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, September 30, 2011

Life line

Any teacher will tell you this.... the first few weeks back, everyone gets sick. It's all those kids with their sweaty snotty sneezing and breathing and mauling swarming around together; no way not to get sick amidst all those bodily fluids. My level of teaching is not so different, same swarm, different age.  So it's no surprise that I am sitting hunched and huddled in a dark room at midnight wrapped around a steamy mug of hot lemon. The house is so quiet that I can hear all its machinery creaking and wheezing; I am quiet, miserable, achy... a strange twin of the house, creaking and wheezing myself. It's one of those wild moments .... you know, when you're thrown back to all the other moments just like this one, some karmic rabbit hole slide to another universe of the mind... my posture calls me to other such hunched over hot mugs quietude, hot toddies as a kid, a forbidden soothing swallow, more potent than all the vicks  vapour rub in the world, the searing comfort pulling me down into a dreamy sleepiness better even  than sleep, more of them as an adult, with my own unregulated proportions of medicinal ingredients, and later, when the rum and whisky could no longer be counted on to provide anything other than  numbed slumber, the move to less enjoyable concoctions.... but always the heat, the hunch.... I wonder if I ever drank one of those knowing that I would not be getting right back at whatever it was that was waiting for me after I got up.... and there was no doubt that I would be getting up. How did I learn to deny the call of necessary rest.... I wonder... how can that surrender  to the solace of hot lemon not carry me on to day of rest, to taking a break.... it's unthinkable... funny how that memory works, that unthinkable ....
funny how that all came back just sitting here, hunched over the comfort drink,  with its promise of  respite, which is all I can get my head around right now; which is enough...
it is.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


first, a necessary wound
pain's intimate clarity
finds its mark
like hell
no where to hide
imagine instead 
rushing & crunching 
through pile after pile of fallen leaves
soft amber swirling

then, one long, soaring moment
pours strange benevolence into a necessary scar
imagine its sweet resilience
cradling every treachery 
released into soft amber

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Nothing like one's partner having  major surgery to keep one compassionately occupied for a whole string of days.
The worst is over..... back home soon and with perspective on the continuing saga of health care... or are those two words becoming an oxymoron?

Looking forward to writing my way out of .... and into .. . the highs and lows of this experience.

Hope y'all are your usual subversively creative and intriguing selves. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to the regular workplace

When I know myself, I know others
When I master myself, I do not need to master others 
Tao Te Ching
Chapter 33

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Did you know 
you were born
a night of wondering about
you began 

Would you rather.....

Boys (and, sometimes, girls), of a particular age play " would you rather", a game of word play, a game of awful choices, all the while trying to out- gross each other with progressively disgusting  leaps of imaginative comparison. I have heard the exchanges for the past two weeks at our autism camp. Here are a few examples:
"would you rather eat the gum off the sole of my shoe, or eat boogers out of your brother's nose?"
"would you rather pick up a dead squirrel or kiss a boy on the mouth?" ( I should point out that homophobia  runs hot and high among the 8-13 year old boys at camp).
"would you rather drink snot or drool?"

You get the gist , I'm sure.

I 've also heard some other versions of "would you rather" over the past two weeks, choices impossible and necessary, choices that have made me laugh and made me cry. Here are a few examples:
Kimmi is a 6 year old Romanian adoptee at our camp. She has autism, but is  in most ways anyone would notice a typical little girl who likes to swim and play and have friends, who is afraid of bees and loud noises,  who perhaps cries  more readily and more intensely than might be comfortable for some, and who perhaps has more focused interest in the minute details of every situation. Kimmi 's mom tells me that Kimmi  will miss the last day of camp. She hates to do this, but Kimmi has received a play date invitation and it happens so seldom that mom feels that she can't say no. Would you rather have your daughter miss the last day of a camp she enjoys more than anything else she does during the year or miss a play date that hardly ever happens?
Bowling is a new activity for camp. Our first foray into bowling was last year with only half the campers going. This summer, we take the whole pack of them..... yup, 55 campers week one and 60 campers week two. Manager of bowling alley week one tells me the kids cannot bring their lunch into the establishment. I tell him they will inhale their lunch in 10 minutes and will be up for their shoes and bowling within five minutes of said inhalation of lunch. He had that look of non-negotiation on his face. I say,  if these kids don't eat their lunch NOW,  you will experience a catastrophe beyond your wildest imaginings. He and I engage in a brief, yet meaningful, staring contest. He says, fine, they can eat. Would you rather let 55  kids and young adults with autism carry out their scheduled lunch or have them move into their respective demonstrations of profound confusion and anxiety?
Dimitri is a genius inhabiting the body of a 7 year old, who looks like a 5 year old,  who thinks everyone at camp is stupid except him. He needs a predictable schedule  and  will tantrum at the slightest variation. He is a drama king, a true virtuoso. One of his tactics is the flop and wail  while protesting the gross injustices of the universe. I ask, do you want to walk or be carried? He wants to tell me that of all the stupid people at camp, I am the stupidest. Maybe so, I agree, but I am not laying on the floor crying like a baby. This is what is known as redirection. Something that gets his mind off his distress. He stops and considers the scenario I have just presented ..... his little forehead scrunching up in concentration. Do you want to walk or be carried? Would you rather get yourself under control or choose to get some help with that?
This summer is the 15th year of this camp. Would I rather be on vacation, or here, with these oft-times complicated, most times delightful kids and young people who want nothing more than to be treated like they have a right to belong?
No contest.