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

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Patient Gazebo

My workplace sits atop a steep hill, bounded on two sides by lush forest and gorgeous hiking trails. Deer, gophers, field mice, squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies and all sorts of birds are regular visitors. On midday sanity walkabouts, it's easy to forget that this complex is comprised of over a dozen buildings spanning three city blocks on two sides of a busy highway.
Twice a week I cross the highway to do some facilitation with a group I've been affiliated with on a six month assignment. They are stationed in a quaint, brick house The Workplace has rented on a 10 year lease while it's experiencing its growth without space phase. I frequently hear bullshit about maximizing human and material resources..... but I digress.
On my twice weekly treks I walk through the grounds of the Chronic Care Hospital. I always pass a statue of St. Francis placidly feeding birds. The real birds must sense a kindred spirit because there's bird shit splattered everywhere, but Francis and his feathered friends are pristine. The hospital's residents and staff walk and wheel the pathways, or sit and take in the sun, or the breeze, or the simple pleasure of being out. I nod and smile at the regulars, slowing to give them the right of way. Francis seems to approve: I have not been shat upon in any of my wanderings.
Last week I noticed a small, bronze plaque on the edge of the path opposite the good saint, the words " Patient Gazebo" proclaiming the identity of the structure behind it. I stop moving and gaze at the gazebo, at its pointed roof, its latticed woodwork, its polished benches and twinkling shade. Of course it's patient, I snort to myself, what other options does it have? And in one of those rare flashes of clarity, when two thoughts inhabit the same space, place, time and insight, I realize it's a gazebo for the patients at the hospital, and I laugh at myself, the laughing itself a simultaneous third thought.
I am delightfully aware of all of this as it is happening. It's a sweet and uncanny moment.

I keep walking, yet I am caught by the simple act of being alone with my own thoughts, and I feel a cascade of warm realizings, the inner ripplings of the four or five times I've been absolutely present with my own thoughtfulness
the moments that broke and rebuilt me
the lines I crossed, willingly
the ways I died to be reborn
the things I will never let go of, again

I arrive at Quaint House, deftly dodging the slow, noisy bees. As I enter through the rusty screen doors, I hear Greetings. Time to work.
I'll keep the saint's secrets to myself, for now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

funny stuff from the worlds of teachers and learners

This is the time of year when my teacher friends and colleagues send me all sorts of inadvertent funnies that show up in assignments and exams. Here are a few choice ones from recent reports:

" when I heard we had to do a placement in this course, I was a little spectacle..."

" Aristotle was an ancient Geek whose theories still influence us today..."

" so many decisions about sport in the late 19th century depended on the impotence of public men..."

" Orwell wrote 1984 to warn us about the dangers of computer surveillance and its threatening presence, like a giant octopus spreading its testicles all over the world.."

and, my personal favourite.....

" Queen Mary died after a long and bloody period."

There's hundreds more, but I thought you might enjoy these appetizers.
Learning is fun; teaching is an adventure!

Monday, April 26, 2010


At a time when
so much interaction
is little more than
who can be more
who can draw first
who can land that well- placed

I watch you practice
carefully choosing

your courage
deep and understated
my regard
for all that you are

Existentialist agony strikes ( or balls)

to quote three different baseball umpires ....

I calls 'em as I sees 'em
I calls 'em as they are
They ain't nothing until I calls 'em

life mirrors art mirrors sport??

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to survive in a large institutional setting.....

Once I know
your code
I do not have to pay attention
to your messages*

Friday, April 16, 2010


My parents tell me
I was an old child
I'd suspected as much
having borne the sweet lash
lovingly administered
at the hands of Sister Mary Marquis de Sade
enough to testify to my insouciance
whether I spoke or not
perhaps it explains my ingenious
as an adult

A friend tells me
attentiveness requires forgetfulness
I carry the phase around with me
like a warm, smooth stone
I want to keep it in my pocket
so I can
touch it and feel
its deep, crafty wisdom
literally, a touch stone

were you such a child
an old child
blessed with being
embodying a deceptiveness
that makes for keen, unsparing
remorseless noticing
an inner landscape
of ongoing twilight
where things move authentically
with relatively low risk
and that uncanny longing
for the teeming, pulsing
of everyday life

there's something about you
that leads me to believe
you, too, inhabit this
land of unhurried gestures
calm irreverence
watchful stillness
carry a warm, smooth stone

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


swims under my heart
sings twilight breathes moon spins fire
honors word lives craft

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Conventional wisdom dictates: don't buy groceries when you're feeling hungry. My version of that is don't plan a vacation-- even an outrageous, implausible, imaginative vacation --when you're feeling tired, disabused, old or irrelevant. The possibilities are seductive: the walls of skulls in Paris, Torture Toys R Us, arcades filled with an endless supply of pound the gopher.
Then there's not only the where, but the how. Anywhere I want to go means crossing water. Maybe a boat, maybe a plane. I hate flying and only remember it being tolerable when I was loaded. Transport me-- that would work. There's a destination-the Enterprise, or somewhere it goes. Flying, but kinda not really. Or a boat. I like sleeping on boats and I can't sleep on planes. Too much noise. Too much to keep track of.
Ok, to hell with the how. Where, where. And maybe it's like I said, how I'm feeling tired and old and a bit irrelevant. But I want to go back to Newfie. Back to the Rock. See it all. Slowly. In a car, on a horse, on a trail. I want to sleep. I want clean air and undomesticated people. And water. And honest conversation. I want to talk with children and old people, skipper and the missus. I want to hang out with working class and poor people. I want to eat fish and chips out of a bag. I want to lean into the wind and hide in the fog.
It's my vulnerability, this longing for home. That or beat the shit out of some asshole who desperately needs it.
And since it's home I'm going, maybe I'll go farther home. Maybe I'll head to Ireland, next. Last time I was across the pond and nearby, I missed the chance to go. Too many bombs and too much bullshit. That's next, after Newfie. Ireland. My son's been there and he tells me it's beautiful, and dark, and wild and real. Compelling. I believe him.
So, I'd go. Slowly. In a car, on a horse, on a trail. And I'd talk to children and old people, and hang out with the working class. And sleep. And lean into the wind. And hide in the fog.