Mine

I want to exchange words.

I want to absorb your vocabulary, I want your words in my mouth, I want to speak your language. I want to see recognition in your eyes. I want you to know, to understand, that it is you, a part of you, taken in, loved, and given back into the world (like breath, like breathing).

Communication, Relationships, Meaning—cornerstones of (my) life, beginnings of (a) path. They make my boat, and river, and body, and forest-mind or mind-as-forest. They make up my lake, my star, my mountain, anything I extend my hand toward or could even address as “mine.’”

“Mine” as not a possessiveness but an offering—fingers outstretched. “Mine” as “I am willing to believe you if you tell me you see me as myself.” “Mine” as “I can sink into this physical environment and know your eyes are everywhere, because I see them//because I see with them.” “Mine” as a feeling just had, fleeting, a feeling of between-two. A sensation of confirmation, ever-curious, never-guessing, something only briefly known, waiting to know again. “Mine” as “myself—in relation to—…”

The mountains claim me
“Mine.”
The sea claims me, the air claims me, the trees, the birds, the whales, the insects, the spiders claim me, wrap and prod me with their stick legs, their mossy fingers, wands,
the birches and the birch springs claim me,
the rushings and the whirrings and the whinings and the silences,
the soft paddings of feet and the intricate markings and the innate swivelings of ears
claim me
more than myself
“mine”
mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.
Ours then.

Audio on soundcloud

 

Somatic response and questions re:Bjork on Bjork

Glass bridge to Hunter Museum, Chattanooga TN, Sept 2017

Last night I read an article on my phone—Bjork interviewing herself, and I felt a tingle in my ribcage and on the tops of my thighs. I felt this strongly at the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga.  A somatic response to arts, not just an idea.

And then I came up with some questions:

What if we were happier?

Would we make different things?

Would our minds fire differently?

Would our mind’s fire behave differently?

Would our mind’s eye cast a different light?

What would we cast?

What light would we sing?

How would the missions differ?

What. small. molecular. changes would be made? With our vision, with our voices?

Be not afraid, angels, to rearrange the pattern,

to create form where form must be seen,

and to dismantle, dissolve, and resurrect where it is also needed.

It is also needed.

What if we were happy?

(Audio recording )

https://soundcloud.com/user-832655160/response-questions-2017-10-13

xoc

Bjork article, W magazine

https://www.wmagazine.com/story/bjork-interviews-herself

Birthday Gift

 

 

Birthday writing, Sept 1 2017, Well Bred Cafe, Biltmore, Asheville NC, with Aile Shebar

I wrote to you, Aile, on the evening of my birthday to say, “look at the clouds!”

I was on the lookout for them, the memory of our write night last year with the shelf of clouds—impressive, ominous and awe-inspiring—this duality of non duality clash and uprising. Is something hiding there? or just
the feeling—TOO GREAT, must be something behind it—
GREAT, maybe something else AND
just the beauty, the great-ness the
simple combination of
super powers—air, water, wind, light. Something SO HUGE, so mystical
and ordinary.

My heart is calling me toward the color and the form— of
cloud, sunset, tree, leaf, stream. My eye is alerting me to
WATER. WATER. WATER.
Like a timer going off.

Many memories pop up in my brain like an alarm WAKEUP WAKEUP WAKE UP.

On my birthday, I sought the pool that is the color of my eyes.
Sitting, feet and hand in the water, praying,
asking,
Mother, what can I do, Mother,
what can I do for you—

singing.
Silently at first and then with voice,
(here I am starting to grip my pen closer to the nib)

singing. a breath. another breath.

Mother—
what can I do for you?
Please.

And like a wing beat the answer came into my body

you can return.
you can come home.

When I am singing
songs of longing,
longing for you,
you, you
I am waiting here always for
you
you
you—

like a drum my heart finally started beating
FOR.
ITSELF.
FOR.
MYSELF.
I have been waiting for
you you you and
you are right here.

I cried. I let the hot tears fill up and spill out. There was maybe one other person there, I don’t know if he was on the rocks and observing a part of this ritual, this silent, crying faerie in the sometimes sparkling water//A small woman crying with her feet in the pool, under a shelf of boulders.

I made the pool for myself, blocking the views other than birch and rhododendron and water and rock. With my feet I observed the small flows tucked back into the rocks. The undersides trembled a little bit.

I put my right hand in the water, to hear.

I cupped my left hand to my heart, to hear.

And I listened, until the question came,

and I listened, until an answer was there.

And then I listened to the heat in my tears and to the shush of the falls and to the color and the shapes in the rock sticking up in front of me and to the green, green leaves filling my vision.

Mother, I am here.

Take a deep breath of gratitude into your living lungs.

Take a deep breath of gratitude into your living lungs.

Frequently I am a guest in places of fear, trauma, captivity–hospitals, orphanages, jails, psychiatric wards, and some places where basic needs are not met, where “the issue of human rights” is not some horrible, sterilized bureaucratic catchphrase, but an ache of despair. My body gets hot with nausea and confusion, thinking of it from a distance.

40 girls died in a fire this week in their “safe house”/halfway house in Guatemala.

I was hoping to make some kind of coherent writing, but all of my senses came online, suddenly, buzzing.

The work that has chosen me grants me access to those in need. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the snow, say a prayer with your actions, your choices, your thoughts, your hands.

I continue to travel, for now, that the deep pains in the world may receive even a moment’s respite.

xoC

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/10/519587231/35-girls-killed-after-fire-in-a-locked-room-in-guatemala-youth-shelter

The Profane

9:25 am–9:58 am, Wednesday, October 19, 2016

16-10-19-collageprofanesigned

Making pancakes.
TT wants “the man with the hats, fast song” (DEVO, whip it).
“Play rhino and Jeep with me.”
I am slugging teas that even I think taste REAALLLYY medicinal.
I am trying not to drink too much coffee today, to stay healthy. I say, ‘Ok, I will only drink this one cup of coffee,’ but I said that when there was still coffee in the cup. Now there is no coffee in the cup, and there are two cups of coffee left in the French press…
I got up this morning early to write, to stave off tantrums (my own).
I responded to a Facebook comment on a tantrum post (my own). “the creative process waits for no man, woman, or child, be s/he tired, overstretched, sick, or throwing a tantrum.”
Do or Do Not, there is no Try (Yo da, Duh).

I think of 3-4 oh very specific people in my heart and mind, at the same time, and send texts, or don’t send texts.
Last night I wondered if we create our own content that we might interact with it. Ouch? I like a lot of communication. I make up my own dialogue, interact with my environment.
TT finds the compost bucket, full, sitting outside, brings it to my desk, huffing and puffing.
He finds a small gift box with tissue paper, an airplane packet containing sleep mask and earplugs. He hands me the packet to rip open. He sits on the floor wrapping and unwrapping the items in tissue paper and checking on the “yucky stuff” inside of the compost bucket.

xoC

The Space Whale and Permeability to Dream

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The Space Whale, Black Rock City Nevada 2016

Photo from www.thespacewhale.com

I. Two weeks ago I dreamed of a permanently flooded city that had been re-designed to match with the water levels. Swim-up doors, resolute folks wet-suited for errands, makeshift boats picking up floating garbage. As I paused in a doorway and looked out to the bay I caught a huge movement. A baby humpback whale playing, slowly twisting in the water 20 yards away. I was filled with love and appreciation, and something larger. Shock, surprise, a tightness in my chest being so close to this huge animal, sadness, and knowledge that the mother was somewhere close, hugely, underwater. I pointed and exclaimed to others busily swimming, and they stopped to look. “The mother will be there too,” I said.

The baby swam close, closer, passing by us ten feet away. I could not even gasp. My body swelled, constricted with rising blood thrumming, panic and anticipation and wonder and there, underwater, almost touching us, almost crushing us against the building edifices, there was the mother. Colossal. Almost beyond belief, her movement, her body parting the water, designed for curving through, deep sea diving perfection, designed for singing, created by the water itself. If not for the dream, in waking life, I may have died right there, exploded into round particles of ecstasy, my brain and body ready to move on after this moment of contact with this embodiment of creation.

Holy moment. I am moved to crying, even recalling this experience. I could become, my whole body, the lump in my chest moving upward, a representation of tremendous quantities of water moving through. If I am listening, I can hear. If I can just keep my eyes open, I will see. The water, the trees, the living things of lands and waters call to us, singing. I am You, the mother whale sweeps through my dreaming, We are Become together. I want to say I cannot yet believe this. I want to deny, but we are at the very edge. We are osmotic. I am permeable to the dream. I am. We are.

II. Several days ago a friend shared this sculpture and my heart wanted to leave my body. Here they are. Our dreamers. Our friends, Our Relatives, Those who would warn and remind and inform us. We believe we cannot fathom, but we can. We can. Together.

Thank you to The Pier Group and Android Jones for creating this dream into physical space/time. It’s now.

For more information on The Space Whale project and mission, please visit www.thespacewhale.com.

With love,
Charlotte

Badger Encounter

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I have been making more poems recently and have filled almost a notebook per month this summer with a variety of writing while traveling through many states and into the Peruvian Amazon, deep heart of my hearts. I am looking forward to some time to sift and edit in the coming months, although my travel clowning season is picking up and is feels about to expand into every month of the year. My heart can only expand with this flow of beautiful work.

In addition to exploding my heart at the Festival de Belen (!), this August I have been working through the SHINE Expansive online course, offered by Jessica Chilton, and have delighted in making watercolor paintings of my experiences in the daily meditations. I have made 6 in the last 10 days, and it has been fun, relaxing, and a gift to myself (my birthday is coming up on the 30th!). Here’s a depiction of the first meeting of this badger within mySelf.

(I am also supplementing my paints with my grandmother Dorothea (Savage) Mitchell’s watercolor paints!)

For more information about Gesundheit! Institute clowning and signing up for a clown trip (!!!) visit: http://www.patchadams.org/global-outreach/

For more information about the SHINE Expansive (I’ve really enjoyed it) visit: http://www.sparkcreativewellness.com/shine-expansive/

C.Savage 8.27.16

Clown as Blessing

 

13669333_10154102273765219_2865742418207126611_ophoto by Atomic Adams, Guatemala City, shelter for community displaced by catastrophic landslide, November 2015

I must say, truly, clowning buoys my days and gives me courage and protection to rebel, love, play, smile, and be ridiculous as an act of peace and hope in the face of the horrors of the world we live in today. The clown gives me a buffer when I am crushed almost to death by the denial, greed, meanness, hatred, and fear in humans, and our wanton destruction of our home planet. We are making things unlivable for ourselves… and only we as individuals can begin to be accountable.

Clowning has given me many gifts– access to places and peoples I would have NEVER known or believed existed, moments or hours of play with people who may not have been looked in the eye or treated like a human in YEARS, it has given me singing–my own voice!, it has given me a deep well of inspiring friends around the globe to believe in and support and be supported by–a bigger community to love, it has given me permission to be odd/to be other…rather, to be MYSELF, because hey, I always have the cover of “well…I’m a clown,” it allows me to CHOOSE to try on the role of the lowest member of society–to be pointed at as the fool in any community– and to see what the view is like from down there.

Clowning has given me a global education in the various ways we treat the lowest members of our societies. I have been met with situations I will never begin to understand, have encountered the wounds of systemic oppression that leave me wanting to lie down and give up, and YET…what else is there to do? but show up and be myself, my individual, tender, in love, bizzarro little self, and witness and give my little heart to the places where people struggle every day to live.

Clowning gives me hope, and purpose on the path of good and love and joy and beauty and friendship and connection in the world, and gives me the tools to stand up and be brave and be a blessing in these desperate times. May I continue to be able to learn from this work and play, to take in the unbelievable and sad and lonely and suffering, may I take in the joy and love of communities and families in their resourcefulness and courageousness, and make of myself an offering of joy, of love, a spark, a light, an odd little possibility…may I be able to give and receive the blessing that I, as a clown, can be in this world.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my sister Lillie for sweeping me up into this way of being, together, to Patch Adams and John Glick for believing in me, to my family for supporting me, and to all of the clown family who believe that clowning is a powerful tool for social care.

C.Savage 7.12.16

re:Orlando and the Current State of Things

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May our collective vision be
not obscured.

May our traumas and sufferings
heal us toward a different path.

May each voice be heard
at least one time
in singing.

May smiles light our faces.

May we stop fucking making trash and killing people.

C.Savage 6.12.16

Becoming A Mother

992952_10151676189375219_1653747330_nThree years ago, plus a week, I became a mother, and I continue to become a mother every day. It is not a switch that is flipped. For a long time before that I yearned for motherhood in a way that was beyond my understanding. Mother becomes a servant to life. My identity still reels against this. I frequently want to go my own way and realize I cannot, that there is no “my own way,” and really, the gift of this message is, there never was.

I love my son for himself, and for the hard lessons he teaches me, in nearly every hour of every day. We look almost EXACTLY the same, pictures from my childhood are practically identical to his. Even strangers comment on this. My stock response is, “Yea, I wind up chasing myself down a long hallway all day,” and we laugh, and my eyes get a little unfocused, because it IS funny, but it is also more true than someone outside of my life could begin to understand.

My midwife told me that each birth, with unique experiences each time, gives the mother things that she will need to raise that particular child. This (my only) birth showed me how NOT in control I am. Life gave me the gift of a Profound and Holy EGO FUCK. I actually received/hallucinated a “HA HA HAAAA” as Life Force barreled through me while I clung to the sides of a tub. There was no escape from the deep and painful knowledge that “I” am nothing but a vessel for Life. This birth dissolved many ideas I had about myself, and when I remember to remember, the message I got was not to waste time in doubt, of myself or the forces of nature, because if I could go through THAT, I could do anything. I tearfully, and with wonder, said goodbye to my self-critic. With my particular child, I simply don’t have time for that. I must light the way. I must make light to see my own reflection.

I continue to surf the confusion and not-knowing of living and mothering, I am fairly certain I always will, there is a lot to not-know. Though I frequently stumble, my greatest feat in life was being a participant in the birth of this child, this child, who, coming through me, gave me the gift of true respect for life, and for myself as a part of it. Thank you Theo, for allowing me to become your mother. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you dearly.

C. Savage 5.8.2016, Mother’s Day