30 May 2010, 4:46pm
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“savor the world”

credit for this entry’s title goes to mark lakeman and his awesome talk last night.

i think this is maybe the best photo i have ever taken. it gives me warm fuzzy shivers. i think i want to spend my life facilitating connections between children and earthworms. i think i might be serious about that.

here’s another one:

spent this afternoon at another vbc site: gladstone street revival, along a stretch of gladstone that i used to ride my bike down all the time. met lots of sunny people in the sun (!) and made these two mosaics:

some more photos:

i spent three hours at the rose garden yesterday, getting some master gardener volunteer hours and answering questions and stuff (ok really mostly deferring to the other more experienced master gardener on my shift). at the rose garden it’s black spot this, powdery mildew that; they spray fungicides all the time but it’s been so wet this spring that there’s some black spot anyway. today i saw these pretty roses that were pretty much covered in black spot and so beautiful anyway! black spot: who cares!?

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wrestling. my dear shadow self: i will not let thee go except thou bless me!

28 May 2010, 10:28pm
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building

at the village building convergence tonight, one of the speakers suggested (sort of tangentially) that instead of viewing our parents–or whoever–people we sometimes have trouble relating well to–as imperfect people, that we ask ourselves: what if they were perfect? if they were, could we really learn what we need to from them? but they are, because we learn what we need to from them. oh. yeah. we are social creatures.

how many times does it take an epiphany to stick? “he wondered how we know that what happens to us isn’t good.” (amy hempel–link is to the very first post i wrote in this blog. you see what i mean, about epiphanies?)

i met a few folks, thanks in part to that speaker and another, who both insisted we meet our neighbors and had us do “think and listen” exercises that reminded me of a storytelling exercise we did at the cornerstone institute last summer. we took three minutes to tell a partner what our intentions were for this vbc. i hadn’t really articulated any to myself but i talked for three minutes anyway… about leaving portland soon, and how i don’t know what’s going to happen in my life after that, and about how much last year’s vbc affected me, and how whatever happens in my life after that will be affected by it as well, and how sad i am about leaving even though i am excited for my trip and even for whatever comes next, and how shy i have been about making myself a part of the community surrounding city repair, and how i would like to talk to more people this year, and so on…

(my mom and i have been going to a weekly yoga class together since september. our teacher likes to remind us–) no effort is ever wasted.

today was the first day of city repair’s 10th vbc. in the morning i took photos of a cob workshop at a place in northeast called art from the heart, an art studio for adults with developmental disabilities, where a cob bench is being built during the vbc. in the afternoon i went back, took some more photos, and also got my hands dirty myself.

good dirty fun.

also:
yesterday i rode through “my” intersection (where i got hit) like it wasn’t no thing, because it was simply the most straightforward and convenient route from where i was to where i was going. the first time i did it (about a year ago) it was a Big Deal, but today i thought about it as i turned onto 57th and then had almost forgotten by the time i reached fremont. This Too Shall Pass: the truest truth.

building building building. i am resilient and regenerative. someone tonight asked me what my name means and i told her that it’s from either anastasia or eustacia and that anastasia means resurrection (i couldn’t remember what eustacia means). she had been watching me draw a mandala in my sketchbook during the speakers and she told me that looking at it made her feel resurrected. eustacia, by the way, means fruitful and calm.

23 May 2010, 7:32pm
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roses

saxon and the satisfactions played their last show (in their current incarnation) at the blue monk last weekend and brought down the house:

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portland in the spring is rainy and sunny and beautiful and fragrant:

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matt and i went to omsi:

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aaaaand i’m running around getting ready (or something resembling ready) for our bike adventure. departure date = june 29th! that is so soon. holy crap. i am so excited! my touring bike is still in pieces!

23 May 2010, 6:42pm
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uncanny valley

* opening night cures many ills. i had forgotten.

* after our preview on thursday, i went out for drinks with a few awesome people. when i was good ‘n’ tipsy, one of them turned to me and said, “so, i have to ask. why do you title your rehearsal reports with ‘UC’?” i replied, “for uncanny valley… oh, fuck!” un cannyvalley! then i laughed a lot.

* amused and struck by the fact of working on this show (about memory) in a building that is, for me, so full of ghosts. i know them all by name. and yet i was still taken aback and momentarily transported to a different time, one night during tech week when i glanced up at the booth and saw, hanging against the back wall, the mobile that my set designer made for my thesis show in 2007.

* matt was in town for a few days and we went to the oregon museum of science and industry together to play with logic puzzles, make faces at a t-rex, build salmon-friendly streams, launch air rockets, make stop motion animations, and laugh at the anti-alcohol propaganda in the exhibit about aging. you know that awesome little fact, about how every cell in your body is replaced every eight years? well, there was a display that says that’s just your skeletal bones (or it’s every seven years or something)–much of the rest of your body cells are replaced even more often. but your brain cells are not–most of them really are with you ’til the end (at least according to this exhibit that also included lots of anti-drinking propaganda).

* in the show: memories. unremembered memories. reexperienced memories. imagined memories. other peoples’ memories. memories experienced by more than one person at once. memories changed by that experiencing. a line in the show that i think never made it into the script, that a week later i am for sure not remembering exactly right: “how can we allow our memories to evolve with us as we evolve?” stories.

* so, w/r/t brain cells and memories, what changes and what stays the same? how much can we carry with us? what happens to the stuff we lose? “We can now draw but a single conclusion: It is a labor in vain to attempt to immerse ourselves in our memories. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm. Beyond the reach of intellect. In some material object, which we do not expect.” for example: that mobile hanging in the booth.

* JERRY: We are trying to create intimacy by sharing personal recollections in a public setting.
FAITH: And what happens to these personal recollections?
JERRY: We attempt to share them, to connect with each other and the audience, we engage them in the field, and then we head back to Ground Control.

* so: what the show is (was) about, i think: or what it is about to me, right now, which is more reflective perhaps of me and where/what/who i am right now than it is of the show: getting to know, and coming to terms with, the parts of ourselves we cannot know. every time i try to express this in words it comes out differently. which is pretty much exactly what i mean. because also: the present moment is unique and unreplicable, even when it’s spent in reliving/reexperiencing/reimagining the past. the past was different. and unique and unreplicable, because it was also the present. what are we? what we are. i mean, more than we are what we were or what we will be. those things are stories that can, indeed, evolve as we evolve.

* the smell and taste of things, the perfect lie, the recollections come
i am in love with each mistake i make and everything i’ve done
one is precisely only this: a man awake, immersed in time
i’m made of tiny cells and drops of essence
i won’t let them fall…

* light board mascot:

6 May 2010, 3:40pm
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stuff & things

i feel like i’ve got a lot to catch up on, but i’m not sure where to start. this week (and last week, and next week), i am really busy with The Show That Ate My Life In One Big Gulp–hand2mouth theatre’s uncanny valley, which they asked me to stage manage about a week and a half ago. they’re prepping for a one-weekend in-progress showing, so i came on at less than three weeks to opening and jumped in(to its gaping maw). i thought i was biting off about as much as i could chew, but i got it backwards. don’t get me wrong–i am mostly enjoying it (and observing rehearsals is a ton of fun)–but i’m glad i’m already halfway through!

hand2mouth have this cool and sorta crazy production process in which we start load-in on monday and the script is sort of still being written. so i am taking copious notes at every rehearsal (a few days ago i sent out a 20-page rehearsal report) and sort of trying to integrate those notes into a script document, which can then be fine-tuned and finessed by the dramaturg and director. which means i’m spending a lot of time outside of rehearsal organizing notes. which means: The Show That Ate My Life. which means: while this show is definitely reminding me that Yes, I Do Love Theatre, it’s also reinforcing my realization that nope, i do not particularly want to be a stage manager.

i can’t get internet on my computer at home (a.’s picks up a network, so i check my email and stuff on his) so i’ve been doing a lot of work for this show at my newest favorite neighborhood coffeeshop, the rocking frog at 25th and belmont. there are shelves full of books, the baristas are friendly, the music is groovy, the loose-leaf tea selection is good, the food is fresh and tasty, and the internet is reliable. hand2mouth are paying me just enough that despite all this tea (& cookies), i just might break even.

the show is gonna be great, i think. explorers exploring the real final frontier: their own memories (and each other’s). here’s the info:

hand2mouth presents:
uncanny valley

may 14-16th, 2010
friday-sunday at 7:30pm, plus 4pm on sunday
talkbacks after sat night and sun matinee

at the reed college theatre mainstage! (gonna be fun to work there again!)
on campus at se 28th & botsford dr

$8 general admission
i think there’s gonna be some awesome deal for current reed students, too.

on saturday night, while we watched dancers play with fire, my ex-boyfriend landon, who let us all believe until he showed up on campus on friday that he was still in korea, where he spent a year teaching english to small children, turned to me and asked, “so how are you really?” i said that i’m well, that i enjoy my life, and that i am feeling anxious about money.

for the purposes of that particular conversation, money was the framework around which i wrapped the past few years of my life. i know that it’s mostly false to say “this and that changed my life,” that life is a series of many large and small life-changing events (like so), but when i thought about it in terms of money i thought about how i was broke, and then i sold my car, and then eventually i was pretty broke again, and then i got hit by a car while riding my bike and ended up with a big chunk of settlement money. i don’t know–even putting questions of causation aside, both of those things are easy to point at as dividing lines between “here’s the way i was before” and “here’s the way i was after.” so i’ve got all these plans for things i want to do in the next year or so, and i’m worried that i will run out of money–and at the same time, i sort of believe it will all work out ok, but i’m thinking to myself a little apprehensively, “oh boy, what’s it gonna be this time” that makes it all “ok”?

money notwithstanding,

selling my car:
* got me on my bike!
* slowed me down
* and taught me patience.
* made me healthier.
* showed me my own physical power.
* put me in better touch with my environment
* and with my body.
* changed my dreams.

getting hit by a car:
* forced me to learn how to heal myself
* and that healing spread to other areas of my life.
* sort of indirectly sent me to hawaii
* and my month in puna is an experience for which i feel so much gratitude.

and i didn’t really say it, but thinkin’ about how those two events changed my life got me thinkin’ about how, you know what?, i am ok with having been hit by a car.

i remember reading or hearing somewhere this fact about happiness: everyone would, if given the choice between winning the lottery and becoming a paraplegic, choose to win the lottery. but! when polled about their happiness some number of years after winning the lottery or becoming paralyzed, paraplegics are happier than lotto winners. happier than they used to be, if i remember right, while lotto winners are less happy.

i sure am glad that i wasn’t paralyzed, but i really do believe that trauma is an opportunity. being physically and emotionally traumatized forced me to figure out how to heal that trauma, which forced me to figure out how to heal, period. i think i am a better, healthier person than i was two years ago, pre-trauma. i have learned a lot about my priorities and values (communication! respect! adventure!) and about how to live with intention, how to observe and make use of the resources and joys in my life, how to pick and choose and shape and write my own personal mythology.

maybe this is all a part of growing up and Figuring It Out, and would have happened eventually anyway, but if framing it this way means i can look at that trauma and feel grateful, if it means i can carry my misshapen bone like a talisman i can rub in times of worry, then damnit that is what i’m going to do.

anyway, being a little anxious about money is probably good for me, too. i have just about stopped buying stupid shit i don’t need. except fancy food and tea (see above). still working on that one.

these are my exciting plans & possibilities:

in less than two months, at the end of june, a. and i are leaving portland on our bikes. destination: atlantic ocean! a. will probably only be with me through colorado or so, and then he’s gotta head back to the west coast–to berkeley, where he’s starting a phd program in ethnomusicology. he is quite understandably super excited about that. our relationship* is serious these days (and dang, i am learning so much from it! so grateful), but i am not sure how i feel about moving to berkeley to be with him. we’re gonna follow our separate dreams for a little while and see how things go.

i am planning on following roughly this route, with some deviations, maybe. i might like to visit dancing rabbit and earthaven ecovillages, if i can.

when i get to the east coast (landing in virginia), i will either turn north and bike up the coast, or, if i can’t stand the sight of my bike or the weather is not great or any number of other things, i’ll pack up my bike and my bike stuff and ship it home, have my folks send me my pre-packed backpack full of non-bikey clothes, and bus and train my way north. i have friends and family in new york, massachusetts, and maine who i’d love to see. then i’ll head west again to chicago (more friends there) and ride the train all the way home to portland.

after that? i want to go back to hawaii. i feel like i left before pele was finished with me. there is a happily irrational part of me that worries that she’ll be angry that i left. in any case, i want to go back and stay until she’s done with me. if she’ll have me. hoping to find (ideally) a permaculture farm to work on, to get some practical experience and test out that lifestyle–plus give what i can and take what is given. i would love to find someplace i can live with no costs (save health insurance) in exchange for work. i am doing initial research now, and it might be a little harder in hawaii than it would be elsewhere (’cause who doesn’t want to wwoof in hawaii!?), but i hope i have enough to offer (permaculture design experience and so on) that i will be able to find a good situation. or several good situations–no reason i need to stay in one place once i get there.

before i come back to the mainland, i also hope to hike the kalalau trail and stay in kalalau valley.

and after that? who knows! theatre? education? food or farming? gardening? bikes? all of the above? portland? berkeley? travel? for now, i feel ok about those question marks. it’s spring in portland and life is pretty beautiful.

*

3 May 2010, 2:33pm
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renn fayre

reed college is not without its problems, but despite—or because of—its imperfections, it is a community i am glad and proud to be a part of. this weekend was lots of joy and spontaneity and happy surprise and community feeling. pretty damn good.

also, i love my friends. they are so cool.