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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

joy is as unsettling


dilemmas turned velvet
poetry offers slippage
like these words? me, too. I heard them earlier this week at a presentation
on arts-based education
I show them to you here; they are not my creation


this particular combination
yet, if you are reading them, these ( those? ) words are now ours.
Strange, yes? Maybe...
dare I use these words now that I have encountered them like this?
I do dare
I insist, persist, resist, enlist, shake my fist... get the gist


of this
walk away, confessing
I can't walk away from life because of life
joy is as unsettling
tears out of nowhere, evocative quartets
speak( ing) of love
usual suspects


poetics in vulnerability
not despite
riddle of shadow
inviting me to learn how to hold a shapeshifter
no matter what
it becomes

Saturday, May 16, 2009

my words for now

today I am taken by how absolutely
I dwell
in every moment
I spend with you
...stories ...
not remorse soaked compensation for time lost
you and I traveled that time in one sweet day
and in so many moments since

you here now, means the world to me
even more so in the small things
your delicate, sinewy arms
the bones of your elbows just there below the sleeves of your shirt
how your hand gestures translate smooth movements under the skin of your forearms
now, there, before my eyes...
I want to see all of it
hear all of it
know about anything you want to disclose
I cherish the comfortable quiet
soft glances between us
pace and rhythm of our silences and solitudes
perhaps you know all this already
all the same, here is my heart
and my words for now...

old reliable coffee: always the same, always good

it is 10:30 am at Balzac's , a coffee shop in the Distillery district of Toronto; the walls are filled with vintage tin coffee ads ... the title of this post is one of them. I watch a man and child at a table near me. The child is a little boy, three-ish; he wears jeans with hole in one knee, socks and sandals, a tee shirt hanging longer than his little blue hoodie. He has just finished the immensely focused task of zipping up the hoodie. There are two cups on the table, a big one for the man and a small one on a saucer for the boy. I can see that he is drinking hot chocolate and he holds a big cookie in one hand. He has dirty blonde hair-- it hangs in bangs on his forehead-- and big gray eyes. I can see his eyes from my table; he is wide eyed, alternating between his cookie and the man's face.
The man is reading the paper, he glances over at the boy and puts the paper down; he glances at his PDA on the table, he looks left and right, every time a door opens or a customer orders. Man and boy share a moment of eye contact; the little boy grins, the man checks his PDA, the door, the bar...it's a busy place without a doubt.
The boy is moving his little fingers, making wing gestures with his non-cookie arm, his feet sliding sofly and purposefully along the iron stem of the table. It takes a long time for a little boy to eat a giant cookie... chewing is serious business, and the world of the cafe is ceaselessly fascinating, the rattan chairs, the marble tables, the way the cup fits in the saucer...he can lay on his belly on the seat of the chair, a little swimmer in a sea of tinkles and conversations; he can spin and he can fit his whole body there on that seat if he wants... and he can do all this and not miss a beat of cookie munching...his face is filled with hot chocolate and cookie mess. The man leans in a wipes him down with a napkin, rubs his own eyes, checks his PDA and looks left and right. The little boy says
" Daddy...." and then I can hear no more of his little speech. Daddy alternates between chininhandelbowontable, two hands on two knees, hands clapsed on table, leaning back... cookie almost gone, and the rattan chair is still a tactile cornucopia, a landscape, a vista... the little guy is swishing and twisting on his seat, swinging his little legs, smiling and gazing about...down to the last bite. Daddy springs to his feet and ushers the boy to the bathroom and, shortly after, out the door. The little boy walks slightly ahead; the man carries an eco-friendly bag... I see them turn off to the right as the door closes.

Sometimes I wonder about my Laban training... I am drawn to look, see, notice and describe
and sometimes I wonder...

Apocalypse ( May 15, 2009)

I don't know his name--privacy and security being important to him; he often waits in the bus shelter with me, mismatched clothing, sneakers as big as pillows, coke bottle glasses...
he checks his watch every two or three minutes, then turns his head to look in the direction of the bus, his marking time a corrective against public transport's aversion to punctuality.
This morning he talked to me as soon as I arrived, his voice quick and loud, right next to my ear, he describes his rationale for how many cans of salmon he plans to buy at the grocery store, the advantages of instant coffee, his annoyance at missing the earlier bus, how this has thrown off his schedule, what it might mean for all the other shoppers competing with him for his salmon.

At the bus station I met his counterpart, an older man in a stained raincoat, shoes with no laces, his shirt collar up on one side, buttoned up all the way to his Adam's apple; he toasts me with his coffee as I walk past his little cafe table. " Morning" he says, and smiles and stares. I smile and stare back. "Good morning" I say.
" Yer bus is on the way, missus" he says
I'm grateful for his vigilance, these daily assurances; and yet, this morning, I am somewhat unnerved by his appearance...maybe it was the shoe laces, maybe it was the way I felt my own swallow looking at that shirt collar...something seems off to me. He toasts me again; I go outside to my bench.

My third horseman arrives--this man's name I know, having worked with him for years and watched him go down the swift slide of paranoia; he lumbers toward me, his good side leading the way, as usual... his huge bald head beginning to show the first folds of age along the back of his neck. He gestures and wails, swaying towards and away from me, then right, then left; he tells me how angry he is about the sons of bitches he has to deal with in public bathrooms. His arms hang loosely at his sides and his ranting stops suddenly and he just stands there breathing and staring at me. I breathe and stare back. I offer some bus money, he shuffles off to his bus. I am sad enough to cry.

My own bus arrives and I climb on, hand over my transfer, find a seat. I sigh and gaze straight ahead. A colleague gets on at the last minute, spies me and attaches herself to the seat near mine. Her coat is velvet, her hair is clean and windblown, her shirt collar is casually open, neatly placed against the lapels of her coat, the points of both collars in marvellous symmetry, her eyes are shining ...and she begins: you won't believe the fabulous renovations I've been doing on my house...

I must be an ear; no one needs a mouth.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the sea is so blue that only blood is redder...

This phrase just grabs me by the throat. I wish I had written it...hell, I wish I had thought of it. I heard it last night at a presentation given here at this conference I am attending in the northeastern United States. The presenter said it was a line from a poem by the poet Claudet. I have been thinking about it ever since, mesmerized by the felt sense of its logic...

another experience beckons me as well; it has been a compelling couple of days. I am at a reception following the above-mentioned presentation. I stand in a small group with three of my colleagues...two of whom I consider good friends. We are in lively conversation and I am quite caught by the flow if it, so much so that I am startled to notice a woman hovering at the edges of our conversation circle... I had not even seen her, and, embarrassed at how I had left her there, unnoticed, for so long, I try to catch her eye. I am unsuccessful; she meets no one's gaze, then backs up slightly and moves away. I am shaken by the depth of my indecision : she was as close to me as these words are to you...how is it that I did not walk around my friend and make the physical effort to draw this woman into our circle...she slips away... and as I leave the room I see her in/out on the edges of another conversation.

even now, I am going over this event's unfolding, wondering how it might have been different, how it was that I was so rooted for too long in that moment of noticing and not acting, wanting to repair the hurt of a few seconds worth of invisibility, the time it takes for someone to slip away into a crowd, a mist, a sea so blue that only blood is redder...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

reflecting from the other side of Beltane on being found in April

called forth
in ways I could not have imagined
I story
sweet stillness
dark flame
fierce tenderness
wild joy
spoken and written
between us
ongoing, delightful disclosures
strangely familiar
astonishing how you have given
to me
not once, but twice
a knowing so carnal
as to shatter the ground
of my certainties
I can only say
I prefer a mystery
a lovely twilight beckons
and there is much to learn

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Price exacted

Edmonton; late '80's. A great place for honing my irritant skills ( a.k.a. graduate school). Being a sucker for service I am also doing some music and dance work with an Anglican church group on the cusp of expressiveness...
through a series of misadventures, I find myself invited to the elevation--or is that installation? of an Anglican priest to the rank of bishop. It's quite the elaborate affair, with chanting, incense, walking, bobbing, wailing, kneeling, standing, flapping...
kind of like watching a flock of crazed hungry birds devour a carcass

I am sitting next to the spouse of one of the bishops participating in the service. I watch a dozen men in flowing vestments huddle over and around their soon to be elevated brother, surrounding and covering him until he is absolutely hidden from view.
Unable to contain my blistering semiotic curiosity for a moment longer, I lean over to my seat mate and whisper : what are they doing?
She pauses for a long moment, then exhales, inclining ever so slightly towards me, her subtle postural softening remarkably well disguised by the impossible precision of her crossed ankles. I think I see the barest hint of rueful knowing glance..." they're removing his spine" she says, that glance of hers lingering ...holding mine just long enough for both of us to lean back against the stiff brown pew.

Friday, May 1, 2009

... and I'd do it all again

lover, friend, partner
over time and across contexts
this day
I celebrate how you and I dwell
in this wilderness of intimacy
carnal bedrock
& deep regard