Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Monday, March 13, 2017

O (p) press I on

You are sitting at a desk-maybe your desk
Or a table-maybe your table.
Place your hands flat on top
Push hard on the surface
Count to ten
Do it again
Push hard with one hand and do another relatively easy or mundane task with the other hand
Count to ten
Do it again
Are you alone?
Place one hand and then the other on the surface, alternating
As if you are walking on your hands
As if your hands are walking
Make no noise
Do it ten times
Do it again
Are you alone?
Do the hand walking with more force, more noise, BUT DON’T RUSH
 Don’t compromise force for speed
Keep the pressure on…..
Are you alone?
Find a wall. Do it there. Two hands. Then one at a time.
Find another person
Do this side by side
Two hands
Then one at a time.
Now…. About this other person…..

Sit or stand face to face
Place hands against each other’s hands, palm to palm
Push into each other
Two hands, same time
Count to ten
Walking hands, alternating, against each other’s palms
Make no noise
Do it ten times
Practice pushing and yielding against each other
Only the hands
Make no noise
Do it ten times
Find another set of partners
Now you are four
Find a space in the centre of a room
Or go outside, find any open space
Imagine a giant box with a lid on a hinge….
It hangs open
It is your task to push it closed
Approach it as a group
Plan your timing
Gather round….
Open your hands
Push together
Push as if you were actually doing this work
Get under it, push, push
Push it up, now over
Now push it shut
One last push to be sure

Find a place / time to reflect on this
On pushing, pressing
Alone, with another, with a group
Was it exhausting? Exhilarating?
Is it something that becomes habit the more you do it?
Invisible in its familiarity?
It is something that makes its presence felt
Thrumming beneath the surface
Or off to the side?
Does the rhythm get into your blood?
Can you walk away because it left no impression?
(how)(what) Do you forget?
(how)(what) Do you remember?

That’s the question.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

No Mud, No Lotus

one month
and one week
and more
and two more days
did I say days??
I meant DAZE
Dazed, is more like it.
AMAZEd at how busyshit tasks crowd
my landscape
fill my time
jangle and clang

How necessary they seem until I hold them in my
that's right. Full bore full burn gaze.
I phase in and out
I wonder about
the ways the crazy haze

For now, I will lean into this moment
endless stillness possible
Put in the big rocks first.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Soltice, 2016

Mahogany red hair
blond roots
rasping cough
I glanced her way to see if she was okay
Inclined I was to care
big boots
ticked off
She warned me
then she kicked me, hard.

I had the sense that there was more going on

Her eyes, her face, her voice
the way she needed space and control
the way she needed others' fear
She sat alone in the big back seat
all the way to Niagara Falls.
I suppose it's what she wanted
or what a life's satchel of habits
make possible.

My bruises remind me of the choices I make
to see and feel and hope
on this longest night, I yield to my gratitude.
I have no regrets.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Half Full

This is the body I live now
almost a year after
Solstice and beyond
I am still
yearning and Yielding
This is;
what happens next?

Finally, more energy
Less distress
better sleep...sometimes
Some sensations will never go away
and some will never return
This is what happens....

blood and bone
and dawn
Laughter, Rain
work of the heart
This is what happens next.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Solstice and beyond

Two months and more
well, for sure
I did not feel that time move
I did not feel the twilight
or the dawns
I moved like a dragonfly
hovering, busy in many directions, adept at negotiating
the all day darknesses

mostly doing no harm
some days, swaying

body sore and bone tired
ready for soft rain
soft snow
soft fog
any fog
as long as it is still, the way only fog can be still

I will wander into it and find a clean river and there
I will sit, become nothing
become part of everything
become still

after that
some kind of return
will be possible.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Quiet Desperation

Dexterity remains under-rated
taken for granted
buttoning my shirt is no big deal
do it with my eyes
Once upon a time
maybe so
but, Now...No.

key in the lock
    floor, floor, floor
watch them soar
hear me roar
when I can't
face the dropsies
any more

Some days, the post-chemo world is
ridiculous in its good-natured
sense of humour
soaked with hope

Some days, the post-chemo world is
ridiculous in its taunting
I am this close to a laugh when I notice
I am
soaked with tears

Yielding remains under-rated
Once upon a time, maybe so
But, Now...No.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


and on it goes, tales from Autism camp...

Victoria is my most senior camper. She has been attending for 20 years. I first met her when she was a few months shy of her 11th birthday. She has given me smiles, tears, a concussion, her trust and her friendship.
And, of course, her logic.

One theorist I study, Joseph Straus, proposes an alternative 'reading' of the 'symptoms' of autism. Rather than whatever edition of the DSM manual's rehash of 'make the call' one consults, there is usually a version of obsessive fixations, purposeless repetition, and deviant sociality (oftentimes known as 'the triad of impairments') as the markers of the disorder. Straus proposes fixity of focus, local coherence and private meanings as being more resonant with the lives of Auties and Aspies who are increasingly finding their own ways to tell the rest of us about their lives and experiences. Further, these characteristics are not deficits, but rather, ways of being in the world that are idiosyncratic, meaningful, functional and helpful. Other theorists of cultural semiotics, notably  Harwood Fisher, suggest that personal and embodied logics precede meaning... necessarily. I mention these two theorists' examples not to launch into a black hole of theory, but rather to contextualize a point that I want to make: that Victoria LIVES what many theories and theorists work hard to express.

Back to Victoria's logic.
We are on a mini-train at a Niagara Safari  venue. The train chugs and rolls and wobbles with stops along the way of the large and sprawling park. Whenever ASD camp goes to this venue, Victoria and I take a train ride around the whole property. She is taller than I by about a foot, and outweighs me by about 90 pounds. Throughout the ride, she makes imperious proclamations. Here is an example of her logic.
We stop to drop off and pick up passengers. She is ready to go. She shouts "Green light GO!" The driver obliges. On the ride to our next stop Victoria lays out her logic. Green lights go with red lights on the Christmas tree. At our next stop, we drop off passengers and pick up passengers. Victoria is ready to go. She shouts "Christmas!". Nothing happens. She looks at me, puzzled. How could the driver not have understood that connection? Green lights go with red lights on the Christmas tree. ERGO, Christmas means... GO. Duh. Eventually, the driver starts up the engine and we do, indeed, GO. I suspect, however, that this happened in spite of, rather than because of, Victoria's enthusiastic encouragement of the driver.
Victoria's reasoning/connecting of ideas is known as metonymic logic. Victoria builds this in her mental landscape as a set of private and coherent structures that lead her to a conclusion which, when examined with an open mind, does indeed have a logical structure which precedes meaning (what does Christmas 'mean'? it means GO).

Welcome to ASD camp. Again and anew.
Never dull; remarkable in so many ways.
My scholarship, my pedagogy and my open mind remain in awe (and in debt).