Seeker

I make art in order to understand.  All must be included, the good and the bad in order to learn from my failures.

My loneliness feels like fear of myself.  No one will witness what it is that I am doing or seeing.  Does it exist if no one witnesses it?  If I am joyful but no one shares in that joy, was it even there?  My joy is doubled with others?  My pain is doubled with others?  I am always alone.  I am alone with the universe.  No connection has ever happened outside of my connection to myself.  Do I seem lonely?  Perhaps to be lonely is the worst thing in the world.  But to be ALONE ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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I love to be alone, to hold my infinity.  Can one hold another being in that space?  Another being in my aloneness, to witness it together.  The frustration, pain, turmoil, that is normally hidden.  The wilderness.

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I don’t know who KNOWS.

To KNOW is to switch off.

Stop.

Stop.

I know.

Wait.

I know.

No need because I KNOW.

Know doesn’t even know how to spell.  No.  I know. No know.

NOW.

There is knowledge.  The place of no—————-is not now.

KKK  KKK   KKK …….. Mother fuckers.

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Where did I change?  Upon falling in love and lust for the 1st time.  Late.  At the end of intense frustration.  Nothing was how I wanted it to be.  Nothing was the promise I had wanted.  All was JUDGEMENT.  All was judged.  The weight fell down on me, like an axe.  Where was I?  Nothing worked.  I could not pour enough alcohol, smoke enough cigarettes, have enough sex.  Fuck me.  Fuck.  So many RULES…..and then crash.  Alone.  Not an unveiling but a slow painful clumsy dismantling.  It is still there.

fullsizeoutput_2310.jpeg To share that someone.  Myself.

Can I share it with myself?

Myself and the universe.  They are one and the same.

Can I share it with myself?  The deep sorrow and the deep joy?

I feel lonelier in disconnection with someone else than in connection with myself.

To share.  To share.  It makes me sad.

I’d love to find a way to share with someone else in a meaningful way.  I am learning.  I am a beginner.  I am so small sometimes it feels so idiotic but it is where I am.  We are all fools.  How can we possibly not be?  It is too big to be any other way.

It. It. It. It.

AND SOMEHOW

IT HOLDS US

in this wilderness.

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Change.  I hope I always change at some point in my life.  I wish for continual growth.  For the ability to change my mind about something vital to my existence at the age of 94.

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And what if my role, if I have a role, is to be my joyful self.  I have an incredible capacity for joy.  The inner child is so alive.  So beautiful.  So ready to be told she can play.  There are others who cannot play.  I cannot control.  I can only come from where I am right now.  Where I exist.  it is my “ROLE” my character in this lifetime – huh – many lifetimes later I might be a sage, or a queen, or a divine mother.

For now……..I am…….

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Daughter

Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Nina Simone

She was so sad.  Another child in her womb and, as usual, she was all alone, questioning all that she had chosen.

A marriage:  ‘Where was he?’

A life: ‘This incessant work.’

A sacrifice: ‘Where did those dreams of flying go?.’

Then a daughter was born.  A most beautiful girl: a soft, smiling, round little thing.

‘A reason to live!’ she thought. ‘A reason to be happy.  The reason for all these disappointing choices. She will be the joy in my life.’

And after all, her life depended on it.

Dependent on this child.

A role reversal before its time.

The dependent mother.

A cruel reversal as this tiny thing felt the squeeze of the pressure in the watery womb.

Cruel but so completely understandable.  The little girl loved her mother so much that she began to feel the mother’s pain as her own.

And as the girl grew so did the pain, for, added to the original hurt, was the hurt of not being able to help….for to feel another’s pain only doubles it.

She soon realised that her own pain had nowhere to go.  She began to grow masks wherein she could find freedom from her sensitivity.  Her spirit started to fragment into pieces. Her full self was too big – too much – too bold – too knowing – too ‘irrational’.

Acceptable masks: soft, strong, self-suffcient, funny, enthusiastic.

Unacceptable masks:  embarrassed, angry, resentful, lonely, upset.

The girl began to march to the tune of her ‘own’ drum, or so she thought.  In reality, the masks became so thick she forgot they were there.

She marched to school and was soon branded a trouble maker.  But better to fight at school than fight at home.  For that would be to break her mother’s heart.

‘Stay the innocent girl please. Sugar and spice…sugar and spice…’ mother whispered.

The disparity between the girl at home the girl with the rest of the world grew.

She could hardly believe that she was believed by her mother.  The woman who had known her forever seemed to believe this mask of ‘I’m fine.’ The young girl began to doubt her own sanity.  She was neither rebel, nor angel.  But where was she?

Stumbling into adulthood she started to fume.

How was it her responsibility not to be in truth?

Why was deep intuition shamed and not encouraged?

As opened her eyes she began to see generations of the same story all around her.

Unseen people.

Unacknowledged people.

People without space.

The woman, pride puffing her chest for the first time, went to seek her space.

Her deep connection.

To heal the violence of the ages.

To put an end to useless sacrifice.

Freedom from obligation.

Freedom from sacrifice.

Freedom.

And so her journey finally began.

Your Life Your Call – Junip

Clown

Little Larval Brian’s 1st Day On Earth

Born to a sense of sound and rhythm.  Showing the vital.  Follow the noise.

Walls hurt to crash into. I tried a few times just to check.  I am an animal who loves to dance to the beats I can make.

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The body is surprising and gets stuck. I’m not sure how to get out of the bind it finds itself in.

I get lost in the melancholic changes of this flesh and blood.  Why is pain there?  What’s the problem?  Can I break you?

I don’t think so.

 

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But then a guttural cry explodes from my belly and I discover the pain I have inside.

Different, deeper than wall crashing pain.

This seems like it could break.

 

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Images.  Sensations. Rhythm.  All turns around the central spiral which creates the impetus.

A movement that builds forwards and backwards and up and down.  The rollercoaster of going fast.

Followed by the peace of being balanced.

 

 

 

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A new born soul.  Pure and full of curiosity.  An inhale….a shaky exhale.

I’m funny. I’m a fool.

I’m easily amused.  Lots is funny and beautiful.  Big noises are ridiculous…..and very important.

An option. OK.  A Decision? Surely not.

No, better to  re-group.

 

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Dusky morning.

Wetness on my face.

Breath.

A morphy silhouette.

My skin tastes everything.

 

 

 

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I feel the world is heavy after a while of standing…that’s why I get tired so much.

But it’s lovely to be straight and direct.

Sometimes I don’t wake up for a really long time.

I keep moving in my dreams though.

Dreams of water and air.

I’d like to talk about how the different patterns of light in the sky feel different.

 

Little thing.  Not so stupid.  But simple all the same.

 

 

Music: ‘Caravan’ by The Mills Brothers

 

 

 

 

Queen

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Queen of my dominion.

In love with the night.

Night black and forest sounds.  My territory.

I know all my solitary fellows.  No need to see them.  We communicate along different lines.

 

 

 

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She’s watching me.  Finally lured here.

Weeks of preparation and there she is.  So close I can smell her putrid smell of sweetness.

I keep my calm, my charm, sending out little trickles of icy warmth.

Yes.

Closer. Closer.

 

 

 

 

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Now I play.

I can stretch this out into the darkness. Yes, she’s malleable.

A gentle kiss to take her impressionable mind then one swoop of my talon.

She’s in pain. I laugh and she laughs along, mesmirised.

Spinning her into a frenzy, she begins to feel free and wild for the first time.

 

 

Then attack.

Attack.  Attack, attack, attack.

I feel her blood run through me.

I dive into her.

 

I’m bored.

Who’s next.

 

 

Shaman

I don’t have 3 eyes.  So we approach the mystery.

What the hell is intuition? How do I know?

Already my gut has a mystery, my roots full of mysteries, my heart, my voice, my sex……mysteries pour forth.

And this space, between my eyebrows where things become clear.  No explanation but an undeniable knowing I am on the right track, that the story will eventually make sense, maybe not before the 1st performance, maybe not even then.

Family Floez continue to make sense well into the months of performances, refining what exactly is it that is going on, and how does it work.   The audience constantly in flux.  Like the audience and the performance, my intuition is constantly changing.  It demands trust and faith.  Magic!  Does it exist?  Not for me to tell you.  But for me to secretly believe in all of it – hook line and sinker.  The salvation of our broken humanity.

When I read the news it is extremely hard to stick to my intuition.  The heady words of damnation and greed.  Of hatred and fear. Fear beyond belief.  And yet…and yet….the knowing knows all is not lost.  A shift is happening.  Society is deeply changing.

It most probably will be extremely painful.

The artist’s role is more important than ever in times of pain for the work is about facing pain head on knowing that only in the pain do we understand the truth.  Only in pain do we become willing to change. It is necessary. It will make you wiser and stronger.  You will survive it and be better for it.

What does it mean to be a channel for the divine?

Ooops, don’t say divine.  It s a dirty word.  Arrogant. Too big for you.

Too big for you human.  Too loaded with pedophiles and dictators who repressed the very essence of itself.

Well.

I don’t deny the word.

To stand on stage and connect to something bigger than myself.  To feel the presence of all the women and men who came before me.  Who took me into their hearts and then somehow I express what THEY want to say.  It is no longer me.  Who is it?  Where does it come from?  It is so much bigger than me.

Thank goodness it’s bigger than me.  I have such limited things to say.  I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.  But I am LED.

No longer do I need to worry about whether I am good enough.  Am I a good enough actress, director, holder of space.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not about me.  It’s about you.  My beautiful other, my sacred audience.

I want to share with you something that came to me as it comes to you in your dreams, when you cry from the pit of your stomach or when you can’t help but sing for joy on the train platform.  I want to remind you of a question we have been posing for a long time, the answer of which might just open something new.

Creator

That which can be expressed through sex, art, dance and song.

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What is required?

Patience to open up.

Fearlessness to develop intimacy.

Acceptance of things as they are.

Openness to receive the other,                     to listen to what is inside.

 

 

 

 

 

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What is the feminine principal and how do we work along feminine lines in the theatre?

It is water – flowing and filling any container.  It does not care for marking territory, instead it searches for deep connection.

For me it’s about creating a place for the audience to recognise, engage and then celebrate their own creativity.

I can only do that when I learn how to be full to the brim myself.  Only then can I give unconditionally.

And from this giving I receive in return. I learn to explore from another perspective, another body, another world.

 

 

To receive ‘the other’, starts with being able to receive in general from the earth, through our roots.  To feel the strength and support of the ground.

Holding intensity on stage can only happen as much as I feel supported from from the ground beneath their feet.  From that immense power I can harness all 360 degrees.

And then something larger than the sum of my body and the space can be created.

I use the heat from the ground.  And like a seed, I violently break through my shell and begin to push through darkness.

And though the cycles of life and death continue above ground: with every project, with every performance, with every idea; the roots themselves remain. Growing larger and deeper.

I release the pressure of making ‘great’ art in my lifetime.  I am part of a much longer evolution of which I am an infinitesimally small, and yet important, part.

I create in order to understand the world better.  So I am part of the evolution of understanding in the human race.

I offer what I find to the other: to consume, to discard, to destroy.  It does not matter to me.

 

 

Novice

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Ideas are not difficult to come by when you are devising theatre in a group.  The electric pace of a good group that gets into their stride starts to play ping-pong with ideas.  The energy is full speed and, from the outside, one might think that a heated argument is brewing but actually, it is so important that the ideas are batted ferociously for if an idea does not stand, will not hold, to the storm of criticism and questioning of the group, it does not belong.

Not to say that an idea gets thrown out casually without rigorous experimentation.  All ideas need to be explored for who knows where they will lead.  Sometimes, a whole week can be spent trying ‘duds’.  The empty feeling of having no idea what one is doing, where one is going or why is a necessary part of every process.

And then – boom! It hits! The ideas come together and the storm starts again.  Ideally it should always be a little stormy.  Too relaxed and the body starts to sink into bliss – a state of just being – a beautiful place to be but not conducive to creation that will move.

A bad group.

A bad group doesn’t listen to each other.

A bad group never laughs.

A bad group says no before trying anything.

A bad group is full of individuals wanting to take their space.

A bad group doesn’t turn up on time and wants to leave early.

 

A good group.

A good group is open to being lost.

A good group knows when to find structure.

A good group knows that sometimes bad ideas are where the gold is.

A good group is without shame or criticism.

A good group can argue fiercly and then leave it alone.

A good group does not have any personal intention.  The group is all.

A good group is made up of individuals who can look after themselves and ask for their particular needs.

A good group laughs and crys in equal abandon.

A good group knows it’s not therapy but that much healing happens in a devising space and that sometimes personal space is needed to let that through.

A good group accepts that not everyone can feel playful every day therefore each member takes responsibility for their own level of playfulness and regulates whether they are beign usefully antagonistic or not.  Anger, fear, pain are all able to be held in the space but only if the performer is conscious that they are in that space and does not project onto the group.

A good group respects time boundaries, unless the gods have moved and time and space have disappeared.  In this case, the group stays until it is time to go.

A good group is obsessed with the subject and takes it out into the world for the world to give its inspiration.

A good group is early and warmed up.

 

Beyond the group.

The process of devising theatre from the body is deeply personal and therapeutic.  It is a fast track to seeing who one really is, behind the mask.

Sometimes it’s impossible to take it lightly and leave it at the door.  It follows you like a cloak and seeps into your dreams.

Sometimes it is not enough to sleep and rest, it needs support from others: mentors, professionals, therapists.  Especially in the first years of engaging with the work, when one’s issues and stories are being explored for the first time.

Beware of primordial fear, anger and shame that physically courses through your veins.  This is where the gold is, but be sure to have a place to soothe yourself afterwards.

This takes emotional courage and strength.  It takes faith that it is OK to plum these depths and return healed of the struggle but aware of new/old pain.

It takes faith that the pain cannot consume you.  Where this faith comes from is entirely up to the individual, but without faith, panic can arise. Stress and fear gets twisted into mini-dictatorships, trying desperately to control out of fear, hurrying, rushing, adrenaline, fight or flight responses.

The ideal is to reach stories that are bigger than our personal experience.  A story that has lived in the eons and ages of time and brings to the surface histories and truths and falsities and questions.

Roles to avoid

 

Lover

I am in the passenger seat of the Ford Ka, waiting for him to join me so we can go.

My legs feel the soft breeze as I scroll through our playlist.

The Golden Age – Beck

The first leg of our journey: 3 hrs through the mountains to stay with his parents.

He appears in overalls.

The car is packed.  Camping gear, cooking, clothes.

Igo, the beautiful mutt, comes up to my side and rests his head on my lap.  He knows we’re going for a long time.  He’s used to his master leaving.

“I’m not a good father.” he said.

A self perpetuating statement.

One of many I refuse to hear.

We jump in, start the engine and off.  I change track.

Don’t Break My Heart – UB40

Blood red mountains soon line our tiny little car – will we make it across a continent?  I know I’m not in safe hands.  That I will have to fend for myself even though we are two.  Rage may be the 3rd passenger but right now my denial stands firm.

I can manage it.  If I do everything right it’ll work out. I can justify flying across the world. I can justify all these tears.  I can justify leaving it all behind.

It’s so disappointing when you know you’re living in a dream – you can’t un-know.  All is untrustworthy.

But for now, there’s the mountains, and his beautiful, nonchalant, strong arms resting on the wheel.

bus

Glutton

I want so desperately to take it all

Take the moment, hold it, and let it out myself in all its glory

But the moment is as vicious as my intent

It rips itself away never to return

It does not care if I come along

And I am powerless

Powerless to show it to anyone else

Maybe someone recognises the living of it

I do.

I recognise a living being

I recognise a lost in the moment moment

And I am powerless

And that is as it is

And that is that

And I forget

A million times a day

Oh that I may remember

To not be in remembering.

 

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Heroine

An empress of a Mayan Empire. Only young but already she has magic powers: she can turn her heart to an eagle, her mouth to a horn and her legs to trees.

She presides over the forest and all it’s creatures.

Today she gathers her army in the depths of Chunta’s cave. Their body paint reflects gold and silver on the red clay walls. The leather straps around her arms feel like an armour of ten steel shields. They dance by the fire which dances with them and they raise their sights.

The forest will not fall. The majesty will not crumble.

Out they fly, transformed and led by the empress.

Hundreds of gold and silver starlings in murmuration over the humid lush land. The shapes they form are symbols of victory. And in the distance there it is. A swarm of black and grey like smoke. Their warrior song is drowned by the incessant drone coming from the dark cloud. It is as if night has fallen but no stars this time. The jungle is on fire behind the darkness.

Soon they are enveloped. The dust chokes the empress. She is trapped – the precious bounty.

She loosens their hold and, with a final struggle, she is released.  She falls and falls through the clouds, holding on to her faith until she landed with a thump on the mossy ground.

Getting up she looks ahead of her.  How can the forest have such a clear path?

The leaves seem to flatten before her.

A tiger? She swore she saw flashes of orange and black cutting between the trees.

She runs, branches whipping at her arms, the floor seemingly smooth, not a thorn stands in her way.

The jungle is thick and dense but she knows her way.

A flash of light.

She trips.  Searing pain shoots up her thigh. She pulls out the sharp branch and limps along – out into grassland. Blood drips down her leg, she grasps her thigh. Her head begins to swim, she tumbles.

Long grass. Open sky. An eagle flies across ‘Go on’ it urges.

A sticking feeling in the small of her back, she feel underneath and pulls out a rough ruby.  She holds it to her wound and pulls out more and more rubies until the injury disappears.

Standing tall once again. Another tiger’s flash and she’s off. Whipping through grass. Tack tack tack. The sky pink now. She flies with every leap till she reaches the summit.

Air. Space. Magnificence.

Breathing behind her. He’s arrived. As promised.

She feels his gentleness. She turns. There the massive figure stoops. Cowering? No. Bowing! To her? She wants to run over and pull him up, it he hurt? She needs his strength. Of all things she needs him to be strong. But wait, his eyes. She looks at him and sees a calm wisdom. Yellow and black piercing eyes, matching his yellow and black striped scales.

His huge figure rises up.

‘I am here. Divine one. I am here for your bidding. Set me free. Let me be your force. The force you constantly deny, hide, mistrust. Let me free. I do not cower. I bow to your Divine Grace. I bow to the wisdom in you soul.’

Slowly she moves over to her enormous dragon, his body writhing with energy and passion, and presses the rubies into his forehead.