A few whispers for ears:
In part of my dream last night, Heidi Klum released a new line of decaffeinated snakes.
I posted this blip on my facebook wall and my friend Mister M. Meade who has been studying dreamlife for 20 years analyzed it for me. He was spot-on about alot of how I've been feeling overall since becoming a mother mammal. Here is his interpretation of my dream:
"I know from your posts that you just had a baby, and being a new parent is always a big life change. Now, if we go with the concept that all parts of a dream are aspects of the dreamer (and of course I'm basing this strictly on the info provided) I would say that Heidi Klum, a mom of several kids, nonetheless looks quite fit & stunning. Were you concerned during the pregnancy (& of course now, having this new little person to care for) that you would lose control of the life you had up until now (a very common concern for both parents, actually)? More directly, would you lose some (if not all) of your feminine vitality, your "sex appeal"? Even if you were not consciously thinking about it, it most likely was in your subconscious. Or perhaps you felt (consciously or not) that your ARTISTIC, creative vitality would wither away. In any case I firmly believe that this was a very POSITIVE DREAM. It seems to be saying that you, in a way, alleviated your fears about "withering away" in terms of your looks & basic appeal to the world. Heidi Klum, possibly, symbolizes this new self, which is just as vital & creative & dynamic as your "original self". Also--very importantly--a compromise was reached, and accepted: your "new line of DECAFFEINATED snakes" shows that you are becoming comfortable with who you are as a woman, and with this your "sexually desirable" status as a mom. True, there is a slight sense of loss over the younger, vivacious woman you identified yourself as; however, it is minimal, akin to simply switching to decaffeinated coffee instead of "regular"; in other words, like Heidi Klum, you are perfectly capable of "releasing a new line" of product (i.e., your creativity, your sense of worth, your sexuality); it may be slightly different due to your new concerns (it's no longer just you; you now are responsible, like all parents, for the care of someone who needs to be in the spot originally reserved for yourself), but you seem to have adjusted well, thus the dream image is of Heidi Klum and not Roseanne Barr. [I kind of danced around the image of the snake, because--although one thinks of the phallic nature of snakes as being synonymous with sexuality--it also has over meanings which fit in your dream: instinctual drive, the subconscious, the process of resolving an issue (the way a snake sheds it's skin), untapped resources used to resolve a concern (thus, making the snakes DE-caffeinated: less threatening), and--most telling--snakes can represent a time of transformation (shedding of the skin again)]....
For Hysterical Literature, ladies are asked to choose a book to read aloud. While they read, they are given a vagina massage with a vibrator until climaxing. You can read an interview with the artist HERE.
This lady's music makes me feel like I'm sailing on a tree-covered gulet across a neon sea in the nude with a friendly pet llama while eating a perfectly tart and sweet mango. I love it. check out her website HERE. I've listened to this song 4 times already today. It's brilliant.
I love this quote so much, I fancified it, printed it out and tacked it on my wall.
It's mom's day. Outside of a tremendous love and appreciation for my own mom, I never really thought I'd be into such a day, but it means a whole lot now that I've sprung a child from my loins. To celebrate, my mister took our little nuclear family up to Mark Woolley's cabin at the base of Mt. Hood for an overnight adventure. Man. I could seriously hang out at his place tucked inside heavy breathing woods for a long time. There are no distractions: no cell phone reception, internet, or TV. No neighbors or cars. Just the roar of a river, fire crackling in a pit and birdsong.
We also hiked up to Mirror Lake. I was in full mom mode, trudging up a snowy mountain in sandals, Beckett in a papoose suckling at my teet and blood spilling from my nether-regions. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
A memory. I am in 8th grade in the fun process of unleashing my inner wild. I have platinum hair cropped to resemble an atomic bomb. I wear giant white t-shirts and short shorts with combat boots, eight earrings in each ear and bright red lipstick. Still I'm a nice girl. I'm goofy and polite and talk and laugh too much, which always seems to get me into trouble with the teachers. This is especially the case with Mrs. Loftsgaard the sexually closeted gym teacher with a full mullet and thick middle American arms. Her hands clamp onto a clipboard. Her tight lips blow a whistle wrapped around her neck signaling stop and go times in track and field activities.
This week we are to choreograph an aerobic routine with two partners to a song of our choice. I'm grouped with Trish and Diana two of my newly appropriated non-virgin smoker friends. I pop a Nitzer Ebb CD into the stereo and the three of us conduct our disorderly routine in front of the rest of the (now entertained) gym classmates. Mrs. Loftsgaard scowls, gripping her clipboard even tighter. The three of us laugh so hard, Trish pees her sweatpants. The song is cut short and we are all asked to leave.
Your task for today as internet peruser and super human is to come up with an aerobics routine to the very song I did my aerobics routine to over 20 years ago. If you like , you can send me a video of the process HERE.
A list of what's been happening in these parts:
For the second installment of my forthcoming June show at Place PDX, I'm in the process of procuring dictionaries, encyclopedias, phone books, notebooks, old letters, junk mail, maps, mixed tapes, manuals, take out menus, paper bills, and written on post-it notes to create a tactile version of the internet. The first part of this show titled A Short History of a Browser where I hand-drafted my daily web usage for a month was finished on April 30th. The concept behind the show is largely about my reliance to the internet. Lots of questions have come up in this process: How have I changed since I started using the web? How has my communication with others shifted? How has my body adapted to sitting for long periods of time or looking down at a cell phone screen? How am I retaining information that I read on the web as opposed to reading printed matter? How much time am I spending on the web and what am I looking at? What sites do I visit more frequently and why am I drawn to visiting them? Most importantly I've asked myself, how I can use the internet more mindfully?
I'm feeling nostalgic for the tactile. For real mail and conversations that involve live eyeballs. There are many conveniences to the web. The ability to skype with friends and family around the world, the quickness in which I can find an answer to a simple question, sharing information, the sometimes revolutionary moments on facebook and the fantastic people I have been connected with and been able to get back in touch with because of social media. But there is a heavy undertone of emptiness in this experience because of the way I use it. All that said, my relationship with the web now involves loads of checking in with myself.
I came down with tonsilitus last week. Swallowing a walnut was like swallowing glass and my voice sounded like a burly hog, which was actually sort of sexy. This was my 6th (or maybe 7th) random illness over the last three months. But according to my doctor, it's totally normal for a breastfeeding mother of a toddler who brings home all kinds of yuck from daycare. Funtimes.
Thanks to my manchowder, the garden is flourishing. We have miner's lettuce, beet greens, arugula, Russian kale, and mustard greens every day!
Grandpa Ben is in a rehabilitation center in New Jersey. A couple of weeks ago he was taking the trash out at around 10 pm and fell. My poor grandpa is a slight Sicilian man who probably weighs no more than 98 pounds at this point. He was bruised badly and caught pneumonia in the emergency room. Grandma Dot has been so stressed and worried about her spouse of nearly 70 years that she too fell ill and was rushed to the emergency room. Grandma Dot is better now, but Grandpa Ben is still out of sorts. I wish I could be there for you grandpa and grandma! Dang it. New Jersey is too far away...
To bring in the spring proper-like, over the last few months I've been cleansing my innards of caffeine, refined sugar, dairy, bread, and most importantly, the interweb. I'm trying to be more mindful of how many times I check my email, peruse crackheads shopping at Walmart videos and donkey porn. This week I'm doing a facebook and instagram cleanse and curbing my use of other social sites like linkedin, twitter, tumblr and pinterest. My reasons for cleansing vary:
1. The way I use the internet isn't challenging my brain. I could be learning Portugese or working on an album. I could be gardening or wrestling a parakeet. I could be outside getting washed by trees.
2. I'm not absorbing content like I would a book. I'm a web skimmer. I skim friends' facebook posts, random articles, and other digital ephemera, and because I've inundated my mind with stuff, it fails to remember what it is I've read. I'd like to remember. I'd like my brain to process and absorb rather than barely process and purge because it's overwhelmed.
3. There is a level of dependency on these sites that feels super unhealthy - even worse than a bad smoking habit. Waiting in lines, a slow spell at work, long car rides, these are the moments when I crave "checking in" the most.
4. "Social" interactions with people can often feel hollow. "Liking" something doesn't mean there is a connection there. It's digital flirtation at most. And though this is harmless and might even make someone feel good momentarily, I'm looking for authentic interactions. Long letters, tea, conversations, real meet-ups, a meal, an exchange of ideas. You know, the stuff that makes any relationship thrive.
The idea is to see what a 2013 existence is like without heavy reliance on the web and how my day-to-day routine opens up in other ways. So far, it has. For instance, rather than checking my email and facebook first thing in the morning, I'm reading short stories by Beckett or Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place, The Perspective of Experience. This little switch-up has changed the tone of my day from frenetic to a little more thoughtful. Instead of scanning friends' facebook posts or pinterest boards when I'm pumping milk from my boobs at work, I meditate. It's often harried meditation, but it's good to step away from glaring screens and email for 10 minutes.
On April 1st I started working on my new project A Short History of a Browser. For the project, I've been hand-drafting my daily browser history onto paper. I'll be doing this the entire month of April. Though I knew I visited certain sites alot, here is where my addiction to facebook and pinterest unveiled itself to me like a sharp spanking.
I don't spend hours on end on these sites, in fact I barely spend any time there at all, maybe a minute or two max, but I tend to "check in" like I'm checking my email (which is another unhealthy addiction all-together). And I check-in ALOT!
Questions I'm asking myself in this process:
1. Where does this desire to "check-in" come from?
2. Who am I trying to impress and where does this desire to impress come from?
3. What and/or who am I hiding from?
4. How can I use the internet more mindfully?
Stay-tuned. More notes on the way.
"The modern architectural environment may cater to the eye, but it often lacks the pungent personality that varied and pleasant odors can give. Odors lend character to objects and places making them distinctive, easier to identify and remember. Odors are important to human beings. We have even spoken of an olfactory world, but can fragrances and scents constitute a world? "World" suggests spacial structure. An olfactory world would be one in which they appear in random succesion or as incoate mixtures. Is it possible to argue that taste, odor and even hearing cannot in themselves give us a sense of space?"
- Yi-Fu Tuan - Space and Place, The Perspectives of Experience
List of ten things to experience:1. Isabelle Wenzel
2. Ahmet Ögüt
5. Antmot Ant's Pinterest Boards (images from these below)
6. This week I'm doing a spring cleanse. It's a mostly raw, gluten free, sugar free, dairy and meat free, caffeine free, soy free undertaking. I'm a volcano rabbit. And I'm feeding myself food like this.
10. Cagalogylu hamam
Half the time after my short, (but still beneficial) sittings I jot down a few thoughts that arise. Here are a few post-meditation thoughts over the last month or so:
Impatience and physical discomfort. The need to move onto the next thing. Where does this come from? Only tapping into the surface and feeling bad about it. Rushed, yet bored. Sporadic breath.
Accomplishment. What is accomplishment? Where does my sense of accomplishment come from?
Waiting. For what? Thinking of the slowing of time. The quickening of time. Wanting to be finished to move onto the next thing. This is something I've noticed myself thinking a lot. What makes the past and future more enticing than the present? Association and fear. Past and future. There is no experience in the past or future. Now is where the substance is. Now is where my sensations linger.
Notions of peace. Relaxing in thoughts of peace - specifically a peace within others and not myself.
Is it possible to be an artist without ego? What is a desire for attention? Desire for love? Where do my fears of disappearing come from? Who am I disappearing from?
The difference between being honest and acting honest for the approval from others. Desiring approval and attention. Desire to be loved and understood by others yet knowing deep down, their approval isn't necessary.
The art of remembering. Am I remembering pieces of my meditations so I have something to say? Or are these memories there to be absorbed quietly and transformed into something else? Words can cloud. They are stubborn barriers sometimes.
To-do lists. Are they used to help focus and live more presently or do they hinder my ability to stay present?
Accepting fleeting thoughts. Distracted by a headache.
The field I used to frolic in when I was in Chile. I think of this as my safest place. What about this place makes it safe? Solitude. I was so alone there. I thrived.
What does quiet feel like? What is the sound of silence? Have I ever experienced this before?
What is anticipation? I find myself anticipating things frequently. Even mundane actions like taking a pee or putting on my underwear. I can't pee or put on my underwear fast enough. I often want to get to the next step - faster. Lingering is an art. I'll try to linger more to see if my sense of anticipation dwindles a bit.
Fatigued with a headache. Questioning the source of illness and my contributions to illness. Sugar.
Irritated. Frenetic thoughts. Little clarity.
Questioning moments without trying to pigeonhole each into seconds, minutes, hours.
Friendships. How am I nurturing as a friend? How am I toxic? Who do I make time for? Why do I make time fro these friends and not others?
Distractions. How do they influence my actions.
Babies. They create tight bonds between people. They are magic that way.
Remembering a time when a friend asked me whether or not I thought I was "open". I said I thought so, but I wasn't sure what being open really felt like. I think I'm still in the process of opening. And maybe we are only fully open when we've lived and died - fully.
Slowing my thoughts brings more clarification of those thoughts. Tuning into my inner lingerer is discipline.
Being corrected when I'm wrong. What is pride. Where does my pride come from?
How to argue and still be loving.
The sincerity of an exclamation point!
Paranoia and fear. What-ifs creeping in. They are temporary, but unwanted guests.
Hurdles - hurdling over hurdles. What is this action? Hurdling? What am I hurdling over?
Fear of being resented and disliked. Wanting to be loved, but not being able to love at the same time.
A mix of musica from me to you...
Days come in layers. Here are some of the layers:
My mom was in town. We dyed easter eggs, hid easter eggs, acted as bunny, cooked, cooked, and cooked some more, witnessed the fumbling of vocal champions, petered in woodlands, perused fabrics, and watched miss beckett grow exactly two eighths of a centimeter. My mom left this morning. Her smell and maternal residue cling to the walls. This is a good thing because I already miss her.
I have a solo show coming up in June at Place. For part of the show, I'm charting my daily browser history for the month of April. Every night, I hand draft all the websites I've visited throughout the day on clean Italian paper. This process usually takes an hour or so. It's been a cathartic experience so far. My desire to bump aimlessly around the interweb is dwindling. And my right hand is getting a workout. I'll be posting more on this project as the days progress.
After a long bout of stomach yuck, I've decided to cut dairy from my diet for a little while. I miss cheddar cheese.
A glistening bald chef on Sandy, named Long makes the best Phnom Penh inspired Pho Ga I've ever tasted. This makes up for my lack of cheese.
My dear friend Carol Matos's book of poems has been released into the world. Her work is raw, authentic and unlike most things written in the world. Check out her stuff here.
Answers to questions about my morning ritual:
What time do you wake up? That all depends on whether or not my lovely 16 month old daughter has woken me up throughout the night. If she wakes up, then I'll usually allow myself to sleep until 6:15am-ish, but if she sleeps through the night, I wake up between 5:30 and 6am.
What do you sleep in? A well-worn and milk-stained sleeping bra and a knit slip. If it's really cold, which it can be in our bedroom since we have no heat upstairs, I'll sleep in wool socks, leggings and a sweater. I also wear a satin sleep mask and earplugs.
How many hours a night do you sleep? Again, this all depends on whether or not the little lass is cutting a molar (and consequently waking up 2 to 4 times a night). Ideally I like to sleep 8 to 9 hours, but I'm pleased at this point if I can get 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Do you shower in the morning? Yes. Always. It wakes me up and generates ideas for projects.
What kind of shampoo do you use? Something in a blue bottle purchased at Whole Foods. Something without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate or TEA Lauryl Sulfate or turtle blood.
Do you moisturize? Yes. I use coconut lotion and lavender oil below my neck and rose oil and carrot balm above my neck.
What brand of toothpaste do you use? JĀSÖN natural toothpaste, but I'm thinking of changing it up to something more synthetic, something that will whiten my teeth with every brush!
What's the first thing you do after waking up? I try to write for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes this is s character study of someone I used to know or random prose, but mostly I write my dreams. Then I do yoga for 45 to 60 minutes and meditate for 5 to 20 minutes. At least that's what I've been doing for the last few months. I do like to change things up a bit throughout the year. Keeps my brain juicy.
What's your warm beverage of choice? I change this up frequently as well depending on whether or not I have the stomach flu or have some sort of cleanse going on. Right now, I drink green tea in the morning. On the weekend, I'll drink a half regular and half decaf Americano.
What do you eat for breakfast? A few times a week I'll eat an over-easy egg with spelt toast and peanut butter. Sometimes I'll toss greens from the garden on my plate. Other times I'll eat cereal with walnuts and hemp seeds and almond milk. On weekends I'll make sweet potato hash or cardamom pancakes and a garden scramble.
What's the first thing you read? I've been reading poems by Samuel Beckett this week. But usually I read articles on the old interweb or a long list of mostly humdrum emails. I think it's time to change that up as well. Next week I'll read the phone book.
Who is usually the first person you talk to? My little miss or my main squeeze.
Straight love. Gay love. Same same.