Magical Missions P.2 How Children Come Into This World

Magical Missions
requesting children
having spirits leave my body
curled up and hurting
clutching rocks and praying on the forest floor
the moon bleeding out of me
I cried.
requesting children and a flood of children appearing to hold my hand and walk me through their lives
requesting children and being sent whales, and guava, and dolphin-eyes and pregnant dolphins and fishes and eels and the Io Valley
requesting children and finding loneliness and drinking and comfort of friends
requesting children and finding no-job
requesting children and going to grad school instead
requesting children and finding myself as my own child
requesting children and making my house into a joyful place for everyone
requesting children and encountering Indira’s Net again and again
requesting children and receiving dreams, and poetry, and stories of other women
requesting children and continuing to walk with them down the paths of neighborhoods
requesting children and watching love unfurl in others around me
requesting children and encountering rage, and more blood
requesting children and facing my fear of the dark, and aloneness
requesting children and one heard me, and made an agreement, through several strange trials, and made of me a chrysalis , a chrysalis who repeated the Bene Gesserit litany against fear into the mirror on a daily basis, a chrysalis who could not eat enough, or get out of bed most days, a chrysalis who dreamed, and dreamed, and dreamed as if making up for lost time on the way, a chrysalis who read and watched movies and frequented target and made tallies of the items necessary, a chrysalis who swam and chanted mantras into the ceiling of the gym pool, a chrysalis who was able to leave world-worry for focused task, and then endure a trial by fire of ancestor women in caves, the long lineage weaving and winding, sending smoke in lines through the ages humming and murmuring by fires, the ash lines being drawn out, predictions made, singing, making enchantments over the mouths of those venturing near to hear the cries of the mother, the first cries of the baby, say nothing that is not peaceful, encouraging, say nothing of fear, of potential of danger, do not call the darkness in. women with black smudged mouths and eyes keeping rattles occupied, drum skins tight and soft talking and in communication with that which is making its way though.
in spanish an expression for “giving birth” is “dar la luz,” meaning to give the light. bringing light through the tunnel, through the fire, through that which we have forgotten, or do not know, bringing the light.
my child, when he was born, was pearlescent, and quiet. he was tired, the journey was long and his ears were still whooshing with heartbeat and intestine and exhale. the midwife picked up his left pinky finger, splayed on my chest, and he opened one eye like a napping old man, scrunching up his face. with what emotion? raw exhaustion? disbelief?
it takes a long time, it takes a long time, it takes a long time.

Magical Missions P. I

Magical Missions

It started…when?

I have told this story many times but with different beginnings, middles, and stopping points along the way.
Jasmine flowers on the malecon, ringing a succession of small bells, putting pieces of rocks in my pockets, tucking herbs into my hat.
Bringing home essences of my planet home.
Constructing small spaces to sit and listen
Creating an environment between two people for some third thing to unfold.

What is in the mystery is in the mystery—
it stays there, in the other world.
It stays there, in the what is not shown in the picture,
what is not meant to be shared.

Magical missions, then.
Molecules of walking medicine who show up
when and where they please
by no accident
the world consciousness is in need of recovery.

What the picture doesn’t show is the road
what the picture doesn’t show is my current obsession with purple
what the picture doesn’t show is the years of question and guilt and hopefulness, curiosity, wonder.
what the picture doesn’t show is the name of the tree
what the picture doesn’t show is the real light
what the picture doesn’t show is not-knowing and not-knowing and not-knowing how.

Magical Missions
watching animals wander through dreams
watching animals move in cages
watching animals run and swing through branches and swim and breathe air
watching animals climb trees like a tree highway

sitting with trees
asking trees questions asking for advice asking for mentorship
drawing with trees
collecting sticks like a child
collecting sticks with my child
becoming aware of what the tree is saying
affirming and reaffirming what the tree is saying
running errands for trees
collecting messages from trees, with intent to distribute
bringing the trees flowers and honey
bringing the trees in my hands

Radiant Clown Scene Exploration

Keeping this idea for a clown essay: The Clown at the crossroads: becoming quicksand in shifting times. How can one disappear into and through the clown? The clown as portal, the clown as time creator.

In the US we have a distaste, dislike for the clown, we despise it. Unruly, uncontrollable, farts, wears impossible clothing. I have come to despise the man’s dress clothes. I live in a hippy, natural town. Rarely do I see men on their lunch breaks with loudly clacking shoes and belts tightened into their belly fat. In fact my mouth starts to bare her teeth reflexively when I see this costume in the grocery store parking lot. Insensible, for one, in 80 degree weather, cheap plastics materials pants gathering crotch and ass sweat, itchy, uncomfortable, ill fitting. A beautiful blue suit to show off at a special occasion is one thing, a flapping Men’s Wearhouse gaping kneed every day wear item is another. “This makes me look professional.” Stamped “Professional.”

The hobo clown wears this kind of disheveled ill-fitting suit. Ugly colors, too big or too small, sad face, sticky hair, battered briefcase. Moaning, can’t catch a break. The act could just be wearing this face and doing a regular office desk job. Not Funny. Sad. Our culture is one of slogging through, and for what? I see the clown mime hanging himself with his neck tie. Or. an idea becomes him. A golden light begins to glow from his desk, his face, above. He takes off his suit, peeling it back like Clark Kent to reveal—just himself, just a glowing body, a quick swipe through face and hair transforms him. golden body paint, smudged upward from the heart would do the trick. Suddenly radiant, he looks in the mirror and sees his Baby self, and his smiling parents shining back at him, he remembers, he is crying with excitement and his tears become golden streamers, coming off his hands, off of his face, his hair, he is lifted into the air over his office and his body is obscured by the streamers, he is hooting and shouting and the streamers trail through the desks and his coworkers are radically transformed as well, peeling back their own office gear for beautiful garments or going bare. It doesn’t all have to be glowing. The desks become full of flowers growing from the office pots as the light comes in, the overhead halogen lights stop their buzzing and purplegreen light. Appletrees sprout from apples left on desks, windows open and people holler and scream out of the them, into the streets, light flooding in, birds fly in, there is more light inside than outside and things start to flicker back and forth, it becoming TOO MUCH of a scene and the trees and flowers are growing obscenely large and taking over everything and the people start to panic but it is too late for panicking and they are consumed by it, by joy, by the muchness of it, the flood of loveliness, of nature, of the power of the sun and the force of growing, when given a chance. The birds grow to human size, take the place of the characters, become the characters in a new story, building their houses, their nests from the streamers and the flowers and the beautiful items ripped from the usedtobedesks—shiny handles and pieces of machinery and well,there aren’t really curly telephone cords anymore but in this scene there could be, and they just go on about their lives, flying off, coming back, worms, eggs hatching, pushing from the nest, fighting, etc, the whole thing of life and death (the worms eat the dead birds, you know). The Clown Sun has been forgotten by the audience maybe, he is a streamer ball at the top of the stage left. At some point he is lowered, as the light becomes purple starry, and gives a wave or a smile as the lights go down. The End.

DreamLog: Mission

Last night I had a dream of trying to sneak out to go on a dangerous mission. We were taking TT along and I didn’t want my dad to know. Someone tripped the sensor light and he saw us and we left anyway.
Some border crossings, land based, into or out of Egypt, Ghana, maybe we flew somehow. I can’t remember the details of the mission, only that we were intent on going, and we went in two camper vans.
When we got back, someone who had been traveling with us, who had been latent (like a werewolf at safer phases of the moon), became stirred up. He had a scarred word etched into his face and it started to glow, become inflamed, shift shape into other words. We were continuing on our journey and he couldn’t come. We tied him to a slab of rock, sitting up, while he fumed, and then we drove away.
With dream vision able to see more facets of a story, I saw him become molten and harden again and dig down, down, down through the rock, digging up on the other side of the world with some burrowing mammals and miners. This dream character didn’t seem to be thinking, really, in the human sense, he was consumed, intent on his own survival and mission.

Upcoming: Wash of Posts

Hello lovely people,

I have decided to offer more posts. I am a recovering perfectionist, and I continue to realize how much I keep things tight unto myself and then they form an isolating barrier. I say I am practicing becoming more vulnerable–I am becoming more vulnerable. I believe this is what the world needs more of. Excavating and exposing of our truest selves and relationships to the world. Ideas that “don’t make sense.” Crying, true despair over the destruction we are collaborating on, of our planet and our humanity. And then continuing to work on restoring relationships and safety for all peoples and relations.

“We will not get out of this the same way we got in to it,” so says the indigenous wisdom bridger/teacher Malidoma Somé (www.malidoma.com). Here’s to each of us, resetting, clearing, rejoining.

Yours,
Truly,
In discovery, recovery,
in joy and despair,
Charlotte

You Can Come Home and The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

“the World and the Bear” 2011, C.Savage

You Can Come Home
and
The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

1. You Can Come Home, The Wind

Is the feeling I am mistaking for love free fall?
And is there anything inherently incorrect with that?

There is talk of “groundedness”
and then, the visceral feeling,
of the sprinting spiral trajectory of our entire solar system. **
Of our star shooting through space, even as I sit and type.
**(the former-physicist me wishes for a moment for a memory)

The plane of Between in all stillness practices,
in this moment, is this the feel of subspace,
the place of acknowledgment,
the yogis flexing and bending as their bodies hurtle through an incomprehensible galaxy,
you can come home
you can come home
you can come home

Here.
A dance of matching speeds
human v human on horse
wood v wood-fired metal
glass v gourd
bear v car
nature v structure
speaking v understanding knowing
is it a set up?
is it a construct of the walled mind?**
**(bridge v river)

existence in a spacetime of
imminent collision…
inevitable…
there is no toward
or getting away from

and what is it really,
and what does it matter
and I’d rather leave the
strict suburbs of why
for the open plains of
star time
and
your mind
and weeping until we are done

the rigidity of opposing
v
the flexibility of intertwined roots
lifting the land
breathing the wind

stone, water, love
beyond what is time
beyond what is concept

the feeling of my body
the feeling of knowing
the feeling of wind
the feeling of the whole thing coming down**
**(the feeling of the potential of the whole thing coming down)

i’m all shook up

2. The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

What I know is there is nothing to argue about
A state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder

what is being in love
what is world worry
what does the Hubble space telescope show us
what is the movement of planets
I gotta stop I almost started to cry

why spend our time arguing about the existence of love?
altho it’s me who squirms away from philosophy.

3. The Bear, The Bear

In August I arrived from Peru with Amazon River water, full of pink dolphins, still on my skin
I drove to pick up a friend, hearing his voice after years and years
gravelly like my Russian brother, and the same opening statement
Sorry, sorrysorrysorrysorry, I’m sorry
I know

In the short timespan I drove to retrieve him:
a big, fat-flowing male bear galloped across the highway, I almost hit him,
on the way back, he was dead, huge still, on the side of the road.
We didn’t have time to stop for him. I felt awful. We were on a mission.
The Kontomble had sent a recipe with bear fur.
And we couldn’t stop.

On Tuesday, now three months later, after the weekend of shamanic wind and weeping through music, I was driving to drop my child off at school and saw another bear, dead on the side of the road.

At first I thought it was a dog, a German Shepherd, but it was a bear. I felt sick. I had just mentioned the bear the night before. Here was the bear. I took my child to school. I borrowed children’s scissors from his classroom, I remembered, in my rush of the morning and all the bags, leaving my bag with the knife at home.

I was distraught, I called my friend, I drove up and turned around at the next exit and came back, looking for the bear. I saw it, lying the the grass, and as I got closer began to cry for its smallness. I pulled over next to its body. My friend asked me to be careful, to be aware and present for other bears, if this one was so small, to make an offering. I hung up.

I went over to the bear, crying, truck sound roaring by, I stayed close to my car, I felt fear, I felt a large bubble of fear, pain, disaster. It felt warm, present, watery, a different quality of air. I looked over my shoulder, feeling another bear may come barreling down the hillside on the opposite side of the road. I saw the blood pattern on the road, of the bear coming across, being hit, and stumbling to the side, collapsing. The head wound, the killing blow, was resting on the ground, the young bear’s eye half open. She looked alive, still, resting a moment before death, her spirit still in the air around her.

I was so sad and afraid. I pulled tobacco from a cigarette and sage from the window, I did not have a lighter, I ground it between my hands and sang two songs I do not remember, tears falling into the grass. I was hot and afraid, feeling the bear. Was there another bear? I opened the plastic bag I had pulled from my car door and there were feathers in it. I looked around again and felt there was no physical danger. I knelt by the bear and snipped some of her fur into a towel. The warm bubble disappeared, my tears stopped, I was able to breathe normally again, I got into my car. The Bear.

More The Wind another time.

xoc

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.
I.

+swimming in the energy of Belen

+pink dolphins like twisting flags, traveling

+tossing friends into the air

+dancing and throwing limbs to the edges

+deeply surprising lunches and motorides

+witnessing transformation, mastery, awareness

+making a magical, medicinal space

+being held by the Amazon, swimming in space

+being healed by the hands of my community, creating a space for safety and direct contact

+listening and being delivered treasure

+receiving indigenous wisdom via community and plant medicines

II. Thank yous

Thank you
for the gifts
the gift of murga
the gift of seeing and being seen, of being heard
the gift of meeting, encountering, moving together like a cloud of birds, vapor,
molecules in a container, together, and flowing out to join with what is, with other, with water

Thank you
for the gift of your eyes
the gift of your heart—wide
thank you, thank you for your pouring
of intention and commitment to task
thank you for your sensitivity, your sensibility, your gentleness
your creativity, your flexibility

Thank you for bringing your magical self,
your mystical, mythical self,
your self as you walk in this land and other lands.
Thank you for bringing your awareness,
your care,
the extension of yourself in this and other worlds—your love,
your body full of medicine

Thank you for your kisses,
your hugs, your squeezes
around the middle,
your loving gazes

good morning, good evening, good night,
blessings, blessings on your heart, your eyes, your life

Thank you for being light bearers
thank you for being
thank you for thinking of water, and
river, and
grass, and
eyes, and
plants, and
hands, and
carrying,
carrying the gifts in
your hands,
your eyes,
your heart.

Thank you for your blessings,
Thank you for the blessings that you are.
Thank you for being kindness
Thank you for bringing joy.

xoc

The Flowers Come Home

from February 18

Something I am discovering about medicine is that everything begins to tend toward it, like a magnet. Dreams, especially, poetry and art and heart and mind. Music, intention, environment. Flowers demand to come home in a bag, be planted, be cut and arranged, keep dream company on the bedside. There is no demand, there just is. The flowers come home.

Last night I was overtired after drinking a little and painting flowers from last weekend, and completing a notebook with a poem, and I began to have visual distortion in the edges of things, and because I noticed I didn’t jump too hard.

In bed I searched for an Albert Goldbarth poem I have been looking for and finally found it— To Be Read in 500 Years —and read it, and my heart was beating like a ball bouncing off a wall and started to double skip again, for the first time in a week. The poem is 4 pages long and in me behaves like sex, rolling up through my body, my chest and head filling with blood in calculated waves, creating a sense of wonder and confusion, which, as cheesy as that sounds, is true.

And so after the poetry I tried to sleep, and here is this owl, from behind my head, and I am already at the very edges of the physical world, and I allow the memory of the malevolent pushing force to surface and he/they/it begins to walk the room, and my heart is double beating and the owl is hoo hooooing in the small patch of woods and there are no flowers on the bookshelf to look over the dream—I left them on the table—and he/it begins to round the corner of the bed and I also don’t have any Frankincense and then I remember Thuy is on the floor at the foot of the bed and I call a stop. I breathe flowers into my body and reorder my heart. I know where order rests, and how to quickly calm a rise of adrenaline, in my own home.

I try to sleep. The owl is calling and calling and there is this other animal, this other owl, or dog, in call with it. I think it is a dog, and imagine shouting out the window at night, to ask some neighbor to put the dog in, or have it shut the fuck up. And then I start to think it is a fledgling owl, or some other injured party, who does not know how to properly call, and I think this other owl is being very patient with its call, responding to the exaggerated and obnoxious, incorrect one. Out of order.

I fall asleep eventually and the owls are still calling, and what happens is: they begin to build an icaro. I watch it being weaved. Circular, with patterns being called by the top to bottom, branching out to the edges. The two animals are calling the patterns next to each other, and I am starting to feel the feeling of being able to understand how the medicine is to be used, and the stitching is reaching the bottom and edges and

Thuy calls out, calmly, in an awake voice, not a night terror voice, “Mommy? Mommy?” and the dream begins to dissolve and he is cold, his blanket has shifted and I get up and lay it back over him, on his little pallet, and I say I Love You and Good Night and Stay Cozy Baby and I try to stay in the dream mind and lie down and imagine the edges of the weaving and where the magic and the medicine was starting to lead out into two sticks maybe and it didn’t come back. And by now the owl too had moved on or gone to bed and I let myself hold loosely to the image of the unfinished edge and fell back into dreaming but of something else.

xoc

Allegiance

Eastern Hellbender Cryptobranchus allegeniensis photo: Bronx Zoo

Listen to this writing on SoundCloud 

“To Whom and//or what do you give your allegiance?”
“How Does Such Allegiance impact your sense of self and thus your writing?”

Aham, my allegiance is to the trout, the stars, the folded cups of mountain laurel, pale pink centered.

“How is your writing a form of peyote?”
“How is your writing medicine to bring back to your community?”
“Take these 15 minutes of peyote time.”

Is my allegiance really to the shovel?
I bought such a beautiful one—German-made, expensive,
not from Home Depot.
I sparkled over its heaviness, its “heirloom” quality—
my five year old asked if it was his and I said “sometime.”
I hacked through 4—or, really 2 square feet of crabgrass and
cursed the roots, cried about deforestation of my place,
which isn’t really my place,
which doesn’t feel like my place,
without any living trees,
and hoped the cherry tomatoes would volunteer again,
and glared, sweaty, from my kitchen over a glass of cider.
This is work for machines.
And as I write this I think, “no.
I will take the shovel to the decorative parts of the land and
put in my peas and my radishes where the crabgrass
has not yet taken over.”
I will water the pear trees and make offerings to the
one great oak left—
I will tie it round with ribbons and flags
and people zooming by with confederate plates might wonder—
“what the fuck is that little girl doing, dressing up a tree?”
and will I have the bravery to make shrines?
Will I have the peace in my heart to walk with questions to the native peoples and request introductions to places.
I need an invitation, a calling card.

And the little, pointing, laughing, curious, drunken, activated little spirits say:
Stop with all that lamentation. You have had your introductions,
you have made the spaces and the fires in your heart and the
mountains see you, darling,
and the rivers love you,
dear one,
and the fishes and the dreams request your
full presence.
So turn your eyes TOWARD, instead of AWAY FROM.
Turn them into eggs, turn them into bellies, turn them into
honey and holes.
Listen with your spots, with your salamanders.
Speak with your stones and your hands and your bloody heart and your toothiness and your
radiant eyes. Speak little one, speak young one, speak.

Give your heart fully to the things you love
without fear that it will be removed from your body—
for it does not reside there anyway.
Remember the green, the smell, the water full of toes and
hellbenders.
I give my allegiance to the hellbenders and their
ugly, magnificent kin,
to their riffles and ruffles and
nose holes and hiding places,
I burn pyres for their deaths and for their lives.
I give my love and my honor and whatever I have—
my voice.

from a writing prompt at Asheville Wordfest: Geopoetics
session with Todd Levasseur: Writing Through Collapse

xoc

Asheville Wordfest

for breakfast

I weep for the magic of the world. And yet. And yet. Does it need my weeping?

Holding a small round of bread spread with white cheese and Imladris Farms raspberry jam and thinking of [slipping into] some far off homey fantasy perhaps populated by hobbits my still-physical body/eyes sense that the bread is steaming, though it is not hot in my hand and my dreaming-mind is providing the perception of molecular events…I hesitate to use the word “reality,” it has myriad personal connotations and while there are facts existing and we all share this world, etc, where our filters meet there is a glamour..[of…]

So my brain and mind are trying to make amends/make sense of this observed phenomenon and somewhere in there, in the next few [following] seconds I see the coffee cup, partly obscured and steaming in the background. And I am overcome by the desire to cry.

Though I do not believe I am a particularly special specimen, physically or chemically, my allowing of events to unfold in their own time gives me something I cannot find, could not find if I looked (and I am looking) [that i cannot find though i am looking] elsewhere. Somewhere other than my own mind. It’s not that it’s fascinating (here I am considering what my counselor has to say) but that time seems to slow down/alter in story. It is not My Own Story. It is a story of being in the world, and the curious moments that open up when the sensory input says something is happening [that is not happening] that is not corroborated by other senses. What then? That it is not “real”—well, in a sense, “who cares,” or “everyone already knows that.” But for a moment, I don’t know.

I am thinking of the parts of life the memory immediately erases, unable classify and place, and this small occurrence among them—a fucking piece of toast and some coffee steam—that would disappear before I leave the table, without this examination of the brief confusion I felt, between breaths. Most often they are in nature, colossal and unreal to the modern mind, unused to such patterns, unable to identify and store—a nearby breaching whale, huge beyond belief, a murmuration of birds (my, I really must have overdone it, or overnight without training become a mistress of object manipulation), the last moment of birth—my own body doing something beyond my imagining or processing though I have seen it on film and with [viewed happening in the body of] others. Those seconds disappear, replaced (if allowed) by wonder, by a sense of profound order of Earth.

And so here I am again, my hands covering my eyes and a lurch in my stomach. We need the magics imagined by women. We need the creation and the recovery. We need the rolling of the heavens, of the stars, of the…of the beauty swelling through. We need the memories, the singing, the trades. Do good deeds with your hands, I am tasked, I am asked, I am given. Do good deeds with your hands. My son sings seeds into punk music. Respect, love, honor, true love, true love woven into everything we do—the net must be created, or repaired, recreated for this era, the strands unravel, all hand-created objects must have care, must be made with care. Must be made with care.

Where is a place where we could go to figure this out, some fallow valley land, some mountain green nearby, some stream, some place, some heaven. Where could we sit on the ground and run in the sunshine and let our hair grow long and our minds grow wild. There were places like this and somehow the weavings were not enough—aha I am now thinking of old California and the idea of freedom The Idea of Freedom where there is already a system of unfreedom, of oppression, of struggle. I am thinking of the societies before ours, based in art, in making, in creation, in pulling the threads from the very atmosphere and I have seen it. I have seen the threads and sat in prayer and here I am with my eyes closed and my hands clasped and the streams and waves and waters of knowing and disbelief descending on me in ribbons of light. All parts of myself making amends, I stretch my arms and open my eyes and here this strange experience is happening to me in public, in an unassuming coffee shop, and I am thinking of my friend across town and perhaps she has been lost, separated from the web, and I don’t want to write about that.