Saturday, April 30, 2016

Maps lie, but they also organize how we see.



its been all day, so it's getting a little fuzzy. I was on the subway, which always looks like a roller coaster in my dreams. there was some confusion about the train I was trying to switch onto, and whether I should wait, or take whatever came and simply adjust my route accordingly. In my hesitation, I didn't make it to the train I was trying to take when it came, so I decided to walk the length of the platform to kill some time. The platform went on for at least a mile, and it was grassy and filled with bodies milling about like the Coney Island boardwalk in high summer.

The sun beat down on us, but the mood was festive, and there was a path that turned off the grassy knoll of the platform. Somehow I knew that I was still inside the world of the train, so wasn't worried about having to pay a new fare, or the inevitability of my train eventually coming. Just up the path was a massive dog with a long greyhoundish face. He was as large as at least two horses combined, and rolled around on his back in the sunshine as a regular sized dog nipped and bounced around him, playing like siblings. A woman in gypsy trappings with strange, heavy lidded eyes - eyes that whispered a thick, hard to decipher language of their own - stood in the dappled shade of a tree nearby, watching the dogs rolling around in the grass. She was about to teach a class, and she invited me to join. I don't remember even noticing the other students, but was cognizant of a rich discussion taking place about the link between fortune telling and psychotherapy.

I don't know how many classes I took, but I found myself alone with her in the sepia toned house she lived in and taught out of. there was only natural light, and I couldn't tell if her eyes had a color of their own or simply reflected the surroundings, muttering to themselves. I remember washing dishes in her sink and asking her questions. She listened with coy amusement, but her eyes listened too, and the rest of her. It felt like multiple creatures inside of her also listened, to my questions, to the underlying earnestness that filled my body, the awe I felt at being allowed to exist in her presence, how desperately I tried to gulp in all of the information I was taking in around me - including her answers, which weren't really answers. I asked how she came by such a large dog. She described to me the dog's process of teaching himself to grow, first the spine grows long, next the back legs or forelegs, but always paired front or back together becomes large. It was the same process for him to shrink himself, and he writhed beside her as she spoke, obtaining the low-to-the-ground shape of a daschund. I glanced over my shoulder at the other dog, and looking into the shadows of the couch arm it was perched on, backed into the wall next to a closet, I realized he had become a cat with black fur except for around his mouth and paws. Maybe I was looking at a cat that had taught himself how to be a dog, or maybe it didn't matter what his shape was, I would have recognized his selfness no matter what. He glared at me fiercely, trying to melt into the shadows as my eyes tried to define his shape as a separate shade of darkness.

My dreamself was starting to suspect that She was actually Me and I didn't want her to know, so I allowed my sudden hunger to flood my senses. The only food she had was a bunch of miniature hamburgers, but before I could poke fun at her about the strange sizes in her house full of shape shifting things, a pressure in my bladder brought me up through the layers of sleep into the early morning light. After taking care of my needs, I knew my own dog must feel similar, but I had been sad to leave the presence of that woman in my dreams and jumped back under the covers, trying to meet up with her again for a few more moments, or to see if my train was going to ever come.

My dog snuggled her nose against my feet and fell back to sleep with me.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

i glow the way unwanted things do,

like the charge of electricity in my body last night, humming so fiercely it woke me up
the crackling, static filled line that draws a new connection in the vacuum
from one shoulder blade to the other 
after exploring ancient reflexes together, as we unburied them in our bodies
I am discovering that I am a conduit
Shortly after yoga teacher training, I woke up in the middle of the night and knew I was about to be touched somehow. there was a buzzing at the base of my spine, the sound of water rushing in my ears, and slowly like the humming vibration of an instrument gradually increasing in tone, my entire spine felt like a faucet of water being slowly turned on to full blast, humming heat rushing through the spinal column and I was paralyzed. it didn't feel bad, but I was scared of the intensity, scared that as it grew more fierce, I might not be able to handle it, and that there was no one for me to call out to for help
right as my fear peaked it began to dissipate. god doesn't give us more than we can handle. I am full of walls. I am a labyrinth, and I am lost inside of it
I can feel the edge of that energy right now as I write, a low hum that will eventually express itself, but this time I am ready, I recognize the electric vibration in my sacrum that has nowhere to go but up, to ride the roller coaster of my spine and I can feel a response in my palms, static, like a storm rolling in, charging the air. there is no question, only clarity
My hands. pathways I was too scared to allow in are like the invisible map drawn by a negatively charged surge of electric potentiality from sky to earth. when negative and positive collide against the ground, the hull of the vessel, my body, electricity takes every path available to it. a lot of time is lost in looking for the route, the root, territory that needs to be mapped out so the energy knows where to flow like water without losing the spark, the light, the power - instead of wandering, searching for a path, exhausting itself
 Like lighting that rises up from the ground, I am a conduit

All I need to is find the shortest, most efficient pathways in
the electricity already knows what to do


“At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.”
― Warsan Shire
Lightning happens when the potential difference between the clouds and the grounds becomes too large. Once the voltage reaches a critical strength, the atmosphere can no longer act as an electrical insulator. First, a stepped leader is created at the base of the cloud which is a channel through which electrons in the cloud can travel to the ground. But while moving towards the ground, it searches for the most efficient (minimum electrical resistance) route possible. It does so by traveling 50-100 meters at a time then stopping for about 50 microseconds, then traveling another 50-100 meters. In this process it also branches out looking for the best route. As the stepped leader gets close to the ground, a positively charged traveling spark is initiated on some tall object (trees, towers etc) on the ground. The traveling spark moves upward and eventually connects with the stepped leader. Once the stepped leader and the traveling spark have connected, then electrons from the cloud can flow to the ground, and positive charges can flow from the ground to the cloud. This is known as return stroke. But this flow unlike the flow from up has a well-defined shortest route now. This massive flow of electrical current occurring during the return stroke combined with the rate at which it occurs (measured in microseconds) rapidly superheats the completed leader channel, forming a highly electrically-conductive plasma channel. The core temperature of the plasma during the return stroke may exceed 50,000 K, which makes it shine so bright.
 Lightning is also known to occur in dust storms, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions.  Particles such as sand, smoke and ash, which exist in these environments, can also become electrically charged and create atmospheric conditions similar to that of a thunderstorm. 


Friday, April 8, 2016

colonizing a star is tricky business

*Logo process 


*Final logo design
 *Rough Album Cover Design

Post class reflection for Process Work on Conflict in a Relationship @School of Making Thinking:

The movement exercise began with the left hand, which embodied a relationship we were in conflict with. Letting the energy of that individual fill the gesture of the hand, we facilitated the movement that arose, allowing it to grow larger, more specific.

It was clawing and grasping, my whole torso was a hungry mouth that my hungry left hand was trying to feed and it was filled with a muscular and bottomless possessiveness. It couldn't cover enough space in each sweep, so my left hand grew frantic, trying to pull from everywhere at once, ripping my body through space to find, to feed, to claim, calling more and more of my back body into action to fill the yawning cavern of my front body. Grunts fell through my clamped teeth, my lips in a thin, frustrated line like hers, letting my sense of her fill me completely, controlling my movements, motivating my breath, senseless with the helpless, blindly destructive quality of her existence.

Slowly the action dies away, coming to a stillness from which our right hand will eventually move from. There is a way in which embodying that dark force makes clear the feeling and motion called up in my right hand.

The right hand represents Me in the relationship, and yawns open like a flower unfurling towards the sun. I always end up seeing a little girl, when I do explorations of my self-definition in this particular class, but in the exercise, I AM that little girl, not just leaning down to talk to her as she stands in front of me. Focusing on the feeling of BEING this right side selfness rather than reacting to my left side darkness, I radiate cool white light as I turn my face up to some imaginary sunshine, and I scoop up what is inside of me, offering it up, reaching my right hand out hoping to put my hand into someone else's, curling my fingers one at a time around the hand that is not there to receive the gift of myself.

Letting the right hand expression slowly diminish, the left had is invited back in. As a conversation begins between the two sides we are asked to alter the intensities of right and left to explore the ways in which these essences overlap and respond to each other. Eventually my two different gestures begin to register in a dance that moves with the rhythm of breathing - the grasping consumption of my left side seems to be what give my right hand the ability to reach out, to offer myself up, to desire connection to other that lives just beyond my fingertips, just beyond my faith. The taking in and the giving away eventually lost their sequential relationship and like respiration at the cellular level, became a constant function of being alive, in and out from all directions at once, carrying me fluidly through space.

In the stark contrast I can see how I filled in the blanks for my first, most primal relationship, developing reactions and awarenesses in the places where my mother was blind or inefficient, so became a hyper functioning half of a Unit that could never allow me to sustain myself as a singular Whole. In the toxicity of my relationship with the Mother Principle, the only way to stop everything from being taken from the endless exhalation of my spirit was to sever the tie completely. So I cut it out. But without those unexpressed muscles in the form of another person, and a protective shield built up around that tender, bloody part of myself, I can only remain a hyper functioning half of a person, until I reach into the pulp and scar tissue and find a way to push the blood through, to inspire movement - to allow myself to be hungry instead of ashamed and embarrassed by it, so I might one day know fullness, so that I may give because there is plenty, not at the expense of myself. to learn how to inhale for every one of my cells crying out for breath. to inhale because I deserve to. because I need to, NOT because I am selfish. Because it is part of my job on this planet, in this moment. right now.

In a different class earlier that day, I had encountered a similar edge, but having spent most of my life proving to myself and the world that most boundaries don't actually exist - I slammed headfirst into a wall I didn't see coming. It seems I function the best inside of a fight response, it is pushing against these walls that taught me what I am made of. To counteract the boundary-less form of my mother, I have become a wall, a vigilante force, the boundary that no one else will give her. Constantly braced for impact, but without purpose when I am not going to war with a person, an idea, an edge, I throw myself into storm after storm, a necessary call to arms to fill me with adrenaline and bloody precision, only to lose focus and determination in the calm. In class the attempt at reaching out to explore with hungry fingertips disrupted my ability to function. Caught between a push and a reach something broke down in my sense of my self, which I had thought was limitless until I found this internal barrier, this wall of shame and fear, this place where I was not allowed to go and it took all of my body to contain the snot and the sobs that wanted to fall out of me.

In a developmental movement class this morning, watching babies roll around, and considering the different constellations created between caretakers and the infant axis they rotated around, it became clear to me that if I can only see my own troubled childhood in their little bodies and faces, than I cannot possibly see them, their individual expression of selfness. I must detangle myself from these life myths and elaborate defenses, or I won't be able to see past the colors of my experience to what actually lives inside of every creature that falls under my gaze. I don't want to wander forever in a field of my own ghosts.

"Interpreting the past is like trying to sketch a picture of the Grand Canyon from space."