photo: pub-cafe kouros, agistri island
(continue inserteditinside 15Aug15) When this blogpost began It was the midpoint of summer break before a 2nd year of grad school at The Ohio State University. Now a week before teaching a class at THE OSU, I edit this post for the many-eth time. My alma mater is Ohio University, so I know the importance of this smidgen “THE”. how a seemingly inconsequential word either present or absent can drastically change things.
My summer begins with a Wexner Center for the Arts commission : make a dance for their 25th anniversary’s “Off the Grid” event. Absolutely! Thank you for asking! What happened took a couple months with about a dozen people creating a score of sorts in a studio, over email, and at the performance. It seems something about it, like most things, could go on further perhaps, gaining momentum or slowing down or finding a steady haul as things do. It doesn’t seem like a dance all the time, nor does it not. We don’t so much dance as make something happen, or let it. It seems mostly or sometimes or always or never or rarely or often I create options and let things happen. I watch people make choices from Ors.
Things go a bit south at the after-party as I get weird. i do not feel i can release to walk behind and follow, led. I want to. But led has fled, gone. Leaving timed empty voicemails. Later, I am pulled out of making on the party dance floor where I get very involved in the durational melting of spilt ice under my bare feet after improvising w cohorts and colleagues or contemporaries or competition or compadrès or collaborators and community. Maybe they thought I needed help, maybe they thought it wasn’t art. Maybe something else of theirs was looking at me. Either way, I am now thinking inside a piece based on the experience of ice to water by heat of flesh and the drastic inconsequentiality of social trial / try all. so thumbs-up all around. The next day I fly to Greece and let love be.
In Athens for the CORD/SDHS conference to facilitate a workshop I unfoundedly title “A Practice of Being: Neuroplasticity in the Making”. I wonder what the interaction will hold. I, uneducated on such things, treat neuroplasticity here as a concept – that is of the constant adaptation of a being to experiences – including time, sensory information, thought, feeling which are ever-changing and reliant on our perception. The nerves and brain are involved, yes. And also energy, or chemicals, or a whatever terms might mean for you catalyst in a being’s experience. The environment in my imaginary encompasses that which I can think of thus far, including: flesh, self, thoughts, rooms, dreams, walking, sunset, coincidence, memory, society, the insides of other, etc… Two dancers from my working group in Columbus accompany me to Greece and THE fellow OSU cohorts are presenting their own research at this paper-sharing research forum with workshops on the side. I have come to lead a workshop. And to move. And to learn. I remain amid brilliant artists even while out of my element. Here on this side of things, I forgo the “neuroplasticty” for “adaptation”. A Practice of Being: Adaptation in the Making. And again my equation: adaptation + repetition = truth. Though now, I may agree with Claire Porter as she suggests not “truth”, but “true”. repetition + adaptation = true
Facilitating a collaborative process by making new knowledge of experience in the space of time – to re-form through the process of making – is more effective in my attempt than presenting my research at a podium or computer, but maybe I’m too (insert disclaimer here) of a person for my own good… as if I’m the first to think they could sense things differently. And how ungrateful of me to pretend to ignore what I sense! Maybe there’s no chance for the full realization of my being. Or maybe no chance of my being able to recognize it as it types fingers at these keys. I think of the opposite of what I’m doing and then the middle of that opposite and so forth. A spectrum of ways of being. After the conference I stay on in Greece a few weeks to explore, dance and collaborate with friends I made in other workshops at the conference. It is the first time I participate in dance as social activism, per se. After a couple weeks of metro and hustle, I ferry to the tiny island of Agistri and slow time alone. here I will thought dive into human existence. It began this way ? No? What is the trajectory of this course? I think I see a bright light out tha corner of my left eye. I am sitting in room with a few dozen dead stinkbugs (which don’t stink here now) and typing, humid with love and questions. Why do we ‘self’ things as we do?
Landing in Maine at Bearnstow, a place close to my heart with people important to my artistry and pedagogy – and did I mention my heart? I was invited to be at camp to support the teaching retreat of Bebe Miller. Absolutely! Thank you for asking! I remain at the midskirts of this supportive sharing of information by university dance professors, mostly osu affiliates. 15 years in in midwest non-profit / community was in me as I learned from their exchange and veered toward the middle of finding ways in, and out of academe. Full stop. Full Go. A slow, solo road-trip back toward Ohio with no directions and no time stamp had my bare feet on the Appalachian Trail to see a passing stranger, at a winery before a storm in conversation with a familiar one, and borrowing the hotel’s turn-key with one glass in a jacuzzi tub and a moon view.
Back in Ohio to shed things for another month gone, I connect with friends and family. Philosophy campfires with dad, baring hearts with mom, growing kiddos and big shaky grandparent smiles. Time chopping food in a dope ass kitchen with cool kids. Asleep in a snoring bed. Wondering how many things I can wonder at once. Feeling way in and out all the way…. Dogs and CaKes. I like dogs around. They are present and more obviously honest…. I feel my feet on the ground to walk with my friends smelling flowers. I wait for something that is yet to come, already gone, be back soon. I smile alone or altogether or all together or always or already or alright. (begin edit) I am full off love, or of or on or in or at or amidst.
The next day I fly to Zimbabwe and let love be.
Full-up. Full stop. I don’t have empty space of heart to put words here, so for lack of better explanation the combie man asked me if i could make change for a $10. from shona to english it came out “Are you changed?”
Thank you for that question. Well… (end insert)
note to self (whatever-that-is) :
listen to audio of ur wax philosophical on that fucking beautiful cliffside
all rocky and blue grade
midriff sucking sun
smiling lost, found midway through the day
with sea salt on my skin and memories in my hair.
How did love see me there? it can smell knowledge.
So much knowledge to be shared, said salivating.
“i trust the migration of intelligences.”
i trust a heart on a sleeve
zooming toward out, near my midline i feel formidable alone.
over the last few months I have begun to compile interviews with people I consider big deals or no deals or ideals or real deals asking : ” what is self ? “.
We all perceive. or We all see beauty. or We all connect to THE existence. or We all get hurt. or We all cry. or We sit in silence. or We laugh together. or We help. or We share joy. or We cause pain. or We don’t know. and We create. or We all try. or We feel or think or breathe or sense or exist or die or love or live or stop or learn or ignore or chase or call or stay or wonder or high five or change or listen or pray or dance or make or smile or change the plural of or to and, or not.