The Decision Room

 

 

Promising this time 
to own my ending honorably,
I put a sign on the door,

but the more people learn of
my sacred room,
the more cluttered it seems to get.

They stay too long,
leave things behind;
some moments its hard to breathe

around all the questions
and holdings
and prophesies.

The far window gets blurry when you
hold me so tight,
hand me everything you’ve been

holding–
here love, take these with you
your eyes plead with me

to keep you safe as I go:
magic mother, gallant sailor, rogue child,
what is the recipe for safety?

 

— Julia Daye

Hibernating Before a Personal Spring

 

 

Knocking sounds down the hall
as I pack my suitcase to the radio,
eager bones ain’t no match for this delicious
acoustic hymn.

I don’t feel guilty for basking in ignoring,
I’m dreaming of other things now;

responding only
to the tea kettle as it bursts and I run,
visualizing open roads
while sipping its sweetness.

Julia Daye

Ghost Mapping

 

 

Tracking a whisper across frontiers of change,
I collect travel technology;
preparations, facts,
for the atrium of unknown.

Caverns in my heart and belly where trust would be,
I used to call this feeling loneliness

but today I must relinquish my church of planning,
a homey voice in my telephone pocket,
for the land that roars ahead of me, stretching stranger

and wider than I can configure.

 

— Julia Daye

Last Friday, I met a man who hugged me so deeply,
he somehow transmitted into me a cloud
of wakeful peace,

straight past a layer of cerebral
exhaustion, straight through my body
and into my heart.

I thought he must be quite courageous
to allow these things to flow as
quickly as they arrived.

I recalled in shame how I had in the past
hoarded love, hoarded light, hoarded sweetness
in all its manifestations.

And I no longer needed to clamor for love
in so many places and things
because, this day,

in his infinite salutation,
here
it all was.

Sensitive One

Interesting to be “the sensitive one”, the peculiarly absorbent one, the one whom from the outside may seem a bit slower to process due to the vastly deeper effects of everyday stimuli on my five senses, heart, and mind. I am the one who often moves through life’s processes in a strange cycle of over-perception, over-absorbtion, over-filling, overload, followed by the necessary
retreat-and-recuperation.

People like this tend to cultivate coping mechanisms, escape routes from our sensitive, constantly startled body; habits, addictions, dependencies. I used to find the constant reception of my body a curse, green with envy at my friends who could bulldoze their way through an afternoon, anytime, anywhere, get 85 things done, without much emotional process, while I wasKonjac Sponge Puff With Mineral Rich French Pink Clay 1 an open bowl of other energies, a sponge heavy with foreign water.

I dated a couple of them–those beautiful bulldozers–hoping, in demented admiration, to somehow take on their rugged fast-response and “whatever-ness”.

Art came naturally in necessary adaptation, a powerful house for this absorbent, reactive nature in a place where it made sense. I moved to a big city because that is where so many creative folks lived, though shortly began to feel like I was dying with the heavy backlog of stimulation–without the speed-of-process to sort through it all everyday.

Now, as I feel this enormous transition in my bones, I wonder how my work would manifest if I lived in a place where the energy was lighter. The fact that my days in the city require regular recuperation and healing is beginning to seem odd to me. What would my days look like if I didn’t need to spend time recuperating from regular combative interactions with this inhospitable environment?

Community and Sanctuary: Pack Animal, Earth Animal

ImageComing up on the end of an abounding visit in the gorgeous, breathy, Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia, I’m reluctant to leave yet grateful for everything.

When not on the wandering road, I live and work in Brooklyn, New York, a shouting distance from the Manhattan metropolis and an extension of the great city’s crowded craze. This week, moving between urban and rural outer landscapes has, for me, brought about a switch in inner landscape along with it, a connected absorption of this sudden change of my surroundings.

And I like the change. A lot. The strained, spazzy, beehive-head I have even just sitting alone in my New York bedroom has slowed into a deep tide-like rhythm. I remember myself today; we are in every way an extension of this earth, birthed and evolved from its organisms, we share its elements, breathe its air. Our bodies never forget this, but our minds seem to make a habit of it. I’m beginning to feel deeply certain that my frantic buzzing mania in the city may be attributed equally to the absorption of my surroundings as it is to my body’s confused alarm in disconnection to its natural source.

Another thing to note and remember is that we are animals. The arrogant human species loves to forget this too. Regardless, I feel ever torn by my needs as a social pack animal and my needs as a creature of the earth—my simultaneous and often clashing yearnings for both community and sanctuary. I need family, love, outward social activity, as well as a space for true privacy, personal retreat, and deep inward connection. Amazing how other pack animal species naturally seem to wed these two needs, yet humans tend to pick one or the other.

The true presence of both community and sanctuary in the same space is shockingly difficult to find. Living in an intentional community in Brooklyn most certainly fulfills the community piece for me, but true sanctuary is sacrificed. When moving into community situations, more often than not, you must sacrifice the concept of “personal” anything; there is no such thing as personal time, space, quietude, or full privacy. On the other side of the coin, I remember in more extended visits away from the rush of cities and community, being in retreat and personal connection for weeks alone leaves me yearning for community and society as much as I yearn for the earth while sitting in daytime traffic.

Thank you, Pogo: Meanderings on Music and the Acoustic Distillation of our Environment

I have to share with you the video-track that bewitched me this week, the song that drove me out of a heady darkness and onto our roof to flail in wild embodied joy alone in eight-degree weather:

In this gorgeous music video, DJ and sound-genius Pogo illustrates via visual collage music’s most elemental venture: the distillation of the sounds of our acoustic world into digestible pieces of art. Music is, at its essence, the universe distilled. In making music, we recreate the sounds we love from the world we live in. No sound we produce–whether by way of instruments or digital software–is completely unique, we mimic and draw upon sounds from our environment and experiences.

And its precisely music’s ancient process of acoustic reproduction and distillation of the world around it that induces such a profound sensation in most of us when we hear our favorite tunes. We feel the pleasurable sense of deep, instinctive recognition. It is spirit, really–that core piece of us that recognizes the outer world as itself. Within the sounds and heartbeats that combine to make our favorite music, resides a deep, resonant connection between our inner and outer worlds.

Embodiment….What this is really about: Public Space

An important step in personal empowerment and creative growth lies in recognizing one’s own indisputable rights to this thing we call “Public Space.”  Just as women have as much right to walk safely down the street as men, so-called “non-artists” have as much right to public expression, creativity, and sharing as those who call themselves “artists.”  1000870_10100576791921256_1101901815_n

How often do we hear, “I can’t dance because I’m not a dancer” or “I look silly when I do {insert name of creative activity}” as excuses for not showing up expressively?

The good news is, when it comes to “art” and “beauty”, there is really no such thing as either. These things are arbitrary concepts we as a society make up continuously, so saying that becoming either one is a prerequisite to making oneself visible, is just as arbitrary.

What the heck is an artist anyway?

In a society in which everyone is sectioned off to exist beneath the fancy hats we call “skill sets”, based on a certain number hours spent on a very specific activity, some hats are expected to be “seen” while others aren’t. The title “artist” offers a strange permission-to-public-expression to those who claim it. But this imaginary invitation is just as made up as the word that offers it, so the line between those that claim the permission or title and those that don’t is just as imaginary.

Public expression and creativity is the right of everyone who is alive, and recognizing one’s own right to full voice and full posture in public space can be a profoundly empowering realization.

Embody yourself fully, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, every single day.