For the past year I have been running and writing, and loving, in circles, trying to make generalizations of the chaotic bits I inhabit. Generalizations help me focus. In business it is called the “key”, in theology the “essence”. I want to focus so I can go on with a clear path. Funny though, I’ve been going in circles all this time. I repeat my mistakes, I’m stuck in a mould, and in the bigger picture, I’m trapped in the big circle that of life and death.
So I find myself in the urgent mission to elude that circle, to try something odd, so as to cheat the circle of certainty, the bits that are essentially “the bits” that I’m to go by. If I believed in Karma, I would say: “I’m trying to run away from my karma just because if karma is the repetition of my previous life (not a punishment, as a friend assured me), then what I’m doing I’ve done before, and since time is short (people in my family croak or go insane around 60) then I’ve 20 years left of running wild the open field of sheer randomness.
I’m thinking about God, and what it means to have a power that decides things in advance. I’m thinking about the forces that make the circle go round. I’m thinking about the stepping forward (we always go towards the future never towards the past, in terms of time) and the logical conclusion that the result occurs after the intention.
Last things first: the result follows the intention. The vibe of godly bliss from having lungs full of pure air after a walk in the forest. It doesn’t commonly start with wanting to kiss your neighbour because you are in a good mood, followed by lungs full of good air, and then the apparition of a healthy lush green (or multicoloured) wet forest. Same with the hellish nightmare of migraine grumpiness after a whole day of grey polluted Beijing sky. It never goes by a bad mood with wanting to kill your neighbour going as far as creating a polluted sky. Therefore, vibes are created by the energy emanating from organic matters. In cartoons we see unnatural cycles. A super hero gets so angry he turns green and all hell breaks loose with supernatural power. We sort of have similar super heroes playing god in our own world where pissed off people dress up in uniforms and blast people to bits with supernaturally powerful technology.
Still, the whole cycle of hate-war starts with an intention created by a vibe that comes from an energy that is produced by organic matter. My neighbour’s house is so enticingly suave that it makes me want to make money to be able to get a house like that so I start to sell supernaturally harmful devices, pocket the money and then buy his house. Or build one bigger than his right on the edge of the limit of his land. With a huge double carpark.
So if the intention follows the energy release of matter, than matter must be God, because God created. That is what everybody says. We, our karma, our destiny, is governed by the ultimate matter. But there is an intention that sprouted that matter in the first place (I really want to have sex with this guy and then I get pregnant). So perhaps the intention precedes what matters. Therefore, God is the intention. Please don’t tell me God is everywhere and is everything. It gets redundant. And it’s a pretty boring statement because it is one huge generalization. It takes the shine off the crown. Or the thorn.
I am still preoccupied by this circle thing and seeing all that matters ends up with a resulting matter. This is a loop. A loop is a circle. And perhaps God has nothing to do with it. Perhaps there is no God sitting in the centre of it all, pulling the centre so the circle goes round and round. And if God is sitting in the centre making the circle go round faster then, some other God has to be pulling on our God’s centre. Yes, I read somewhere, perhaps science fiction, perhaps somewhere in a new religion that there is an ultimate God, that our God is just an offshoot, and that the ultimate God is not interested in our world. So this God, the one not interested in our world, is not part of our circle. So therefore, he/she/God is the answer to my breaking the circle.
If there is an ultimate being, not interested in us, then he/she/God has nothing to do with our resulting karma. He/she/God is sort of a negation in the sense of pure randomness, a line out of the circle, a stick in the wheel. Anyway, this way out has given me an idea to break out of the circle of... well it’s a personal matter but in general terms it is a circle of love-career-love-career-etc resulting in so far as not too much. Seeing I am stuck in the circle of it. And my way out is neither to follow the resulting matters (I vow never to love again and concentrate on my career, which gives my career a boosts until I get so horny, until I love again, and then the career takes a drop, until I make a move to reinstall the career and love falls, until...) and to chose an alternative that is out of the circle.
I can hear tango right there. I am at this point of my new year resolution neither ready to kiss writing goodbye, or feel good about being single. But tango is one way out of the circle that is very attractive.
Let’s see, let’s see if I can grab on the stick in my wheel, crawl along it, and save from the floods writing, and love. I might be able to move in another circle.
Happy new year!
Monday, December 31, 2007
For the past year I have been running and writing, and loving, in circles, trying to make generalizations of the chaotic bits I inhabit. Generalizations help me focus. In business it is called the “key”, in theology the “essence”. I want to focus so I can go on with a clear path. Funny though, I’ve been going in circles all this time. I repeat my mistakes, I’m stuck in a mould, and in the bigger picture, I’m trapped in the big circle that of life and death.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
And so he says I have loved you like no one else before (himself or others etc...) and thereafter delivers the ultimatum of etc... and etc...
To continue where I left on the last post (des idées de grandeur), I confess to having made progress. Especially in the godly department where I shall now become my own god and rule over godly destiny. For this I vow to:
- Kneel at my bed every morning without having woken myself up yet (beauty sleep) so that I may shower myself with due respects etc...etc...
- I shall hijack discipline and lock her back in my cage hanging on my necklace hanging on my neck (with a tiny diamond on it) for with discipline captive I will now get my godly ass in motion and publish what I have written, and write some more.
- I shall guanxi*(network) the hell out of the budget deities and rule over the paradox of having more money and more time, while using money and time (sometime) to buy shiny silky clothes and high heel shoes in proportion to self financing homônumos and etc.
- And of course being god I anoint my dog with eternal life because god knows I’ll need a side kick for all this godly business. Etc..etc...
In one of those elated etc... mood, Beijing, China. 17 Decembre. The idea of the blurb coming clearing as I come to the 2/3 of the Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
Friday, December 14, 2007
J’ai des idées de grandeur dès que j’entends une musique que j’aime. J’ai des idées de grandeur à l’idée d’allé danser le tango. Je me sens comme la reine de l’univers à qui l’on doit hommage et respect.
D’où cela me vient-il? Je ne sais pas. Une folie est trop facile d’excuse. Dès qu’un ami part en voyage, j’ai moi aussi l’impression de partir en vacance. Je suis très excitée. C’est un transfert d’énergie?
J’ai le trac. Avant un show, juste avant d’entrer en transe, j’ai la chienne ultime. Et après le show, j’ai des crampes de bide de la mort. Je ne suis pas humble. Tout le monde le sais que je fais un show. Tout le monde le saura que j’aurai un succès. « Ne t’enfle pas la tête », ne me vas pas du tout.
Mais qu’est-ce qui me communique cette idée d’accomplissement sublime qui en rétrospectif est bien imaginaire et très mondaine, et qui doit se récompenser par une viré au vin (champagne surtout)? Que pour avoir dénichée une superbe toune, je me dois d’être fêtée par un repas délicieux et bien présenté? Qu’est-ce que cette idée de buzz?
In the medieval times, the Church forbade music using la tierce, a succession of the tonal notes followed by the third note of the scale, because the sound was that of the devil. This musical increment alone could set you on fire, unleash the most spectacular vices. A sound. A sound I listen to everyday. I dance on it even. Perhaps all hell broke loose when I first picked up my guitar at age five. Beware...la tierce is watching you!
I will therefore be google-ing exuberance/exaltation/sublimation/trepidation/euphoria. I will do my due research trying to explain on paper the out-wordly feeling linked to the feeling of accomplishment. And the feeling of deserving to be celebrated for it all. Off the bat I’m thinking cocaine. Similarly drugs asmathic take. An unusual amount of oxygen pumping through the vein. I assume adrenaline does it, the feeling of accomplishment. Orgasm and enflamed desire. So does embarrassment, rage, and love-a-first-sight. In the body, the responsible of godly feeling is I think the hormonal system.
I remember a TV documentary mentioning humans are programmed to remember pain, learning not-to-do-it-again. We also are more likely to remember losing as losing is also something we shouldn’t be doing again.
Le malade Imaginaire. Imagining suffering from all kinds of illnesses. Fetish games and fantasy. The idea of getting turned on, and the idea of psychosomatic ills. Imagination triggers real symptoms. Imagination acts on the body (organs, systems, chemicals) and on the mind (faith, fatalism, and hope).
Memory plays a part in the feeling of anger, and shame. It also plays a part in the feeling of exuberance in a non-memory sense. Therefore I take it memory, hormonal system, and imagination account for dosing me with powerful sensations. Sensations which are barely containable. Sensations that make me want to vomit/shout out/ throw myself out of a building knowing I will sprout wings and fly.
These scientific explanations are what I keep reminding myself when I feel myself slipping in godliness. When ideas and characters flood my mind like a full blown home entertainment. When I feel I’ve a mission on this planet but the mission hasn’t come yet and so I’m idle playing writers and tango-ing though life. Until then. Until I’m needed and using my super hero powers. Yes slipping. Off the map. But it all has a scientific explanation.
10 Dec. 07, Beijing. Written thinking of the Christmas milonga, where I danced all the women and even a man, I felt hair on my chest. I felt more important than a diva in my ultra short black and silver Missoni sequence dress. (Add three glasses of red Argentinean wine and half a flute of champagne) And coming back home riding my bike in the freezing cold while wired on Nuevo Tango, full blast playing in my brain. I swear, oh I swear: I did not see the road I therefore must have been in one fold, one wrinkle, one crimp of the universe fabric – playing gods.
Friday, November 30, 2007
How wonderful it is to have a white child raised in a yellow land! It is, so the going says, infusing the child with both cultures in one go. End of utopia.
The west and the east are irreconcilable. Breeching the gap is multi-culture tasking. Assimilating China, when you are from Canada, is entirely possible; it means to be aware of antipodes, and choosing between two.
The easiest way would be for the surrounding to adapt to me.
We adults, having moved to China somewhere past the prime age to absorb foreign language like salt on a red stain, look up to expatriate children with awe, and melancholic jealousy for being such thoroughly native bilinguals (trilinguals, and more) and fluent in two cultures.
We call them banana, back in the U.S. The American born Chinese. White on the inside; yellow on the outside. I think it’s a cute and fun metaphor. My Chinese American born friend thinks it’s calling her names. Whatever the case, there is no name I know for the white folks yellow on the inside. Perhaps because we thought it can never be. After all, versed in at least two languages, and versed in BOTH cultures is what we think is happening to those foreign children who are raised in China. That they are full-on Chinese inside, unbeknownst to their family and friends of, is not a bell that rings to be heard.
It dawned on me last Saturday that my friend’s almost 10 years old daughter (9.5 years in China) is what I decided to call her: a banana-split.
This banana-split is surrounded by Chinese (of course) and by a vast net-group of international expatriates. She speaks fluent English and Chinese. And writes in both tongues. She’s got the soiled manner of a kid from here (making noise with her mouth while she eats, picking her nose) and to be sure, her foreign mother will correct her manners inevitably adding the “like the Chinese”. (For all the Sino-lovers out there, to be sure Canadians also pick their nose. Yet in Beijing, digging for the boogies is not SUCH a big deal.)
The Banana-split also has no “space” awareness. She is, and rams in, and crowds in even if there’s a good 3 persons space available on the sofa. She’ll speak through your head and often will not look at you when spoken to. Judge as you want. Space issues are cultural. And volume in Beijing is loud. So is muttering “uh-huh” rather than looking at someone intently in the eyes when spoken to.
Why am I pointing out to my Banana-split’s faults being Chinese influenced? I’m assuming none of us ever thought her western upbringing would fail to immune her against the invasion of bad Chinese habits. Let me rephrase: one child two cultures equal immersion. You get the best out of both. And polish out the stains from either or.
Last Saturday, I realized my Banana-split was actually yellow on the inside, whipped cream on the peel.
Last Saturday, I realized my Banana-split was of the “community-I” versus the “self-I”. There is here, another article to be written. Though for now, take my word for it, this little girl is living proof that east don’t meet west. You can understand, respect, be familiar and able with two (or more) cultures. But when it comes down to application, there’s always a choice to be made.
(Mix blood babies are gorgeous. They also are choosy. The child will have green eyes and afro hair. The child will not have silky soft wavy reddish hair sprinkled through her black fro. And the child will not have one round nostril and the other shape like a crack in a piggy bank. Blood mixes yet chooses. Why is it so uncomfortable admitting two cultures work together yet do not merge? I suppose this is why ethnic cleansing happens. It saves people from having to make choices. Can culture learn from blood/genes? Is there a lesson to learn in this?)
Definitively on this, my exploration goes on.
Saturday was my birthday’s eve. We ate cheese; we drank wine. And Banana-split put on a good show of dressing herself up as a Mata-Hari in my zillions loud silk scarves.
26 November, 2007, Beijing.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The void and the path
What is it with people j-walking ‘cross the bicycle path that I have to “bell-bell-bell”-warn cycle past?
What is it that drives people to take as much space as possible? Why do people expand their personal space to the dimensions of three mining trucks while they walk, texting a message, talking on their mobile phone, listening to music wired on a headset, or sneezing, or spitting, or picking their nose? Or day dreaming? And why is it that only in a state of concentration are we able to walk in a straight line?
Self esteem=personal space occupancy
Loss of self awareness is proportional to personal space occupancy growth
Grounded people set forth in a focused path
What’s the difference between filling the void, and setting on a straight path?
Both take energy. To be scattered in the void seems to be the result of an explosion. Unleashing chaos. Propelling us to the “other side”. Displacing us from the occupied here. We enter the “there”. There has not been occupied by the “us” yet, therefore it is our “void”. The void requires lesser energy delivery. Energy we can save for another day. (Survival instinct) Is this a plausible explanation?
Using energy to propel ourselves on a path results in a progressive loss of energy.
Life is propulsion. And at the end of its swing, we die.
Immortality is the moment where void is suction cupped, and kept in tension.
We die when the cup sucks off. (The void is let out) Perhaps this tension can be used to generate energy (making car run, lighting buildings etc). I think we live longer if we keep zen. Because a state of perpetual tension burns organic matters. (The burn out)
I'm looking for science words: the force that keeps hands sucked to each other (suction cupforce), the force that sets on a straight path and then loses its energy, the force that creates void, the force that makes you attracted to the void.
(Extract from an email from Christine to William)
The force that keeps hands sucked together is air pressure, measured in kilos per square centimeter, pounds per square inch, milibars (of mercury), or kilopascals.
The force that sets an object on a straight path away from its origin is Newton's First Law of Thermodynamics. "A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon."
I don't know if there's a particular force that creates a void, but you might be thinking of the term "vacuum", which is the absence of matter.
I don't know what force attracts you to the void, except that a vacuum exerts negative pressure at sea level, pressing against you at 15 pounds per square inch.
1) The busier I am, the more I do. The riddle is solved,
2) Death must be a vacuum sucking all of us dust particles in its big blue gut,
3) aha. The closer to the sea, the more j-waking there must be. I am off the hook for any erratic behaviours of mine at moon parties (by the beach, in Thailand.)
Still, I don’t understand what drives people to idly cross the cycling path text messaging, while they would be much safer on their gigantic pedestrian sidewalk.
(This one written following observations made while cycling on the bicycle path having to “bell-bell-bell-warn” pedestrians out of my path. Chaoyang park, Beijing, last week, November 2007)
Monday, November 12, 2007
I’m going to talk about tango because this is a tango week. This is he last week that Hagen (a teacher from Berlin) in town.
Last Sunday I arrived one hour (and 15 minutes) late at the milonga even though I was the DJ. This because my computer is set to Canadian time and today is daylight saving change of hour. I was comfortably bobbing my head to my day’s playlist at home in my bed WITH my dog AND a burning hot heating fan in my face when I picked up the phone to “where are you, are you ok, are you coming etc...” I was late. I arrived at the dance hall, after smoking cigarettes riding my bicycle at neck breaking speed—wasting one hour of tango is worse than being late for an appointment—the house was full.
“I’ve never seen this place packed.” says Stacey.
Absolutely every table was taken. Alyona (one of the 3 tanguero stars in BJ) didn’t dance (with a man) all night. Neither did Stacey. Nor Felicia who left rather than having to swallow the insult. Even though there was Thomas from Munich, what's their faces from Washington and Australia, (who put their tango shoes back as they changed their mind and decided to stay a wee bit longer), Consuela and Eric from Mexico-Arizona-Finland – a most popular salsa teacher duo, our group of Chinese from the west—Dai Dai, one of the 3 Beijing stars, Monica from Holland, Ian from New York, Martin from Cambridge and Hagen from Berlin. A few other faces long unseen.
I danced with guests (ah, my first vals was with Sunny from Dongbei/Hong Kong). I didn’t manage to dance with all the new guests, but I managed to pair with Ian., whom I displayed for the ladies by sliding my finger from his crotch (pardon me) up to his jaw and lips, then flicking it as if a star sparkled from his giddy smile. I danced with Thomas, and after I man-handled Alan for a few hyper milongas he invited me to “follow my lead if you feel like it...”
And I did the girls. Margaret twice. Stacey. Alyona. Finally I had to go and ask Hagen for a dance. I waited silently for Alan and Hagen to finish their conversation about how Hagen was tired and didn’t want to dance anymore. But I asked, “When you’re finished being tired would you like to dance with me before the night ends (in 15 minutes but I didn’t say...)?"
Hagen is Berlin polite so he said yes. After 2 songs of listening to the silence (no invitation) and finally group watching Alyona and Stacey dancing together I see a hand in front of my nose—it’s time to dance.
I concentrated very hard on not concentrating. You see, Hagen had had gotten the treatment with one full hour of Dai Dai, which means he could now die and go to heaven, nothing better than this feeling would ever come over him—NOTHING. You have to see Dai Dai with her head cuddled to the lead’s chest, her eyes closed. She manages to be strong, terribly fragile, right on her axis, pliant, and resisting. She’s not real. AND she’s a Qing Hua (top university in China) chemistry professor. Just so you know she’s no flake.
So the hand extends the invitation, I pick it up, and concentrate on not concentrating. And finally, fuck it. I’m legendary (one of the 3) for being playful (without apology). So, here I'm teaching Hagen about soft resistance, hips low, loose leg, relaxed knee, extended leg, resistance build up, looking over your right shoulder, my centre of gravity in my lower gut, dead elbow, closed angle, wide back (shenme shenme, ladida...) down the drain. I’m back-leading you, I’m looking at your face, and you are going to make me dance the way I feel. And you do!
Damn that was fun. Nothing better than having people clap hands when I dance. It’s like, I enjoy it, and so do you, and they do, too. And that’s fun. It’s a show. Yes. And it’s playing with the music, and playing together. And damn, it’s a hippy feeling. But it’s a genuine wholesome feel.
Of course, my heart skips a beat when the lead hasn’t liked his dance. And it swells, when I go to my dj console, and look at the crowd (judging who’s on the floor, who I don’t want to lose, and what’s next to be played for them) and see my previous partner on the floor, embrace ready, waiting for me. And Thomas waited for me. Which is a compliment. Hagen waited for me, which is fucking unexpected.
Of course Hagen is a Berlin gentleman. But he also has the opportunity to slip away when I slip away to the DJ console. And fuck does it ever feel like a blessing when the man you dropped is there waiting for you. So I rejoice in the embrace, I forget to think about not thinking, and I explode myself... totally.
This I can’t say in words. You’ll have to experience it yourself. Another hippy moment. And when I clapped at the end of the milonga, wait let’s back track...when I announced the last 3 songs, some people were insulted (we close at midnight). And when I clapped in delight at the end of the Cumparsita (last song), it was followed by everybody (on the dance floor, nobody sitting). And when I made the announcement that next Thursday was going to be Hagen’s last milonga, and Martin’s too, and then thanked the crowd for the fun night, they clapped. And clapped. And clapped. Like I’ve never seen clapping 3 times in a row in a show. But they all clapped, at the end of the milonga. (and everybody was so high and saying the music was on fire but actually THEY were on fire.)
And that’s a high. A high. A very high high. People embraced each other for 3 hours. Couples intimate, less intimate, complete strangers, good dancers and beginners, women together interchanging their role. Nobody left before the end (I exaggerate. Almost nobody) and they all clapped because THEY are happy. I mean, the music made them happy. And I chose the music. And THEY danced. They hugged. That’s damn hippy; I’m aware of it as I write it down for you to read. You must be hating reading these hippy lines right now. And thinking tango is difficult and all. It really isn’t that difficult. There just are too many bad teachers out there telling people tango is difficult. But imagine yoga, with 2 people embracing. And wearing sassy clothes...Fishnets. High heels. A nice bicep to hold on to...say no more. (I could but I won’t. You won’t believe that I’m not making it up.)
It’s 3:00 am. The milonga finished at midnight. And I’m going over each and every song because I want to “see” each and every song over again. The last to the last (Cumparsita is always the last) song was the theme song for In the Mood for Love. Do you want to hug somebody and listen to In the Mood for Love?
Tell me no. I know you can’t. Nobody can.
Damn I love tango!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday night, 7pm.
In mid-October in Beijing the sun has already set. I reach the 6th floor on foot. I have stalkers but I don’t know this yet. At my door, two wanna-be thugs manhandle me. I manage to slide my key in the lock. One thug, the one who spiked his hair up for the occasion forces my door open as if to invite himself in. This makes me go berserk. No Chinese looking like a QQ cartoon character is coming in my space uninvited. If I’m to get gang raped, it’s certainly not by a clown duet.
I’m shaking with outrage. I managed to close my door but not lock it my hands are shaking too much for this precise maneuver. I keep flicking the lock left-right-left-right-left. At least the space cadets (one is wearing an “inspector Gadget” trench coat) don’t try to come in. Good. Except I’ve got to go to a tango lesson at 7:30pm. The red guards at my door forbid me to leave my apartment. Nothing is worse than the idea of a clown duet gang raping me except possibly a clown duet preventing me from attending my tango class.
I open the door and vent my rage on the first clown in line. He’s made of rubber; my punches sink in his body and face. I resort to using my legs, kicking him. I do try to kick him off my floor, at least I sent his cigarette flying down the staircase. I do try to send him the same way his fag went. The son-of-a-bitch grabs on the handrail (for dear life. At this point I’m frothing at the mouth).
I realize wearing rubber flip-flops (I just had a pedicure I don’t want to ruin my purple nail polish) isn’t as efficient as wearing my tango needles. Fortunately this thought slows down my assault, giving me insight on what’s about to happen. The poor sap is about to swing in the empty, landing a few floors down on the edge of a cement stair, cracking his skull. I, the rich foreigner, will have to pay a mint for the hospital's skull-repair fee. Thus enlightened, I retreat to my den (locking the door).
I calm myself making a mental list of all the reasons why I hate Chinese people and China. I feel great knowing in my heart that they are part of a different group. The clowns. The rental agency goons, the teenage cheeseballs, the lame rapists. I am in a different group. It feels good to belong to a group because any other group is to blame for my misfortune. Wow, they themselves hate each other’s groups. I learned it from them, don’t judge me for being groupist!
And then I lose. Coming from the staircase I hear my ayi*’s voice. I open the door as surprised to see her there, as the clowns are to see her too. (She's a friend of one of the retard's mothers!)
“Ayi!? What are you doing there?” (In Chinese)
“I brought jiaozi** for Pirelli***” (In Chinese)
“Why?!” (In English I think I said it in English)
“Because he likes them.” (In Chinese. Ayi doesn’t understand English but she reads my body language. That’s how we mostly communicate. Part Chinese, part creative body language).
And then it happened. My security bubble busted. Two guys with hormones overload blocking my staircase. My Chinese ayi with a plate of steaming jiaozi. And me, late for my tango class. This is not the end of the story. But the rest isn’t as interesting. Because I can’t even blame it on China.
*ayi: (literally) aunt. In Beijing we call “ayi” the domestic helper. Ayi Li has known me and my dog for about 4 years. She’s seen my good friend’s daughter grow up from age 6 months to 9 years. Ayi takes care of my aging dog, sometimes cleans my apartment, helps me out with “things” I don’t understand. She is now family. Well, we are now part of her family.
**Jiaozi: Chinese food also called “dumplings”. Made with rice flour dough, filled with usually pork and a green veggee. Steamed trice. My dog’s favourite dish.
***Pirelli: my dog. 15 year old Italian Greyhound. Blind. Probably still alive for ayi’s caring feed and routine.
at 12:44 PM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Procrastinating is an art that pre-dates Christianity. In fact it was a sport much practiced in the time of ancient Greece, when Zeus hung out with Procraste. Ambassadors came to salute the Great Chinese emperors and aboard the ship came Procraste. Nights of drunken gazing at the stars are recorded in the famous annals of Tang dynasty poet Li Bai.
Later in time came Sarcaste who looked back with a laugh. I met Sarcaste in 2005 on my way to the Beijing Capital Airport. I saw him waving at me from where he stood in the field of stones, surrounded by manual labors who hand-picked a brick to pile it up on top of others, in a cart pulled by a mule. Sarcaste is still waving, waiting for the Olympic fans to visit the stadium he stands on.
I have stopped (momentarily) drinking Chardonnay. Still Procraste and Sarcaste keep calling on me, clouding my eyes from what’s coming. Beijing ranks top on the chart of “finding excuses for things not being done.” #1 I got stuck in the traffic. #2 You won’t believe what happened to me yesterday. These top excuses are very real in Beijing. Valid, credible, useful excuses to stall on, to slow us down. A most entertaining game is to sit and watch a new arrival of motivated entrepreneurs. Here is how it is played.
On the first night of the motivated entrepreneur’s arrival, have drinks together and chat about the plans for a bright and lucrative future. Check Procraste and Sarcaste in the closet. At the end of the week have a drink with said motivated entrepreneur and have a good laugh at the chart of excuses. Late that month, introduce said entrepreneur to Procraste and Sarcaste and proceed becoming alcoholics. Oh, and somewhere during that month, show up with the two Celestial Concubines: Bitch-Yin and Whine-Yin.
In my last post I referred to yin and yang and the need for balance. I now look at yin and yang as reference to “the other side of the coin.” The Chinese invented rock gardens long ago. The aesthetic of it works on displaying boulders here and there in a way that the viewer will never be able to see all the boulders at once. Depending of the point of view, the garden displays two, or sometimes more boulders though never the same ones; it is not possible to have a view of the ensemble. I think the moral of the rock garden is to set eyes on the path the boulders set. And even if seen from different perspectives, the path remains open.
This is what life is in Beijing. A series of highly entertaining boulders set to divert one’s attention. And no matter what way you look at it, there’s always another boulder set to divert attention from the path, “oh, not another one!” Yes, another one. But the path is still open.
I recently went through the hoops of BIG decisions.
It started even before it started but if I pinpoint the beginning of my rock garden story it goes this way: a month before my world wide trip this summer our apartment in Beijing was sold. Me and my roommate had to move out, but before we had to find another apartment. Seeing as I wasn’t going to be around for the next two months we decided it would be stupid to rent an empty apartment for that time. So we decided to sub-rent a friend’s apartment and use it as storage while they went back to the States to get married. In the meantime I had gone through a series of incidents which spurred me to decide to move out of China and into Argentina. I packed my belongings in 3 piles. The pile I was going to send to Buenos Aires. The pile I was going to leave in Beijing in storage. The pile I was bringing with me to London-Berlin-Barcelona-New York-Montreal. Meanwhile the 3rd issue of homônumos magazine came out of press and I had to work on distribution. I was busy.
I came back to Beijing to an apartment that housed 4 people, and not my old roommate. The future bride had canceled her wedding and I had to sleep on the balcony with my dog tucked under the arm for a few weeks until the apartment cleared out and it was me, and the ex-future bride. Meanwhile, I had taken too many shifts at school and ended up working 7/7 and 9-9, digging a grave for my health.
I decided not to move to Buenos Aires instead move to Ibiza where my ex-future husband lived. I planned leaving immediately after my 2nd pay check. Though to go to Europe, my dog needed an anti-rabies vaccine approved in Europe and that would take another 4 months. Leaving in January meant sure death for my dog (2 hours on the airport runway in the cold while the plane loads.) So I decided to postpone my flight until March. My man agreed to come join me in Thailand (where I would be sitting on my savings from November through March since Thailand costs less than living in Beijing with a job.) Long story short: things changed. I rented an apartment amidst much difficulty seeing Beijing is in full swing Olympic fever and rent is high and real estate agents ambush everywhere.
It turns out I rented an apartment from an illegal agency, who had stolen the property from the landlady who is a lawyer and that lady lawyer woke me up on my day off to discuss the matter. The new lease isn’t signed yet but we plan on doing the transaction next Monday. Meanwhile my dear friend was going through serious health and emotional trauma, and I should have been there for her. And I was a little, albeit in the shape of a dying cow on the sofa with 106 fever and a runny nose. It got slightly better because I now had to go back to work, where I could keep my mind off my personal life by focusing on the life of my students. From having worked my ass off too many hours and going through hoops of BIG decisions my body was breaking down in snot. I still had a few dollars saved from my first pay check (minus 4 months deposit on the apartment). When my dog went into arthritis crisis and had to be rushed to the foreign vet. clinic where I then proceeded in shelling the remaining savings of my 1rst pay check.
The past months I have dedicated my guilt at postponing the making of the 4rth issue of homônumos, and doubting I ever will be a published author. Stressing over my moving to Ibiza—a most expensive paradise. Without a job. No hablos Espanol. Fortunately, my wise friend Tana reminded me to look at what’s coming, and to stop focusing on the boulders.
So here is a toast (of hot tea) to Tana my dear, for steering me back on the path. And a toast to Peerr (my man) for deciding to come and live in Beijing with me (we’ll take it from here). And to Pirelli (my dog) for being such a survivor. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to publish.
Beijing, Oct. 11 2007. Waiting for confirmation on whether or not I shoot a tango advertising tomorrow at the Great Wall (having to cancel work tomorrow or not, doing my nails and my legs and my hair or not) and focusing on writing.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I am excited and nervous to start writing for Rena (founder of Indyish and Open Montreal Journal, both online big info blogs in Montreal). And that is enough to cut my inspiration off.
True, I have been feeling low enough recently; I have only depressing thoughts to share. But since I am not one to tolerate depression (from others, it’s my first) I can think of hundreds of self help solutions. Whining, nor the self discovery journey, appeals to me as a reader, or to Rena I am sure. I have to think something up if I’m to post my thoughts out of Beijing.
Like Hemingway would advise, “Let’s start by one true sentence”: She doesn’t know what she wants.
I used to want to be a (famous) writer, and then found a devious way to forbid time to be on my side (creating homônumos magazine thus having to play the editor’s role). I have craved a baby for a decade, and now that I have a man (and sperm) I plan to make it happen in five years’ time (by then my eggs will be dry). I dreamed of moving to Buenos Aires to explore the avant-garde drama scene, dance tango, and drown in a sea of flirts. But I re-met the man of my life and decided to rent an apartment in Beijing (one year lease) to allow time for my dog’s anti-rabies vaccine certification to be approved by the EU canine import authority so we can all move to Ibiza paradise. I sent my man an email last night, which probably insures I will remain single for the next year.
Allow me this personal incursion into my situation. I now am taking you somewhere smart.
I live in China land of business growth opportunity, career development, hands on top training capitalist boot camp. Yet the more years I stay here, the more I crave what China doesn’t have to offer (sensuality and men, civility, avant-garde exploration.) I am obviously in the wrong country for my own good.
But no. Wait. I am exactly where it is I need to be. To continue ripping from Hemingway’s head, “the picture looks clearer when you have a hungry stomach”.
When I am broke I crave duck à l’orange. I have a vivid imagination for the taste of duck à l’orange down to its secret ingredient. (The secret is to rub salt on the roasted cinnamon stick, before shaving slivers into the juice.) Even though I did not own a computer at the time, I started a literary magazine. I worked from a smoky online computer-game warehouse typing smartness from a scummy keyboard. I learned to tango in China. I’ve an intuition for dancing as if I were a born Argentinean because I haven’t “___ _____ ____ __” a boyfriend in years (fill in the blanks).
I come to wonder if what it is I crave, is what I would crave were I, say, living in Montreal. Or New York. Or Barcelona. What I want depends on what I don’t get. So if I get it, will I still want it?
For it is a question of balance to be craving what it is we don’t have. That the grass is always greener on the neighbour’s lawn reinforces the idea that we have a lawn of our own. How else can we compare? Envy and comparative valuation brands our ego with what it is we possess. The more we crave the more we have. Or else, the more we crave what we don’t have, the more we forget to look at what it is we have.
So the urges I have to write act as reinforcers branding my ego with the fact that 1) I am a writer. 2) I am someone even if I am not a writer. The worries I have of being a good writer proves that 1) I am a writer 2) I am good at something even if it is not as a writer.
I agree with myself that we crave what it is we have that which makes us miserable is not having what the other has which is what it is we crave, not knowing that we (deep down inside perhaps) also have it. We can only see what we learn to recognize (ripping from Oscar Wilde’s head.) If we can’t identify it, we won’t crave it.
But what of balance for balance’s sake? I do live in the land of yin and yang, yes, so I am aware of the need for harmony.
China is the land of “I express they”* culture; I crave “I express I”* culture that I had taken for granted in Canada. I feel a civic responsibility to fill the void in experimental writing (Beijing has loads of cunning journalists, and skilled copy-artists.) That I may not be an award winning writer is beside the point. I still feel the responsibility to establish a harmonious balance in my Life. Experimental writing is something I cannot find in my surrounding, therefore I need it.
Tell me why it is I crave so much to write. Was I always a writer? Am I wanting to spunk up my real job? Am I acting up someone else’s karma? Is becoming a published author something “I” wish, or is it a wish that is imposed on me by my surrounding/by my constituent?
Do my urges belong to me or to the collective conscious?
As long as there is a roof over my head...
(On knowing what it is I want, and a bit more on Freud, my exploration goes on)
Beijing, Oct. 05 07, the Golden Week of National Chinese Day, “bless those non paid 10 days off.
“I express they”*: the art of copying the masters.
“I express I”*: the art of reaching out from the inside.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
People need leaders, and raising a leader is very much a shot in the dark. It is a shared universal trait mothers have to instinctively want to raise a leader. Parents are ecstatic towards a 2 year old who can calculate arithmetic, boast with pride when a 6 year old wins a public speech competition for juniors, yelling their lungs out at pre-school ice hockey match. Parents (almost) never worry a child hovers high above the norm. That explains why children are raised to go to scouts camp (training them to fit in the norm) though secretly parents wish nothing else than the many merit badges their child might get at the end of the summer. The child, having mastered the art of making fire out of two dried sticks, becomes an entertaining ice breaker when it comes to boast about a child’s trophies to thy neighbors and relatives. It isn’t just the parents who are egocentric or puerile or project all their pent up frustration for having failed, turning their kid into super stars. For even the most conscientious parent, a survival instinct to assure the future will provide leaders.
But I think we taking this abnormally far.
How can I explain parents praising their super smart kids, annoyed at their average kid averaging on average, and giving up on those trailing behind? (Except for when genetic instinct kicks in.) How can I explain parents’ urge to rear a winner while as teenagers they admired the losers (cool) kids, and later as a working people, came to despise the smart ones getting all the attention (and promotion—and kissing ass, how else?), alienating those who might think outside the box, using degrading small talk and ill-intended gossip?
Why would average parents wish for their child a future of alienation and loneliness? Perhaps simply because rearing leaders is more desirable than the well being of a child. The natural instinct supersedes common sense. (My exploration goes on about natural instinct i.e. my clock is ticking all I can smell is my future cafe au lait baby’s skin...)
Almost everybody is being raised to become a leader. Almost everybody fails. The failed leaders fall back into average society with sometimes a head start on life, and sometimes a slight gap to bridge to reach the norm. Failed leaders become team players in various layers of authority, insuring plenty of “vice” managers, and project leaders. In the order of things, failed leaders also have their role to play.
I think now though, we are training too many leaders, having way too many failed leaders in the game. I think we're training the failed leaders too long, thwarting the natural order of things (the failed leaders normally drop out of the leader race in due course). We tie the failed leaders to the back of a jeep and trail them against their best interest on a one way track removing them from the normal average, only to drop them back in the mass, without any skills preparing them for it. Failed leaders who took the long ride back home are maladapted socialites. They have been trained to stand out as the best. Not to stick out for each other.
What we are creating now, with over-educated people* is a race of dissocialized humans.
Having discussed earlier that humans need order to live on, I admit gloom when a compound of order-seeking humans breed sharp competitors, poor collaborators, advocate “nothing is done for free”, swear under contracts , integrity going out of fashion. Envy replaces companionship. Failed leaders coming out of the race with an ego in check might end up as loners, feeling at loss for a purpose, having no clue how to socialize let alone endure a healthy amorous relationship.
I assume it never was a piece of cake raising a child. I wonder if outperforming has always been the norm. It isn’t healthy judging by the number of burned out citizens out there. It isn’t normal. Education ambassadors need to look at the Frankensteins they create, and wonder if they couldn’t come up with more “girl next door”.
On the paradox of the norm vs the norm, my exploration goes on.
*note: the author values education and educators. There also is a lot going on with knowledge, wisdom, peace and serenity, and culture. These issues are not taught in educational institution, on average.
(My new apartment, my wine, my food, my music, my bed, my dog next to me, my bed sheets....24 Sept. 07, Beijing)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Chaos order. Order chaos.
A topic I have been reflecting on quite seriously in the past while: order. I live in China. You think my musing comes from reflecting on the Chinese leadership and its compulsive mania for normality. But no.
My reflection on order and chaos stems from groups who are much closer to me, namely my expat friends, my tango dancers comrades. And then the whole world in general. No it’s not the Chinese this time. (Welcome to Beijing, land of chaos, more likely than order).
I am reflecting on “order” as being the ultimate goal. “Chaos” being the thing to avoid. I wonder why it is that once we give freedom to an individual, this individual will as soon go back to a world where (s)he’s been taking orders, rather than experiment with unstructured chaos. I should define freedom here as in 1) relaxing laws and leaving it up to the individual to decide on the definition of right and wrong, 2) removing the leader from a group and giving each individual equal opportunity to voice their concerns and wants—the democratic voting system being based on this freedom, 3) giving individual responsibility and asking for accountability in return, 4) giving a range of choices—why does it always comes down to two—one being the good, the other the bad.
“Out of chaos (s)he created order.”
This sentence is somewhere in all the religions I have heard of. And why does order seem to reflect progress in the human condition? I think not. I think in the beginning all was good and then shit hit the fan. That’s what’s happened. I’m not yet worried about whether or not God is responsible for the fan, (though my exploration goes on...).
Why is it we die anyways? Because we have a system which deteriorates. Systems aren’t made to last forever. They are not built to be sustainable to infinite. What is sustainable for infinite are “systems” of chaos such as “microbes”, “falling in love”, “gene selection”.
Order dies. A gash in order creates chaos. Chaos is an entity. It survives as such. It lives as such. Chaos is born and lives on. Until order comes around. And dies out.
This said, why is it the human condition to search so deep, look so high, cry so loud, to attain a model of order? Multiple explanations come to my mind, such as controlling the mass (the order working for you), survival of the fittest (in order from top to bottom one is at the top), immature, irresponsible, non-accountable, feeble individual (having the order work for you), etc...you know I know we know they know. It’s a known fact.
But in an order of 0-10, where we started at zero (ze big bang hitting the fan) and striving to get to 10 (according to global warming we’re about 9.7) is it possible we’re actually not going forward but backwards? I mean, striving to put order in all of that hasn’t led to any outstanding bettering of the condition overall of the humans. We do wear clothes, we do have vaccines, we do live longer sure yes and I’m very happy not to be walking around, showing off my smallpox scars, shivering naked in the cold. But in light of human “happiness”, the feeling of being on track, in tune with oneself etc...Existential crisis is more or less the same. Wars start for the same reasons. Again and again the same aspects of women are preached as the all sins of the earth while the characteristics of a winner is a fairly international standard, we still haven’t been saved by God. Not as a living being in any case.
So is it possible we are actually devolving? From the point of perfection (chaos is self regulated interactive anti-systems etc.) Is it possible we are going further and further away from “it”? I don’t see regulating parking lots against skateboarding as bringing up better or worse adults!
And so, if order is an anti-climax, then is chaos a progress? Would it explain why cultures as old as the earth (I exaggerate) Iran, India, China, display far more chaos than anywhere new?
(On this, my exploration goes on)
Cricri, yet another fruitful bicycle ride along the east (now demolished)wall of the forbidden city from the slaughter house district to the filling your stomach before the long walk district.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Ultimately a society that restricts freedom of speech is balanced by so many people doing and thinking their own thing.
Politically correct doesn’t apply. White people are white. Black people are black. Yellow people are white...mercury cream and umbrellas. More so than other places I’ve been, conversation starts with “no” (bu). At any moment the listeners interrupt to cry out their opinions, assuming it must be different from their interlocutor. Why? I am not sure. Is an opinion valued only when it is in opposition to the headlining statement? At any rate, I have to remind my students (adults) they get much more out of a discussion (in English) when they stimulate exchange rather than go ahead full on confrontation. Most of the time, a “no” means, “yes, AND also...” I do make them aware their opinion is the same, so why start the sentence with a “no.”
Sidetracking a wee bit here. Though the essence of this blurb remains about people thinking individually in an environment of forced unification. English: Whereas in Spain people are individual with freedom of speech granted mucho, activists gang up and create movements (with strict rules and guidelines, manifesto to be taken seriously) while in China tulips go up on the tv screen when the news introduces a controversial topic, or news source BUT. But it’s unsettling at best having to deal with a Chinese mind owing honest loyalty to themselves truly and only.
In a society where context is dictated, the word stereotype is hard to understand. Not because it isn’t acceptable as a human rights standard, but because outside of oneself, everybody is the “other”, and so every “other” is the same as the “other”. “They” just aren’t “me.” Which means to say, I am very unique.
True freedom of speech/mind is not dictated through manifesto. It is an egocentric verbal/mind frame.
(No judgement were made while weighing the opposing sides.)
On difference, my exploration goes on—it’s homônumos no. 6 issue’s topic
Sept. 05 08. Yet another fruitful ride back home from Wanfujing to Dongsishitiao, Beijing
at 8:08 AM
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Today I shared my table with another customer, at the Bookworm. As I sat with my glass of wine and couscous smoked salmon, I slammed down a huge brick of a book, “Aristole”. The man at our table was courteously interested in my choice of reading. And what followed was a fast pace power packed conversation on life, literature, philosophy, democracy versus communism, business versus academics, language skills being good for the brain, inter-racial couples, sail-trips and Apollo ruins, Christian Catholic sordid churches and Ibiza’s odd mixture of Arabic architecture and European folk.
Perhaps the most interesting comment my table partner mentioned was how exciting the age of Aristole must have been- to discover the written language as a means of communication and the technological know-how to transmit it must have been a euphoric period. When people started to put thought into written words they also started the 2nd loop process of thought- editing one’s thought. Just as a business plan in one’s mind sounds like a million-dollar deal, on paper it looks like a structured business venture to be developed further. Set opinions gets in motion upon re-examination.
Perhaps it is this euphoria, learning to express myself in a new language, that spurred me to love tango to the point of fanatic dedication. I wish I had learned Chinese characters to be able to express myself in script. But until now, the spoken ability was enough to my needs. And Chinese cultural imagery did pervade my mind. I can see how being able to go through my lines once more can bring this much more insight into my thinking.
Here’s to all the editors who have the geek reputation of feuding over grammar and syntax issues: hip hip hurray for allowing me to “think” twice!
On this “twice” process, my exploration goes on.
Beijing, end of the week, August 31 07 (My niece—Mélodie’s—two year old birthday)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Education: Teachers vs. Self-learning
Seeing a few friends going back to school, and a few others basking in the thesis-writing glow, makes me think twice about learning what I need from books. By myself. I always was bored out of my wits in school. Seemingly never learning what I couldn’t learn on my own in half an hour at the library. But then, having an excuse to be at the library, working on a paper due yesterday, is the best excuse ever to take the time for myself. A meeting with my brains, the neurons, all the thinking mechanics in there, and a piece of paper/pen to jot down my thoughts.
In learning tango, though I have grown with the dance pretty much without a teacher, all my breakthroughs in technique, and the added insights I have with tango dancing, come from teaching/teachers. I learn with a teacher. I perfect my body-tool with a teacher. I learn about the philosophy of movement and music, of balance and grounding with a teacher. I adore it. In fact I am ecstatic when I go in a class wondering what else new I could possibly learn—knowing I have loads to work on but thinking I know all the kinks that have to be worked on. And this is enough to fill my life full time for the next 4 years—I come out of class with extra thinking material. It is surreal.
If I could learn at school in philosophy, what I learn in tango during a one hour lesson, I would gladly go back and get that excuse to spend more time in the library, alone with my thoughts and the writings of wise people. I am dearly looking for an excuse to spend time alone going through wise books. Philosophy, literature, creative process, oh and so much more. So I could then discuss it with a group of friends and write my own wise book.
Wishing I had time to read today’s craving: Baudelaire, Camus, and Persian poetry.
(My exploration goes on)
Beijing August 17.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I am no longer planning to log my tango shoes suitcase and my dog crate to Buenos Aires. Rather, I am migrating to Ibiza. Most probably with a second address in Barcelona.
Why? A man.
Plans have not changed homônumos- or experimental play-wise. I still plan to take a show on tour in 2 years. I still plan to work on a collective writing with avant-garde actors and crew.
In the moments of silence my brain can spare, the direction of my playwriting experiment take shape. I wish to work for 12 months at least, with an actor(s) who is going to carry my character(s) (one assigned to him/her) and make it grow such as his/her own. I envision a role play where I graft my fictive character to a living person, collecting samples from the mutation, using real reaction to situations as guides for my play’s plot.
I know this method of schizophrenic acting must exist. I don’t know of writers who have used it as an external and independent shaping of their character. It is time I do some serious reading on creative writing approach.
Ibiza, here I come...(and the exploration goes on)
Beijing, Aug. 9 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I am back in Beijing for three months. Enough time to save money for a plane ticket to Buenos Aires, to finance for a 4th issue of homônumos, and have a week’s worth of savings to live off of in Argentina.
I am terrified of the move. My boxes, my dog. Homeless, jobless. New people, new language. New culture. New life.
But I want to do it. I have plans for new challenges, and Buenos Aires is the place to be.
So what is it which drives some people to outdo themselves for the sheer thrill, and drives others to live with a 9-5 job? One might say that having children dampens your quest for adrenaline. Sleepless nights become a curse; changing diapers at 4 am versus dancing tango at 4 am. One wishes to be in bed while the other doesn’t want the night to end. Still, there are those who travel the world on a 12-meter sailboat, homeschooling their children...
A friend recently diagnosed himself as depressive, after he was ditched by his future wife days before the wedding. He says he's suffered from repressed emotions and chronic depression, all ills which he was unaware of for the last 20 years. Now he has to focus on himself and his poor mental health, the realization he was making the wrong choices with the wrong motives. He's awakening his dormant self, the memories of childhood sexual abuse, and the compulsive libido as release mechanism, acupuncture nailing down pent up stress. All of this worries me to a T.
Am I mentally unstable to wish to go where few others have been before (well, many have been, though not the majority)? Couldn't I choose to live on Ibiza Island with a strong gorgeous black Peruvian man whose libido puts mine to shame? Why do I have the urge to throw myself into a world tour, (next challenge, avant-garde theatre), with no money and no previous experience, just for the certitude that this is my new calling? Am I deranged?
What if I am? Shall I put all my plans of surpassing myself by a light-year, behind, and focus on being one with the nature?
"Well," I say, "I’ve been riding my bicycle back from work in the past two days under monsoon rain. Today, at Beichaoyang there was a flash flood in which a few of us got caught, raincoat on wheels and all, peddling through water up to our armpits. And they say Beijing is a dry climate... if nature can so ridiculously overdo things, why not me?!"
Towards new grounds my exploration goes on.
Beijing, 31 July 2007.
Monday, July 09, 2007
C’est un poème que j’aime faire sur scène. D’ailleurs, c’est un des rares poèmes que j’ai écris.
Poker Kiss raconte l’histoire d’un baiser. D’abord à deux. Puis à trois. Les lèvres, la bouche. L’hésitation et le désir…
Sur scène je le déclame la plupart du temps en duo avec un homme qui me fait la riposte dans sa propre langue. Ainsi je l’ai une fois fais en anglais-chinois. Une autre fois en français-chinois.
Me voilà mordue de tango et je n’arrive pas à penser autrement qu’en faisant référence aux mouvements. Alors je me suis dit que pour Poker Kiss à Montréal (voir Monthly Mess) j’allais explorer le mouvement et la parole.
Donc j’ai demandé à un ami tanguero de danser le poème autour de mes mots, autour de moi. Finalement plus obscure que je n’aurais pu le croire, le danseur dû penser à une musique qui lui semblait être celle des mots de Poker Kiss. Il a choisi une pièce syncopée de Webern interprété au piano par Glenn Gould.
A chacun son exploration. C’est cela la libre expression de la recherche artistique.
Par contre je sais que danser les mots est possible. Je l’ai fait sur un tango avec Roger Dauer à Pékin lors d’une soirée d’impro. Nous avons improviser un tango énergétique à saveur bataille puis harmonie sur les mots « carnivore », « Whisky », et « Pékin ».
Le soir du show, le danseur ignoble ne se présente pas. Mais je ne ferai pas Poker Kiss toute seule. J’invite une personne du public à venir faire le cobaye pendant que je déclame le poème. « Je promet de ne pas vous glisser ma langue dans votre bouche. Par contre vous serez un peu caressé. » C’est ce que je leurs ai dit. Puis une jeune femme monte sur les planches et se pose devant moi.
Alors même que je n’ai aucune idée de se qui va arriver, je lui récolte la main avec douceur et la guide face à moi, c'est-à-dire que nous faisons coté au public. Puis je lui met les bras au cou en laissant pendre mes mains mollement derrière elle (à ce moment, contact physique prude voir inexistant).
Poker Kiss débute ainsi: Hello Soft Red Lips On mine, Press Harder…
La demoiselle mime les mots. Elle se tortille et me fait des sourires.
Je continue à parler très lentement. En respirant mes mots. Elle fini par me voir avec des yeux de l’intérieur. Elle me fixe. Son corps devient à la fois lourd mou et complètement figé. Ses yeux me tombent dans la bouche. Des yeux brillant; elle est complètement hypnotisée. J’entreprend d’aspirer l’air qui sort de sa bouche. Nous sommes toujours à une distance prude l’une de l’autre mais j’ai replié mes bras dans son cou. Du dos de mes mains je caresse sa mâchoire puis son cou.
Soudain, en pleine hypnose, un feedback intolérable siffle dans le micro. Je regarde le micro avec haine. Puis, de retour vers cette femme qui n’a pas bougé d’un poil, je réalise la situation de désir en public, de séduction devant tout le monde, et je fige. Puis je me décide de recommencer le poème au début, la suite me viendra. J’étais tombé dans la lune en déclamant comme il m’arrive toujours de le faire. Mes mouvements lorsque je monte sur les planches, ne font plus parti de moi. J’ai les yeux qui regardent le public par le trou de mon nombril.
Le premier mot du poème est « allo ». A ce mot, la femme devant moi s’émerveille et me fait le sourire de ma mort. C'est-à-dire, une complicité, une abdication de sa personne pour mes paroles qui la berce de libido. Je suis responsable de son plaisir. Soudainement, je réalise à quel point elle m’a tout donné. Confiance, amour, paix, joie. Je lui dois de poursuivre le flot. Elle m’attend comme une récompense. Alors je lui re-dit « allo ». Elle hausse la tête me lançant au défi d’une séduction sans compromis. J’ai l’impression que je suis en train de la pénétrer doucement. J’ai l’impression qu’elle roucoule. Nous sommes toujours à quelques cm l’une de l’autre. Je saute à la strophe finale. Elle se blottit dans mes bras. La fin du poème arrive. Je lui dis « serre moi encore plus fort. Donne moi encore de toi » Elle m’enserre et ne dé-serre plus.
Le poème est fini. Personne ne parle. Personne ne tape des mains. Je lui baise le front. Plusieurs fois. Je lui souffle que tout est fini. Que c’est fini. Je lui caresse les cheveux. Maintenant c’est moi qui s’effondre. Le public applaudis. La jeune femme sautille off stage. Je reste seul avec ma bouche bée, et mon émerveillement.
Oui, je me sens tout à fait rafraîchis.
Normalement après une prestation sur les planches, que je joue Figaro, ou que je dise une ligne d’info, j’ai des crampes au ventre après. La, je suis excitée. J’ai le sang dans les veines qui bouille. J’ai envie de recommencer.
J’ai séduit une femme sur scène. Avec mes mots. Avec des mots. Ni elle ni moi ne s’attendions à quoique se soit. Je ne m’attendais pas à vivre au naturel les mots avec ses sensations. Et avec une parfaite étrangère par-dessus le marché! Je m’attendais à les fabriquer ses sensations, en fonction du vocabulaire.
J’ai appris quelque chose. J’ai appris qu’à deux, une improvisation, une exploration se fait avec charme. Très bien. Et très fort. J’ai appris qu’en nourrissant d’énergie la personne qui est devant moi, elle en retour me nourrira d’énergie. Et ensemble, cette énergie deviendra extra, vivante, vrai etc.
J’ai oublié de vous dire. A la fin du poème, j’étais surprise à quel point mon cœur battait fort. Je me suis rappelée les nuits où, étendue à plat sur mon matelas à ressorts en fer, j’avais écouté la résonnance de mon cœur battre. Et je me demandais comme cela se faisait-il que mon cœur pouvait battre si vite alors que le sien ne battait pas du tout. Au fait, c’est mon cœur qui battait dans sa poitrine. La jeune femme me lance un joyeux « It was fun! » après le show!
Depuis cette expérience je n’ai plus envie de danser le tango. J’ai en horreur d’être collée pilée à quelqu’un et de me faire jouer dans les jambes avec violence. J’ai des papillons au ventre j’ai envie de cette magie d’osmose d’énergie. De vie qui entre dans l’autre et de l’autre qui rentre dans soi.
Je re-danserai le tango c’est sure mais pas avant d’être sure de partager cette sensation. Mais ce qui m’excite le plus dans cette histoire c’est d’explorer la nature de mes personnages avec les acteurs et les danseurs qui vont ‘vivre’ mes personnages d’histoires, sur scène (prochain projet d’écriture : show) à la manière « projection d’énergie retour d’énergie égale connaissance de l’autre ». J’ai envie à la façon de Poker Kiss de séduction, de projeter l’essence de ces personnages dans mes acteurs. Et qu’eux ensuite, projette cette énergie créatrice pour donner vie à ces personnages.
Peut être suis-je arrivé à une méthode connue, pour explorer mes personnages sur scène. Peut être suis-je en train de découvrir une méthode de transposition papier-planche.
Ouverte aux discussions.
Gatineau Canada, 8 juillet 2007
Poker Kiss is a poem I like to perform on stage. Moreover, it is one of the rare poems I have written.
Poker Kiss narrates the story of a kiss. Initially two mouths. Then a third joins in. The lips, the mouth. The tension and the desire...
On stage I most often declaim it in duet with a man who echoes my words in his own tongue. Thus I have read it in English-Chinese. Another time in French-Chinese.
Lately I have been bitten by the tango bug. I can no longer manage to think other than in movements. So I said to myself that for Poker Kiss in Montreal (see Monthly Mess at indyish.com) I was going to explore the movements of the words. Thus I asked a tanguero friend to dance the poem around my words, around me. It all turned out more obscure than I had foreseen, the dancer had to think of a music which seemed to him to be that of the words of Poker Kiss. He chose a syncopatic piece from Webern interpreted by Glenn Gould on the piano.
Freedom of exploration is the building ground for a free artistic expression.
On the other hand I know that to dance the words is possible. I did it on a tango with Roger Dauer in Beijing during an improv evening. We improvised an energetic tango mixing in battles and harmony, on words such as "carnivore", "Whisky", and "Beijing".
The evening of the Montreal show, the wretched dancer stands me up. But I will not speak Poker Kiss alone. I invited a person from the audience to volunteer as my guinea-pig while I declaimed the poem. "I promise not to slip my tongue in your mouth. I will however caress you somewhat." I said to lure someone on stage. A young woman volunteered. Having no idea of what would come next, I collected myself and gently took the hand of the damsel, guiding her face to me. We were standing sideways to the crowd. Then I threw my arms around her neck though I was careful to leave my hands hanging a prudish way off her shoulders. I did not want to molest her outright.
Poker Kiss begins as follows: Hello Soft Red Lips One mine, Press Harder... The young woman mimics my words. She fidgets, smiles.
I continue to speak very slowly. Breathing each word. She begins seeing me with eyes from within. Staring at me. She melts standing frozen. Her eyes roll into my mouth. Shiny eyes; she is completely hypnotized. I breathe in the air she breathes out. We are still parked at a prudish distance from one another though I have folded my arms around her neck. With the back of my hands I caress her jaw line then her neck.
Suddenly blowing me out of trance, an intolerable feedback whistles in the microphone. I look at it with hatred. Then, I turn my attention back to the young woman who hasn’t moved a smidge. I realise the situation of public desire, of seducing in front of a crowd, and freeze. I decide to start the poem over in hopes the rest will come back to me. Every time I am on stage I enter a trance if I get out of it I’m totally lost. On stage my actions become automation only my eyes see the crowd from the opening in my navel.
The first word of the poem is "hello". I say hello, the woman in front of me fills with glee and flashes me the wildest smile, that of mischief, that which makes my heart melt. I.e., of complicity, of abdication of her person over my words, activating her pheromones. I have taken on me the responsibility to please her. It dawns on me all that which she is projecting: trust, love, peace, bliss. I can’t stop the flow. She hangs on my words on my breath like it’s the Promised Land. Disappointing her is not an option. So I repeat "hello". She chins up at the same time readying for the blow, at the same time urging me to strike. I feel like I am moving inside of her. Any time soon she will be purring. We are always within a few prudish cm from one another. I jump to the final stanza. She clings to me I embrace her. Comes the final words of the poem. "Give me more.” She holds me tighter. “Come home.“ She doesn’t let go of her iron(wo)man grip. The poem is over.
Not a word from the audience. Not a single handclap. I kiss her forehead once. Several times. I whisper that it is over. Gently I mumble “it’s over”. I caress her hair she still holds on tight her face buried in the nap of my neck. Now it is I who melts. The crowd applauds. The young woman elopes off stage. I remain alone with my astonishment, amazed.
Yes, I feel rejuvenated.
Usually after a show, whether I played Figaro, or made an announcement, I have nasty stomach cramps. Now I am excited. My blood boils in my veins. I want to do it again. I just lured a woman on stage and had her eating my very words. With words. Neither she nor I ever expected what we just went through. Not for a second had I expected to live with such natural the words and their feelings. And with a total stranger! I had planned to manufacture feelings according to the vocabulary.
I learned something. I learned improvising being two, is an exploration done with charm. It goes down very well. And really deep. I learned that by nourishing the person who is in front of me with energy, this person will return nourishment through and with energy. The osmosis of our combined vital energy gets out of hand, it creates a life of its own, we and it become alive, true etc.
I forgot to mention. At the end of the poem, I was surprised to feel my heart beat so loud. I could hear it like I did as a child, pressing my ear to the iron spring mattress, lying flat on my belly listening to my heartbeat pounding my eardrums. And I wondered that my heart could beat so hard whereas hers did not beat at all. Until I realized it was my heart beating in her chest. “It was fun!” She tells me later on.
Since that night I do not want to dance the tango. I hold in horror being pressed against somebody to play footsie. Aggressive compassionless footsie. I have butterflies in my belly I yearn so much for this magic of energy osmosis. Of my life which enters the other while simultaneously the other enters me. I will dance the tango again but not before testing the water for cold slimy dead fish. I want feeling.
Besides the ever-fixated tango connection, what excites me so much is that I have learned from this outcome that I can explore the nature of the various characters I created in my novels/short stories. I shall transfer this “energy projection in order to gain understanding” to the actors and the dancers who in turn will get acquainted with my characters, and create a life for those characters on stage. (Next writing project: live show). I wish in the way of Poker Kiss to seduce, to project the essence of those characters in my actors. And they in turn, will project this creative energy to breath life in these characters. Have I stumbled across a standard method of acting or am in on something new?
The floor is open for comments. My exploration goes on...
Gatineau Canada, July 8, 2007
at 2:00 PM
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Hello, all, and sorry for the long delay. The summer arrived, and we find ourselves all over the map (Montreal, London, Beijing, Boston, etc.). Rest assured, we're hard at work on the new issue, though, and busy disseminating the magazine across the globe like so many coconuts drifting on the tide.
Enjoy your summer, keep sending in your work for Issue 4 (Language), and please note that the comments section is open for business.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Homonumos Issue 3 is at the printers! Merci, 谢谢, thank you, etc., to all the authors contributing to the magazine. Issues are on sale here, $5 Canadian plus $5 shipping outside China. Please allow a few weeks for delivery.
If you want to take a peek, here's the cover, and here are a few tidbits inside-
Efe Okugu's THE BIRTH OF THE BLUE (part 3) and
Solange Guo Chatelard's SOY TANGUERO (part 3).
Also, some poetry from Jack Raiff intended for Issue 2-
HA LLEGADO EL DÍA (English translation here).
For the curious, here's an interview with chief editor Christine Bellerose (WMV + Dog format) from Camille Levert (Camillenchine).
And another interview, with Christine and Virginie by Josh Hink from Indyish.
If the articles are coming out too tiny, don't fret- we're working on getting higher-resolution images up soon. We're also putting together an online index of author's homepages, putting work from Issues 1 & 2 online, and gathering more sound and video from contributors.
Again, thank you all for reading and contributing to the magazine.
Will Fertman, Online Editor.
What is a sign ? A sign is an action that is born from the inner sources of a human being. When these sources are activated every movement becomes lightness and no matter what the body does, it dances; then grace appears , the unknown and it must be left alone and not turned into something known. The body finds again its organicity, like a wild and proud animal it does not need to be tamed. The body thinks by itself, the mind
learns how to move apart. The body does not bounce into the mind, and the delay on the present time disappears: the body enters the flowing of life.
No tight form is necessary then, just little by little structure is built around organicity without taming the reborn proud animal; slowly organicity is associated to awareness which prevents it from becoming pure instinct but allows it to develop subtle perception and touch thinner levels.
You must look at the world as San Francesco d'Assisi did.......with the same eyes . If you ever can, by chance, go to Assisi in the church named after San Francesco, and standing surrounded by Giotto's frescoes, look at the cloak of the monk; it is preserved there...look at San Francesco's cloak. There is all you need to know bout how to be in the world and with the world in that cloak. To be continued (…)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
There are a lot of intelligent and talented people, but, as far as we are concerned about creativity, this have a relative value. Very few individuals have perceived something; the existence of a perception is the beginning. A perception creates the possibility to communicate
Once this condition appears, every gesture is either creative (maintains the flow), either destructive (brakes the flow)
A good start : set yourself free from polemic = do not answer immediately and automatically
Remain silent, allow yourself to be confused (do not re-act suddenly)
Using the creative process as a vehicle means to try and change level; establishing a higher connection to achieve a conscience not bound to language but to “presence” .
Bringing the heavy and primitive organic energies to the thinner level, then the thinner level into a more ordinary reality, related to the density of the body.
It is a vertical line , climbing ,transforming, then re-descending.
Working first on the body and its sensitivity;
First research: working on ancient ritual songs to bring back organicity to the body and make it able to articulate signs.
)find some ritual songs, one of your own cultural tradition and some belonging to other cultures.
)work on one of them at a time.
)try and catch the melody of each song in its precision
)try and find a time-rhythm with all the fluctuations inside the melody and mostly “something” which is the “right sound”, the vibratory qualities which are the inner meaning of the song.
)it’s not necessary to understand the words, it’s important to catch the vibratory qualities of the song
inner meaning of the song = body impulses sound & impulses = inner meaning
)discover the difference between the melody and the vibratory qualities
Now, the traditional song, and the impulses related to it, are a “living being”, often a person, but also an action. How to discover this ? Throughout the work
Some ancient songs are “women”, others are “men”, others are “adolescents” or “kids”, others are “old persons” ; the number of possibilities is incredibly large. An authentic traditional song is a living organism: there is the body-song (ex. Caribbean songs), the animal-song ( from animal movements or sounds) , the force-song (from an action).
The song is always associated to the impulses of life that flow through the body;
the posture of the body, and the manipulation of breathing are not in discussion anymore, it’s only about this living current that carries the song.
Impulse = In – pulse = pushing from inside.
Something that pushes inside the body and spreads out toward the external something very subtle bon inside the body, but not only belonging to the sphere of the body
Impulses proceed physical actions, always. It’s like the physical action, still invisible from outside, was already born in the body.
Impulse = morpheme of expression and of action = a tiny piece of something = elementary piece
The best way to work on physical actions, to be able to have them rooted in our nature, is to work with the impulses. Remaining at the impulse level, the action, almost born, but still retained, creates an in-tune condition for the body to react.
To the impulses is connected a “right tension” ; if we in – tend to do something, a correct tension exists inside, directed outside.
In – tension = Intention
There is no intention without a specific muscular activity.
It is not a psychological state, it is something that passes through the body at a muscular level and which is connected to an objective outside ourselves.
Organicity = the potential , in the human body, of a current almost biological of impulses that come from the internal and are directed toward the accomplishment of a precise action.
Try and seize the impulses and work on them using the traditional songs..................to be continued
By Alessandro Rolandi. Beijing
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
“the mediator between brain and muscle must be the heart”
Thea Von Harbou
(introduction to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, from the novel of T. Von Harbou)
Methods are bound to failure --- conceptualism is bound to failure --- intellectualism is bound to failure --- sentimentalism is bound to failure --- random emotional inspiration is bound to failure.
The first three approaches are completely strange to living signs, the seeds of creativity; what they propose can be extremely well-done but it is dead.
The last two approaches deform and exploit the living signs; the result is an emotional soup lacking in precision and pumping impulses and images instead of letting them come naturally.
Research is the key, but not systematic
(Fleming found penicillin but was not specifically looking for it; yet he did not hesitate to give his research a different direction as this last showed to be promising and interesting.)
Developing an idea, paying attention to when some living elements/signs appear; then listen to where and how these living elements spontaneously lead the research.
Keep the “searching” alive
-why “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon “ is a masterpiece and “Guernica” just a good painting-
Ex. When we sing a song for the first time, in the voice, beside the quality of the singing, there is a tension and a surprise; we try and feel the song, discover it, find it. If we don’t pay attention, after we learned it , we improve it more and more formally, we become skillful, but we take it for granted; that vibration, that hesitation of the first time must be kept alive; in it there are two elements : the fear of making a mistake (social and un-useful emotion) but also “the excitement of exploration and discovery.” (very creative element)
Introducing a “via negativa”
You can work by accumulation of signs = very formal result (ex. Traditional oriental theater and art)
You can work by proliferation of signs = mixed results, unpredictable (traditional western approach)
You can work by distillation of signs = consistent results (precision and spontaneity co-exist) thinner currents and inner sources are activated.
- get rid of everything that is: mental, intellectual, manipulated
- it’s not about yourself, it’s about art (music, painting, sculpting, etc.)
(ex. If you play an instrument what you do is about the music, not about yourself)
In the end, stripped to the bone, you’ll do the only thing that you simply cannot prevent yourself from doing---this is the connection, the sign.
There is a verticality between organicity and awareness;
The path between them is a creative one.
To be continued............ How to rediscover organicity and work on the signs.
By alessandro rolandi. Beijing
Monday, May 14, 2007
From K Benjamin:
Just letting you know the Poetry/Short-fiction Open Mic Night is still
being held every Wedesday (not including national holidays). Also, as
weather is fair and the nights are alive, we will be moving the Open Mic
Night to the Bookworm's ROOFTOP!
Join us this Wednesday; the theme (as selected by ms Ellen Twadell) is
Chaos vs. Order.
Anyone who reads (poetry or short fiction) is entitled to a special
discount price of 10rmb for Tsingtao beer!
Come join the fun:
Wednesdays, 8pm (til 9 or 9:30), Building 4, Sanlitun Nan Jie, 6586 9507
at 8:09 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2007
“Because something with a certain quality can happen, it is necessary that an empty space is available” These words by Peter Brook, still resume today the starting point and the development of the creative process.
Why an empty space ?....Because an empty space potentially allows the birth of something new and spontaneous.
I don’t think the creative process is different in plastic art, music or performing arts; it just works with different containers in each of these disciplines, and yet if we were to be precise, the division is made more for intellectual purposes than for the sake of a natural truth.
Starting these interventions I’ d like to begin with a general point of view, and each time, focus more on every piece of the puzzle and every aspect of the subject.
If we want to talk about the creative process------detached from any artistic marketing strategy -------we should start by talking about the “invisible”.
There is an Indian word which in its own sound suggests the sense of the creative spark, of the unseizable instant : this word is “sphota” , something like “life spark”.
So how can we materialize the invisible whether in writing, dancing, sculpting, painting, drawing , playing, acting or in any other else way? We simply can’t.
The invisible does not need to become visible, yet even if the invisible is not obliged to manifest itself, it can, at the same time, do so everywhere and in every moment, through everyone or every thing, if the given circumstances are the right ones.
The only thing that can help is a certain awareness of the present. If we accept the present moment in an intense way and the conditions are right, the spark of life might appear within the right sound, the right movement, the right image, the right fold of the paper or stain of colour or gesture of the hands on previously “inert” material. It is within a special exchange that the invisible might appear, that’s why it might appear in thousands of unexpected forms.
In a more provocative sense we can also say that, the invisible, the creative spark has or at least had, a sacred origin ; it is rooted into the ancestral world. But what is the sacred, the ancestral? It is a transformation, in terms of quality, of what that is not sacred at the beginning.
A simple human life is an example of “the visible” through which the invisible might appear.
Sometimes it’s not even necessary to be able to do something extremely well. If there is no attempt to fake that a creative gesture, or a form, or a sound is more than what it really is, then another criteria takes this place: the need to find an interior echo; within this empty space of authenticity the contact with something really different is possible. There is no method proposed; it is only about being aware of something, and this may happen anytime in anyplace or never in no place.
Here is a be-bop about creativity; quick flashes that we’ll consider one by one in the coming “movements” in this blog.
All is evoked by one thing----the creative gesture is a gesture of the soul; it does not matter what you do; it is not connected to any behavior.
Extension of the gesture of the soul = creativity
No talent differences---there are levels to cross----something invisible must be switched
no guarantee/only possibility
The way someone creates = the way the viewer receive the message
The way a person works defines what the person is
APPEARANCE = STRUGGLE AGAINST WHAT IS ORGANIC
The idea starts from the mind, but not “through the mind”. If I start from the mind it means the world around is DRY
TO CONCEIVE EMPTINESS / SPACE AROUND US, NOT THE OBJECTS
All methods are systematic : you learn to do everything right but it’s mechanical, it does not move.
We become insensitive to the world when we become a character, a caricature; this prevents the possibility to be reached across. All stimulation from outside can feed the character-monster: if something that it cannot analyze gets to this character-monster, there is a block = identity crisis
To be creative we need to dismantle any masque or role, even unconscious
Physically being empty and transparent
EMPTINESS---RELAX & CONCENTRATION = ACTIONS HAPPEN BY THEMSELVES
(it’s not us that mentally create them)
CREATIVE ACTIONS = THEY HAPPEN WHEN THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
( it’s like in a death-or-alive situation)
WE NEED TO ALWAYS LOOK FOR SUBSTANTIAL RELATIONSHIPS OF CAUSE
The key is CREATIVE SENSITIVITY
Correspondence with flowing things
FLOWING = ALIVE
Do not try and fix them
(if we fix them, we are “acting” like if we were creative)
IF YOU ARE SOMETHING, YOU ARE NOT BORING BECAUSE YOU CHANGE CONTINUOUSLY
AVOID CHANGE = REPETITION = DEATH
TO BE WE MUST NOT TRY AND UNDERSTAND / No obligation to react
OBLIGATION TO REACT = IMITATION
When we really become something we do not look like it
We cannot truly understand something without getting lost in it
This sensitivity it’s the origin of creativity
DO NOT TRY AND FIX THINGS
THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN KNOW
IT IS POSSIBLE TO FOLLOW FOR A WHILE SOMETHING CHANGING, BUT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DO IT CONTINUOUSLY
TO BECOME SOMETHING ;
the mistake begins when we think that “something” is a “thing”.
It is our EXPERIENCE , OUR ENCOUNTER with them , which gives life and meaning to things
Nothing and nobody is fixed , all is flowing
To interiorize = to lose the sense of self and of truth
In art we should not live “inside”:
We should imagine that we do not exist inside, but just OUTSIDE, near by.
The encounters we make define who we are
Maybe TO BE = TO BE THE ENCOUNTER WITH THE WORLD
Creative experience exists revealed in the interaction with the real world; if we interiorize, we need codes to explain ;
EXPERIENCE REVEALED = INTENSELY CREATIVE
BRING THINGS IN THE SKIN AND IN THE ACTS INSTEAD OF IN THE MIND
You can enjoy Beethoven or being Beethoven, but not both.
To be able to give a creative response :
-) do not focus on what we think we want
-) become more sensitive towards what we do not want
-) develop capacity, attention, sensitivity toward WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW
(instead of what we want)
First important question about creativity:
HOW CAN WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE TOUCHED BY THINGS THAT DO NOT ORIGINATE IN US ?
-) Identify the fluxus and follow it
-) being able to see when it is manifested and it is flowing, not caring about where does it go
To be continued..............
Started sketching out a ghost story after a stay in
Hong Kong late August 2005. I had spent a few days
experiencing the Hungry Ghosts festival, its customs,
its gossips, leafing through newspapers for true
ghosts stories etc. I noted down Miami resort hotel
and its romantic suicides trend.
End of story. Over the following months I developed 3
characters: Mia, the foreigner who got robbed by Hung
the thief. And Chen, the bus driver.
This May holiday I came back to Hong Kong to renew my
visa. At the same time will I tour the city for visits
and tango dancing. A friend lives on Cheug Chau. I had
never been there. I went for a 4 night sleep
over. Cristina (painter recently moved from Beijing to
Cheung Chau) picked me up at the Hung Hong train
station and lead me to her island.
Well, don't you know...Cheung Chau is where Miami
resort motel is. And the island abounds in ghost
My exploration goes on.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Last Thursday, for Caught in the Act at Yugong Yishan, Roger and I danced a few tangos on words the audience suggested. We got "Carnivorous", "Whisky", and "Beijing." We danced our finale on "Infinity", which is the theme for homônumos' 3rd issue.
The exercise was worthwhile. I proceeded, climbing up over Roger, and whipping his back with my legs. Definitively not a traditional tango move.
What came out, as Roger points out, is that the sequence starts with 2 sets of vocabulary. 2 energies. 2 directions. And neither dancer knows what the other is going to come up with (or feel/dance the word up). Then, through a series of adjustments, a feat of balancing contradictory/dissonant energies, the dance evolves into one symbiotic intention.
Accepting not to know where it leads; taking the lead from where it comes. The body fights but in the end, the compromise it makes isn’t as heavy or disturbing as a vocal negotiation. The bodies evolve organically towards a footing on the floor. Once a common flow is established, the dance evolves in a non-tension motion.
I am applying this confrontational organic growth to my writing. I'm not worried where it will lead me. I feed the flow.
My exploration goes on.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I learn from Alessandro, that Grotowski came up with this exercise for movement, which is to move your body from the accumulating surrounding mass. For example do not lift your arm using its muscles, its energy. Rather let the mass accumulate between body and arm until it pushes the arm up.
It works. Pablo Veron (Tango Lesson movie) conjures the spirit of the wind when dancing.
I'm experimenting whether I can do this with writing. I've tried it with an indoor Aloe Vera plant. Instead of writing down what I know and see of it, I take in the empty space between the plant and I, until I can read the space. The first sensation that translates in a word is that of taste.
My exploration goes on.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Caught in the Act show at Yugong Yishan on April 19th at 7:30pm
Poets from in and out of Beijing, including the editors of homonumos!
Expect a 3 minute silent tango and dialogue with Christine Bellerose (homônumos magazine) and Roger Dauer, and two mouth poem in movement with Virginie Mangin (homônumos magazine) and Alessandro Rolandi.
More info at Driftwords.
A man built his castle around his inner fear. He becomes bourgeois. From the top of his rampart he has become condescending. His fear will be all what's left when everything else has decayed. The man will not face his fear. He will die of fright.
(note no.106 of Process Cheese novel-in-progress. Christine Bellerose. First print in homônumos magazine, Perspective issue no.2)
Friday, March 30, 2007
Bonne nuit Pierrot
Je me suis installée sur la lune* pour être avec toi. Aujourd'hui, on mangera de la glace à la fraise pour être heureux ensemble.
Je t'aime depuis le début.
Ta grande sœur, cricri
28 Mars, 2007. 18 ans après ta maudite mort.
Good night Pierrot
I launched myself to the moon* to be closer to you. Today, we shall eat strawberry ice cream. Your favorite.
I love you since forever.
Your big sister, cricri
March 28, 07. 18 years after your stupid death.
*Mon nom Chinois est 'Gui Hua' (桂花), un arbre osmanthus qui pousse sur la lune (légende Chinoise). / My Chinese name is 'Gui Hua' (桂花), an osmanthus tree which grows on the moon (Chinese legend).
at 1:02 AM