I want to bring a little of what is offered at Naropa University in Boulder, CO to the Tampa Bay Area.
A Buddhist-founded, beatnik-run, environmentally conscious, transformation-based, waking-up-to-the-present liberal arts learning community. My collaborators and I were part of a conference in which poets, performers, and thinkers featuring presenters on mothering, dirt, trash, and radical ways of being in touch with the body.
My current focus with the body poetik is liberated sensuality/sexuality and creative expression consulting. However, the current of what I offer runs through death, aging, disability, motherhood, man-formation, brain differences, and more.
Here we are, at Naropa. Lisa Gil and other attendees, being sewn together by a gossamer thread, at The Sewing Is Writing panel. The metallic thread, which ran through some clothing item attached to the body of every audience member--it pulsated. We looked at the slides of brain scans belonging to the presenter's mother (the mom having dementia and having been a professionals seamstress) and the presenter's daughter (a young crafter in her own right). I have not been happier in a long time--being, literally, threaded together with other people.
Sheila Black and Violet Juno--using strange, awkward fashionista wings; asking students to draw their bodies in response to ortho-horror stories. Who are we? In our little bodies, one moment at a time? Who can we be?
My body as comma, as the comma intersecting holding and moving the line of someone else's spine. As drawn by Violet Juno, while I presented.
Here is Denise Leto (recent winner of the Room of One's Own award) and I, crashed out in the campus meditation room, taking a break from the intensity of beautiful writers, performers, seekers. We laid on the zen practice floor and ate donuts and checked the baseball scores. This is necessary. This is the body-as-artist practice. My donut, not seen here.
Neese and I are now starting realize that the vocalizing I do for her when she performs her work (she has a disability that affects her vocal cords) is an art of body attunement itself. Do you have a voice difference, body difference, and want to take your art/health/spiritual practice further through collaboration?
Be in touch with me! Also, I am going to be looking to venues like Studio 620, The Venture Compound, and University of Tampa to start offering performance art at the intersection of bodywork and participatory poetics.
Happy Autumn, season of incubating seeds!