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

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

Intimacy with Water

I ask the water to
hold me
I ask the water to
forgive me
I ask the water to
envelop me
I ask the water to
unfold me
I ask the water to
read me like a letter
I thank the water for letting me know myself
better.

I ask the water about
love.
I ask the water about giving life
life.
I ask the water to
hold me
I ask the water to
forgive me
I ask the water about
love.

C. Savage 9.15.15

Can People Get Any Crazier?

I guess the answer to “can people get any crazier” is always YES. Westboro Baptist Church plans to send protesters to the funeral for the nine people murdered in the AME church shooting. #racist #terrorist These people know how to do their jobs of being totally despicable human beings and inciting anger and hatred. My own brain and heart, already boggled and aching over this terrible event, are now exploding and thumping with rage that ANY person would want to do this WBC protest “work.” Another example of systemic, racist hatred passed down through the mouthpieces of people with power, and people who use religious power to promote intolerance and violence. There is a group in Charleston created to form a PEACEFUL, SILENT HUMAN BARRIER around the funeral site if WBC protesters to show up.

http://www.counton2.com/story/29384735/human-wall-barrier-facebook-event-created-to-protect-funerals

May they someday (soon) see that their actions have been based in hate and may their hearts be ripped open with the grief of their inhumanity. May they lie down on the ground and beg for mercy and forgiveness and be heavily punished by nightmares of their actions. And through this suffering and regret may they, like all people, reject ideals of hatred and intolerance, learn, work together, promote and work for equality, and become peaceful.

Uncover and address explicit and systemic racism and hatred. Work for and towards equality. Promote peace and education.

 

In remembrance, here are the names of the victims:

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney (also a State Senator)

Cynthia Hurd

The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Tywanza Sanders

Ethel Lance

Susie Jackson

Depayne Middleton Doctor

The Rev. Daniel Simmons

Myra Thompson

For more information about the lives of these people, visit http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/18/415539516/the-victims-9-were-slain-at-charlestons-emanuel-ame-church