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.

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

 

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.

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

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