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Some Notes this Morning on Racial Accountability
As a person raised with all the privileges of whiteness, what does it mean to use so many tools and cultural practices of Black Indigenous People Of Color for my thinking and reference? Indeed I was raised as a liberal Jewish queer in New York City, so this was actually my approach already from a young age, - dynamic integrative thinking - the atmosphere of the City, and of contemporary secular Jewish intellectual life. In the revelatory racialized phenomena of these times, I feel all the more strongly the necessity to call where culture is bereft and thin, and to give deep respect and honor to the fact that there has been something invisible even to myself how the potency and wisdoms I have been attending to are inextricably linked to humans with rich cultural lives, yes, and also I ask myself how to experience, to receive the depths of the grief that these treasure of ideas and practices are also inextricably linked to histories of genocide, slavery, inequiity and displacement, and that from my position I am in fact accountable. This is not new, but this is necessary to feel and act on over and over again and again today and now. This need be named, understood, and amplified.
Over the past decade I have been in earnest evolving my relationship with my ancestral, cultural, and constructed lineages. I do not feel a need to identify with whiteness as an identity, nor as crutch, but yet, but yet, my benefit from this very whiteness on all levels of existence - economic, access, comfort, confidence, and on and on - exists in all the cells of my daily experience. So, when I use, or to be more specific, am inspired by - understandings and wisdom traditions of BIPOC people, without addressing the complexities of this dynamic, receiving it, and naming it, I am perpetuating appropriative, implicit ideological, unconscious and harmful operations which is not only violent, it is also is doing a disservice to my own growing as well. This is something to be reckoned with. How to pay honor and continue to grow as a larger transcultural community from a position of care and honor, and to never abandon the weight of it, and continue to ask what could reparations and a radical reimagining be from every angle?
There is something important here to be practiced not only through the potency of writing and conversation, but perhaps even more foundationally from the the subtle and sensing approaches such as working through movement, with “empty axis/empty space” “receiving the atmosphere,” “living measurement” and “tuning” (from Amerta Movement and other places) that could support this as a process. This is one of the many ways I am working in New Landings and I acknowledge it as one very small step, but a valuable angle.
After decades of practices, the practices I have been studying, so many of them either drawn from cultural practices not-my-own, or even fully of other cultural contexts and hxstories, they are integrated into my own speaking-being; this makes these questions all the more felt, and all the more necessary to address.
A 2018 two-week Material for the Spine residency with Steve Paxton leading Otto Ramstad, Kristin Van Loon, Maura Gahan, and Margit brought about a tangential chic dance fashion spot in Minneapolis news here, by Kristin Van Loon.
I am sitting sheltering-in-place in an apartment that is on Land
I recognize that for thousands of years this territory was cultivated and cared for by the Muwekmo Ohlone people - past present and future.
The bounty of this place where I live is wrested from the prayers and lives of Ohlone people
They are still alive
And so often invisibilized.
My own access and privilege can inhibit and shape my relations
My own busyness gets in the way
My sense of purpose, while increasingly honed, can at times detract from being open to possibility, — too preoccupied, distracted and constricted from breathing, from receiving the conditions of myself as part of the body-being-environment. This is a dance, breathing is a dance
As I settle here, as I settle into myself, how does this relate to being a settler?
This is painful to write, to feel the seeming reality and challenge that my own experience of tuning, of awakening is required for decolonizing, and yet, it is this very act of a kind of landing that is the encoding or patterning in some sense of the basis of genocide, landing. My privilege to land, to be housed, here, is linked with inequity.
I am seeking new landings
The experience that moving can bring this into deeper understanding, can bring forth integration, reflection, receiving.
The hidden appropriations, agendas, insanities of the embedded aggressions within any moment of these practices.
Words don’t say enough
The felt experience of finding my own staying, settling, coming home in this body-being-earth
How to even begin to describe this beauty?
How to differentiate between new age idealism and an experience of being in intercultural / cosmologic reciprocity, and what kind of binarisms live within me to create this divide?
When I receive the conditions of the deep commune of all things, those living and those considered-inanimate, only then can I be in touch with true health
The health of one is inextricably linked to the health of all that is
To practice without this realization has the potential to flatten life.
There is a kind of time and care required to be with the dimensions of experience, and feel the spectrum of living communication
And this dialogue with human nature culture spirit that connects all is enlivening in the infinitely faceted experiences throughout this earth.
The birds, the flowers that have been cultivated in this neighborhood are so close to one of the 420+ shellmounds,destroyed through aggression and neglect
I thank the trees
the sky, all the creatures,
the bay, the mud, the soil, each and every breath
my own wealth and resources are a direct consequence of the disenfranchisement of Black, indigenous, people of color - their labor and care, and the insurmountable violences against BIPOC - individually and structurally.
Sometimes I hide behind my capacity to articulate these kinds of inequitable forces as armor from the deep grief and pain of supremacy and the insidious continuation of the colonial project that i dont even understand how to be in relation to
Sometimes I cant even find the words, cant even speak
sometimes i cant even feel
and feel completely disconnected from the world around me, feel its so much “easier” to turn away, and can because of my whiteness
white privilege and the insanity of the construction that whiteness is anything at all
I feel joy rooted in my heritage
Being Jewish really isn’t white, - or rather, its all just a construction, and yet social and racial forces make it truly so, that I benefit from this entitlement.
most often I am so occupied with my own ideas and experiences that they occlude my capacity to tune and be present
Occupation as an act of empowerment. Jesus, the Occupy Movement. Whose Land?
There are no illegal on stolen land, and yet all the ways of claiming and reclaiming offer new facets into the neo-liberal project. There is no escape from hegemony - we are all in.
Occupation as an act of un-remembering, as violence
Feel/ing these words
the waves of settling
inequity playing out over and over and over
wondering what reparations and redistribution of wealth would even look like
how to contribute to legacies of support?
How to offer without any need for reciprocity
what does non-violence for non-violence look like, feel like?
what are new dialogues, new communions,
New Landings ?
*New Landings is a term I co-created with Suprapto Suryodarmo in early 2017 to address a creative approach to decolonizing and recovering relationship to occupied soil such as United States, in right relationship. Attuning and receiving the constellation of conditions with body-being-environment, to be in dialogue.
As my days get more and more local, yet simultaneously global, I am experiencing some deep calls for repatterning how I live my life and how to be in right relation. This is on several scales - personal, interpersonal, social, global, cosmological. I find myself creating more space for breathing, digesting, and feeling some needs to slow down that seem at a kind of rub with this writing right here, whilst I am working to survive.
Thinking a lot about working with EMF, about the electro-magnetic polarity of yang and yin, about resonances, about the potential for health, healing, for the future and presence of this place called Earth. Wondering specifically, do Taoist alchemical practices such as qigong actually change the frequency of the larger natural world/ the cosmos / the planet, or rather solely the individuals who are sharing a field? Does rebalancing the one affect the all, as we feel how truly we are all neighbors? Do we have the capacity to shift the energetics of our surroundings through intentional vibratory practices, or are we recycling with something larger, in effect, how much am I in flow, and how am I contributing? Do we have the capacities to affect electric fields through harmonizing, or rather are we “offering and receiving” from a singular shared life field? How does a deepening in practice over time affect the larger whole?
Noticing the binary thinking (this/that), often an indication of the potential for split, for disembodiment, the kind of writing that constricts commune. There are so many kinds of writing / of sound body
This is one area of focus while we are in the seemingly limninal times of corona virus and sheltering-in-place.
I wonder this, perhaps part of the larger question, is there ever any change, and how? When I connect with embodiment, this question is less relevant. Whole body movement.
I have so often experiences changes taking so much real time. I have also experienced monumental shifts arising in a moment.
Indeed from an experiential perspective, I feel altered after practicing. In fact, I can experience wildly varied energetic qualities of experiences on Zoom / virtual gatherings can feel drained, can feel energized, effected by the kinds of actions, by my relationship with the screen, how I am enacting looking, and by the lived realities of the communications that took place. I can begin to identify the differences through quality, tone, between what takes place in qigong together in a park, alone by the ocean, with a group online, from day-to-day.... the poignant and vivid differences that come with the intimacies with the conditions of the moment.
The truth is, I am not sure what I am asking is known. These are unprecedented times, and all of understandings, be they lineage-based, transmitted, downloaded, emergent, well, never have we been here now.
I am deeply inspired these days by the technologies of real-time in place movement outdoors when it feels possible, qigong, by the potency of somatic humming of Continuum as shared through Teri Carter + Olivia, the pericardial and brain slow wave of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, inclusionary / countersexual genital self-care, Indigenous Climate Action, SURJ racial justice, visionary visual art by folks like Lukaza Branfman Verissimo and Niki Ford, the radical honesty of sex workers, Tuning4Armageddon, movement inspirations through Hana van der Koek, jaamil olawale kosoko, and mayfield brooks, communions with Lisa Nelson, pearl ubungen, and lab/shul, Kehilla, Virtually Yours (Ace and the people!), reharmonizations through BioGeometry, poetics, irresistable, so much light and lift is flowing through and so much sharing time. And so much more. Through all of these, receiving so much change.
It’s almost too much, and sometimes I have found a deep need for silence, for slowing down. Even here in this time where we are slowing down, the internet moves with the speed of light. The pandemic - is it caused by this seemingly impossible but fully enacted reality of connectivity?
All of these ways to shift change me, and I wonder, do they in turn expand into a larger field, and if so, how much so? Is even to ask this question one of colonizing? (How far how much)? What is the mosaic of decolonizing the body-being-environment? Can we reharmonize the boyd-being-environment, and is this a question of agency or hubris?
What is the we I speak of, and what kinds of “we” are needed?
Notes on the hpm (.....) project
There is this phenomenon that we have a body
We are a body-being
We are a body-being-with-environment
and yet, we have this form
It trips me up
There is the constant negotiation of all the borders, of ownership
Where do the stem from? > imperial supremacist heteropatriachal capitalism
HUMAN NATURE, itself?
Are these really the same words?
and human nature
I want to deconstruct the naturalized processes and yet I also want to be with the natural processes, the unfolding
of the living communication with the breathing of life, itself
What seems to offer a bridge,
Everything everyone every
Has a vibration
an empty axis through the volume of our being
as a way to connect to the atemporality, the all time all place, just Is.
the sense of the place of our being
neither owned nor borrowed
neither originary fantasy nor a better utopia future
N O W
After the Passing of Suprapto Suryodarmo
Lampung, and Srawung Seni Sawah
Sharing Time, Megalithic Milennial Art,
The Passing of Suprapto Suryodarmo
Hello dear friends and movers of this beautiful wide globe,
It is with a sad heart that I am writing to tell you that dear teacher and friend Suprapto Suryodarmo passed away in Solo, Java yesterday. He had been having some health issues recently, and was performing, teaching, and doing his visionary creating up until the last days of his life. For those that knew him, he passed with his partner Diane and his children Melati and Galih at his side; Prapto left the planet surrounded by loved ones, having effected the lives of so many.
What can I say? He was such a brilliant teacher, a crystalline human, a deeply inspired poet, and a movement gardener supporting so many to bloom in the garden of life. His dances this summer touched me with their power and grace. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to practice with him next week, and althnough this won’t take place, I feel wild appreciation for all the time with him so well spent.
I will forever be changed, and can only imagine the ways he will live on.
Rest in Peace, Prapto
May we receive the beauty of life, itself!
Wild Goose Qigong
Wild Goose (Dayan) Qigong is a beautiful movement practice that is thousands of years old. Wild Goose is a Taoist Medical Qigong form with direct health benefits. It contains a vast series of sets, with different qualities and movements. There are more energetic movement sets, as well as meditation-based sets of practices.
Qigong, or “the practice of moving energy” is an ancient Chinese self-healing tradition that enriches your vitality and expands your movement and intellectual capacity. Qigong has been known to have curative effects on illnesses, improve one’s sensitivity, physical stability, and offer people greater vividness of spirit. There are a wide variety of qigong forms. Based in Chinese Medicine and the energetic philosophy of Five Elements, and the meridian systems (energetic flows through the body), with Wild Goose, one can cultivate health by focusing movement, breath, and attention.
Some Wild Goose Roots
Wild Goose belongs to the Taoist Kunlun School, and so is also called Kunlun School Qigong. The most famous practitioner of Wild Goose was called Dao An, who spread the form during the Jin Dynasty (265 – 420 A.D.). Because he was a famous and earlier practitioner, he was crowned the founder of the form. The lineage was practiced in the mountains (Wutai Mountain), and then passed through the imperial system in temples throughout China. Later, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, the form came through to the family of Yang Meijun. Starting at 13, Yang Meijun studied Wild Goose from her grandfather, and it was she who popularized this magnificent set of practices and brought them into the public. By 1998, she was 104 years old, practicing daily, and living a healthy life.
Website for teachers of Wild Goose through the lineage of Dr. Bingkun Hu
Margit practicing Set 4, Spiral Qigong. Photo by Christina Bertea
Some Options for Studying Wild Goose in the East Bay I offer weekly classes in Wild Goose Qigong, taught as an ongoing series. If you are interested in trying a class or signing up for my mailings, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at (510) 761-6097. My classes take place outdoors in Oakland Parks, as well as in the warmth of local studios.
Some East Bay Wild Goose Teachers:
Dr. Bingkun Hu Berkeley, CA
Micheline Bogey Berkeley, CA
Wen Wu School El Cerrito, CA
Wild Coast Qigong Site has listings of many Wild Goose Teachers
Making sense of the vivid grove site... how to experience the sensation of overview? A stone for each facet of the constellation, suggested by Sade Gryffin ~ Cariad Healing. So, then, it can be held, touched, and therefore brought into sensations of the body-being.
Cave Forms Archive
Show-In 2014 was a process-based arts residency, presented by UC Riverside’s ARTSblock. It was organized by Brianna Skellie and myself. We sent out a call to California artists who were swarming through / near Riverside at this moment, to use the resource of the museum space and work on respective + shared creative practice. We were bequeathed two rooms – a lovely upstairs studio and the main atrium – and incredible tech support. We formalized our discussions with the microphone, and got a lot out of basic activities that engaged the procedures of making work.Thanks to the participants Crystal Sepulveda, Mara Poliak, Mary Anna Lachman, Nancy Popp, Olive Noire, Rebecca Bruno, and Taisha Paggett for joining in, and countless others who tried their best to make it there. We shared space through practice, inter-independently. Personally, I found an incredible support in the format, in our warm-ups together. Within it, an easy expansion of my nascent project arose without effort, that which rarely comes alone in the studio. This was also the first sharing of the nascent Cave Forms
What follows are a few images from the few days, Instagram-style:
ARTSblock, Brianna Skellie, California artists, Crystal Sepulveda, Culver Center, Mara Poliak, Layton Lachmann, Nancy Popp, Olive Noire, process, Rebecca Bruno, residency, Taisha Paggett, UC Riverside
Originary Art Blog ~ “Introduction in”
…did you ever see a dog- which is, as Plato says, in the second book of his Republic, the most philosophical creature in the world- discover a marrow bone? If ever you did, you will have noticed how devotedly he eyes it, how carefully he guards it, how fervently he holds it, how circumspectly he begins to gnaw it, how lovingly he breaks it, and how diligently he licks it. What induces him to do all this? What hope is there in his labor? What benefits does he expect? Nothing more than a little marrow.”
-Abstractor of the Quintessance (François Rabelais)”