Grandma practiced the faith of movement and transition. Guilham did the same. Bringing metro tickets from Tehran to Paris, Paris to Tehran. Grandma put pinecones on dining tables and kitchen counters. Peeter took stones from the island and sent them in a package to Prague. I placed one on the grave of a young man.
Marina Abramovic spent time on a different island. One where there were many tourists. There were no shells on the beach because the tourists would take them. She went to the giftshop and bought shells. She scattered the shells in the sand for the tourist to find. Offering them a magic moment of discovery.
Marina Abramovic delivered mail once. In England, I think. She would only deliver the nice parcels and leave out the bills. Ryan's grandmother had a similar practice. She would take the mail from neighbor's homes and bring them to her home. They thought about creating a service where she would take all the mail and offer them a summary of what was received.
Some people mine mountains for precious metals to be taken to other places and shaped into different things. This is not part of our practice. Ours is a movement, not a stealing.
You took a frog once, and put it in a shoebox with some leaves. You released it into the creek near your home. Away from its kind, would it survive?
The cats bring in a mouse alive in the middle-of-the-night. It climbs the sheer curtains and slacklines the string of bulbs on the ceiling. Captured in a pot it is taken down the street.
Nature has its own way, its own alchemy of movement and transition. Of the bees (des abeilles), from wind.
Did you ever wonder how things got to where they were? In childhood the way things are feels so taken for granted. The way things are is answered so simply as, it always was. In time we witness prolonged periods where creation and destruction occur making us admit, what is the source? Things once were and they were not always. There is a completion in someways, or an energy exchange.
I asked Nick once if he believed in reincarnation. "In a way," he had responded, "for so much of us has been made up of other things, things that have been once alive and are alive again. And our shape, as it is now, may never be again, but pieces may take a new form."
Stardust, they always say. It's romantic.
Do you remember when I stood under the sky and remembered myself? As a thing not a part of the heavens but a part of here? Made up piece by piece of soil and milk and honey and breath? Do you remember when I realized I was not to rise to meet the Hebrew God but fall and sink into Pagan Earth? The ecstasy of all things known to be.
Ferranté once was a feather blowing over a mountain wishing to reduce it to a pebble. He wakes every morning, another breath in his broken lungs, knowing he will displace pieces of the earth that once came together harmoniously. He spoke to me last over the phone on the shores of the Atlantic overseen by the shadows of a women who he has broken. They spoke to me, to save me, and now they are gone. Perhaps to return to their bodies, but I worry they are lost.
You let go more easily one time. The Snake year. You threw in all the photographs and mixed tapes. The things Grandma displaced and brought to you. It was heavy and you needed to be light. You let it go. It became smoke and you asked it to carry you somewhere else. And the wind picked you and you became lost. You learned a language no one else spoke and carried on the practice of movement and transition. Walking holes in shoes, leaving them on the train. Krònas in the collection plate at the Easter mass you attended in St. Céré.
It's one of those ordinary mornings. Grant plays OPB in his room, I hear him shaving in the bathroom. Bill the cat is following him everywhere and jowling at him. I'm drinking coffee with cream that has slightly turned, making the flavor pleasantly sour and pronounced. The coffee mug is a soft jade green, or grey green. Almost milky in it's semi-transparence.
Nick and I would play this game walking around the neighborhoods, in the same season, almost a year ago. Every house we would identify the name of the paint color.
"Retreat evening blush."
Playing this game with my coffee mug I assert, "bluey-sage," "opposite-of-crimson."
Maybe I should have my students do this.
Megan the tarot-reader.. why did she come up in my thoughts? Ah, VOICES.
We spoke about Milla Prince and her strong voice. I remember teaching over the summer and feeling my soft voice in my throat. Voice of authority. I remember Ted yelling at the students to listen to me and how weird that felt. To have a loud voice advocate for me because my voice wasn't strong enough? Why do people need to be yelled at to be heard?
Milla Prince didn't yell, but she had a captivating ability to hold her audience. Speaking from a reverberating place.
"Singing lessons," I had told myself. Years ago I took a single singing lesson from a man. We were going to work on trade. He needed illustration work for his band and offered singing lessons in exchange. Our first and only lesson was breath work. Blowing over paper, blowing out a candle. Projection of the breath and by extension, the voice. Authority. Amplification. A super-power. I remember hearing a radio show about a sociologist who wanted to test the"ten-thousand-hours-to-mastery" theory. Her goal was to create the "loud sound" she heard from professional singers. She worked with a voice coach who kept telling her, "you're so close, keep going." Eventually it came. It clicked. A "My Fair Lady" moment.
I think of all the work I do and how much of the teachers in my practice encourage continuous singing/conversation. In a radio segment I just heard African-American cook and culinary historian Michael Twitty says, "having conversation with the utensils that you use as if they're your friends, as if they're your allies in the act of making your food."
Speaking. Voices. Amplification of our intentions. Manifesting our will into the tactile realm.
Another thing Megan and I spoke about was accepting the role of the inconclusive.. allowing the process to be in itself, the piece of work. Letting the wheel of fate spin.
"Leaving My Father's House," a compilation of women's essays spoke in the introduction of feeling uncertain in it's final stages of publication. I want to quote her on this. I just requested the book at the library.
I feel a big part of person and my writing holds this quality. Uncertainty. Process-oriented. Thoughtful rather than conclusive. It's been a challenge accepting this in myself because there isn't a place for pondering in the world. Pondering happens inside. In the kitchen, in the cooking pot. Not on the table or on the serving plate.
The voice. The words. The thoughts. The world is made from a linear method of completion. It's not for the soft. The coffee in my grass-cream colored cup is triumph. I did not use the word patrilineal correctly... I need to put socks on, it's cold in the house.