Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ocean in the Badlands

When I dream I often go to a place that falls between the direct intersection between Aldine, New Jersey and the Badlands of South Dakota.  In the dreamworld these locations are just barely not adjacent.  They are direct neighbors once removed.  They coexist in the same small community.

In my dream, the space between between Aldine and the Badlands is only as big as my dream.

I live in a house there that sits on the edge of a dry lake by the ocean.  There are scrub pines along the road. The dirt is red.  The light is gray and blue and purple and seems stuck in dusk.

I was only really ever in the Badlands for the most brief moment. An eyelash bat of time.  I lived in Aldine really never.  But the traffic jams on the way to work there were the result of dairy cows on their way to work.

The house in this intersectionality glows.  It fills the space and pulls the light.  If this light were water it would exist as fog and mist and roll into the places we'd like to forget.  The places women with the marmish pursed lips tell us not to speak about.  The light like fog rolls in and makes us utter the truths that we have be told we should forget and never speak of.  Those truths that fester like cancer.  The pursed lipped women only want to hear stories of happiness and sunshine and sweetness even when the cancerous truth they bury and ignore eats away at them.

The ocean should not exist in the middle of the continent...the lake is only just dry.

My house has the scent of roses and ocean and must.  The lamp in the corner has turned itself on- old wires...need replacing- and glows yellow, warming the blue and gray light.  For a moment the world holds its breath with this new light.  Then when life continues, so does the exhale.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Woman with Black Box

Congress Street in Portland Maine was closed to car traffic for 3 hours last Friday Evening for the the First Friday Art Walk.  It was mostly glorious.  There were circus performers, marimba players, guitar players, drummers with buckets, fire eaters, and roving artists.  I was one of the roving artists: one of two "official" roving artists according the First Friday Art Walk (Portland, Maine) Converge listing.  I wandered Congress Street with my black box.  I guess I have come to terms that I am basically a mime when I perform this piece but with a major exception:  I am NOT the cliche mime. 

The why I do this piece is to observe human interaction.  Last Friday showed me some pretty horrible acting humans as well as some pretty amazing ones.

The horrible were the packs of roving self entitled adolescents.  These children ended up chasing me up Center Street threatening to push me over, pull off my wig and steal all my stuff.  They finally stopped after I broke character and screamed "Get the fuck away from me you little shits!"

Although my husband was nearby I felt very scared.  I made it very clear to these children that I did not want to interact with them but they seemed to think that because I existed they could harangue, threaten and chase me.  They were very horrid creatures.  

What troubles me most is that I had the ability to break character and use my verbal skills to make them leave me alone.  I also had my husband as back-up.  What if I was unable to create verbalized language?  What if I was alone and no one would help me?  These are problems that lots of folks face and the children who chased me had no clue that they were acting totally inappropriately.  The chances of them hurting me if I had less privilege would be pretty high.   

One of the amazing things was an interaction two young children who had asked kindly (with no verbal language) to see what was in my box.  The woman caring for these children asked if she could take a picture with the three of us.  Of course I nodded.  The youngest child was placed on the ground, locked my eyes and climbed through my skirts to hug me.  She was unafraid of my visage and seemed to appreciate my quiet.

After the two young girls got their bubbles, I was able to watch them dancing after the bubbles that their caretaker blew down the road.  Their giggles mixed with the music from the square and was one of the most beautiful sounds I heard that evening.  Thank you, little ones.