"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." - Robert Frost
It appears that my "about" bio is at least three years out of date. Yet, one thing on it remains relevant (not much else!). And that is that I love this quote: "Sometimes we have to travel to the edge of ourselves to find our center." - Buck Ghosthorse, Lakota Medicine Man. In the spirit of truthfulness outlined in the last post, I need to continue pushing the envelope, not necessarily to be trendy or anything fancy, just because that is what greenness feels into, what life nudges: grow.
"[B]logging success comes from pushing your own personal edge. Too many young bloggers are trying to write what they think other people want to read, instead of writing work that actually challenges themselves.
Culture exists on the fringes. The center is boring, and secretly everyone wants out of the mediocre middle." - Everett Bogue, "How Blogging Evolves(ed)", Far Beyond the Stars blog
As I'm piecing this post together, I'm drinking Jasmine Green Monkey King tea, listening to lyrics "...just love as you are." Yes, we'll continue to grow here but I suspect some of you have more pressing demands than this little tea parlor in cyberspace. However, if you've the inclination there are a couple of other "levels" of play--if you want to notch up and engage deeply with me and other visitors here--and best yet, with life.
"There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness:
One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don't live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance." - Eckhart Tolle
1. Encanto. Intimate, interactive salon straight to your inbox about 12-20 times per month. $25/month beginning The Year of the Cat/Rabbit February 3, 2011. Of course, newsletters aren't in and of themselves at all interactive. The interactivity occurs both online--and offline between participants and, predominately, with life. Here's my description so far, it'll evolve with the participants:
"Patterns, signs, subtle variations in rightness and not-rightness, flow and obstruction; this is how it works. I make it sound as if the universe and I were two separate things, but it's actually the absence of that artificial distinction that I'm talking about." - Jed McKenna
Encanto is a private newsletter where the reader isn't "along for the journey," but full-fledged travel companions. This is an experiential undertaking. Do you accept the challenge of walking into the unknown? Accept every cue and clue and call and nudge that the Universe throws you? (Otherwise, reading this newsletter will be utter nonsense as it becomes further removed from your own experiential reference point.) Be willing to engage wholeheartedly with your life as it shows up along with me...
You'll know via your own instinct if you desire to subscribe.
2. Narrative "game" on the web, akin to Jane McGonigal's Evoke in terms of "inspiration," but not quite an alternate reality game (as Life is the puppetmaster in this one). I'd like to use Web artist Jonathan Harris' upcoming storytelling platform (it's still months off) although I hardly know much about it. It's a hunch I have. I "met" Jonathan Harris through watching the video of his Cold: Bold talk--highly recommend the video.
And I love Jonathan's answer to:
"How can a website be art?
By its very nature, my online work is designed to be experienced by as many people as possible. This runs against the traditional art world model, which is premised on the scarcity of precious objects. The idea of "acquiring" a website is still foreign to most museums and collectors. Some curators are beginning to consider how a museum might acquire a work that continues to exist in the public domain. For instance, MoMA's Paola Antonelli is interested in having her museum acquire a Boeing 747, and having it continue to operate commercial flights with a small MoMA plaque attached to the plane. Similarly, the Dia Foundation supports environmental artists like Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson who install their work in natural settings, for anyone to see. Meanwhile artists like Banksy present their art in the street, among road signs and billboards. I prefer to keep focused on making my work, and not to worry too much about the semantics of what can and cannot be considered art. Sooner or later, with the help of curators like Paola and working artists who continue to insist on the web as a medium, the art world will catch up."
The whole multimedia narrative game will be interactive as is innate to the Web, and freely online if I have a say so (perhaps through sponsorships? suggestions?). It flows out as street art in the way it enages you in your life out there on the streets, in the way that you yourself are public art.
An excerpt from a potential scene in this narrative written by moi to demonstrate as it's not at all this style of blog writing:
Three years later.
The subtlety of jasmine.
Surrounded by huge legs of pork, hanging chickens, a cacophony of bustling shoppers scurrying around me, jostling in long lines and vying for their butchered meat. The scent is outside on Mulberry street wafting from the bakery next door. The scene cuts to grandmother's place off Hester, pouring from a clay pot the juice of blooming flowers and rain and wind chime symphonies swirls into the porcelain cup I'm holding.
Then, the memories drop into vast space like an untethered astronaut.
I'm pouring from a large, silver Thermos pot used to keep coffee warm, but the liquid is silkier and less opaque than coffee. Instead of the burlap sack looking tents I just saw on TV, I'm in a sturdier canvas one and outside yet sturdier wood domes filled with bamboo futons and straw-spun pillows. There are metal platters of food like a buffet in here.
I smell of ginger and turmeric and spices I'm not sure of. I pour out jasmine tea into small white porcelain cups sketched with blue phoenixes. I hand one over to the first man in line. There's dozens behind him. He's wearing a camo hoodie with his youngest son riding his arm, held close to his chest.
"Favorite year. There was an animated chandelier. The Temple of Gravity," he turning to his companion behind him. His other, older son, is taking the plate of lentils and rice from another volunteer.
Someone in the crowd breaks into song, "We're coming to America... never looking back again.... we're traveling light today..."
Cut. "Alright, let's go to Vegas," I announce.
Shen doesn't seem startled by my statement. "I thought you said we would, ya know, work remote."
"Of course," I reply. "There'll be film people too. Maybe I can pitch the mind movies." Even when she had done the film projects at NYU with Jeremie as cameraman, the result never quite measured up to the vivid images rolling in her mind. She'd learned a lot since then.
"Uh huh, and then we'll sell them Santa Claus," Shen shot back.
"Oh, I'm not about to explain it. I'll show them."
p.s. For those of you that are wondering, I'm serious about the three questions and curious about this one: What if I gave YOU precisely $100? Would you use it to plant seeds? How? One reader totally grokked the intention of the three questions, and wrote: "I am grateful that immediately after reading your blog post the next email was a local opportunity to help someone out. Someone in a wheelchair is raising money to compete in an athletic competition by selling cookies. It's a small amount, but it feels right for now. I like the one to one help rather than giving to a large organization." Thanks!
ART CREDITS: Pale Blue Door is a funky-fertile-fun pop-up underground restaurant. Pictured above is its incarnation in Berlin; photos by Manuel Vasquez. This photo evokes the intimacy and casual artistry I'm seeking in a Salon of peer "travelers." Truthfully, it's the spirit of what I'd like to have manifest more in real-life. And if there was ANY way to evoke a quaint cozy cafe culture in a blog, that's the ticket. Secondly, Dr. Brene Brown's C.S. Lewis quote from her blog, Ordinary Courage; and the rest of the art comes from Ginger Huebner's art (portfolio here) including Ginger's mixed media Touching the Edges, Nourish, and Home.