Saturday, April 21, 2012

where to go but backwards?

When a fine experience, an exotic holiday, a transporting concert or such is over some people move on along feeling enriched and enlightened, happier, just segue into the rest of their time in a linear fashion and do not look back so much as occasionally find themselves surprised by a great memory, or a souvenir triggers some vivid view in mind of a place and time they'd thought forgotten. I'm more likely to deliberately go back over memories, those good times and fine lines I want ingrained in me like I could become carved of them, some of them, etched, scrolled all over my mind and into my heart which is a vast place and not made of flesh but any substance I consider fitting. A heart may be in many places at once too, and can be shared, may grow or leap without harm.

Yes, memories of my trip across the Pacific Ocean and then Am e rica the U S (the top part of it anyway) I'm going over and over those pictures, those sounds, smells and feelings now, to have them link with other ideas, to become a part of me as close to who I am as possible so they're enmeshed and change me deliberately for the better. The poetic journey to America has not stopped, if anything it has only just begun. The poetry already beginning for my book The Mess of Travelling, with some contributions from people I visited in the States.  The launch is due in November 2012.  I just hope I get it done by then, the hand-made pages take days each.  I did make the start of two yesterday, but they need colours and also embroidery. I have some excellent glittery thread from a San Francisco craft store in Haight Ashbury, I think it was, (thanks Adam Gillitt for showing me the place).

Nevertheless it is as easy as deciding to make a change for good, which changes the future for the better. Decision, a grand or simple or betweenish idea, a plan, a magic piece of a puzzle which all clicks into a larger formation, then slowly or quickly or inbetweenerly, (yes, again) wheels open a new door, invisible except now you're in a wholly fresh circumstance and heading for better things than before. Friendships deepen, planning is easier, the world appears more benign and it is, this is the truth, every step strengthens and  assists, so we're then better able to work with others and get what we need, even what we want sometimes. 

(I could put a Rolling Stones song in here, o I shall).   There's no limit on rock and roll, it's eternal.  Even if this sounds a bit tired, I love them for their determination and keeping on. (I was more a Beatles fan when I was younger tho' - Ringo my favourite - these guys were far too scary, ha). This song sounds good when reading the next part of this anyway, bit of leavening.

Erm... now, where was I o yes, forgiveness by the way can be useful in this kind of situation. It means accepting the past could not have been any different. Forgiveness is also for yourself. It rids our self of anger and frustration, it stops us going round in circles over old ground where a hole is growing and we're sinking into it. Forgiveness allows time to build a ladder out of there, then to fill in the hole with all the old dirt piled beside it and walk away, on to a new place and better days.

I love forgiveness. It makes me stronger and able to work with far more heart. And yes, I had and often have a great deal to forgive, but that's just the past and it cannot have been any different. (See, I mean it. "See she does, watch the spectacle of freeing oneself," cries the showman and the circus huckster). So now, ills fade into the background, gone, hard to see easily, not affecting me as much any more or at all in some cases.

With forgiveness I took back my own fate, it's here in the better place, now.

This was drawn at Veronica and Miguel's gingerbread house in Iowa, where they cooked Julie Payne the quietly-spoken great shot and mixmaster and I delicious Mexican food. We had corn chips with hot sauce too. Then Veronica mixed some wicked tequila cocktails with grapefruit soda, (recommended). I just think I'd use soda water and grapefruit juice for the New Zild version since we tend to have less sugar in things. Their house looks like it is made of cookie fragments in a pattern like crazy paving, a mid-lemonish brown colour and other darker browns, if I recall. 

Since my laptop was stolen many of the photos have gone but I have this drawing above, which looks like a madcap hen.  It reminds me. And yes, I could be the silly chook, sure, go ahead, laugh but it was a wonderful afternoon.

A large flowering cherry grew in the back garden, and violets all through the lawn, so the grass was dappled with purple. The children played with brightly coloured pretend-kitchens and dollshouses on the concrete area by the grass, or they ran to the swing set and swung, laughed, raced about. About ten children seemed to be there. It was lovely. I do not get to see my own extended family often enough for reasons they may explain one day but which I do not understand, so it's always a real pleasure to be invited to other people's places for fun family occasions, more than I can say.

We talked and ate and talked and drank and talked, o we did talk. Veronica is a teacher and we discussed ways she could approach her studies and a test she needs to take soon, that kind of thing. Miguel's friend arrived and the men sat out somewhere else to talk together with their beers. Dana, Julie's daughter turned up too, (didn't she or am I forgetting)? with her little girl who loved all the other young company and cried to leave. It's difficult to explain to a toddler they're not going to lose their new friends forever, the drama of childhood is so all encompassing.

To build a stronger sense of myself, to draw life closer then expand its majesty, I write, draw, take photographs, make films and discuss things, (conversation also being an art); feel more attached to where I am and what I think, feel and experience. I have a drawing I did after a drive in Seattle, with classic Hendrix playing on the car stereo, rain sheeting down in great drifts, cataclysms of greeny-grey water upon the immensely-laned freeway, jammed traffic and whirling wheels before us. I couldn't help moving in my seat to the music, finding it extremely difficult to sit still in any case and now I'd been possessed by the notes, they played me in some fashion, originality always does it for me. My kinesthetic learning style had something to do with this, taking new information in mainly by doing, by taking some action or trying something out in fact, seeing how it works, feeling it is a part of my experience in as many ways as possible, not so much by seeing or just listening, although I use those senses as well, to learn. Disruptive or difficult people are often kinaesthetic learners and need to be allowed to move around to function properly.

So now here I am looking back deliberately, impressing myself with the all-encompassing entrancement this poeticjourneytoamerica gave me, how uninhibited I grew, how strangely easy it was to believe I was free to dance, sitting down like a mermaid wriggling on a rock. Lately, I do belong to The Stranded Mermaids so this analogy is not as far-fetched as some may think, by the way, (and we're a Tea-time League of talkers, laughers, singers, writers and actors - this coming summer, btw we're thinking of doing our version of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Happy Tea House, shall keep you posted).

Recalling the fairy tale, the magical, (no other word for it) aspects of this trip across the Pacific Ocean on a ship then across America mainly by train, to later fly home (it was too difficult to train back across America and fly home from LA so I will just plant more trees to cover the carbon and I have also become mainly vegetarian), anyway yes, recalling the spellbound qualities which still hold me in a new dimension, I have to admit I'd never dreamt this was possible. I feel I may now lead a far better life than ever before. This effect from travelling to see friends I'd only known online for 12 or so years, (most of them) this transformation I'd not realised would happen, at all. But I'm so delighted I have to write it down so it becomes ever more impressed upon me.

By the way, becoming vegetarian saves more carbon than giving up your car.

Now, I believe this all-consuming joy is a direct result of showing love to others and being loved so generously in return, in an unconditional manner. Love achieved this effect, this glorious, deeply appreciated sensation and words do not do it justice. I'm in a state beyond words or art, (perhaps music can approach showing it). This state I'm in is a place where I think we best dwell and need far more of, so I intend to manifest this in my work as best I can from now on and hopefully others may catch hold of it in some way, then also weave it into their own lives.  

May this great love never leave me.

This song was played by friends last evening, (thanks so much Harrisons for a thoroughly enjoyable evening, excellent) and it's close to expressing what I'm talking about. The song was written by U2 but is performed here by Cassandra Wilson, (who I vastly prefer).

Then there's the admission of romantic love or 'falling in love' as some people can call it, but the feeling is more like rising into a cloud of some wonder-substance and then trailing it with oneself wherever one goes. I'm talking posh because it feels so luxurious. This is not demanding, it just is, feels like walking in a field of some lovely flowers and breathing in their scent continuously wherever I go, no matter what happens things can only appear better than before. Yes, I have my own field of wildflowers perfumed with all manner of loveliness and this simply appears with me, always, I think that's the best way to describe it. I almost tumble into the soft grasses but do not, I manage to keep on somehow with tasks and so on as needs be.

A book was recommended to me by Rene Harrison, (he's so well read) last night - Eroticism, Death and Sensuality - 'One of the most poignant lines Georges Bataille gives us is: "Nor is love the desire to lose but the desire to live in fear of possible loss, with the beloved holding the lover on the very threshold of a swoon. At that price alone can we feel the violence of a rapture before the beloved." (242)'  If anyone wants to buy it for me for Christmas, please go ahead.

I'm still somewhat in a state of grief over the loss of my Iowa iMovie and all those other photos from my trip, but hope the LA International Airport Police do find the criminals who stole my laptop and retrieve it. If the thieves make a habit of this kind of thing, they could have a hoard of stolen belongings and my laptop may be there still not yet hacked into or sold on.

Mainly, I refuse to dwell on the trouble. It cannot do me any good to do so. I've let it go into the inky abyss of things best left alone to grow dark and disappear. I think and feel there is no need for me to linger there. Things shall work out somehow eventually.

If you ever have your laptop stolen by the way, go immediately to a friend's 'puter or an internet cafe, log-on, go into everywhere you have a password and change them. Sometimes the thieves can get into your hotmail or bank otherwise, because there is a record of your using those passwords on the computer or you've stayed logged in on your browser. DO NOT leave passwords for things on your desktop or in a file on the 'puter somewhere.

I did have a password to get into the actual laptop, but then we all know a techie can get past those if they have to so the thieves could have a bent techie working for them. I've changed all my passwords, it took awhile but it felt good mainly, taking positive action to make a better future.

That is what I intend to build on now, taking positive action wherever possible.

I have this great footage, movie footage of driving in Seattle which I will post soon too. I had some disks of movie footage made by the wonderful Nigel in Chicago. This little piece of film shows the road ahead and I love to see the asphalt, the concrete, the gravel or whatever appearing and disappearing as I travel along, it is like my life really.  Nigel in Chicago and I discussed this. There may be things happening along the way but really, there is just this relentless movement towards some end, and I want to make the absolute best of the time I have left on this road now.

I hope to post that movie tomorrow. Thanks as always for reading, lovely to read your comments. Thanks so much. x

Here's a little extra. Gretyl Grimm and Aray went to a tavern in Iowa. They got to discussing various serious matters. One of these was, according to Aray, 'If you're looking into your glass when finishing a beer or other alcoholic beverage, you're too drunk and should stop drinking.' This means you care too much about the beer and not the company, was her reasoning.
Gretyl said, 'You should only look into your glass when your glass is shaped like a glass boot. That's because there is air in the toe. If you're not looking out it will come back right at yah.' 


Then they got to talking about drunkeness, temperance and how easy it is to recall the deadly sins but harder to bring to mind the seven virtues. But soon, pinkity plink tap with google on Gretyl's phone, they found those too.  Courage is by the way sometimes called fortitude. These virtues are aims to keep in mind if we wish, no one's perfect and the little drawings are to remind Aray of meanings. It can be easier to recall something with an image attached to it.

A quest between the talk and laughter, besides the easier ways to be, a challenge to develop skills along the beingness of be. Now. Gooder.

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