Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dreams of Auld England





I had a dream this morning where first a little boy in Tudor clothes was my guide and then he ran off this bridge and I realized that he was maybe a ghost because his death in the bright sunlight was only shocking for a millisecond before I was like, "Oh, yeah, of course, he's that little boy. Duh." I can't tell you how common the feeling of just-realized or just-remembered prescience is for me, in dreams and out. It's rather frustrating, this deja-vu feeling that once something happens, you recognize it, and you go back over your memory of it but you can't tell if you have one or two memories of that experience.
And then I was the boy who was and was not a ghost, climbing up these stairs that got narrower a and smaller and with every step chanting an old song, which called to being the presence of a proper ghost, that of my handsome cruel murdering uncle, played by a hair-gelled, translucent, grey, grimacing Robert Pattinson (oh, if only this were the first time he were cast in my dreams, so undignified--the other time is about twenty times as embarrassing and hilarious and kind of pathetic). He kissed my hand through the wooden banister that barred me from the high throne dais which was the scene of my murder. I could feel his warm lips and tongue on the back of my hand, and had enough time before I woke up to be grateful for the presence of that railing, which kept me and any other hapless visitor to this historic and eerie castle from being bodily pulled up to the sacrificial platform and having my murder re-enacted.

I remember first seeing, and then feeling, the excitement, loyalty, energy, and courage of this little boy. Though the steps got steeper and smaller, I chanted on every one, panting. The chant was about Long Lankin (in the dream the castle was Lenkin Castle, the dead ghost prince called Lenkin), which is even worse, try googling Long Lankin and you'll find some lyrics to this old gruesome gruesome boogeyman ballad. That's really what make me afraid when I woke up this morning in the dark at 4 AM, listening to the ATVs of the farmers bringing the cows down to milk--the name of Lankin, this "bloody mary" chant
Oh, Long Lenkin
Oh, Long Lenkin
I can almost remember the tune.

I have this leftover feeling of little boy-children being important. I had another dream that featured a little boy, it might have been even a year ago at this point, but the passage of time has made it seem even simpler and more symbolic:
I walk out to a dock in bare feet on white ice. The sun is shining brightly on the frozen river. The white sailboat is frozen in place. I have to haul on the white ropes and stomp the ice with my bare feet in order to free the boat. The little boy has gone down the river alone, he could be lost, so I have to take this boat down to follow him, even though I don't actually know crap about sailing.
And when I woke I had this little ditty in my head:
King Lear was there on the thirty-third day
with the gold tear in her eye
King Lear was there on the thirty-third day
and the day blew fresh and fair

I'm certain of the "thirty-third day" part, but the in-between lines I'm not so sure of. They sound almost right...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Collage, adornment, writing: marks & identity





Greenland mummy baby, which reminds me of this cool shaman-man-in-the-moon image I saw as a piece of wearable art made in Seattle.


Rhiannon was a goddess of birds--this is really just a big femme-fest in general, though.


This boy is the same as the one in the top picture--he was part of a Vogue thing that featured his mom with this really big hair? But then he looked really...weird. And simple. Magazines used to make the above collages: Garden & Gun, Vogue, National Geographic, a 1969 calendar with trains on the other side.

It may not be much, but it's what I've done lately. Step 1: put a figure on an astral background. Step 2: actually, that's it.

Collages are super-fun, but where I'm at right now (that would be, the messiest room in Virginia), it calls to mind that scene in Labyrinth where there's the miles and miles of junk and it all gets put on your back...
So terrifying for someone from a hoarder family like me. I don't remember where I heard about this, but I often think about the idea that all your possessions are like so much more flesh--part of your physical existence on earth. Part of your body, part of the self.
And yet, at the same time, only so much dirt?
Too much!
And yet, I so dig my cool-looking letter-wall. (Sorry it's so blurry, but that's probably good on the not-sharing-the-addresses-and-words-of-friends front.)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

sprouts, buzzing, "anger"

I like to ponder seasons & symbols. My grandma was a big astrology-head, and I've always seen it as a fun pageant. I've always enjoyed reading a horoscope and have always at least given a few moments of serious thought to any astrological info that I came across. I don't find the idea strange that the planets and stars would affect our lives in subtle ways. The physical is mental is spiritual, right?--whether you imagine that with a fairy behind every mossy rock; or envision the the tiny electrical firings of your synapses creating chemical reactions when you make a fist; or God's hand on your brow; or the ladybugs that drowned during my shower today reincarnating one more time on their way to Nirvana. I mean the moon pulls the tides, blah blah blah.
I don't know whether it was the "You're not a Libra anymore!!!1!" scare or what, but it's not grabbing me lately. Still like the idea, but I'm not feeling the system. It feels narrow to me.
I am more interested these days with smaller-scale everyday synchronicity. I have spent the last 3 months working on & performing a winter-themed show with my friend Anna. We tried to dig into some things that winter meant to us--some stories, some things we thought were universal, some things that just seemed right at the time. So I have been thinking about the seasons.
I am interested in fitting myself into the motion of what is going on around me--of choosing my actions to be the right thing at the right time. It is my hope that intuition is part of this, and that my sleeping self and waking self will be friends just the way Jung says we ought.

To wit: Spring is coming--but it's not here yet.
Spring arrives on the vernal equinox around March 20--my grandmother's birthday. She never specified exactly what date, but she was born on the first day of spring, and so we mark her years (she would have been...94, I think, this year--the other thing is that she didn't like telling her age) according to that rather than the number. Very satisfying.

I wrote a letter to a dear friend yesterday waxing poetical about some spring memories, and what jumps out at me is the feeling of rawness: raw cold air, raw new things, you can start eating fresh raw plants that are coming out of the ground. I have walked on wet gravel, brick, and asphalt in spring, till my bare feet felt like raw hamburger. Heartbreak seemed fresh & savage, my desires unfiltered. Spring is a time of intensified insanity, I wrote in the letter, and while I tend to think every time is a good time for crazy, I believe it's true that my craziest crazies have occurred in the spring months. My grandmother died a few days before her birthday, and I sang in a chorus concert the night she died. I got a fever. An eating disorder. I was in love. I was in a rock band. I discovered a secret swing at a construction site. I stayed up all night obsessively removing the hair from my legs, then climbed a tree to sob in its branches. I ran till breathless for no reason (and I am not a runner). I sang Queen at the top of my lungs walking through campus. I performed a scene as Ophelia. Every semester when I took an art class was a spring semester. Sigh. These are all college memories. Although last April I did get caught in a thunderstorm walking through a graveyard trying to find a liquor store to buy a bottle of rum for a bus-driver on a Sunday night. Were these things comfortable? Hardly. Sensual? Definitely. Ugly? Yes. Beautiful? Yes.

ANYWAY enough sharing of the cray-cray, what I want to share with you now is merely hints of the madness to come:
1. I am sprouting seedlings. They sit in a row of white paper cups on my window. Marigold, Tomato, Cilantro, Carrot, Basil, and Pumpkin. I have never done this before.
2. Today I got out this old beehive that Dad came across one day and put in our barn for bee-keeping eventualities. Luckily so, because we've got some bees that have inhabited our porch column for years, that over the winter have inhabited the same porch column, just removed from the porch and laid on its side in the backyard. Assuming they have lived all this time, it is my hope to catch them swarming in the spring, move them to this proper beehive, and plunder the honey in the porch column like a greedy greedy bear-bandit. So today I got out the hive and took out all its little drawers and supers tried to give it a bit of a clean-out. It's in sorry shape; there were a couple of big mousey nests in there, complete with holes chewed through some flimsy wood barriers inside, plus some kind of horrific bug-city egg-sac wood-burrowing situation that frankly looked to me like termites, although I guess it could be carpenter ants, or carpenter bees for that matter. Not pretty. Wish I had taken a photo. Maybe I can get one later of the pretty marks the demon-bugs left gouged in the wood.
3. I'm getting in a car sometime in the next several hours with four other women and going to rural Louisiana for Mardi Gras. I have never done this before.

So things are gearing up here. Past couple weeks there has been a lot of wind and rain, and the creek is running fast and high.

One last thing is a cool concept from a book I just read--to my mind, this shouldn't be a spoiler, I will try to keep it quite vague--and there are no real plot points anyway.
Suffice to say that two characters from two imaginary cultures are conversing, with a language barrier. One refers to a natural force as "anger". What makes the grass grow, the desire between lovers (the woman takes the "anger" from the man, leaving him, um, sleepy? Sorry this is a really hetero-normative and cheesy explanation, it wasn't this bad in the book), creation, skill in fighting, are all anger. Kind of nice when I think about it, surprisingly. When we say we're doing something "furiously". Or when I talk about the "madness" of spring.

Party on, Wayne.