with every new lily pad leap there is a new layer of fear to release and I am coming to understand that my relationship with change has been somewhat of a dependent one.
It is natural to fear change and to be sick to the stomach when uncertainty comes a calling. This is indeed my first response. But my second one ushers in a giddy knowing: all of life is uncertain and we hang in the balance at all times. Once amicable with this truth, the larger more obvious times of jumping down the rabbit hole are accompanied by an openness and a trust that lets the good times roll. “Dislocation puts all your observation skills at their best”, a writer responded when asked why she prefers to write away from home (sometimes in a motel only ten miles from her house). Our instinct is to survive, and when we change village, tribe, or role, our ears prick up and our eyes grow wide in search of food, water, and an understanding of our surroundings. In short, newness awakens the senses.
But why can’t we be this fresh to the moment all the time? Why do we nap our way through the day? Is it possible on an ordinary Tuesday to be open to observing with a sense of wonderment the markings on the tiles in our own kitchens, the sounds of the neighbours children playing, or our partner picking out the shirt they’ll wear that day? I love travel, the world, new experiences... I have been living with awareness and expanding rapidly largely due to the stamps in my passport and the random jobs I’ve piled on my resume. But I don’t want to rely on flipping my life inside out just so I can feel alive. One of my greatest fascinations with the human experience is how to live with this ripe mindset though the trials, tribulations, and seeming banalities of life. Staying conscious throughout 5, 10, 15 years in the same job or house or marriage... Falling asleep is not an option for me. But as I un-pack, re-pack, and lug another set of suitcases back and forth across the continent of North America I do so with gratitude for the adventure, fearlessness in the face of uncertainty and faith in the eventual manifestation of the balance between grounded sanctuary and electrifying rich moment to moment experience.
Friday, July 30, 2010
The backing track is all that’s playing
There’s no lead line, no one singing the tune
Whats the matter with these people
Its not even the afternoon
Things are getting messy here
Hearts are getting thrown aside
Stacks of records flip themselves
In the haze and the crowd there’s always somewhere to hide
And the reckless ones go home alone
But somehow their beds stay full
And the fragile ones call home to mom
Cause the big bad wolf, he got you good
Savagery is a barred up face
No one home, no lights left on
As a one man pageant trundles forward
With no one man band to call upon
Things are getting messy here
Hearts are getting thrown aside
Stacks of records flip themselves
In the haze and the crowd there’s always somewhere to hide
Left to the alley, lost to the chattering of synthetic bones
Some kindly litter reaches out to you
And makes some space in their litter box home
God says be grateful, (and the suit says watch out)
Because sooner or later you’ll be on trial for your doubt
Things are getting messy here
There’s a lot to be accounted for
Hearts are getting thrown aside
Records lay fondled and abandoned covering the floor
In the haze and the crowd
And in the bite of the gun
There’s always somewhere to hide
Until the last song is done