Athena's Favorite Sewing Project

Temporary Poem Storage 2018

A Messily Organized Word Area:



the way they are (poem title)



safety concerns that last forever; as long as the human race (on wheels, boots, running shoes) there are safety concerns; broken, disabled, and improvement are words not quite making sense when I love someone for the way they are and simply want them to live their innermost heart's desire
in other people's eyes (poem title)

leading the horse race is freedom from fear, followed with freedom of worship. while freedom of speech is struggling to keep in third place and freedom from want is putting all through a challenge:
then on the sidelines there is mulct
and it is important to stay in shape in order to win at the track

accidentally mulct (poem title)

my hurried scheme wasn't about earning money anyway; in fact, I was distractedly thinking it would ward off the bad guys; and of course remembering being in love; whichever way you look at it. accidentally mulct has a humor: because some people doing real mulct will talk about this poem and how clever they are and then might turn themselves in

hot hot. hot (poem title)

jalapeños in the morning!
jalapeños at night!
bilious in the morning!
bilious's alright!

bilious pen (poem title)

de prêter un stylo. au moins dans mon cas, est une façon d’exprimer, « ce que tu dis est important et ce n’est pas un problème pour moi d’aider de façon minuscule »

depuis que j’ai ni parler ni écrire le Français, il n’existe aucun moyen je peux demander, « quelle plume vous souhaitez emprunter? »

a child states (poem title)

sticks and stones
are on the front porch:
life is much more
than a
bilious existence

information quest (poem title)

bilious muscles:
going as fast as I can
and a bright smile
turns my blue's volume up
looking for facts

where did it all begin? (poem title)

this beautiful begetting story
of civilizations; where did it all begin the human race's bilious joyful experience?
and to realize I live on planet Earth; ground zero of God's evolution
centuries nd centuries of passing time,
and here I am at ground zero in the center of a Universe filled with ground zeros
with life I can only meet if visited

somewhere in between (poem title)

inveigh against what is best left unsaid;
a time waste at times
when harm dangles over the seemingly inescapable duplicity;
less passion ~ rilled talk of hate speech
and more passion for love:
a whisper is often too much
when all that is necessary
is the quiet air of awareness aswellas the ability to hear the sounds already present

mental health and woman health (poem title)

going hand in hand
with inveigh only purpose fully
mental health and woman health (poem title)

how are you feeling?
I wish you the best

in other countries/ my lesbian hair (poem title)

is falling in love ever safe?
will I ever fall in love again?
(my guess is no, however I'd rather fall in love then whine inveigh about hateful asswipes);
I know comparison between cultures is often divisive;
however, in my heart, a huge part is grateful I live in America where I can say and type and write: I am a lesbian with short hair and I love women;
and the people demanding apologies and explanations and wanting to argue are the people considered cruel and sick with a need to change

fear of scrolling (poem title)

envy takes a voice when inveigh;
ancient words written
old paper
when there is no wasted breadth
to promote fear of scrolling
courage is found

what is a walk? (poem title)

can everybody alive today walk?
well, some would answer yes
some would answer no
some would answer in a complicated way

I say yes!
there is absolutely no amount of inveigh words
able to command people about how they feel about their bodies and what they do

orange probity (poem title)

what is disquieting about the color orange?
orange morality would mean independence in thought; truth in emotion and a consistent willingness to stand out

https://members.tripod.com/dolphin_j/meditationsoninnocenceoctober24th2014/

what's on my boot sole's? (poem title)

washed off in a puddle:
not everything washed off
in a puddle:
what's on my boot sole's?

don't you realize?
we walk on graveyards?
when raining
when shining
when dark/light/when/sad/angry/happy/soul/souls
please walk with sacred

https://members.tripod.com/dolphin_j/meditationsoninnocenceoctober24th2014/

another poem about my pelvic reconstruction surgery (poem title)

it is fun to say outloud: P R S
my dog's stomach is growling so loud it hurts to hear:
my pelvic reconstruction surgery was years ago
and has held
and hold's
so how could I allow a tiny dog to suffer these conditions after such grace
was awarded to
my scars

a descent person (poem title)

used to be the last thing ever I wanted to be was a descent person.
being a descent person meant doing whatever simply because someone decided certain people should behave a certain way
and other people should behave another way

then I decided being a descent person meant inner
probity;
pretty simply: don't go out and hurt anyone, including yourself.

and now I say things I am not entirely comfortable with and I say them anyway and the way I figure it, I must be a descent person because I feel best when the things I say and do don't hurt anyone, including myself

on the verge of being crass: the Make A Wish Oregon foundation is holding s car raffle and the winner will be announced K103fm on June 24, 2016 at 8:20 AM.

http://oregon.wish.org

I purchased tickets, requesting they donate the car to the Make A Wish kids for fundraiser walks and parades and such

anyway, it's a cause personal! and here is a not to much info poem to go with the pr:

my teeth (poem title)

my hearing dog, Girlie,I love her like I love myself.
I remind myself everyday
she can't eat without help.
she can't get a glass of water on her own
she sleeps all day
and is dependent on me to keep big dogs away and pay for her dog food, veterinarian and doggy provisions;
never do I get slightly frustrated with her dependence because she shows her sharp probity teeth

a sturdy foundation (poem title)

a strong core
stems from a sturdy foundation;
simply the probity of
big black boots

of the heart old fashioned (poem title)

would I trust my child with a daily task so near and dear to my heart?
I have never given birth:
listen to the rising sun and watch the rising moon; everything in between; what decorous person could hold all this without becoming filled of greed?

my bloody books (poem title)

as I collect items for a photo:
various books I'm published in
today's postal package
manuscripts
a work sample contained in the BBC's documentary, 'Julia's Body' to request a grant award
miscellaneous to clean misconceptions,
my body weeps.
my well ~ planned writer's life
and so little published
and documented

I would sob if I could,
it is one chance in one lifetime
legacy quality? decorous quantity?
I don't even know anymore

I do know
the only blood I have
ever spilled
is my own
and it is
in my writing

known

at night (poem title)

the small oval blues
disappear;  tutelary is challenging;  so important 
to grieve quickly and refuse
to cooperate while freedom
of decision is free of extortion

bird tutelary (poem title)

soaring beyond wild notions of normalcy;
bird chirping to confirm: it is good
bird flying reminds me peace is possible

it doesn't take much (poem title)

it doesn't take much to comfort someone hurting; sometimes all that is needed is acknowledgement a look of the eye tone in the voice a realization in this buzy world someone somewhere is truly in pain ; tutelary prevention is best however when the predictable happens understanding is like a hug

professional injured (poem title)

when, after centuries, of friendship
the banned books remain read
my gratitude abundant
friendship means we
need to listen and write 

lies aren't true (poem title)

deep value last with an open heart
as my tutelary schooling
hurries me

under nature's tutelary (poem title)

sway over strain
a leaf flies
defying gravity's pull

looking through the glass (poem title)

quality, when a writer writes, is measured when the reader or listener is lost in the genuine moment of life's adventure: sitting in the covered window car with my Mom while Amtracking across the US ; after everything we have been through, she's traveling with me to college in Yellow Springs

as the rough terrain of America zooms past our eyes, what I don't realize is that it I am leaving a time where I am simply Julie and entering 'civilization' where I am a 'woman with disabilities'

what is my Mom thinking? I don't know. I do know that all those decades ago, when I was a teenager going off to college, I looked through the glass understanding authenticity: that time shared is important.

vermeil vermin (poem title)

fake is fake
shrubs are shrubs

faded dreams (poem tittle)

gilded surfaces
vermeil dreams

there is no substitute for you (poem title)

all my life you have been there
to make certain I walk with my head held high sit a bit straighter test myself where I think I can not win challenging me to find out what I don't know or understand ;
a questionnaire filled out: there is no vermeil substitute for you: the importance of familyv

vermeil fields (poem title)

a glint blinding
continue breathing

lesbian's actually do have a sense of humor (poem title)

knock knock!
who's there?
um, I was going to say uh, well, then I got distracted

bulky equipment (poem title)

here I am
it's me!
the camera lens becomes my lens the camera's focus becomes my focus;
the most precious thing in the world in vermeil easy to carry disguise

a photo in my wallet reflective ( poem title)

plastic grapes with vermeil covering my curly blonde hair
"no, it isn't you", strangers would tell me;
at times I would lie and say, 'I carry my girlfriend's photo everywhere' ; to the response, "she is beautiful"; then usually I'd explain the photo is me and I just showed it so people could insult me to my face about their prejudices and low expectations about women with disabilities rather than talking behind my back; and me wondering why no one wanted to talk to me or even answer me when I greeted them warmly

most people I showed my Queen photo (because the photo is a very regal headshot) would converse with me briefly; rarely seeming defensive about being caught in my social litmus test; and usually had a rare opportunity to look into another person's eyes and realize they were confiding in me about emotions they likely had never said out loud perhaps never thought of before

and I realize the people I care about live all over the world and they look all sorts of ways and do all sorts of things including finding the time to have a conversation about their reflection in a photo and finding inner strength; not realizing inner strength shines into outer strength

from across the lake (poem title)

while sitting on my bed,
on the other side of the vermeil bridge, I could see traffic from across the lake

complete failure (poem title)

wearing my bloody London shirt, I search for the safe way where food, medicine and technology are available to women instead I find vermeil and run out of time

the way they are (poem title)

safety concerns that last forever; as long as the human race (on wheels, boots, running shoes) there are safety concerns; broken, disabled, and improvement are words not quite making sense when I love someone for the way they are and simply want them to live their innermost heart's desire

warning:  poem below contains adult content:

couldn't even train someone to be disabled (poem title)

when trying to include everyone in a conversation, especially in a discussion where an agreement or at least mutual understandings are the goal, it is extremely important to find a way for everybody involved to *want* to listen and respond:

the difference between gang rape and diplomatic debate is huge:

regardless of similarities in language:  one at a time, talking stick, next on the agenda 

are laws protecting disability rights protecting the right to be sexually violent and get away with it (my definition of disabled)?

(many people with disabilities can't run so it isn't too difficult to figure out why people with disabilities have higher victimization statics compared to people without disabilities)

so argle ~ bargle pudding and pie. kiss the girls but don't make v

never happens (poem title)

there are people and I can't remember them ever raising their voice; and I wish I could say it is true about me however my temper ponceau has served a purpose;

handling giant wroth (poem title)

dog under the table
difficulties technical

note:  not to be rude:  having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life:  want to connect/reconnect:  so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'

Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)

(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights)




note: at film festival

note: my teeth and sinuses hurt; drank some coffee with cream on the house free of charge; i put a coin in tip jar with my spit DNA


the way they are (poem title)

safety concerns that last forever; as long as the human race (on wheels, boots, running shoes) there are safety concerns; broken, disabled, and improvement are words not quite making sense when I love someone for the way they are and simply want them to live their innermost heart's desire

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Rm2gzEaDOcMmxEdFlnOVRoWWc

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=891846510942793&id=100003523588201&ref=bookmarks


note to FBI semi ~ spell checked sent Wednesday June 29th 2016 using their website web form; fyi: videos don't copy to their web form

note: in process to fbI which I might not send untill later



Dear FBI,



received call from No Caller ID at 4:00 pm Wednesday June 29th 2016



caller with heavy difficult to understand accent said I had won and the US Government would be giving me a large amount of money



the guy was on speaker phone and my hands were busy so it made it difficult to focus/hear what he was saying (didn't hear the amount)



simultaneously, at 4:02 pm, I texted : anytime to have a surprise lunch at Sizzler after 2 tomorrow? : to my older brother and his wife. these asswipes love their harassment so much that is very difficult to say or do anything that isn't in nazi code



the man on the phone said I had two options and as far as I could hear it involved me giving my bank information and what the second option isn't/wasn't clear

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

damnit! I might have panicked myself this time; however I will send this message anyway as the phone call was creepy:



this was after an iMessage earlier conversation today: at 1:58 pm on Wednesday June 29th 2016 while going to Safeway to pick up my prescription: riding paratransit

(paid for prescription with cash borrowed from Mom/moms as my ATM card is in the mail and I used my spare cash on a luncheon a few days ago



iMessages: important!

my iPhone has been the site of drug gangs



panic

anyway, somehow a threat against Mom was put on my iPhone calendar!



I have a paratransit van scheduled in a few minutes so have to go



I will type the FBI before my phone battery runs out because whoever these asswipes are st the very least they fuck up phones computers



hey Scott if I wanted to discuss asswipes edit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



my iCalender reminder this morning : dad's birthday



and for whatever reason I didn't have a calendar entry for my Mom's birthday; my memory technique of remembering my parent's birthday dates means I have to remember both dates simultaneously.



the calendar entry I panicked about was on my 'all day' list (meaning I leave annoying automatic daily reminders of certain annoying events so dumbass stalkers have to admit they were exposed to factual information daily without being able to comprehend or interpret it correctly



maybe I misread my own entry: I thought I read an iCalender entry: I added the commentary today: fuck asswipes note: assholes entered;



fuck asswipes note: assholes entered; real Mom's birthday

daily



this morning at breakfast with my Mom at Village Inn, I made a point to add a correct calendar entry and even said outloud 'yearly'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

sometimes it seems like the paratransit van arrives over 15 minutes early (which

I don't mind time wise but would appreciate the driver saying something )

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a scheduled paratransit round trip aswellas a Doctor 's appointment tomorrow in the afternoon and it is on my schedule; nothing I need asap so I will likely cancel, even though the Mom/mom's go to area's of )











important panic (text poem)



warning:  poem below contains adult content:



my scarlet promise (poem title)



which is noninvasive as color's go?

passionate ponceau?

burgundy depths? enfolding pink?

my Olympic's are an injury heals with medicine and care, a scar is the only badge of courage I need and blood letting is a medical practice as out of date as

complete self ~ reliance to provide food and

the concept of public humiliation to punish a woman for sexual independence



call from no caller ID at 4:00 pm Wednesday June 29th 2016 (poem title)



tiny articulation

I understand when I glean

breathe out ponceau

breathe in ponceau

narrate narrate narrate

narrate the point:

and I apprehend

the speaker's words;

my answer can't be vocalized



sharing thoughts on paper (poem title)



very good thing that I don't drive because I would want to write or type a poem at every

stop



however, when sharing ponceau thoughts begins again it is important to have a working pen handy aswellas an extra to lend just in case you meet a person needing a writing instrument



across the ages (poem title)



what was it like before?

on a ponceau day

ask an old cynical woman



what is the ponceau thing?! (poem title)



a poem in process

as I try to hurry and handwrite

a few poems in my Mom's birthday gift poetry journal notebook:



a b ~ side rampageous poem (poem title)



the sensitive side of a peaceful revolution might not want to be seen

or herd



a b ~ side rampage might not be visible

however, I won't wonder if I begin to smile in my sleep again like I remember



a tip about gratitude



on those rare moments when all you want to do is sit and draw and there is time



that is the best time to draw a picture of what gratitude looks like



freedom lost/do you understand? (poem title)



a Grandmother crying alone, ashamed to be seen, on her 75th birth day;

is it how my Mom felt?

similar to when I hid my ponceau sadness behind my high school locker door during lunch time; ashamed to be the iid in the wheelchair scorned



the party isn't over until the dishes are washed (poem title)



it is and it isn't just simply ponceau politeness to at least

offer to wash the dishes when visiting a person's home;

it is important to at least offer to wash your own dishes used when visiting, because it provides your host with an opportunity to refuse to allow you to do anything besides simply enjoying being honored as a guest; which is called gracious; and in my experience, being gracious can be a reward onto itself;

and when a guest offers to help with the dishes and the host and/or hostess, whichever the case may be, accepts the offer, dishwashing changes from a chore into an opportunity to exchange ideas and emotions; ideas and occurrences that.might seem trivial and maybe happenstance

until its remembered all people need to eat and need to eat using sanitary dishes



a birthday word forgotten (poem title)



gratitude riot think

why, with all the words of the day,

are those three words

always

in my memory

when I try to think

of a word for a poem?

thank goodness for the word gratitude!

because my mind is like a

ponceau riot

when a word

of the day

is forgotten



the intent of inconsistencies (poem title)



punitive gender inconsistencies:

venial sins

and I wonder

what is the

the intent of inconsistencies



old sin (poem title)



to be old is a blessing!

why be ashamed?

how could growing

be a venial sin considered



the sin against creation (poem title)



creation's example

is humankind can commit venial sin's against humankind ;

to stop creation

until humankind matures seems like a sin



Connecting to the captioning system... Waiting for an available

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5:24:14 PM Captioner #7025

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it isn't how you feel it is how torture is basically some extremely annoying people needing constant daily attention /you are/pharmaceuticals don't have to live in fear/ so some people sold their souls however most didn't/dance mix (poem title)



it really is all about the paperwork;

to waste God's gift of life hiding venial sins is to destroy Heaven on Earth



I know when I say I don't know , it means. I do not have the information; I doubt I am the only person who uses the phrase I don't know in this way (possibly implying I'm not even slightly interested in grt rich quick scheme's)



penny rolls (poem title)



there is no venial technically

when it is a penny roll matter



when I am lost, I call your name (poem title)



in the heart of World War .5

I call your name

and now I understand

am reminded

however, your luxury forgets

I am the target as well

and I remember



her careful/ her words (poem title)



if sin is to be separated from God

and you,

my dear,

your afflatus,

your everything,

are a part of God

then to prink you words

to stolid your mind:



Church and State are separate to protect religious tolerance innate worth



Girly has no family she is adopted;

she has no possessions no ancestry; cannot reproduce; cannot feed herself; because of cruelty can not get out bed; to survive she must stick with the people who feed



her (poem title)



empathy, try to understand in other people's shoe's, when I try to understand in other people's shoe's I can't walk: status stolen,

possessions stolen,

family stolen,

body stolen,

what is freedom?

it isn't abuse of



her (poem title)



is the question?

yes, she loves, she communicates

and people love, are inspired care about Girlie more than she will ever know or remember;

she probably doesn't even know this poem is about her

about her,

about her

she has lived her worthwhile life doing nothing except loving and being loved

without saying a word:

it is about law;

defining law



go fourth and believe (poem title)



a day of gratitude

I am from a long line

of people's who search

to find places where

their beliefs are respected



no taxation without representation (poem title)



on July fourth the Boston Tea Party reminds knavery about the importance of ice cream



my tenderness wroth (poem title)



at times when I listen to others speak,

I hear underneath their tone

the muted cries

of an angry fearful

small child



with all my wroth (poem title)



my prayers; I know

the ocean hears my prayers

because when I feel I

am drowning on land;

even though I am far away:

perhaps I have saltwater in my veins



all my wroth (poem title)



my prayers; I know

the ocean hears my prayers

because when I feel I

am drowning on land;

even though I am far away:

perhaps I have saltwater in my veins





wroth whirl write (poem title)



please begin

don't waste a moment;

sitting standing

move so fast that time laments how

quickly you pass by





wroth's physical strength (poem title)



lifting heavy with my right hand;

what I used to have to look for in the basement,

now I find without any effort as wroth embraces me then dares documentation



never enough time (poem title)



before venal existed

monetary systems

civilized



excitement growing/ eg/example given (poem title )



never did I suspect a miracle in my lifetime

where Empathy

would become the path

of the brave;

the call to the warrior

and the dare to all



note:  not to be rude:  having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life:  want to connect/reconnect:  so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'



Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)



(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights)



my ice team bar (poem title)



my ice team bar melted

in my grocery bag

like my stone heart's

excitement about Mary's dedication to service 



good night Angel revisited (poem title)



a decorous mind

decides carefully

the past tasks maintained

the presence/future embraced

cornucopias of falling happens



rearranging decorous (poem title)



class is easy on the eyes

easy on the ears

admittedly, class is listening

before judgements



emotions decorous (poem title)



if emotions were a paintbrush

my landscape would

have dark color's



a neighbor's funeral (poem title)



a measure of life's worth in a moment; a measure of life's worth every moment; do the momentary actions and words, done without fore thought, of an individual, change the course of history?



a happy decorous greeting can last for years; I did not know him well;

however, a man who can introduce himself and welcome neighbor's to a new neighborhood is rare in foodie Portland Oregon; at least for me



icy you (poem title)



my heart is icy;



is it because of the lies they tell about you or is it because of the lies they tell about me?



either way your icyness

I see you



swollen feet aswellas legs (poem title)



sometimes it is time

to call it a day

before the day even begins:

feet above kidneys

and a decorous movie

I'll make changes to this site on a regular basis, so you should check back often. And be sure to sign my guestbook at the bottom of this page so I know you're out there!







honestly whatever



the way they are (poem title)



safety concerns that last forever; as long as the human race (on wheels, boots, running shoes) there are safety concerns; broken, disabled, and improvement are words not quite making sense when I love someone for the way they are and simply want them to live their innermost heart's desire



https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Rm2gzEaDOcMmxEdFlnOVRoWWc



https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=891846510942793&id=100003523588201&ref=bookmarks







the way they are (poem title)



safety concerns that last forever; as long as the human race (on wheels, boots, running shoes) there are safety concerns; broken, disabled, and improvement are words not quite making sense when I love someone for the way they are and simply want them to live their innermost heart's desire



note to FBI semi ~ spell checked sent Wednesday June 29th 2016 using their website web form; fyi: videos don't copy to their web form

note: in process to fbI which I might not send untill later



Dear FBI,



received call from No Caller ID at 4:00 pm Wednesday June 29th 2016



caller with heavy difficult to understand accent said I had won and the US Government would be giving me a large amount of money



the guy was on speaker phone and my hands were busy so it made it difficult to focus/hear what he was saying (didn't hear the amount)



simultaneously, at 4:02 pm, I texted : anytime to have a surprise lunch at Sizzler after 2 tomorrow? : to my older brother and his wife. these asswipes love their harassment so much that is very difficult to say or do anything that isn't in nazi code



the man on the phone said I had two options and as far as I could hear it involved me giving my bank information and what the second option isn't/wasn't clear

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

damnit! I might have panicked myself this time; however I will send this message anyway as the phone call was creepy:



this was after an iMessage earlier conversation today: at 1:58 pm on Wednesday June 29th 2016 while going to Safeway to pick up my prescription: riding paratransit

(paid for prescription with cash borrowed from Mom/moms as my ATM card is in the mail and I used my spare cash on a luncheon a few days ago



iMessages: important!

my iPhone has been the site of drug gangs



panic

anyway, somehow a threat against Mom was put on my iPhone calendar!



I have a paratransit van scheduled in a few minutes so have to go



I will type the FBI before my phone battery runs out because whoever these asswipes are st the very least they fuck up phones computers



hey Scott if I wanted to discuss asswipes edit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



my iCalender reminder this morning : dad's birthday



and for whatever reason I didn't have a calendar entry for my Mom's birthday; my memory technique of remembering my parent's birthday dates means I have to remember both dates simultaneously.



the calendar entry I panicked about was on my 'all day' list (meaning I leave annoying automatic daily reminders of certain annoying events so dumbass stalkers have to admit they were exposed to factual information daily without being able to comprehend or interpret it correctly



maybe I misread my own entry: I thought I read an iCalender entry: I added the commentary today: fuck asswipes note: assholes entered;



fuck asswipes note: assholes entered; real Mom's birthday

daily



this morning at breakfast with my Mom at Village Inn, I made a point to add a correct calendar entry and even said outloud 'yearly'



poems more:















note: Mom's keys







ostensible peace (poem title)







slow to travel



thinking does nor require immediacy



history has proven to repeat itself



days and night of million of people not bombing anyone



on a daily basis







the absence of children (poem title)







if I had a daughter



I would suggest:



she emblazon her



self definition



so she would never forget herself,



I would advise she never ever waste



a moment of her precious life,



I would clearly state that she choose her sex partners carefully



and if she wasn't in love, say, 'no'



and I would encourage her to exercise sleep eat



and use all her talents



to the best of her ability







reel fear/real fear (poem title)







pseudo sophistication



ostensible



fear is real



reel fear/real fear







ostensible measurement (poem title)







my Mother lost her Fitbit



technology measuring her steps; I currently don't have means to purchase her another; and so again



breatheheartbeatbreathe



the old fashioned technology



is priceless







the heart condition game (poem title)







the heart condition game is different from the card game, hearts;



the heart condition game rules



are not on the Internet;



most are written down ;



not all;



which does not mean the heart condition game rules are made up while playing;



the main rules can be heard



when you pause in a quiet place



and listen



to the beat



of your heart;



if you want to play the heart condition game,



I advise listening to the instructions



before beginning to play







feminist suffrage (poem title)







words seem to confuse



except for listening;



is a lying tongue a liar?



is a lying tongue a person who rests their tongue and doesn't over use it on gossip hatred and slander?



my vote is a liar sins



and my vote is I define the word sin anyway I want







note: not to be rude: having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life: want to connect/reconnect: so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'







Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)







(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights,







the religious education of girls and women (poem title)







the paradox in God's blessing is in humanity's birth;



a woman is born as a man is born;



will either fall from Grace if studies are completed and books are read and written? (or avoided entirely?)



of course not:



however, religion is of God and Civilization



and as in any garden fane



requires communications







prep colonoscopy (poem title)







if life could be controlled



and physical comfort



equated kindness goodness trust and compassion



then there would be



at every fane



buckets of colonoscopy prep







prayer interference/ the trouble with Pontius Pilate Private Investigation (a poem in process title)







this early mourning waking:



the light through the window



as if I wake into a fane



there were so many Mary's mentioned; so many Mary's listed;



was Mary Magdalene a prostitute?



as my Private Investigation goes: no, Mary Magdalene was educated and influential for a woman of her time; is the Gospel of Mary a banned book?



'Do not weep and be distressed', she had said.







and Jesus told Luke, 'You have judged rightly; Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair . . .



Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”







on the subject of sedition:



there is incitement of violence



and there is insight into violence (and how to prevent it/emergency reactions and recovery)







were you expecting



a rhyming poem?







if I saw you were bleeding?(poem title)







if I saw you were bleeding and did nothing would it weigh on me like a Navy ship stuck on a reef?



would I become like an expensive indomitable boat with a boundless ocean to explore



and instead park in passive apathy?







or



would I



become a tiny peccadillo. if I saw you bleeding?



if I saw a cut on your arm;







with all her might (poem title







it wasn't the first time



and she has the scars to prove it;



I pulled at S so she could escape



I wasn't strong enough



and kept losing my grip







it all happened so fast



it wasn't a small peccadillo



she ran bleeding



with no where to go



and was quickly caught



on the ramp



she escaped again



and ran to my lap



I hid her inside her good will house



and geographically separated



she was temporarily safe



until we could walk beyond the fence







later when it sunk in how easily I could have lost her for ever, I vowed to make our time a little more worth while







it was funny/a small offense (poem title)







admittedly, I am inexperienced;



however, my peccadillo



guess is:



a lack of remorse



gives everything away







memories gargantuan (poem title)







an earliest memories



a center point for an individual future?



my memory and my present



embrace







bridge notes (poem title)







the view from the bridge



is gargantuan



above



below



when I am the bridge



and the river below



and the sky above



and the view as far as I can see



and perhaps you can not feel



as I can not feel



that we are touching







my permanent red mark (poem rifle)







did I learn to swim as a toddler?



and my adult mind clutches hungrily for some thing to hold onto;



some inner truth to reassure me life is steady and I will not fall even when the ground beneath my feet shakes with gargantuan reminders of human fragilities;



on my face



is a permanent red mark :



my personal bookmark



to note:



surrendering to fears and circumstance:



placing my life in the care of faith joy grace and harmony is neither painless or pretty







myself daily (poem title)







everyday I begin with what I mean;



and in this gargantuan world



where self is interconnected



with self,



I am here: this is where I am: I'm right here







the assumption (poem title)







suspended in mid air



are layers thick as clothing;



brief high school dismissal;



with bitter sarcasm, I say, 'my only crime is surviving my highway pile up': admittedly, gargantuan statistical data challenges personal idenity:



I never realized so many Americans with disabilities are jailed







when two go kaput (poem title)







in a car where FDR is nowhere to be seen;



while I was talking;



my welt



near my eye



is visible



and on the side with a permanent red marker







the depth of sitting (poem title)







looking out my hospital window



when a child



I saw peace in a tangible form



too far away for me to reach out



and grasp it in my hand



however near enough to understand



peace is visible







today



as an adult



I am sitting and listening



and understanding



peace can be heard



and seen



and felt







and questions can be asked:



how can there be peace



more?



how can there be more peace?







elementary kaput (poem tittle)







what I learned in elementary school is



family are elemental







slander media kaput (poem title)







note :



needle mark on center back of right wrist; difficulty photo inn







a writer traveling to France isn't me



and my used passport remains



faded



old



wrinkled



and



folded







pedestrian typing (poem title)







if there was a keyboard tattooed



on the ground,



I would wake up



every morning



and I would type



using my feet:



you will never believe how



much I love you







note:  not to be rude:  having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life:  want to connect/reconnect:  so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'







Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)







(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights







pedestrian typing (poem title)







if there was a keyboard tattooed



on the ground,



I would wake up



every morning



and I would type



using my feet:



you will never believe how



much I love you







the ground beneath my feet (poem title)







when I walk or when I roll,



I tend to think I am more aware of the type of ground beneath my feet;



not that I spend much time on arrogant comparison.



my naïveté is, at times, an inconvenient blessing,



as I couldn't identify a carpetbagger if it bit me on the face,



I can't spell vacuum



however, I do know when representatives take the floor



it is no longer political analysis







the smell of old books (poem title)







a carpetbagger distracts



from the illuminations seen



aswellas the panentheism scene







heckler's sexual harassment (poem title)







heckler's litotes is their's to decipher;



as it is much easier to simply walk away



and not get involved







the smell of old books (poem title)







a carpetbagger distracts



from the illuminations seen



aswellas the panentheism scene







less than three centuries (poem title)







carpetbagger war over piles of jackets and coats;



nature provided the answer (as contrary to the solution) before time began



Socrates' gift to humanity might have been formulating the question as the definitive correspondence:



am I meek enough to try to understand nature?



am I strong enough to



comprehend birthing as a blessed event



do I have enough courage to state that child bearing must not be miraculous tarn







wasted time (poem title)







difficult to accept



my body is not a carpetbagger



as I am still exhausted



even with thought of someone else's money







a trout with an ATM card (poem title)







a fish with an ATM card donates everything to the litotes Church while a dolphin with a sword dreams about swimming







note:  not to be rude:  having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life:  want to connect/reconnect:  so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'







Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)







(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights







a crowd gather's (poem title)







good deeds should never be alone;



as in a harsh litotes world



when anyone falls



the observer's sin is in adding insult to human nature







where I have been (poem title)







if eagerly life could be charted as a choreography piece:



a solo waltz



baby walks here:



child steps here



teenager crosses here



young adult climbs here



middle aged adult tango's here



elderly adult walks here



connecting the balletic movements



fortifying the gestures



until every individual emblazon can be embraced; then perhaps humanity would understand the importance of dance



and all it's translations







the mathematics of lesbian (poem title)







defensiveness sadly as defense is sadly needed:



if I have complaints or suggestions about creation, I will converse with God myself



and if there is a test written into human existence, it might be can you find the third choice?



when Garden of Eden matters are on the frontline: is the answer likely to be popular or comfortable?







the absence of children (poem title)







if I had a daughter



I would suggest:



she emblazon her



self definition



so she would never forget herself,



I would advise she never ever waste



a moment of her precious life,



I would clearly state that she choose her sex partners carefully



and if she wasn't in love, say, 'no'



and I would encourage her to exercise sleep eat



and use all her talents



to the best of her ability







when it feels like Friday (poem title)







when it feels like Friday, my maternal instincts come out and I begin



to wonder



how suffrage happened



with women surrounded



with exhaustion







note: not to be rude: having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life: want to connect/reconnect: so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'







Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)







(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights
Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Saturday June Thirtieth 2018:

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

mom and I are driving to a presentation at Unity church portland oregon this evening for her birthday and meeting family there

Also, my birthday gift is a poetry book based on a piece I wrote about being a patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon as a child in 1979 ish

I am handwriting my book entitled : Ten Home Survival Tips Poetry Book : I have already typed up some of the poems and posted them on Facebook:

in case your interested: the # in the title corresponds to the specific Home Survival Tip and the letter corresponds to a word structure : a = faith b = gratitude c = joy : as is I am not writing as much as I would like and my left foot and ankle hurt so this is my first time quick writing with my feet elevated and Girlie Dog in my lap

and yes I puchased her a piece of pie because “they” were being asswipes about free pie

Also, mom and I drove to dim sum (spelling?) for her birthday and celebrated with family

Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Friday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

couldn’t find my keys

had dirreah earlier

mom and I drove to my bloodtest

FBI web confirm difficulty
denying mom her free bday pie
I need 2 finish poetry book

she is mid making a birthday cake for a woman very productive at Unity church portland oregon

I opened my black backpack this morning to get an unopened package of pens with my bar code on them

revealing several packs of my Usual Bold Coffee

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Saturday June Thirtieth 2018:

Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Friday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

couldn’t find my keys

had dirreah earlier

mom and I drove to my bloodtest

FBI web confirm difficulty
denying mom her free bday pie
I need 2 finish poetry book

she is mid making a birthday cake for a woman very productive at Unity church portland oregon

I opened my black backpack this morning to get an unopened package of pens with my bar code on them

revealing several packs of my Usual Bold Coffee

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing piece inspired from my poem ‘I Walked With Death Today ‘ inspired from various real life events including sitting in an Australian cafe mourning lost lovers on Valentine’s day. (it is one pf my favorite pieces to say outloud and I should memmorize it and repeat it frequently) ‘ Valentine’s Day balloon carefully cherished and released in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.’

I am about to record a reading of it and post it public on my Facebook page

please note: I was sitting with my bandaged foot elevated for circulation reasons watching theedit

And yes I mean that honestly AsWellas sarcasticly

I did pay for my walkonstage.com site using my Union bank ATM card

and I started the web site in Seattle Washington

the videos audio recording (I am about to record my voice using Facebook’s camera). (damn I will record on another post)

and text regarding strange emails: all files are what I sent out on CDs with greeting cards mostly purchased at PCC grocery because that is about how far I can walk even when super pissed off and full of adrenaline

anyway I sent the CD to several Seattle Police departments and copies of the emails to sever

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing piece inspired from my poem ‘I Walked With Death Today ‘ inspired from various real life events including sitting in an Australian cafe mourning lost lovers on Valentine’s day. (it is one pf my favorite pieces to say outloud and I should memmorize it and repeat it frequently) ‘ Valentine’s Day balloon carefully cherished and released in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.’

I am about to record a reading of it and post it public on my Facebook page

please note: I was sitting with my bandaged foot elevated for circulation reasons watching the commentary on Memoirs Of A Geisha when I realized someone’s out there just couldn’t wait (mom outside btw) for me to type the FBI and please tell them to contact the FBI directly.

And yes I mean that honestly AsWellas sarcasticly

I did pay for my walkonstage.com site using my Union bank ATM card

and I started the web site in Seattle Washington

the videos audio recording (I am about to record my voice using Facebook’s camera). (damn I will record on another post)

and text regarding strange emails: all files are what I sent out on CDs with greeting cards mostly purchased at PCC grocery because that is about how far I can walk even when super pissed off and full of adrenaline

anyway I sent the CD to several Seattle Police departments and copies of the emails to several people in Seattle govermment

I did not send my older brother a text about my schedule today

anyway I didn’t have time this morning to type the FBI or play guess my password

Note: the video I made of me reading this poem disappeared somewhere in cyber space beginning at iPhoto on the way to Facebook

���������� Nazi Warning WTF?

Please be concerned about Sophie Dog’s and Girlie Dog’s safety: food water and whereabouts

mom went outside in front looking for a box
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom went outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~~

edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

#4b What Is Your Favorite Book To Read On An Elevator? (poem title)

Anything by Gertrude Stein any nook any poem any play that is my favorite book to read on an elevator stuck between floors on purpose to escape the status quo noise and just imagine a woman loving inscape so much she travels around the world to find a home where she can love who she wants write what she wants drink and drink and drink all the coffee she wants with the people wanting to drink the type of gratitude only an American woman used to be when I was a child

copyrighted

my bishop walks diagonally (poem title)

I have never been very good at chess games I know the rules and enjoy the strategic thinking and figuring out how to protect the almost stationary King and the over reaching Queen however at some point my patience about winning goes kaput and my dog isn’t a bichon frise (cute dog) she’s a chihuahua so the play on words misses the point completely: lists are not necessarily good or bad: Icarus walk diagonally sometimes

copyrighted

Kaput While Driving (poem title)

I am old enough to remember and too young to have actually been there during the heyday of R. and B. however I do know that in times of civil strife that it is important to remind people that they we struggle to do our exercises because we are more than automotives with replaceable parts and engines that can be turned on and off when needed

copyrighted

Two Women Making Love And A Black Man With A Job (poem title)

Illiteracy and the inability to listen are the flip side of Dr. Mengle twin experiment survivor’s:
The Biblical words are: (prayer)
Thou shalt not kill
The Biblical words are: (prayer)
Let there be light
The Biblical words are: (prayer)
Begetting and begetting and begetting
while not an exact quote the amount of begetting certainly isn’t censored or deemed negative as notorious
The Biblical words are: (prayer)
Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
The Biblical words are: (prayer)
Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
a poem never gave anyone HIV on purpose

copyrighted

note: selfie is from October 31st, 2015

the golden struggle / October 31st, 2015 (poem title)

the golden struggle begins again,

Halloween and All Souls Day are simply reminders

the golden struggle begins again,
with every breath I breathe.

I can see it in babies carried so,
in bundles they will grow,
in hopes to see a brave golden light
that assists Burden's heavy loads

the golden struggle begins again

copyrighted

Saw Dust In My Eyes. (poem title)

both as a writer and a performer I have made choices in the moment to leave a word as is, include a prop, keep a stage direction as is although I am not comfortable with it. I am not entirely comfortable with saw dust in my eyes however my inscape vision challenges people to survive while embracing joy because some might call her plain but I think she is beautiful

copyrighted

#1a My First Catholic Mass (poem title)

My First Catholic Mass was in s gymnasium where I understood Communion (Spelling?) meant everything to some people around me so I saved my smart alec mouth for later and while I silently watched the inscape I began to weep inside and beautiful was the only word I could think of: the amount of joy I found simply because I wanted to get good grades in high school and I had asked for help: so I must remind myself not to panic at my own question: how did I end up here?

copyrighted

I Roll Backwards (poem title)

I roll backwards because it is difficult to see behind me and what’s in front of me simultaneously because my vision inscape is active faith so buzy there is no time for interference and I must distract my determined arrogance so I am only in the type of danger that types dancing literacy

copyrighted

If I Were InFront Of A Firing Squad (poem title)

If I were in front of a firing squad what would I be thinking?
would I reminisce on old times past and mourn the times I could be drinking?
would I rage about untimeliness and the inconvenience of my fare?
would I leave clues to my location so my loved ones could find my last sound and be assured that I wasn’t disguised somewhere or slumbering underground
If I were in front of a firing squad I might think of an inscape where humans say what they mean and humans mean what they say:
and if somebody doesn’t like someone they simply get up and walk away
and if this were true: my world if honest and direct words, the people on the firing squad might put down their guns because communications and good food are two delicious things:
when a point is made and a point is heard it is a delightful thing to go gor breakfast and wear your favorite clothes and speak of this and that because at least with goring squads their names and faces are very clear
their where abouts is always found and their connections sometimes dear
and if you ask them why they rage the answer is severe: I barely survived hospital and now I live in fear

copyrighted

Sweat The Tiny Stuff (poem title)

my ref pants with a shoulder swagger right shoulder first and hesitate a thought enters my inscape mind wait for your left shoulder as if sweating ceases be the person worth waiting for I include myself

copyrighted

Family Is Different (poem title)

family is different when naming names did Samuel Clemenses family call him Sammy at home or his more famous inscape Mark Twain?

copyrighted

#2b My Body Doesn’t Cry (poem title)

Inscape. Inscape. Inscape..
I am trying to calm your mind so empathy can sneak in bringing her presence of gratitude. She remembers when I stole my bodyies historyfrom the revolving nurse’s station with the revolving file holder and when do you cry?

copyrighted

Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Saturday June Thirtieth 2018:

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

mom and I are driving to a presentation at Unity church portland oregon this evening for her birthday and meeting family there

Also, my birthday gift is a poetry book based on a piece I wrote about being a patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon as a child in 1979 ish

I am handwriting my book entitled : Ten Home Survival Tips Poetry Book : I have already typed up some of the poems and posted them on Facebook:

in case your interested: the # in the title corresponds to the specific Home Survival Tip and the letter corresponds to a word structure : a = faith b = gratitude c = joy : as is I am not writing as much as I would like and my left foot and ankle hurt so this is my first time quick writing with my feet elevated and Girlie Dog in my lap

and yes I puchased her a piece of pie because “they” were being asswipes about free pie

Also, mom and I drove to dim sum (spelling?) for her birthday and celebrated with family

Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Friday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

couldn’t find my keys

had dirreah earlier

mom and I drove to my bloodtest

FBI web confirm difficulty
denying mom her free bday pie
I need 2 finish poetry book

she is mid making a birthday cake for a woman very productive at Unity church portland oregon

I opened my black backpack this morning to get an unopened package of pens with my bar code on them

revealing several packs of my Usual Bold Coffee

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Saturday June Thirtieth 2018:

# 1b My Paleolithic Heart (poem title)

picture a gratitude poem a poem is a picture both the lines and shapes that cannot be separated from a poem’s inscape ad
what do you see in this in this picture?
I see you diagonal reaching

copyrighted

ob: Waking With A Prayer poem title)

People think. People think! People think? Did you know people think? And a reason I exist is I feel every morning. I greet those around me.with noises of life purposefully meant not to be a balmy secret: I wake wondering about Truth and I spend each day with Gratitude so I am never lonely as Truth is the Desire of the Fittest.

copyrighted

Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Friday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

couldn’t find my keys

had dirreah earlier

mom and I drove to my bloodtest

FBI web confirm difficulty
denying mom her free bday pie
I need 2 finish poetry book

she is mid making a birthday cake for a woman very productive at Unity church portland oregon

I opened my black backpack this morning to get an unopened package of pens with my bar code on them

revealing several packs of my Usual Bold Coffee

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing piece inspired from my poem ‘I Walked With Death Today ‘ inspired from various real life events including sitting in an Australian cafe mourning lost lovers on Valentine’s day. (it is one pf my favorite pieces to say outloud and I should memmorize it and repeat it frequently) ‘ Valentine’s Day balloon carefully cherished and released in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.’

I am about to record a reading of it and post it public on my Facebook page

please note: I was sitting with my bandaged foot elevated for circulation reasons watching theedit

And yes I mean that honestly AsWellas sarcasticly

I did pay for my walkonstage.com site using my Union bank ATM card

and I started the web site in Seattle Washington

the videos audio recording (I am about to record my voice using Facebook’s camera). (damn I will record on another post)

and text regarding strange emails: all files are what I sent out on CDs with greeting cards mostly purchased at PCC grocery because that is about how far I can walk even when super pissed off and full of adrenaline

anyway I sent the CD to several Seattle Police departments and copies of the emails to sever

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI Ninth web form on Friday June Twenty Sixth 2018

#4a. Best Wrestler (poem title)

I learned to wrestle before elementary school class even started. Why was I the best even when my opponent was stronger? Beacuse I had faith that the Teacher wouldn’t be angry if we got caught

copyrighted

It’s Not A Novel! It’s Autobiographical Narrative Nonfiction Poetry! (poem title)

the investigation into ten home survival tips begins! what does it mean? you ask with a balmy tone: well you’re going ta have to wait until I put my boots on and then your going to have to to be patiently
responsive

copyrighted


Novel Starting (poem title)

It was a dark and balmy night and there was a conflict and the characters responded

copyrighted

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Free Pie Wednesday June Twenty Seventh 2018 :

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

I did not BCC my Note to the FBI to a woman with a seattle . gov emai address I had contacted in Seattle about volunteering for a domestic abuse victim advocacy program I had read about inJohn Douglasses books after losing my Father.

today mom annouced we would not need to go to Free Pie Wednesday until Christmas if I agree to go on a diet that my older brother is actually losing weight on

and she also won’t need to attend Unity church portland oregon anymore (in her dilusional mind)

���������� Nazi Warning WTF?

Please be concerned about Sophie Dog’s and Girlie Dog’s safety: food water and whereabouts

mom driving to pick up car and get gas
~~~~||||.......
Note: we might discontinue free pie today for a doet where mom wouldn’t have to cook much

Note: typo unintentional ( my Ms use of standardized words AsWellAs punctuation is limited to poems and creative writings
~~~~~~~~~~,

Don and mom interacted in house when we arrived home

mom outside in front

guy driving?

stopped and yelled from street? driveway?

asking for money wants to know what we do with our grill
~~~~|........
I tried to hurry and left my iPjone in the car
~~~~~~||
Note: asswipe behavior determines if I name SS to FBI then post on F then send
~~~~~|,,..........,
mom announced she might’ve quit church
~~~~~~~~~~~|
I am missing a tooth brush

Don mom and are on out way to breakfast
footsteps in hall? I was asleep
~~~~~|...~~
Free Pie Wednesday : mom and I have invited Don to breakfast and free pie for his birthday ~~~~~~~~
mom went outside laundry side carrying something large and white (?)

I had just woken after falling asleep
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom downstairs

television not working

server not sending emails
<~~~~~~~,,,
mom went outside laundry side
~~~~~~,,,,,,,,
mom went outside in front looking for a box
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom went outside laundry side
~~~~~~~||||
Don van arriving to interact with mom on her car side
~~~~~~~~~
mom going to Carol Ann's room after lunch

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period oneditpage which I bulit and purchased the domain nameedit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Free Pie Wednesday June Twenty Seventh 2018

Fear Of Social Disapproval (poem title)

Lesbians use their hands and mouths more during sex regarding the question: how do lesbians have sex? will a burning pain in my right shoulder lesson my celibacy? Not when there is a girl (and grown up women) meritorious: as tantalize does not always mean desirable as enjoyment reproduction and orgasm and communication and preference are more meaningful than social approval

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Conversational Sex (poem title)

celibacy is much different than sexuality in storage: sex is a conversation with your self and the self you see in other people: just as what someone doesn’t say is often a measure of tantalize in discourses the absence of sexual social cues is a dialogue which isn’t limited to backstage preparations

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If I Could Understand (poem title)

if I could understand all the ways in which you tantalize me to put myself in harm’s way and perchance in all my love of reasonable and philosophical reasonableness my actions are because I love you and I miss you and if I knew how to write my thoughts in a dew drop to send to you so you could print them and read them at your leisure this is a letter I would write while trying to hurry a little faster

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If There Is A God A Poem I can Write (poem title)

the list of rules and regulations is very long however if there is a God a pugnacious poem I can write as I always remember although frequently forget the golden rule treat others as you would treat yourself practiced practiced practiced every moment I change my cursing curses into cursive writing

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Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)

this is my black dot trial: in America free speech has legal limits of protection however the right to yell help when threatened in one’s apartment is protected speech rather than prohibited speech just as responding to help someone yelling help is a protected expression of self worth and values and pugnacious attitude of right verses wrong: technologies imitation of nature is found in the A Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen tiny black dot : A dew drop contains everything you need to know about yourself and your Universe: simply touch a drop of water and hold it on your fingertip without breaking and read: the information is the same if you read in the dark from the bottom up from the top down from left to right from right to left like a scrabble board with your eyes closed sensing rather than making out words and shapes: it is all there in your hand, and please, never burn a book

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Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

my recorded video of my poem I typed this morning ( Tuesday June Twenty Sixth) ‘Tiny Black Dot In The Upper Left Hand Corner Of Your Computer Screen (poem title)’ Poem disappeared! I used my iPhone photo application to post it on Facebook and I included my text with the word ‘copyrighted’.

Several reliable sources confirm that even simply placing a lower case c or a capitol C is a way an Author can legally copyright their work.

my poem is a reference to the period on my walkonstage.com web page which I bulit and purchased the domain name for when I lived in Seattle Washington after losing my Father in 2006 a few days before presenting Tao and The Art Of Drowning on stage at a sizable venue with a sizable stage in Seattle.

As I was primarily sitting in my very large walker to dance and perform as I am now (if I danced and performed), the only main piece I literally walked on stage during was a dancing piece inspired from my poem ‘I Walked With Death Today ‘ inspired from various real life events including sitting in an Australian cafe mourning lost lovers on Valentine’s day. (it is one pf my favorite pieces to say outloud and I should memmorize it and repeat it frequently) ‘ Valentine’s Day balloon carefully cherished and released in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.’

I am about to record a reading of it and post it public on my Facebook page

please note: I was sitting with my bandaged foot elevated for circulation reasons watching the commentary on Memoirs Of A Geisha when I realized someone’s out there just couldn’t wait (mom outside btw) for me to type the FBI and please tell them to contact the FBI directly.

And yes I mean that honestly AsWellas sarcasticly

I did pay for my walkonstage.com site using my Union bank ATM card

and I started the web site in Seattle Washington

the videos audio recording (I am about to record my voice using Facebook’s camera). (damn I will record on another post)

and text regarding strange emails: all files are what I sent out on CDs with greeting cards mostly purchased at PCC grocery because that is about how far I can walk even when super pissed off and full of adrenaline

anyway I sent the CD to several Seattle Police departments and copies of the emails to several people in Seattle govermment

I did not send my older brother a text about my schedule today

anyway I didn’t have time this morning to type the FBI or play guess my password

Note: the video I made of me reading this poem disappeared somewhere in cyber space beginning at iPhoto on the way to Facebook

���������� Nazi Warning WTF?

Please be concerned about Sophie Dog’s and Girlie Dog’s safety: food water and whereabouts

mom went outside in front looking for a box
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom went outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~~

edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday June Twenty Sixth 2018

Conversations with an injured teenager (poem title)

why did we speak.about the Renneisance as if my strange desire to wear only white pants would be sculpted in European wallways or painted on Cathedral ceilings?
why were they so interested in what I did at school or what misic I listened to at the used record stores I went to before carefully walking as far as I could before exhaustion
why, as an adult, did I choose Hava Nagila to dance to for my third audition?
why is my pugnacious dancing banned?

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Peace Pugnaciously (poem title)

perchance now’s time to re exam nonviolent resistance’s original meaning as if we are the Doctors and Nurses of the present for the future: because if Mother Earth is our patient she is very ill and has survived a very long time without medical care: pugnacious is not a phenomena to be over personified because if people wanting to live in fear spent less time being afraid of what might happen if people with disabilities use their Constitutional rights and more time opening food cans providing clean water picking up after walking outside going to the park with opening doors for animals and people then originality would be much easier to understand with an American born brain

copyrighted

“They” Might Be Coming To Get You (poem title)

“They “ might be coming to get you as “they” might not realize or accept that a quail sounds an SOS alert and doesn’t chase anyone at all

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It’s Nothing Personal (poem title)

locks on doors rushing around is also for women as even in a Hobbsein (Spelling?) existence the white doves of harmony remind to find God in self and others and the ground you walk on

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Hobbesian Pizza (poem title)

Perchance Hobbes is correct about the personality of human nature :

It is only through the sit down and talk to your Mother nonrational consumption of pizza and ice cream is the divine brought into consciousness

often times makes no sense and then when the unconscious speaks absence of Approval’s need modesty steps in expressing gratitude rather than shame: I almost didn’t make it and yet with your assistance I am alive and here we are: eating pizza and ice cream and watching our weight

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Queen Of Herself (poem title)

She sits on my rolling walker’s chair like a Hobbesian Queen calmly knowing full well this is usually when the big dog snarls and chases her. We walk quickly through the house while the big dog is on her walk and the gate and doors are shut and her leash is on. Outside she waits for my reassurance before standing and running and then when she begins to dash in the sunshine’s warmth, for a few minutes at least, it’s like she was never injured

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The Winner Is Whoever Does The Paperwork And Makes Copies For The Official Files

is a Hobbesian Monarch a raspberry in the face of the Magna Carta?

When I was an eleven year old girl in an Intensive Care Unit after a highway auto pile up I didn’t do much except move in and out of consciousness

Later my Mom told me there was a black woman nurse unswerving in treating me as a dearest of dears and I would respond with difficulty

And I often reflect on how do you know who has saved your life?

There is my basis to create a solid government

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As Long As I Can Hold My Breath (poem title)

the hidden treasures in the safe without a lock open as the combination is discovered: you have five more Hobbesian minutes

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written in scribbles (poem title)

occasionally I rubberneck myself to see what I am doing; without fail it is always the same thing already written in scribble on my body

copyrighted

“They” Might Be Coming To Get You (poem title)

“They “ might be coming to get you as “they” might not realize or accept that a quail sounds an SOS alert and doesn’t chase anyone at all

copyrighted

a few minutes (poem title)

if I had been afraid
to sit outside
on the church steps
for a few minutes
to be reassured
everything is the way it is
I would have lost a chance
to ponder how to pull myself out from the swamp of despair:
it didn't bother me that I couldn't walk up the steps to sit in the chapel
and bemuse about about the meaning of strength

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Oregon The Dead Dead Dream State (poem title)

If the besot traffick doesn’t kill ya the hypocrisy will: admittedly i was run over with a truck as a child when I ventured outside of Oregon however Oregon is where I live as I decay and a putrid death in Oregon is where I don’t stray

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Vajulie Is The New Cure: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (poem title)

Vaginas besot are not a body part to be hidden in shame nor should a lady’s neither regions be displayed Vaginas are a girl’s private parts and if she is lucky and stubborn her Vagina becomes a woman’s private parts Vaginas should always be listened to regardless of genitalia situation or gender ignore a Vagina once and suffer a learning experience ignore a Vagina twice don’t talk about it and perhaps the women around you won’t mention it either ignore a Vagina three times and you’re outta here don’t blame me if you don’t get dates ignore a Vagina four times don’t bother reproducing
Women say No and we mean No and at least in my experience waste my valuable time saying NoNoNoNo No No No and my intended machine gun fire with blank bullets is totally negated: And what I say is more international videoconferencing based on what those that didn’t survive The RevolutionaryWay Civil War World War One World War Two said and/or wrote in their lifetime and what those that barely survived have to say because Vaginas are not meant to sit in freeze frame photos or stacked and forgotten on shelves waiting to be transformed into deer antlers hung on walls as souvenirs Vaginas are not meant to wait beggingly or to be filled mercilessly
A Woman’s Vagina is grace in motion A Woman’s Vagina is faith in velocity A Woman’s Vagina is sometimes a precious stone A Woman’s Vagina must survive
A Woman’s Vagina is song itself A Woman’s Vagina is an oath to herself A Woman’s Vagina is how and why we are able to imagine
Vaginal energy is the power of multiple orgasm Vaginal energy is the power of receptivity the power of clarity the power of water combined with ground to be created and give birth and recreate Vaginal energy is the power of the not obvious and I know it’s there Vaginal energy is the power of the hidden Vaginal energy is the power of endurance when a pen is touched the pen itself responds instantly: in order to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome a person must be sought to recover as desires are movements in order to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome a person must learn to touch a pen with the ability to write time itself as a pen is the expression of a Penis likewise in order to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome a person must learn to touch as touching is the expression of a Vagina: perchance you are like me and asking yourself what have I birthed today?

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Here Is Neglect (poem title)

is lying an active or a passive action? as in neglecting to tell the truth? is neglect an active or passive action when the neglector must work hard to lie about besot and explanations while cars collide

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The Rose Book (poem title)

a young girl seemingly jumped off a bookstore bookshelf and admiringly greeted me as I, besot, searched my mind for a response: I said Hello even though what I meant was a question I wanted to ask: what books are you reading because I want to be as courageous as you are

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Party A Surprize (poem title)

I have seen the play Bent and I know about b long and I know about short what I don’t know is that symbols become things and circumstances and how to ensure that old women in pink hats and little girls with private parts verse about homosexual men lost in Nazi purges and barely lost Amen verse about old women in pink hats and little girls with private parts because when my just in case reading glasses are painful to wear while clarifying my vision to see my handprint in front of my face, the words not making any sense not scrolled on the back of the long black coat I am not wearing are I don’t care what “they” say; this is my surprize party and I can fry if I want to.

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Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Friday June Twenty Second 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

Also, I have not had any eye glasses to wer for two days now either because the glass lens fall out or the side over the ear parts are toxic:

Also, I have what feels like open sores above my ears (actually sensitive areas) and this week or twoish my head has swollen where my glasses are too painful to wear

I have paratransit scheduled this afternoon to a Doctors appointment

I did not post the word Dog to my Facebook page to provide the information to people not limited to the FBI that I am getting up and prepared for the day ahead

The reason I did not post the word Dog is my intentions were to go sleep in my bed after falling asleep in my very comfortable chair in our living room

Also, our outdoor garbage can is situated so I can open and close it easily from a seated position with one hand: I went to empty my room garbage and the garbage can lid was blocked with a broom and there wasn’t anyway to easily move it because the garbage container was wedged between a broken chair and our porch

my guess is some assholes from Seattle ate continuing to want control of my DNA and the containers of anything I purchase

And wanting to smell up the house entrance with a used garbage can with out a lid that shuts

My concerns are my pain tolerance for my left foot at the Doctor, my continuing abilities to keep my medicine and bandages and soap and support stockings shoes shoe laces and floor sterile and toxin free

mom’s and our dog’s safety

And a new “entertainmemt” is I now have to be certain that our scarier larger barking dog Sophie Dog doesn’t get out of the fence and chase my service dog Girlie Dog onto the paratransit van

A few times a driver has left our gate unlatched when it appears to be latched (and I am aware the paratransit drivers are also under psycho pressure). I keep my dog in a zipped up case until the gate is shut and latched however our big dog goes ballistic about chasing my little dog and I have been knocked down and bleeding when I got in the way
~~~~~~~~,,,
There isn’t anyone at Unity church portland oregon who has ever mentioned my Facebook page and there is no one with any reason to read my Facebook page. I don’t intend to continue at Unity church unless mom also goes: there are few activities that my Mom and I can share and because of invasive drug adictted sleazioids there are no activities for us to share enjoyably and as far as I know there is no where safe for my Mom to exist

It seems so absurd that a woman isn’t safe working in her own yard or emptying the trash in a what was a quiet calm residential neighborhood

I had hoped my very likable traditionally physically attractive niece’s visit would chill some of my Mom and my stalkers : at least influencing them to behave as if they are decent human beings when they are inside our house

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Friday June Twenty Second 2018

Dog Snuggling (poem title)

if more time was spent on dog snuggling and less energy spent on human smuggling then we’d all have time for dancing gratitude personified and for writing about our word for the day

copyrighted

note: poem changed

hospitalverification bed electricity (poem title)

ignorance of science is a mixed blessing whenever it comes to poetry : I can't to my chagrin explain how electricity works however I can remind that the sound of electricity when a hospital patient is an orchestral movement onto itself

copyrighted

immediate, until my body wears/ I'll do it tomorrow

expressing again to many's
chagrin until your body is horizontally beyond your control there is a difference in opinion

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note: poem changed

pelvic reconstruction doesn't lie

the worst day of my life? the best day of my life? today? right now to my chagrin my pelvis is the way my pelvis is: what I do with it!

copyrighted

Dog Day Do’s (poem title)

Your dog will bond with you more if occasionally you sleep in while your dog sleep in:: don’t disturb the dog don’t disturb the dog owner and gratitude will fill your life

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Here I Am (poem title)

It seems there are some vacators who tantalize the thought others have no where to go when the reality of existences is I am here

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Liberty Never Goes Out Of Style (poem title)

True endurance: Lady Liberty doesn’t exactly tantalize with her 25 foot long feet and her 35 foot waist
She holds that torch up over her head so everybody around the world yearning to breath free can find a light Somewhere Somehow Someway Somebody

copyrighted

Pampered Walkie Talkies (poem title)

Quail birds are much mote interesting then pampered walkie talkies repeating whatever their told

copyrighted

Hypocrites And Kidnappers (poem title)

hypocrites and kidnappers have at least one thing in common: they ate as plentiful as quail, they don’t feel remorse and they think this poem is about Isis

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Darlin’, Think Of Me When You Drive Good Ole Route 66 (poem title)

ya know honey, there are some days and I can’t remember Simon Wiesenthal’s name: I didn’t know the Gentleman personally however I don’t think he’d be offended if I spelled his name in correctly: ya know what I would say to Simon if he were here and we had talked out all his adventurous ventures after watching quail and crow and pigeon and dove and raven for life’s lessons ? I’d look him square in the eye and I’d say, ‘Simon, I don’t like to talk about myself much. I was born like this. My Mother really did say I was born masturbating and my Father, not to misquote him, used to nod his head when I was a child and say to Mom something about keeping the boys on their toes (I never knew what it meant) and Simon, I’ve been back and fourth and back across this great country looking for a place to call my home and a woman to fall in love with and call my wife and all I can see is desperation , greedy desperation. And I don’t know what Simon Wiesenthal would say and I can’t write fiction to save my life (why would anyone write a fictional poem?) maybe I would ask him to introduce me to some of his friends and I just want to say if sometime I don’t get back home well, no matter how far I travel and no matter what I did, I was travelin’ alone (with my dog) along Route 66 trying to find you whole and alive and in one piece

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You As A Country (poem title)

In ruling yourself or in ruling a country a measurement and a purpose are : there is you in comparison smarter <><> are you less than or more than? there are wealth and weapons and windows <><> do you use them? A quail has the ability to fly

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A Notebook In The Postal Mail (poem title)

despite possible future generations possible definition of improvement paper is stylish and exactly what you need when you need paper for a note now times have changed in the over fifty years I have been alive and stamp prices and stamp faces have changed AsWellAs the importance of a notebook in the postal mail as what any woman writes down to tantalize to remember to improve to excel to scandalize to be extraordinary to influence to nurture to activate to inspire to recover to reclaim to restore confidence to value to enjoy to mystery to expand to endure to correspond to love to astound to emote to familiarize to rebuild to presence to repeat to experience to be sturdy is of vital significance and worth the cost of sending through the statisphere (ignore the hype)

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Big Floppy Ears (poem title)

Girlie Dog never seems to be ashamed of her appearance in fact her behavior is she assumes everyone is delighted to see her regardless of her lack of big floppy ears: I have never witnessed her tantalize or argue her cause: She certainly doesn’t aspire to be President or to steal other’s identities, She is Girlie Dog! Able to jump up responding instantly because despite being hurt disappointed and sometimes neglected she cares about herself and the world she lives in

copyrighted

As Many Newspapers As My Dog Can Carry (poem title)

In my humble opinion tantalize is a subject for adults

Children have sexualities of course however there is a difference between age appropriate and censorship

Inappropriate censors are backseat writers : and I don’t mean backseat writers in a good or literal way like drunks writing love notes in the backseat while the designated driver demurely keeps eyes front and center or Brownies and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts writing diaries and journals and notes while their Camp Counselor or Big Sister or Big Brother chauffeurs fledging reporters : I also don’t mean back seat writers as unorganized children doing their last minute homework as harried parents or school bus drivers steer their vehicles schoolward and onward

I mean it is extremely easy to talk for hours about what you don’t mean As it is easy to verbiage for hours about what you would do if you were at an event that already occurred

It is however very difficult to write down and publish knowing others will read and have opinions and possibly censor basic questions: how? why? what? who? when? where? rather than write answers requiring developments and processes and causes and incitements and facts and faces and names and a time and a place

Number Six Number Six Number Six Number Six Number Six Number Six

Journalism is a lot of work and back seat drivers rarely write their censoring spew with identifiable names and identifiable faces enabling an informed response

What my daily morning habit was: purchasing a latte and a newspaper and finding a place at an empty table my service dog, Girlie would sit on my seated walker platform seat with her face pointed at Seattle’s daily news as if she were reading the headlines of silly human antics while I negotiated my wheeled way through occupied tables and isles of purses and backpacks

Girlie Dog always looks like she is about to speak fluently in human language with completely independent opinions on world events. However she doesn’t do much humanish stuff. She isn’t one of those dogs that will fetch a rolled up newspaper and carry it in her mouth

News is often about events already occurred and Girlie Dog doesn’t seem to dwell on the past much. Her bark calls immediacy to attention and the newspapers she carries are the paper and ink measurement of how the human race is evolving

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a word I can/t spell (poem title)

there is a word I can't spell
and I don't know what it means
so do words define me ?
or do I define words?

note: not to be rude: having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life: want to connect/reconnect: so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'

Julie (Dolphin)

(Julie Jeanette Dolphin Trahan pseudonyms: Dolphin_J or/ and Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)

(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights)

Double Dog Jabberwocky (poem title)

Girlie Dog jumped into her bed on my walker while Sophie Dog was Jumping and and She flew backwards into and I pulled it into my lap canine the air and kiss I started laughing almost slid off the Girlie Dog’s bed walker into Sophie Dog’s big mouth with sharp teeth as I we both barking at her ruff wagging landed with a thump was in motion of sitting in my chair barking I grabbed woofing

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Double Jabberwocky (poem title)

kame anticholinergic
youk yean jump evapotranspiration bioamplification apartment orbitosphenoid bascule cytoarchitectonics biobibliography
Zoroastrianism emergency reinterpretation rood kith jurisdictional Walpurgis chronostratigraphy oversimplification biopharmaceutical waterbody

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On The Subject Of Water Boarding (poem title)

of the four elements: ground fire water air, water is not really all that unique in water’s ability to seep into forgotten and neglected sites or in water’s combination of destructive and sustaining qualities
however if you have ever cried a tear about whelm then perchance you know that weeping is not made of fire or air and perchance you will agree that the best way to convince someone to tell you something they have probably been wanting to tell someone they trust their entire life is to sit and talk with them until there are reasons and a context and answers to all of the whys someone would hold smoldering secrets especially when to someone people whelm only increases the necessity of secrecy

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Dogs Flying Helicopters (poem title)

A dog flying a helicopter is a sight I would like to see the only major barrier is humans arguing what breed the smart dog should be
In matters of guiding the helm a Husky would quickly be whelm as ‘copters have curt and precise moves so a Dalmatian might be the dog behooves as far as I can look I have seen a dog standing in a brook as far as I can see I have never seen a dog climb a tree as far as dogs being ‘copter pilots I say why not?

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Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on the day after Fathers’s Day Monday June Eightteenth 2018 :

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

mom is driving to have car washed and repaired from when some guy in the park ran into the door behind the driver while my niece K was visiting

I am not here to update her schedule for Facebook stalkers or WASHINGTON State psychotics getting their vengeance against me for existing through raping old women

we have scheduled time to go to the women’s meeting at Unity church portland oregon this evening and I already don’t want to go

life would be much more enjoyable if asswipes hadn’t/ didn’t make everything unpleasant :

and maybe some of those heroin addicted child trafficking shitheads would find some delusional fund paying assholes for being obnoxious

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Monday June Eleventh 2018 :

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

Oregon Health Plan

�� �������� Nazi Warning WTF?

Please be concerned about Sophie Dog’s and Girlie Dog’s safety: food water and whereabouts

mom and K driving?

silence in house

I had forgotten about Athens’s Favorite Sewing Project
~~~~~~~~~~~~
K and mom going to EPCC without
~~~~~~~~~~,,
mom went to car to make a phone call
~~~~~~~

Girlie Dog’s toothpaste is painful to even touch today. And her prescription medication which I just refilled is missing. Girlie Dog is my service dog

Also. her liquid non prescription medication spilled out completely from a bottle which was sealed when I went to sleep last night. Her medication was in the same bag as my sterile bandages I just received for my foot wound: (the bandages seem alright however I haven’t had time to change my bandage yet today)

the hair gel aswellas my Usual Bold Coffee is toxified and I am having to make due without glasses

last night K mom and I managed to have what would likely be a typical evening if asswipes hadn’t invaded at least my life

K practiced singing and an instrument whole mom played the piano; I could never guess stalker psychopath psychobabble however I remember confusedly trying to figure out what the hell was going on when I asked my Mom to record Moonlight Sonata for a stage performance sounteack

Also, I just realized I left the empty bottle from my penacillian prescription on my desk and asswipes tend to target what is most obvious to “them”

Also, please remind asswipes the BBC didn’t ask me to be in a documentary *over a decade ago* became I am an American with disabilities and I drink coffee

I have no idea what happened in 2001/2002 however if it has taken nearly two decades for asswipes to figure out I didn’t leave San Francisco to steal from my parents AND a celebite lesbian with disabilities cannot make a large

edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on the day after Fathers’s Day Monday June Eightteenth 2018 :

Hey Dolores Street (poem title)

Perchance times and San Francisco have changed since 1984, however I remember walking on Valencia street like it meant something:
controversial bookstores along sturdy worn from walking sidewalks leading to get away cafes next to real graffitied alleyways where if ya have somethin’ to say and can’t afford a canvas, there are murals waiting for every blank wall
Then a few years later I found out Delores Street is the official lesbian street and I should correct my thinking what makes a woman strong is she becomes the soul of wherever street or road or area she dwells in her spirt stretches far into the Earth with her invisible roots so if perchance whelm occurs a woman does not float away easily as grief and sorrows stain like a Valencia orange

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A Fish With A Bicycle On Father’s Day 2018 (poem title)

my Father used to send me
books: he sent me swim fins so I could whelm fearlessly my Dad also sent me bicycle shirts and bicycle shorts and I am sending him the thought that a woman not married to a man can marry herself and the world

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Hawaiian Summits (poem title)

looking from the summit of a Hawaiian mountain there is the blue of the constantly moving ocean and there is tropical vegetation and the air is always warm welcoming the tantalize to be alive and healthy: Hawai’i is America’s garden

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Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Father’s Day Sunday June Seventeenth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

please remind sleazoids
especially as it is Pride weekend in Portland Oregon and I have been actively prevented from participating in WA and HI and CA and OR since producing Body Talk = Survival: intersections of race sex[uality] and disability in San Francisco in 1995 where two Uniformed police invaded without explanation or reason

I hid the package of underwear that was placed on my bath bench AsWellAs the soap I used to enable removing the tape from my open wound without pain and my foot bandages are also hidden

and “they” could learn to keep their disgusting sexualization of accessibility’s aids and medical equipment allowing people possibly wounded after witnessing a violent crime to continue their lives independently

Also: my worry mom inside house after a restaurant breakfast before service at Unity church portland oregon on Father’s day

mom inside house after a restaurant breakfast before service at Unity church portland oregon on Father’s day
Sunday Father ‘s Day ~~~~~~~~
mom outside laundry side
~~~~|||||||
mom downstairs

Facebook stuck
~~~~~~~,
mom unloading groceries needs ASAP assistance
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom driving to kids end of school presentation

I am airing my foot while opportunity allows
Saturday ~~~~,,,,,~~~~
the white shampoo and soap in a zip lock plastic bag in the hallway near my doorway as I was going to bed

I moved it out of the walkway

Sophie Dog played with it

and given a choice would not personally use it
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mom outside laundry side
~~~~~~~~~||
mom driving to Burgerville and expected to return home quickly as my niece’s visit is over
~~~~~~~~~~~~
paratransit driver leaving my eyesight

ani kboo verses recovery from sex work
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Note: I am not getting off paratransit to go to the foot Doctor right now
~~~~~~~~,,
Girlie Dog ate her Meals On Wheels treat Don gave her before I knew it (I moved Girlie Dog into the living room since I am in this part of the house)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
K waited in car for mom

mom and K driving to cafe various

Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Saturday June Sixteenth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom’s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

mom driving to kids end of school presentation

Also, I am concerned about my niece being used as focal point to systematically interfere with Southern Californian medical systems
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oregon Health Plan

�� �������� Nazi Warning WTF?

Please be concerned about Sophie Dog’s and Girlie Dog’s safety: food water and whereabouts

mom driving to kids end of school presentation

I am airing my foot while opportunity allows
Saturday ~~~~,,,,,~~~~
the white shampoo and soap in a zip lock plastic bag edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Father’s Day Sunday June Seventeenth 2018

poor people's coffee (poem title)

in a copacetic worldliness the beginning of a beginning day is an opportunity to embrace my much mocked humanity so I begin today with coffee I can afford

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body is temple (poem title)

my soul is red; perhaps this is
all I truly understand as I clean poison from my dog's food bowl and my drinking cup

I have so much to learn from those with bodies of integrity and I try to listen and personalities seems hoity ~ toity and desperate

am I made from the red sea? water from red dirt?
the black sea?
am I made from desert sand? mountain ridges? melted snow?

if a body is a temple then my soul's color is all I really need to understand

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note: not to be rude: having to not read Facebook messages for now until I can catch up wimy life: want to connect/reconnect: so a big 'hi hello and how are ya?'

Julie Jeanette Trahan (also known as Dolphin Julia Trahan or/and Julia Dolphin Trahan)

(please do not copy or borrow my poems without written and signed permission: the BBC/BBC OUCH! has copyright and distribution rights)

Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 1 of 145 (Draft – But all content – except Chinese characters is typed in. DONE for now)
Tao and the Art of Drowning
Dedication: To those that decided to Live
Knowing others is cleverness Knowing yourself is wisdom Mastering others is force Mastering yourself is true power
Swimming.
Tao te Ching Verse #33
Writing that word and reading that word and saying that word are all quite different from actually doing the action it implies - swimming. Even the memory of swimming is not actually swimming. Although I immediately relax and my muscles expand just thinking that word if I was typing underwater at this moment my computer would be ruined. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
In Fall of 2002, I began to meticulously apply principles of Taoism – effortlessness, receptiveness, creativity - to my swimming and water exercise. I had been using the Tao te Ching (which can be translated from Chinese as The Book of the Way and How It Manifests Itself in the World) as a guidance tool for almost a decade. Whenever I encountered a person or situation I needed an objective approach on dealing with, I’d open the pages of my pocket – sized version to a random passage and let my fingers do the talking.
Water.
Water has been my one of my greatest teachers in the art of living without drowning or fear of drowning. The human body is 90% water. Our feeling of separateness from it has more to do with our busy minds and over – sophisticated life styles then reality.
Although I loved to dive and summersault, I didn’t know how to swim a stroke when I started this project. I told myself I could never learn how to do laps like the real swimmers. But by letting go of my fears of letting others see my uncoordinated attempts to synchronize my breathing with my muscles and will, by consistently doing what I am not good at my health and peace-of-mind have improved immeasurably.
I was fortunate to be able to start in swimmer’s paradise – Hawaii. A favorite activity was early morning ocean summersaults – before the tourists and sun woke up. Nothing is more magical and humbling than swimming in a warm, dark ocean that seems to expand forever. The moonlight reflecting, the lapping of the waves in the quiet, even the occasional eel were priceless. For lap swimming, however, my adventures took me to a
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 2 of 145 small (25 meter) public pool overlooking Diamond Head in Honolulu. I spent about two
hours a day, six days a week learning a new way of life.
That pool is closed now and I am thousands of miles away but I carry the lessons learned in my body in my body and think of them each time I swim. Water welcomes everyone. No one is turned away for their race or size or social status. All religious denominations, intellectual abilities, and ages are greeted by water’s refreshing receptivity. Even people ashamed of how they look in their swimsuits while on land are quickly smiling once surrounded by transparent luster.
It was a joy to see children kicking in what was considered my corner or to have them call my attention to their improvement in their swimming. I loved their pride in their newly learned summersaults and it never bothered me when they interrupted my laps to show that they were no longer afraid to put their heads underwater.
Failure is an opportunity
If you blame someone else
There is no end to the blame Tao te Ching Verse #79
Wu Wei translates from Chinese as literally 'no action'. This isn't what it means though as no action while swimming leads to quickly drowning. Rather it speaks to relaxed and effortlessly, the way one can best get to the other side of the pool without getting water in one's nose, crashing into everyone else's lane and without panicking about realizing one's feet don't touch the bottom.
This applies on land as well. There is plenty of space between forcing and passivity; Centered in that space, there is a gentle way of being where identity dissolves into doing (or doing gently). A writer is written, almost transcribing the words that flow from an endless, instinctive place, a dancer becomes the dance; an athlete enters a state where the motions flow. Our will is there, but the body is smoothly running the show.
We are born in this state. Even as adults burdened with Very Important Things To Do, our bodies perpetually act and react to keep us balanced. When we become aware that our bodies balance our internal rhythm with unexpected outer influences, it is easier to not forcibly regulate our rhythm and to keep from stumbling over the outer influences. This is the world beyond language. Failure being an opportunity is apparent in the instant weight shift that happens when we begin to fall. The body automatically catches itself or glides into an easy landing – what caused the fall is unimportant.
In this way of being, paradoxes make sense. We surprise ourselves with new discoveries – not in control, yet not out of control. We don’t think about improvisation. We improvise. Spontaneity happens before we realize we are being spontaneous. Like sudden laughter or tears from the belly – they just happen without us planning and deciding, “at 4:00 pm today I will cry for 36 seconds, then laugh for one minute.” It is
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liberating not to coerce ourselves to fit external time and to allow the body to speak.
The main road is smooth and easy, but people look for short cuts. When they have more possessions then they can use this is not the Way. Tao te Ching Verse #53
I officially began the Land and Water project, in June 2005, combining swimming with dance rehearsal - focusing on the question, “What does it mean to live in a fragile temporary human body?” Zazen (sitting meditation watching thoughts), qigong (meditation focusing on qi), gym workouts, sauna time and countless amounts of books, music and movies were also key factors in preparing to present my findings in Tao and the Art of Drowning – the performance and the book.
I also focused on three personal areas that I wanted to change: my inner self, my small world, and my relationship to my larger cultural role. Swimming in Seattle is much different than swimming in Hawaii – staying in the water for an hour is still rare, whereas before I would’ve considered it a short dip. When I moved to Seattle without a wheelchair or a safe way to move about, my ability to get to the pool, and hence, swim time, decreased rapidly. A goal of the project was to jump start my physicality. My strength and skill as a swimmer were decreasing, while, my mobility on land and embodiment – comfort level in my skin and abilities to express myself through movement were increasing. I also wanted to unclutter my mind and liberate myself from habitual thinking patterns and behaviors. To return or rather create a healthier, more joyful life, rather than be tossed about by emotions. As I have done before, I wanted to redefine my social role – my relationships with intimates, acquaintances and strangers, as well as my artistic role and “”real job” work. “ Can I free myself from the judgment of being disabled and the toll that judgment taken on my mind, spirit and body, or rather can I transmute that judgment and thrive?”
The following is not a translation or interpolation of the Tao te Ching. There are many of those, After reading about twenty versions; I found that they differed greatly in the amount of added perspective. I have tried to gather and stay true to the essence of the original text while not reading Chinese, however I usually abstract one point from a verse or only refer to questions inspired from it. After a few Eastern religion classes, reading translations of writings from other Taoist and Zen writers (Zen Buddhism and Taoism share many similarities and roots), studying Butoh (Japanese avant-garde dance) and watching numerous martial arts movies, I’m not ready to educate on Eastern philosophy or preach the Way. There are 84 verses in the Tao te Ching. I have responded to those that were prime influences on the project.
When I began to apply the teachings of Taoist writers to my overview, my appreciation of being a small dot in a macrocosm increased. The Tao te Ching is multi –layered. It combines the personal with the political. The Tao being essentially indescribable is often illustrated through the metaphor of water. Giving birth, seeking the low places that most consider unworthy, nourishes all things without trying. Drinking water is a spiritual
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 4 of 145
action. Bathing and swimming are spiritual actions. The literal blessing of one’s connection to the manifestations within the mysteries of creation. Water, clean water is not to be taken for granted.
Love the world as yourself then you can truly love all things. My hope is to interest others in a similar transformation and awareness.
My intent is to encourage others to question assumptions that they make about the meaning of their bodies, the importance of their egos in the natural cycle of change and to see all of life’s experiences as possibilities, rather than obstacles to some rigid future goal. Why is injury seen as a limitation when it opens the door for something new? Why is change, especially sudden traumatic change, so scary? Are there ways we, as individuals and as a global culture, can make the changes we want? Can we accept change without being controlled by fear?
Long periods of forced rehabilitation and numerous hospital stays as a child and adult have given me the time to reflect and the excuse to push away from expectations and not to even bother trying to keep up with the Joneses. Not that hospitals and rehabilitation centers are ideal healing institution – pretty scary places – they are more a boot camp of the soul. Identity is no longer a game of the intellect or pretty sounding words.
Who am I? is answered by the pain from a needle piercing the skin. The muscles ache from lying down too long and the bones that stiffen upon arising. X-rays, MRIs, Electrocardiograms, and other diagnostic tests present us with ourselves and we cannot argue with our past actions, those of others or even with fate. Who we are doesn’t matter if it was my fault, his fault, what I did my high school prom night or if I went to high school. Who we are becomes the choices we make after the stark realization that this thing that bleeds, that sweats and urinates, that makes earwax and giant zits is us. And like it or not, the same reason a doctor can stick his over-priced, ego-inflated fingers where the sun don’t shine is the same reason you can bask in the warm sun or make na-na with your favorite person of preference – because you, my friend, have a body, like me, like the starving kid in Africa, even like Bush, jr. So you might as well make choices to enjoy it because winning the lottery and eating all the health food in the world won’t make you last forever.
Does being hit by a drunk driver give one insight into life’s mysteries? (The drunk driver was nice enough not to hit me or my family members after his 18- wheeler had flattened us inside our Buick). Does buying a cookbook make one a gourmet chef? Obviously not. One must find the ingredients, mix them together, and then hope they’ll at least be edible once cooked. Fancy restaurants don’t list “experiments into unknown territory that might be recognizable as food” on their menus. But no one creates a culinary masterpiece by following the recipe exactly or without burning their fingers on the skillet a few times.
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Swimming and applying the meanings of these words to my life on a continual basis has quieted some of the repeating movies in my head. Perhaps, to be human is to think too much, and I’ll continue to have muddle in my mind as surely as dirt under my fingernails. But after this project, I am happy to end my career as a full time projectionist. The writings are in order of the Tao te Ching verses and more in alignment to my random questing then chronological order, which makes sense as I found being human is more about cycles or being up, down and all around, than following any linear external time frame.
I sincerely encourage you, gentle reader, to answer the original question for yourself. If you enjoy my writings (or even if you do not), I hope you will find your way to a humble home in the universe and to synergy of body, mind, and spirit.
Dolphin Julie Trahan
______________________
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Tao and the Art of Drowning
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Tao te Ching Verse #1
Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. Yep.
What does it mean to live in a fragile temporary human body? My response
I am not the center of the universe and although I am certain you are extremely likable, you are not the cosmos center either.
Humanity is not the center of existence. In November 2006 the estimated world population is 6,650,000,000. Lots of people lived before us and there are lots more on the way, but what about the trees, the lakes, the air and my parakeets?
When a loved one dies where did they go? When we die where do we go?
Maybe better questions are: how do you treat your loved ones when they are alive? How did you treat the world during your short stay? Will you regret your life as the electricity fades?
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Tao and the Art of Drowning
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Tao te Ching Verse #2
Can I let go of my perceptions and judgments?
Can I act with out effort? Communicate without words?
Can I have but not own? Do, but not expect?
Can I forget my work when it is done?
Trust that it will last forever (in quality) because I have done my best?
My response
Get enough sleep.
Eat a good breakfast.
Then just dance. Just swim. Just write. And wash the dishes.
Dolphin Julie Trahan
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 8 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #3
When people forget their identities, they remember their core selves and lessen rivalry My response:
BodyTalk = Survival: intersections of race, disability and sex [uality] (produced in 1995) brought together people who thought they had nothing in common and even groups that historically don’t even like each other. A prostitute, a conservative Southern woman with an amputated leg, an African – American macho male Spoken Word poet in a wheelchair, an Asian – American dance troupe, hip white lesbians – just some of the wonderful artists involved. The police showed up both nights. My then- girlfriend who knew I’d get upset and cause a ruckus shoved me into the green room; someone had told them that we were doing something illegal. I never was certain what.
I had told all the performers that I wanted them to present the one thing they wanted to be certain they expressed before they died. On opening night, the line to get in the theatre wrapped around the entire block. Not everyone gets to talk about what it is like for to live in their particular body, at least not everyone gets listened too. It was a fine night for a little crippled girl.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 9 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #5
The Tao is beyond good and evil. The Master doesn’t take sides. Find the center in the crossroads and hang on.
My response:
Being born masturbating saved me. A girl needs to have control of her body in this world.
(from Queen of the Girls)
A foundation for much of my work since my mid- twenties has been the cleansing of sexual abuse that occurred during my childhood hospitalizations by both males and females. Sex and sexuality connect us. Sexuality can be used as a weapon; a tool of regulated social control or it can be a positive act, a positive way of being.
The beauty and horror of sexuality is that it penetrates into regions that no amount or quality of spoken language can provide a map for. A goal at the beginning of this Land & Water project was to disassociate myself with the stigma and dismissal that walks hand in hand with being an adult woman who publicly presents issues of sexuality.
As a young child, my parents taught my brother, sister and I basic sex education. I remember fondly, swimming naked with my family in secluded river passages. Very different from my hospital stays, where I grew accustomed to being naked in rooms of clothed adults. When I use stripping in my performance work as a metaphor for stripping layers of identity it allows me to briefly revisit the embodied memory of naked innocence before I experienced unwanted sexual touch.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 10 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #8
Can I flow like water? Give life to all that comes my way without striving? Can I be joyful in a life that others disdain? Can I stay simple in thought and action? And when conflict arises, can I resist comparing or competing?
My response:
In the neighborhood where I swim most people seem to take their house or second house, their international travels, their cars and ability to drive for granted. They talk about eating in restaurants when bored. I eat in Restaurants only when I’m too hungry to make it home, and I always carry a protein bar, cheese or gum. I just swim, so do they and we all get along.
I spend lots of time in the sauna before and after swimming. I put my legs up to increase circulation and stretch. The sauna is the one place my bone injuries relax and become less painful. Its quieter in the Summer, but can get as noisy as a bar or Starbucks with five conversations going on at once. I’ve had to make carefully agreements with myself to quickly and assertively end conversations with random strangers about my knee brace, accident, or injuries. When I allow people to tell me their emotions and opinions about my life, body and what it means to them to live after being hit by a drunk driver or to live with physical injuries, I swim less and less and drag myself to the pool rather than wanting to go there because it makes me feel good and I need to protect my health.
There’s been a few times, where people have been taken back by me not answering their questions as expected. (“What’s your disability?” “I’m a bitch, but I don’t see it as a disability”). But three-fourths of the swimmers are injured runners and are more interested in their stroke than taking surveys.
Once a good-looking, muscular man fell in the sauna. He stood up and went Plop! on his knees. People leapt up, but he was out the door in obvious embarrassment as if he’d discovered a giant hole in his swimsuit. He fell again on the cement deck.
Somehow or other he ended up talking to me in the sauna about my 4-wheeled walker, then we treaded water together before heading back to the sauna. I listened and told him whatever he wanted to know, told him about how it does get tiring to be stared at all the time, but that people’s opinions weren’t worth injuring myself over.
He left enthusiastic about swimming and taking better care of his body. I felt kind’ve proud of being stared at by strangers that day.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 11 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #9
Do I want to spend my life protecting my fame and possessions? Of course not! That seems silly. Not knowing one’s self is too high a price to pay for being greedy or constantly approval seeking. I just do my work and that is enough.
My response:
I almost said “no” to the BBC when they asked me to be a subject in a four part series on sexuality and disability. The result was the award-winning documentary focusing on my “90’s performance work in the San Francisco bay area.
The title, Julia’s Body, was also the name of the six–member mixed-race, integrated dance troupe that danced around me while I was performing. (Carol Queen was behind me in a hospital bed – always a treat). Watching A Something Beautiful, the piece they choreographed and performed from my hospital bed back view was the most touching part of the nine – day shoot, but much of the footage did not make the final edit.
I don’t say much in the documentary, which I like, but I do say that I think disability is a cultural construction, plus the director used my requested finishing shot. Me, throwing my stage gangster jacket over an underwater wheelchair and swimming to the top.
My rule since the documentary was finished and broadcast in 2003 has been not to show it to anyone unless they walked beside me a length of a block at a conversational pace. Hence, I’ve shown it to few people.
Its funny how fame changes perceptions. Even people who don’t like me for whatever reason are a lot nicer when they find out I’m influential in the arts, even if its somewhere else. But I don’t think fame or money can override stigma. I’m anathema, even as a famous person. I don’t get publishing or performance opportunities handed to me. If you want to be famous, it’s not that hard. - Just figure out what people want to hear and repeat it often. Then change yourself so they’ll feel more comfortable.
I prefer the company of those who see through fear and stigma.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 12 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #10
Can I cleanse my mind to see as I did as a child? Can I allow my vision and body to become as limber as a newborn babe? Can I embrace the world without trying to control it? That is true strength.
My response:
Receptive and engaged. Those are the most comfortable qualities to see with. As a child, before my accident, my family took long car trips. I would sit in the back and see myself running at the speed of the car on the landscape. I’d leap over forests and highways.
As an adult, I use inner or kinesthetic visualization, mostly with qigong, swimming or gym workouts, seeing myself as a tidal wave and such. Since I propel backwards when I use my seated walker for dance but want to appear as if my vision is facing forward, I have learned a way of seeing to the side without looking. But it wasn’t until I took a workshop with Lisa Nelson, a pioneer in Contact Improvisational dance at Velocity dance center that I began to experiment with different ways of physically seeing – eyes open, eyes shut, eyes fixed on a specific point in the room. My favorite exercise was seeing as a group of fifty with eyes closed – imagining a circle and linking hands without knowing what we were doing or what we looked like.
We did another exercise in which imagination and vision combined for a truer vision. Lisa told us to close our eyes and watch ourselves dance for one minute. I saw myself on stage as others would (I felt very bored and critical of myself), then I saw myself swimming, as someone else would see me. Then changing to ‘kinesthetic vision’, I felt myself swimming. I entered that wonderful brightly colored black physical state where enthusiasm and joy are as tangible as German Chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting.
My on-stage vision of me is different now in these last moments before the Tao and the Art of Drowning performance. Its important for me to communicate in performance – otherwise, why bother with the fuss of producing a show? But my work has journeyed from talking to showing to just plain enjoying myself while people watch. I hope my audiences decided to enjoy themselves too, then I’d know I was the kind of performer I’m striving to be.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 13 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #13
Can I remember that I am more than my body? When I do this, I become an embodiment of love. I love this world with all its jagged edges, because the world is me, its jagged edges mine.
My response:
In the months immediately following my accident, doctors, nurses and medical technicians cancanned around the clock, working to save my life, doing everything possible to ensure that if my body resurrected it would be as pain-free and functional as medical technology would allow. Improvisation of my new dance technique began with finding points of physical contact. At first there was not much surface area to touch as only my head, upper torso and right arm protruded from my body cast. Orifices were filled with tubes, new perforations were made daily with my stomach tube, IVs and constant needles.
I was in a coma for 21 days. During the day, my family stayed by my bedside, massaging my one available arm and telling me stories. My parents told me how doctors and nurses would sometimes join them by my bedside, placing a hand on my forehead or holding my hand and telling me that I couldn’t die.
Memories from a coma are very different from memories of what one ate for lunch yesterday, but if one can physically feels the sensation of gnawing hunger being satiated, can taste the food and actually salivate before thinking of words to describe the experience – tuna sandwich, 2% milk – that is how I remember being in a coma – clearly but not in a way that can be explained easily.
I have three very clear memories from my coma. One was that I couldn’t die because I’d get in trouble if I did (mostly from Mom). Perhaps I’ve never been the best at listening to authority figures, but I’m very thankful I did at least once.
The second memory was of a car license plate in vivid colors, that is when I knew I wasn’t dreaming. My medical charts show that I had been taken to other hospitals for tests even while unconscious. I described the test to my mom and she said it was a CAT scan and that there is no way I can remember that. But waking up from a coma is more like a morning without coffee rather than sitting bolt upright after a startling dream in a deep sleep. I was making noise and moving according to others - although I can’t remember it. My sister tells me I had a great sense of humor for someone in a coma, which is a pretty good job reference in my book.
But seriously folks...the third memory could be described as the Universe’s biggest joke on humanity. From what I’ve heard in this thing we call consciousness, is that it takes a near death experience to jolt the experience of life beyond life onto a tangible life – altering level – there’s no looking back – the world is seen with fresh eyes and a regenerated body – new blood is literal in my case.
Maybe it was the gentle touch of others that influenced my experiences, but that doesn’t matter, as this memory guides my life and work, like an ocean wave guides a surfer – I’m
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 14 of 145 just along for the ride, but it takes balance and quick reflexes.
The world was dark red with burnished moving shadows, like when one closes one’s eyes. I didn’t see angels or religious figures or my family from above my body; I felt the rich red and ever-changing shapes without detail or definition more than visually seeing them. I was in a specific place, but it was a room without walls – there was no voice or words and no one asked the question, the question was the room, the pulsating atmosphere. “How did you love?” It was a question with no right or wrong answer – but I could tell one got brownie points for replying, “Well, I did a pretty good job.”
That’s when I made my decision to live. I had wanted to leave the hospital room and my crushed body in agony. The red room was inviting. It was perfect. I could feel the Universe welcoming me, hugging me, comforting me, allowing me in on its secret that everything and everyone is connected by this electrifying but calm warmth. Mom told me how my heart had stopped for a minute and how she and my main Doctor had held my hands, calling me back. Who knows if my memory happened during that incident.
I can get close to that Absolute with swimming, sex, meditation, but nothing matches the real deal. I wish everyone could experience that extreme of harmony, but I don’t recommend playing on the highway as an easy path to bliss.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 15 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #15
The ancient Masters were the Universe’s confidantes. They understood its secrets because they knew how to listen. Can I learn to listen until I know the right thing to do?
My response:
Sometimes problem solving isn’t a matter of talking and telling people what you know. At times the best action is too wait. Sometimes finding the right answer is a matter of listening until you find the right question, then waiting for the right person to help out. Be patient, just keep your eyes open and your new friend, loved one or teacher will arrive. Often it is not an outside teacher one is waiting for. It is one’s inner wisdom. Ask yourself, where am I? What am I doing? I did that and that was cruel, why did I do that? That was kind, why did I do that? How do I feel? Know yourself. You are your own teacher, like me, you likely have to wait till your inner static – the daily things that interfere with one’s life purpose – clear. Each day is a new day, a fresh opportunity to shine. There is always something new under the sun. Always. Be that new thing. Not as an object, a fixed identity. Be a verb. Let your actions speak. Say what you mean through your movements, by what you do. Let your body speak your intent. People will listen. People won’t listen to boasts, so don’t even bother.
My “Taoist study” didn’t begin as an intellectual endeavor into looking at Eastern religion or comparative philosophy. It began as a teenager – 13, 14 perhaps. I used to wonder how I could survive my physical changes, my new social status, my family coming apart at the seams, and the on-going quick changes that had to be made to afford my new body.
During those moments of drifting off to sleep I'd imagine an oak tree and a reed in a great windstorm. The reed would bend gracefully and survive the storm unbroken and unharmed. The mighty oak tree always broke in the center. It's strength being rigid and unable to adapt to change, its power betrayed it. If it only listened to the lowly reed it might have been saved, but alas, the powerful oak (powerfully stubborn) was betrayed by it's own inflexibility.
I was a pretty ordinary middle class American teenager besides my accident and physical injuries. I returned to public high school when I had regained enough strength but my classes were the usual: health, language, math, film was my elective. So who knows how I became fascinated by these images of harmony and power disrupted.
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The mysteries of creation are invisible hieroglyphics. I decipher them by looking within and letting them speak through me.
My response:
Sitting zazen is a Buddhist practice, not Taoist, but its result is like a strong wind blowing out the dust in my mind, whereas qigong is the meditation practice that feels like my very DNA is transmuting into my image of choice.
I cannot sit in the traditional lotus position for zazen. It is simply too painful for my injured pelvis. But keeping the spine straight is crucial for cleaning the mind. Don’t ask me how it works, try it yourself, and see what happens. Sitting and staring at a wall for twenty minutes is one of the most boring practices I have done in these years of exploration. Much more fun to grind it out while listening to Iggy Pop at the gym. The adrenaline kicks in and its fun fun fun. Better living through brain chemicals.
Zazen, however, is like a good vacuum before re-arranging the furniture. There is nothing like it. Zazen is the only way I know to convince me to stop talking in my mind to people I disliked fifteen years ago. If azan’s results could be put in a bottle and sold, they’d be called Ghostkillers. Sweet.
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Tao te Ching Verse #28
Know aggressiveness but keep to the receptive.
Be the river of the cosmos.
Return to being an innocent child, free from worldly scars.
Know the white, but keep to the black.
Present yourself without disguise and the Tao’s strength will make anything possible.
My response:
I try not to be afraid. I realize people are curious about my experiences because some of them are nightmarish. The fear of death and extreme physical pain looms over all of us, whether it is from misguided others or acts of nature. I know that I can physically withstand about anything – the memories of screaming alone in an ICU room as a child are not forgotten. My broken and shattered bones still hurt daily even after Humpty Dumpty was fixed up and mended. But I embrace my painful memories; they remind me what I am made of. What I am willing to endure to stay alive.
My family and the medical staff did what they could. I suspect that is much of what got me through. The young nurse who “conversed” with me in ICU via a sckoolkid’s magnetic letter board – she taught me the alphabet in sign language. The young guys that joked with me as I lie strapped to the tilt table – a means to adjusted my body to being vertical after being horizontal for months. These are some of the “strangers” that I can thank for my life and well-being.
I would look to posters of my heroes that they had placed in my eye’s view, covering the stark, antiseptic walls. My favorite movie as a kid had been the original (pre-Rambo) Rocky with Sylvester Stallone. Rocky Balboa, the underdog prize fighter who worked hard and refused to be corrupted because his love for Adrianne and his dreams of proving himself to himself were so strong. Rocky knew what he was made of and so do I. Tough stuff.
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Generation after generation cycles of violence continue. When one kills another, one kills a part of one’s self.
My response
In first grade I was not taught what to do when a doctor secretly and steadily increases your blood thinner so that you are slowly bleeding to death internally. I was not taught how to read my medical charts to catch the cause of my mysteriously increasing fever - luckily my Father was otherwise I'd be - well, I wouldn't be.
So many want the right to die with dignity but what about the right to live with dignity? Portland is a good place to die - But I'm glad I didn't die there - in the hospital at age 11.
This is where I should give the angry rant on over - medicalization or the evils of misguided power, but it is the body, my body, that is the battlefield in this war against life. And my body has no anger against the man who tried to kill me without knowing who I was. I feel sad that a man would try to take away someone's daughter who just 5,000 miles away had been hit by a drunk driver - driving an 18-wheeler with two tons of oranges.
I have no angry rant to immortalize him by. The doctors, nurses and my family who worked so hard to save my life - no matter what - are deserving of eulogy. Dr. Bloodthinner has made his own mark upon history.
His mark beyond language or words. I carry his markings in my body - my invisible wounds.
He has passed on his invisible wounds. I do my best not to pass on my wounds to the next generation. There is a humble glory in being anonymous and harmless. Perhaps that is the art of drowning - to journey from birth to death, as we all do from the moment we are born - without holding the innocent in contempt.
There is a skilled art in not despising the vulnerable, in appreciating laughter and allowing for the tears to fall when that is what is there. Truth is not a theory for study in University. Truth is in the back of an ambulance - the passenger riding without words - more aware of their breathing than any yoga class will ever teach. Can you see my invisible wounds? I show them to you so that you can look at your own and perhaps you will understand that there is no shame in being wounded. I am not ashamed of being attacked, of being overpowered, of being treated as if I was disposable. My body knows it is not disposable, even when my mind does not.
There is an art form of not hurting the vulnerable. To hate the fragility of others is to hate
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It is not difficult to change tradition, to change history. It is simply a matter of rejecting language and listening to the body. This is what my body has to say....
(movement cue)
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Today is the most important day of your life. Why see yourself as others see you? Live each moment as the timeless spirit that you are and enjoy eternity.
My response:
I wrote the grant proposal for this project, Land and Water, not really wanting to do another solo performance. I had moved to Seattle in September 2003 to start a physical theatre ensemble. From Hawaii, I had planned it out. The ensemble would be called TRUST physical theatre and would have wide variations of performers – various races, traditional ballet combined with integrated dancers and. skateboarders. The first piece would be based on Tao te Ching verse # 50 (one of my favorites). The reasons it never manifested are too numerous to list. But the failure of my enthusiastic fantasy was the main reason that disappointment weighed heavier than excitement when I was awarded the grant.
But off I went. Now that the project is nearing completion, I know I need at least five times the grant award next time if I want the performance, the video, sound, lighting and book to look the way I envisioned them. A big motivator for my dedication to the project was that I could not find a choreographer or director as dedicated to my fair and honest public representation as a person with physical limitations as I was.
In January 2005 I presented Who Are You? at Freehold theatre with four other performers. It is the closest to TRUST that I have gotten at this point, although the performance plans for Tao and the Art of Drowning run close in competition. It was the first piece I choreographed after some training in choreography (before I just called it performing and made it up as I went along – five dollar words do make a difference). Who Are You? combined the Tao te Ching, a Buddhist koan and a bit of Absurdist theatre. Unfortunately, I realized at the dress rehearsal that my performers did not seem to understand relationship between the movements and the spoken text in the piece. Fortunately, it was a fish in water sort of thing. Audience members told me afterwards that they loved it (whether anyone understood what I was trying to express still remains to be answered though).
Regardless, I learned much about myself in the process. The main aspect being that I know my ideas so well or get so busy trying to figure them out that I often do not realize that I am not telling the really important stuff to the people who need to know it most. I almost cried when one of my performers, after months of rehearsals, said she had no idea that the piece was about interdependence, cooperation, and spontaneity. Now I struggle to find a balance between overcompensation and ruminating quietly.
In Who Are You? (which was preparation for Tao and the Art of Drowning), I found that there are no words in the English language to articulate precisely what I wanted to convey. I found the words in French, c’est pour toujours. It is for eternity. I almost
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renamed Tao because I loved the play on words so much. I realized that the choice of whether or not I started a swimming/rehearsal/writing schedule or continued to try to fit in without good results would affect me for the rest of my life. The results, would also, in their small way, last for eternity.
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Talking about the Tao makes it sound boring, but living it gives one inexhaustible agency.
My response:
I learned many lessons about the world, personal metamorphosis, and myself from my seemingly unlikely friendship with 6’4” macho Gary. Gary eventually became my brother –in – law. But when I knew him in Hawaii, he was my best buddy and teacher in what it means to take pride in having a fragile body, having a fragile American body and in acting from the heart.
Gary was my friend when nobody else was and in a way that no one else could be. A mirror, an example, rather than an instructor. He visited or called me everyday and we’d talk for hours. It was after my 3rd hip replacement and I was stuck for months in an apartment by myself until my bones healed.
Talking with Gary taught me that to heal from physical and psyche injuries one needs lots of quiet and few distractions. It also taught me that sharing a daily dedication to being honest about oneself can make all the difference in the world.
Gary had served in Vietnam as a front line Medic and was still struggling with frequent flashbacks. He was also losing his eyesight to diabetes. I had never even heard of Post Traumatic Stress, but I had started my own journey with flashbacks from my childhood accident and a sexual molest. I was frightened and confused by the powerful changes in my body to put it mildly.
It was different talking with Gary about death or near death and how evil people could be by taking advantage of others with wounded bodies. It was different because he had seen it and experienced it. There was nothing theoretical about it. Wars are wars, and real people die or get hurt. And when a loved one dies they are gone forever.
We talked a lot about the cycles of violence –global and personal – and how to end or at least lessen them. Gary was a master of transformation. Before Vietnam, he told me how actively he had hated people seemingly different from himself. He had been pro –war. He had been someone who, in my radical college days, I would have hated. Even with his post-Vietnam compassionate wisdom, he wasn’t someone I would normally consider an ally, let alone my best friend. If we hadn’t shared the physical experience of our bodies needing extra care, we likely would never have had a civil conversation.
We both struggled to be gentle with ourselves. I could see how Gary’s injuries and scars
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made him more fully human, deeper and more forgiving of incongruities. I realized I could have those qualities too, if like Gary I refused to be bitter at my injuries or other’s who treated me unfairly. He was very hard on himself, but because I loved Gary with his smiling bulldog face, quirky behavior stemming from living through too much anguish and even with his firm opinions that clashed with mine, I began to feel less injured. I loved Gary for his strength and I began to love me for mine.
My last words to Gary were combative. We had a fight and in our stubbornness never spoke again. Then I heard he had died. I can say I’m sorry again and again but it doesn’t make up for the fact that I let down a friend who needed me. Gary’s example reminds me that although peace is unlikely and feels slightly uncomfortable, it is possible.
Rest in peace, dude.
Btw...I still have my James Dean towel.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 24 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #44
Glamour or confidence? It’s all good, even cliché phrases have their uses. My response:
Living in the Tao gives me peace of body and mind. Too many exciting events in my life as is. Enjoying the rest. I no longer force myself to be someone I am not. Force my body to fit into my dreams. My dreams come true, at least when I get out of the way and do not interfere.
Nothing to hide, no shame. I am dull, uncool, unsophisticated, rather boring. Like water. But I am bright, fiery and sometimes give warmth without trying, like the sun. It’s all good. I look for answers from within and from without, but know what I see might be a creation of my fears.
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Tao te Ching Verse #45
Great achievement seems like failure, Yet it does not outlive its benefit.
True directness seems crooked. True insight seems stupid. True skill looks easy
Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.
My response:
My friend says I am not an amazing disabled person, but a rather ordinary one. I am essentially as common as a coffee bean. Life grinds me down. My art might be sipped slowly and enjoyed as the first aromatic cup of the morning or it might be thrown out, regarded as too strong after someone left the percolator on.
It is a blessing that I cannot physically perform my old show, Queen of the Girls, at least not the way it was theatrically styled. Sometimes it takes a shattered pelvis to make us stubborn folks quit running from ourselves.
My heart aches to be a grounded gypsy. A bird with my wings cut off. But I might never have discovered a different fire in my belly.
The important thing is that I do not resist the process.
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Fear and hatred are illusions. Whoever knows they have enough will always be safe.
My response:
My biggest fear in this project is indeed that I will be successful at reaching my goals. There are countless visible and invisible economic, political, and cultural factors that slow me down, but I am the one that impedes my progress the most by not doing what I can do or by becoming fixed on an either/or outcome.
I have become accustomed to being an outcast, which is much different than my fictional hero and first theatrical role, Robin Hood living happily in the forest with his band of Merry Men.
My most challenging times these sixteen months have been when I let myself grow stiff in mind or angry, which of course carries over to my body.
Saying that fear is an illusion does not mean that there is or is not something to be afraid of. I was afraid of my own voice after the accident. At first I physically could not speak, then my Mother tricked me into speaking by making me angry. “Mom, out!” I ordered still in my ICU bed. When I heard the garbled, torn sound that my voice had been replaced with I was terrified. It took a few operations and years of speech therapy using biofeedback and a horrible mouth-widening gadget called a ratchet to re-gain some control of my articulation.
My biggest stage fright as a young adult was not about being judged for my content. My self-consciousness about others finding my speech unintelligible lives on today. The thing about fear of my own body is that I am the one who needs to forgive and make peace with myself.
It is the same with this current project. I am the one who must find the solutions to physical pain in my legs. My biggest problem is actually a tendency to injure myself from working too hard.
Much better to combine work with rest and relaxation.
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Tao te Ching Verse #50
The Master gives himself up
To whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
And her has nothing left to hold on to: No illusions in his mind,
No resistances in his body.
He doesn't think about his actions; They flow from the core of his being. He holds nothing back from life; Therefore he is ready for death,
As a man is ready for sleep
After a good day's work.
My response:
My favorite verse from the Stephan Mitchell interpolation. It always makes me smile.
Water is not solely a gentle element. The destructive force of floods, tsunamis, and storms around the world give proof to that. No illusions in his mind. It is important not to feel helpless.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 28 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #68
The greatest victories are won assertively, by competing without anger. In the spirit of play.
My response:
Sometimes I get frustrated with the entire human race. Maybe I am feeling that all 6,650,000,000 and growing are wrong and I am right. Luckily, those moments are transitory these days. I am so stubborn that I have made enough mistakes to finally realize that individuals and the entire world population are not going to change just because I want them to.
I have always had a competitive streak. I use to take on six friends at recess basketball in elementary school (sometimes won, sometimes lost). School had been my main arena for competition. My grades were amidst the highest in each class, plus I went to a special educationally advanced course once a week. Ironically, even then, I felt burdened by completion rather than enjoyed it. One day while waiting outside the school doors for our ride to the Advanced class, I burst into tears while talking to one of my best friends. I felt like I was the stupidest person there and that she was the smartest. That’s me, the stupidest genius. Not a bad title as titles go.
After the accident I found that I was in a category all my own and that comparison with other people and other bodies, especially those without stigma, was N/A – non- applicable. I was in the hospital for what would have been Sixth grade and my attendance throughout my educational career has been spotty due to hospitalizations and medical tests. In public junior high and high school all the disabled teens were lumped into a classroom for a period. It was not the most conducive situation to better one’s young mind in, but I knew I was fortunate, at the time, to be allowed to attend regular schools. Learning to get around the long hallways, then finding ways to get there and back home again taught me to compete with myself. I still tried to do well and study, but gathering information or being teacher’s favorite were definitely no longer my priorities.
Before my accident I loved getting report cards. Cooperative was always written in the teacher’s comment box. After my accident, I did not even both looking – or at least I was apathetic about it. Cooperative is a tricky word. It can mean “easy to take advantage of,” which is a way of existence that statistics show unites women with disabilities of all races and age groups. But it is more fun to do a project not burdened with the need to win at all costs.
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Tao te Ching Verse #70
The buried treasure is everywhere you go.
My response:
Francis Galton, 1822- 1911, the Founder of Eugenics (the study of methods of improving genetic qualities by selective breeding), questioned, "Could not the undesirables be gotten rid of and the desirables multiplied?"
In a duet I had choreographed and performed with a dancer friend in a wheelchair, Blender Conjunctions, I attempted to make a commentary on the absurdity we humans can have while technology and machines hang over our heads. We can become small- minded, not noticing the world surrounding us or the people that we share it with.
In the finale, it was the joy in the relationships that was important. Finding a balance of active and passive within oneself and within a larger context. At first we journeyed between six chairs, unaware of each other, captivated by our own emotional state. In the finale, we noticed each other, and conversed (through movement, not text). We competed; we attempted to upstage the ever-present, ever- looming blender. But it was all done in the joy of relationship. Once robotic, we overcame our automaton way of being by “looking into our hearts”, opening the door and letting out the wild stallions that can take us past our insecurities and the need to see people as useful or disposable objects.
Why do I love the Tao? Because it is the buried treasure that also surrounds me, is me, and is available for anyone, in abundance, at any time.
Dolphin Julie Trahan is a multi media performance artist and writer. Thursday, October 5, 2006
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Part 2
Dedicated: In memory of my Father, Terrence Dale Trahan
Compassion.
Compassion. Writing that word and reading that word are all quite different from actually doing what it implies – passionate devoted action to ease the wounds of adversity. Even the memory of compassion is not actually compassion. Although I immediately relax and my muscles expand just thinking that word, it is not a word of the mind. Compassion is a word of doing and being that surpasses the need for words. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
Five days before the performance of Tao and the Art of Drowning, my Father was killed on a bike trip across the U.S. I went through with the performance – it seemed appropriate and what he would’ve done in my shoes. Immediately afterwards I joined my family in Hawaii for his memorial and wound up staying with my Mom for nine months.
While there I tried to maintain the daily exercise and meditation routine I had started the project with. My main focuses, however, were grieving and trying to help my family adjust.
I also changed my method of inquiry into the Tao. I needed new questions in order to find new answers and insights. Of course I had known my parents might die before me but I wasn’t prepared – my Dad was healthy, athletic and young in spirit. I wasn’t prepared for my Mother asking for my help.
Before my Dad’s death, I had been stuck in an eternal teenager role; wanting to be an adult but never quite taking responsibility. Independent but dependant. Taking self-destructive risks in order to break from being controlled.
I had given my Father a portable kitchen timer the Christmas before so he could time ten minutes of sitting meditation at the beach, while on his bike trips. I want to remember him for the things we shared and let the resentments and petty disagreements die with him. I needed a new means into the unused parts of my self. I needed to find new questions in order to get new answers.
I put more effort into my attempts to make a unique and accurate interpolation of the Tao te Ching and I started to use two other books in a similar manner to the iChing. Ask a question, randomly point to a section, see if the content can shed new context on the situation.
• A Chinese dictionary that gave me stories about China and some history (Eberhard, Wolfram, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and thought, 1986 Routledge & Kegan Paul)
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• And a dictionary that provided insight into the language differences and Chinese characters. (Reading and Writing Chinese: Traditional Character Edition: A Comprehensive guide to the Chinese Writing System, William McNaughton & Li Ying, 1999, revised edition, Tuttle Publishing, Singapore)
There were things I learned because of the particular wonderfulness of Hawaii and the predominance of Asian peoples – I could do modified Qi gong in rooms full of other modifiers – with people who grew up doing martial arts, whose families had been “applying Taoism” for generations. There were things I learned because of being able to talk face to face with Mom – like that the driver of the 18-wheeler that caused that 1977 accident hadn’t been drunk (so much for a lifetime of resentment toward drunk drivers – not that my opinion on the wisdom of driving drunk has changed). I also learned some things because the combination of Hawaii’s, my family and not having the pressure to perform always takes me back to the reality of long immobile recoveries after long hospital stays. I updated my mind – if I could have an amazing physical theatre troupe I wouldn’t call it TRUST, I’d call it #1- DNH. Not that #1-DNH is an especially flashy or smooth talkin’ name but it’s from Primum non nocere, a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm."
Enjoy.
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Something existed before time, space, nature, god. Where is it when I need it? Spirits = Shen = 神 (pg 273)
D ̄ao* = to arrive at: verb-ending indicating successful completion of the action of the verb; family name = _= cjk-unified ideograph-4452 = 至刀 _____________________________
Si = Four = 四 pg 115
My response:
Doing the performance of Tao and the Art of Drowning was like throwing a birthday party and no one attending. Actually, the presentation started falling apart two months before the set October 29th (2006) date with the unexpected cancellation (and quick re- instatement) of my grant award. This was followed by crew changes, which forced technical, content and staging changes.
I did my best but despite the generosity of impromptu volunteers, I got lost in emotion. Considering that my Father died five days before the show, that isn’t surprising. How my co – performer put up with what turned into a mass of chaotic rehearsals, I’ll never know. I was so distracted that I didn’t even realize that I’d neglected picking up the venue’s keys until the day of the show.
The show, however, did go on. I dedicated it “in memory of my Father who gave me my first pair of fins and much more. Thank you.” I even managed to enjoy myself a bit.
The over-ambitious visual multi-media aspect had gone downhill, although I had mixed a great soundtrack. But as I simplified, simplified, simplified, the show became life on stage imitates a conception of an unfinished video backdrop. The unfinished video backdrop imitates real life dreams – the movies in our minds, the ones that repeat themselves over and over. A series of images; words and music.
• A Valentine’s Day balloon carefully cherished and released in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.
• Spinning recklessly in Tao te Ching #50.
• A comic transition between Euthanasia Revisited and Inez’ Story: my co –performer tapping my shoulder from behind, reminding me to drop the defensive drama as its her time to be the star.
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as Other.
The ending image in Question?, the final piece, was half carefully planned and half spontaneous adaptation. I owe its brilliance to the teamwork with my co-performer and lighting designer. A globe tossed playfully then dropped carelessly. An audio monologue as a spotlight on the discarded Earth fades. Black out.
Oops. I spoiled the ending. So sorry, but really, what did you expect?
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I get by with lots of help from my friends. Luckily, Heaven, Earth, and Mom are there when I remember to ask.
Broom = SÃO* = 埽 pg 49
Hou* = to wait, to pay the bill, climate, a period of time = 候
My response:
Family life and spirituality are not art, but they all get blended together. Mom and I are going to see The Honorable XIV Dalai Lama for my birthday. I’ve been waiting and planning on it for two months. I feel I’ve almost been in training for the event. How much gunk can I release, so I can listen with fresh ears?
What is it about the Dalai Lama that draws me? His comfort with exile. His steadfast dedication to the preciousness of human life.
My art is my activism, my way of balancing cultural power. It is what I can do to benefit others. And somewhere, somehow in my private little world of alienation, my spirit finds refugee.
One must pay a price for being alive. Is the gift of life a gift? A bargain? A present? Perhaps a tool. The power that created heaven and Earth (and Mom) flows through everything. Our task is to decide how to use it.
The Dalai Lama knows how to cool people down. His words are direct. “I have a precious human life.” Easy-to- understand. “I’m not going to waste it.” Heavy troubles fly away when his words are applied.
My Mom has a similar quality of making everything OK. Often all she does is let me rant and rave then remind me I’m free to make mistakes or change my mind.
Few words say more.
I’m not like that. I’m fiery and chaotic. I want to rip the world apart and put it together again. I feel more like Athena or Pele or Kali then Kuan Yin.
There are laws and covenants to protect freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of peaceful political protest. Some of us are endangered species and need that protection. But beyond laws, I see so many people – of different races, rich and poor, all nationalities – living their lives as if in exile.
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be grateful for. Thank you.
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Tao te Ching Verse #7
Heaven and Earth are eternal
Why?
Because they do not exist for themselves
The Master stays back
Therefore, she is in front
She is indifferent to herself
Perhaps that is why she finds fulfillment?
Fish trap = GU pg 109
Kuang = even more so pg 249 Qi = Seven pg 261
My response:
The performance in October was perhaps the first time in my life that I’ve publicly censored my art (self-censorship is much different from editing for clarity or not disclosing personal life details). It was an incredibly painful choice and although I have proof of skill and intellectual reasons why it was a positive contribution to my overall work, the emotional failure of the project weighs heavy on me. I still lose sleep at night over it (not about the show but about censoring myself).
Part of my most private life ironically fuels the only aspect of my work that I feel a duty to others (especially “my people”) to express without shame, anger, or pity. And that is about the reality of sexual violence perpetrated on children with disabilities.
The process of the piece was dedicated to exploration and discovery. In what form would I get water on stage? How strong could my muscles get? Could I overcome my ‘work till you drop’ style?
But my two main questions, not in my grant proposal, were: could I release the flashbacks, the residue that taints my adult sexuality and haunts me physically? Could I enjoy and relish in all the dreams and activities that I gave up on or missed because I was too busy trying to heal from childhood sexual abuse flashbacks.
Everything was ready to go and no problems except my procrastination on dealing with technical details was foreseen. I had taken a video clip depicting the molest from Memories From A Coma, my undergraduate college Senior project and added a new soundtrack. To quickly correct any mis-information about where and when: I was in a
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coma after my accident but received the most amazing care and protection (if I ever doubt that the power of a loving dedicated group can work miracles, I remember that stay in that small hospital). The molest was six months after my accident and I’d transferred hospitals, the molest happened during routine bed baths given by three female nurses. At that point I could barely move, was on prescription blood thinner and was too scared to talk except whispers to my parents. As an adult, the experience has taught me – among other things – to question authority and since I know how it feels to be degraded that I never want to treat someone cruelly or leave them to suffer alone if they ask for help.
The video clip was made, in my college dorm room, by a wonderful camera woman, three anonymous latex glove wearing twenty-ish olds and one anonymous twenty –ish year old dressed in a hospital gown and bright pink underwear (there was no nudity and the only touching was on the arms and legs) The original spooky soundtrack was of women laughing evilly and was made in the best of intentions.
I’ve shown and broadcast the video numerous times and always received feedback that by depicting the event, the devastation broke through audience member’s emotional defenses. However, just when I needed to be the most clear and focused to finish the project, I began to worry that the clip, especially out of context of the video (about recovering from trauma/PTSD), might be taken as child porn and arouse some audience member who was an abuser.
I couldn’t get feedback on the video clip and the repetitive thoughts that go with rage, unhealed scars and fear of other people’s reactions quickly set in. I couldn’t sleep or think clearly – physically, emotionally, mentally – I felt like chewed up raw meat tossed out the car window and lying on the highway. I re-entered that totally unreasonable state where one can barely resist ripping the world apart because in childish terror, it feels like hurting someone else will sooth the savage beast.
So, I pulled the video out of the show – and cancelled all image projection at the last minute – the whole thing felt like a car spinning out of control at high speed – I didn’t want to be there, couldn’t care less if anyone watched or not and had no idea where the car might crash but hoped it didn’t hurt too bad.
But all in all, my sustained bout of fury might have been the motivation to improve myself as an artist and to find a way to release the molest memories death grip. A reminder that prayer, balancing of inner and outer worlds and feeling my feet on the ground are all vital. Plus, I tend to be a lazy artist, sometimes shrugging my shoulders and saying “good enough.” In the real life molest, one of the nurse aides wore a small gold cross necklace. This isn’t in the video but is a ‘detail’ that has been foundational to my attitudes about almost everything.
Can following the path of the Tao transform wounds and scars? Yes. Time doesn’t heal all wounds but intentional, affirming use of time does.
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I get so frustrated with the human race. We can explore brave new worlds; blow up our families, friends, and enemies. We can even clone this or that, but we can’t ease the pain of childhood wounds. We are so busy destroying and discounting what can heal those crusty, neglected sores - the beauty of nature, the healing power of listening, the dedication in each of us to protect each other and each other’s children.
If we are so powerful, why can’t we stop people from molesting children? I bet we could.
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Tao te Ching Verse #12
Look inside. Keep it clean without distraction. Candles/ La-zhu pg 56
Dong*: to correct, to supervise; family name
My response:
pg 79
A candle’s life is a measure of time. How long it will give light is finite. What happens to the wax when the wick is burnt out?
When I was a kid, my family would go to the beach and make sand candles out of sand, driftwood, and stubs of used candles. We’d invent new colors by melting two candles together or we’d blend layers, letting one color dry before adding another.
What one does every day is who one is. What you do today decides who you are tomorrow.
Sports. Working out at the gym, biking, swimming, skiing, hang-gliding, wind surfing, scuba diving, rugby, basketball, football, soccer, rock climbing, hiking, running, even walking are not easy for me to do every day, let alone do in general with all my injuries.
I trust myself to correct myself, but this period of being physically inactive is hard on me. I am doing other things but ...
But our lights are not individual. Candle wax creates distinct colors when combined. One candle’s flame lights another, which lights another and yet another and...
Girls didn’t play many sports, at least not seriously, when I was a newly-lit candle. Now, girl surfers, girl vaulters, girl sports of all kinds are taught in elementary school. A girl laughing on a skateboard is an icon of liberty.
Male or female. Heroes are athletes and athletes are heroes. Sports are the new revolution. Sports for the strong of body, strong of mind and strong of heart. A new revolution, but as old as our bodies.
X-treme sports. I’d love to be able to fly on my four-wheeled walker. Ride it up a ramp like a skate board and spin in the air. But I love the Wave more. A skateboard with two wheels instead of four. When I see kids learning to ride it, it looks a bit like gait training.
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Tao te Ching Verse #14
Is the Tao the same as Hope? No, of course not
But they are similar
Children = Haiz pg 61
Zhuan =: solely; family name pg 158
My response:
“Teach them to live in hope” was the last message that I received from my Dad. He wrote that he hoped I would write a kid’s book about my experiences.
It wasn’t till the Land and Water project that my Dad directly influenced my artwork. I never knew it about myself and never would have admitted it if I had, but part of the impetus for my secret scheme to become one of the superhero athletes of my childhood comic book dreams was that I wanted to be like my Dad and I wanted him to like me.
Dad wasn’t just my Dad, he was my trusted coach. And I wasn’t just his baby. I was his star eleven-year old athlete. But after the 1977 accident, we weren’t real certain what to say to each other – at least I never knew.
Most of my adult life I’ve tried not to care about anyone or need anybody’s approval. My human needs hidden under layers of broken cement sidewalks in front of too many apartments in too many cities - where I spoke to no one. Only admitting the legitimacy of my needs to myself when sitting in refuge on church steps. Or when doing battle with my only weapons – my pen and my body.
But being a gentler type of commando since learning to tread water, I answered my Dad’s e-mail with some smart response. “Where was hope? New Jersey? Ohio? Michigan? And which experience should I write for kids? My odd breakfast choices? (Pancakes and yogurt are really not odd; neither is my love of leftovers IMHO).
He never returned the e-mail, and it would be more than unrealistic of me if I lived in hope that he would.
A lot of times, especially when I was a cute kid with less bad attitude, a lot of people would treat me like I must have a specialized insight into hope because I survived my accident and have made peace with my injuries and scars. I don’t know if my Dad felt that way.
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I’ve known a few people named Hope, but none very well. Just casually, you know, enough to say “hello” too, but not well enough to name hobbies or interests or favorite food choices for that matter. All the Hopes I’ve known have been very popular. So, Hope has lots of friends that genuinely seem to care about each other.
I do know that hope doesn’t always feel good. Hope, for me, would be learning to do the hard things that I can’t do by myself but that I need to not let myself run away from if I want a rocky-road-esspresso-ice-cream-with-chocolate-sauce-and-sprinkles-on-top kind of life. Hard things like spending time with my family even though, or maybe because, they know I’m not perfect.
I know that there is hope in New Jersey, in New Orleans and in all the cities of Newport. And not just because they are new. A hope might be old but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s unrealistic or invalid. I know hope is everywhere, driving down the street, waiting in line at the grocery store, even during dull office meetings. There is hope – everywhere. (I doubt many stalkers are named Hope. Hopefully not - and my personification of hope is not based on any individual, more a generalized observation – don’t want to open up an unintentional lawsuit)
I have visited elementary, middle school and college courses and talked to interested young youths about what it is like to limp and be disliked because of it. I hope children make better food choices then I did and do. But I know it isn’t that easy. Adults have to stop being hypocrites and at least, add protein to their breakfasts if they want kids to listen to their good advice. (I did get some training tips from Dad who had an exceptionally nutritional eating plan – with help from Mom most likely).
I know I would never name my child Hope because she might sue, or at least resent me for constantly making dumb jokes and for reminding her that her name was much more than a word on a page.
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Tao te Ching Verse #16
Be like the seashore The waves crash
Roll in, roll out, roll in, roll out Washing away the footprints
Who left the footprints?
The waves wash them again and again
Ginger = jiang pg 129
Juan*: to contribute; to solicit contributions
My response:
pg 287
Feeling like I want my artistic work to contribute to the world is much different than my “world needs to be saved” mode. Fortunately, I dislike being saved so much I never seriously attempt to save anyone else.
I’ve never come across a drowning person who needed saving. In that case I’d try, but not knowing CPR, mouth-to mouth resuscitation, I’d call a lifeguard, 911 or a random near-by stranger who looked good at saving people. Actually, the little I know about saving drowners is that a danger is that they will panic and drown all involved. So it is best to throw them a rope with a cute little orange and pink flotation device on it. Help them help themselves...
I’m disappointed that I have not personally ended all hunger and war. I’m beginning to suspect I never will. Burn out sets in. After a play I did years ago (Queen of the girls), I thought if I died today I could say I did my best and gave beneficial gifts to the world.
Ginger is one of my favorite tastes. It’s common but if it were in everything, everything would taste the same. I like ginger because it is sweet and doesn’t overwhelm or leave an aftertaste.
That seems to be the best way to contribute to the world. Be content to be shaped like a little yellow lumpy root if that is what you are and make things taste sweet just by being yourself.
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Tao te Ching Verse #17
The best leaders are barely known to their people
They act with faith, trust, and use carefully chosen words
When their work is done, people say, “we did it ourselves!” Well = Jing pg 311
Yang: a long water course pg 143
My response:
Loneliness is a hole inside. An inner well that if one falls into, the falling never ends, there is no bottom. That is depression. Looking inside, but without a light. Staring at shadows and believing they are real.
How do we connect with each other? As a primarily solo stage performer how can I connect with an audience when we cannot discuss, cannot touch?
Conversation isn’t narrowed by words in art. Learning to listen to nonverbal cues, even while speaking or focusing intently on the movement sequence, is part of skill building. Listening is a skill as important, maybe more so, then memorizing one’s lines or movement score.
Wanting genuine love. Wanting heartfelt connection. Wanting has led me on a dreadfully long watercourse. Sometimes, wanting is too painful. That basic human need. Sometimes, I try to wish or wash it away, hoping to never feel the longings and the missing yous again. But I can’t wish or wash my hunger and my thirst away. And I don’t want to.
For years I performed on stage because I needed the division, the physical distance between, the emotional protections. I didn’t listen, not to myself, not to others, and expected no one to listen to me.
I met the most beautiful of people in those years. People who danced around me, never getting too close so as not to frighten me away, yet never leaving me or straying too far. A phone call away. Even when pure love, pure friendship was a phone call away, I forgot to call.
I also encountered the scariest of monsters. People who were led by the hurt and greed in their hearts. My monsters were also the hurt and greed in my heart. Hate can be
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expressed, it evaporates and floats away.
That fall into the well of loneliness can be a plunge into the waters of humiliation, degradation. Those years, I hated my diary. I burned piles of my writings. Gave away once cherished possessions, just trying to crawl out of that well.
That fall is endless until one decides to change. Until one thinks carefully about what they are doing and saying. On and off stage, when one takes responsibility for one’s words, loneliness fades away.
Why? Because when speaking gently and carefully, one has to listen. Listen to myself. Listen to you. Listen to the steel guitar on the stereo. Listen to the wind in the window. Listen to the rustling of others in the next room. Listen for the great Tao and you will find that it was there waiting patiently for your return. It will hug you and celebrate with you. It will energize you and wash away your pain. (Theatre warm- ups are good for something – lie down on the floor and just listen).
When one stops talking at people, people change. There is no longer an audience. Look at people in a room. They are you. There you are. In the mirror. That is what you look like. Now you are a little girl laughing. Now you are a teenage boy showing off for his friends, now you are a frightened old woman and now you are a businessman in a hurry. That is what you look like in a hurry. Look at an angry person. See how their lips curl, see how their eyes are unfocused and out of control. That is what you look like when you are angry.
Think of a theatre audience as you. Neither, you, the actor, or the playwright intended a laugh on that line, but they loved it. A new insight, a new part of you is discovered, a new perspective from which you’ve never seen.
How to halt that plummet into the well? Don’t throw yourself into the river. Be the river. Let loneliness wash downstream. Like tears, let your body love you. Let your body be the home you’ve always wanted.
There are no strangers. Only people hiding. Only people too busy talking to listen. People too busy talking to realize that others stopped listening. Too busy talking to realize that they aren’t saying anything.
Today, on my daily writing quest, I forgot my pen. I was in a ritzy mall with no pen- selling types of stores. A woman in a store that didn’t sell pens gave me her pen. Seemingly, she was a bit baffled why I wanted it and why she gave hers to me. Ten minutes later, seeing that I was at a table outside in front of the store writing, she ran out to give me a different pen. “Use this one, it’s new, and it’ll help your writing.”
Even a solo performance artist is only as good as their team. So, please, if I forget my pen again, can I borrow yours? And since I usually carry extra, if you need one, just ask.
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Tao te Ching Verse #20
Am I confident enough to stop searching and find my treasure? Am I strong enough to refuse to create fear in others?
Must I value praise and beauty?
Must I avoid ugliness and being cursed at?
Aren’t they all the same?
Other people look stylish and happy I sit alone
Other people seem to have a purpose I am restless
Scattered like the wind
I am different
Sometimes I cry because it looks so easy to be normal
The unattainable Tao comforts me Elephant = xiang pg 93
Jie = Seal (seal ring) pg 183
My Response:
I love dogs and I love elephants. Two of my favorite mammals.
One of my first experiments in leadership was through the plastic toy mind of Captain Caspian, my elephant. Captain Caspian was part of a series of animals that gas stations gave out one by one as part of a Noah’s Ark collection. I never gave him an insignia but he had a scarlet cape made out of a cloth scrap and held on with a rubber band. I had collected the entire set. I had the giraffes, the lions. I had a plastic cowboy and Indian set that had a beautiful black horse. But Captain Caspian was the coolest and he was actually a king. Plus I gave him a plastic red cocktail sword that back then looked very noble and honorable.
I would stage various battles and events. Captain Caspian was always fair and generous.
But as an adult, it is a small dog that is teaching me about leadership, keeping me out of trouble. My family picked out a 10-month puppy at the humane society. Mutts really are lovely dogs – something very precious about a dog who’s seen a side street or two.
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We named her Girly despite my protests. There might not be anything better for a grieving family than a doggie who loves them. I’m in charge of walking and housetraining her.
I finally have a happy companion on my early morning moon – over – ocean adventures. She rides on my walker seat, makes me take breaks when I sit writing too long. She loves it when I wave my arms over my head, pretending to trip and fall on the bed. She doesn’t need an insignia because she has a cute little Jack Russell-ish terrier paw print. And what could be better live art than her little paw prints framed by my walker wheel tracks in the sand.
Doggies, elephants – they have more in common than big floppy ears (I have big protruding floppy ears too when I get my hair cut short).
I know I’m supposed to be the superior creature because I remember to bring the leash and can open the dog food. I know enough not to smell things in the middle of the street. But while I feel a big raw sore inside, I’m grateful for a small doggie who is happy to see me every morning.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 47 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #22
Surrendering preconceived ideas isn’t always fun or pretty, but it’s the only escape route from self – centeredness
By admitting, “I don’t know,” one can learn Oriole = Ying pg 220
Zhan* = to occupy, to constitute pg 160 My response:
Valentine’s Day 2007. The day of romantic love. Mom without Dad. Me, sworn off anything resembling romance or lust. More like an infected hangnail of a day than a lovely red holiday.
Turned out it was a distinctly female, joyful day of coffee and sunshine shared by three generations. We put aside familial feuds – big and small – and gathered around an Oceanside café table for lattes. We even got in some Irish accent rehearsal.
But as always, I fit in a bit of musical theatre when a Supreme song came on the radio. “Stop! In the name of love...............”
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Tao te Ching Verse #23
Be a force of nature
Express yourself completely then listen quietly
Lute (guitar) = qin pg 172
Shang = up, upon, above,, to come or go up pg 100
My response:
Last night Mom asked how I was doing with the loss of my father. I was in bed on my way to sleep and not ready for a big conversation. I left it at a calmly stated, “I don’t like it very much”
I’ve often felt out of sync with the expression of my emotions. The increased mix of grief and alienation isn’t comfortable or familiar to me.
At age thirteen, after my car accident & return home, I discovered I no longer cried wet tears. My eyes would water if I exercised hard and my voice would tremble if I was sad, but no tears would well in my eyes. I used to put water on my face to indicate to people that I was sad. After several “crying jags” when I went to find that shoulder to cry on, people said they couldn’t tell if I was laughing or crying.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....poor communication? For whatever reason, I feel, and can barely remember ever feeling otherwise, that it would be pure stupidity to say how I felt about anything vital to me (unless I want to be attacked). Vulnerability isn’t easy for me.
Mom and I have a routine that helps. We get salads from a drive through then sit at Amelia Earhart’s lookout point on Diamond Head looking for humpback whales. At least Mom looks for whales. I just sit there, listening to the traffic and ocean while people pull over in their cars, look out over the ocean, then disappear, never to be seen again.
I know there is no right way to grieve. Sometimes I wish people, at least, knew I was grieving, but I actually don’t know if I’ll ever want to talk to anybody again. Until then, and if human communication never happens, I am glad that the waves seem to be listening.
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People who try to prove that they are better than everybody else are pains in the asses Literally
Just do whatever needs doing and let your work speak for itself Mouth Organ = Shang pg 197
Ti* = to raise, to lift in the hand, rising stroke (in writing) pg 214
My response:
The nice thing about being a hemiplegic is that no one expects much from me.
Proving to others that I’m a good swimmer is basically a matter of changing into swim attire in the locker room. Proving to others that I’m a Great Swimmer involves getting in the pool with an enthusiastic, friendly, or determined aura.
But actually moving with limbs that don’t move (or move that much) takes some pre- planning, practice, and skill. A lot can be learned from more experienced swimmers. Reach and pull with both arms is one of the first how-to tips I picked up. I reach as if both my arms could move easily over my head. I never worry about what I look like when I do laps anymore, although I used to twinge self-consciously when people suggested I lift my semi-paralyzed arm higher. Geeez, considering the nerves are cut, the shoulder, collarbone and elbow were crushed, I think I can forgive myself for not looking like – well, for not looking like I have two uninjured arms. Shame is pretty silly when you think about it.
I feel happiest when I am doing my dolphin-rolls in the deep end, but even those I have to be carefully thoughtful on since I was doctor ordered not to bend past 90% after my big 2001 reconstruction. Not panicking when that yucky pool water gets in my mouth was hard at first, but I just don’t swallow or think about what might be in it.
But the thing that I love best about swimming (and that improves one’s swimming) is focusing on moving from the center – kind’ve with a continuous roll, twist. and stretch.
Truth is – with so many pools still inaccessible, getting in AND out without 19 lifeguards, a forklift and getting re-injured is a success.
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A King who follows his own nature conforms to the ways of the great Tao Name- giving = Mingming pg 203
Shou* = chief; the head
My response:
Sleep.
Easy to take for granted except when you are deprived of it. Our sleeping schedule and habits determine our lives. Who do you meet? What type of activities do you do? What climate do you live in? Are you physically healthy? Do you give yourself time for reflection? Time to dream?
These questions are all answered in part by the how, when, why and where of our balance of being asleep and being awake.
When we were babies our physical needs and the circumstances of our families determined our sleep patterns As we age and change we began to make conscious decisions about our sleeping habits.
Sleep is the world governed by the mysterious obscure body. It is in sleep that the body discourages us from lying to ourselves. We can fool people that we are “fine” when we have conflicting, inappropriate, or confusing emotions. Our bodies, however, have minds of their own. Our bodies don’t believe our nonsense no matter how much we dose, stuff, starve, smoke, hit, yell or however we try to hide from our own lives.
Our bodies try to wake us up in life by denying us sleep or with sleep marathons. Sleep, the world of both time traveling visions and monster-filled nightmares. It is when we are out of control.
Meditation melds and discards the illusions of sleeping and waking worlds. We can decide the meaning of our lives by studying the symbols and people we meet in our dreams. We might be fugitives in waking life, but having the courage to face the monsters in our dreams carries over. Our bodies want us to be free. At night, when we’re not looking, they beg us to un-do the shackles.
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Tao te Ching Verse #27
Authentic freedom is uninhibited Empathetic
Kindness is not submissive or condescending A skillful traveler leaves no tracks
This is called “following the light” Moon = yue pg 193
Jun* = military pg 160
My response:
I am in love and don’t want to be. I choose lovers who hate, resent, ignore or humiliate me – whether they mean to or they do it accidentally, I don’t know, but I’m tired of myself and my bad choices in who to trust with my heart and my body. I don’t like people who kick others when they are down but I do tend to choose them as lovers.
I publicly announced my celibacy on July 4, 2006 – till the end of this project. True, it might have been my personal day of independence but I had thought the project would end with a bang – celebrating the October performance.
Romantic and sexual love are not bad habits that need quitting. They are the ultimate test of personal power. Can I shape a relationship without losing myself or seizing control? I don’t know. I don’t know what to think, feel or do anymore.
I do know that long ago I had a friend who told me repeatedly to “Open your heart.” I used to imagine talking to my friend as I delivered my stage monologues in order to appear confident and comfortable being intimate. But I never opened my heart.
Good? Bad? People move, people move on. My friend is always with me – reminding me that it’s ok to ask for softness. That a life can be changed, a life can be saved, by a hug, a walk around the neighborhood, a hand held while tears fall.
There is a surprising amount of kindness in the military. The military is made up of people and all people can be kind. There is a surprising amount of death in the beautiful face of the autumn moon. There is a surprising amount of hatred in love, but I guess that is what communication skills are for.
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Tao te Ching Verse #29
Does the moon need instructions from man in order to orbit the Earth? Do the seasons need our help in order to change?
Did you write the manual on micro-managing the world?
Bad habit, dude.
Once you start, history shows, there is no stopping (or success) The World deserves our respect, our reverence
The World is sacred
The World’s symmetry is perfect
If you meddle with it you’ll cause damage If you clutch at it, you’ll lose it
Sometimes we teach
Sometimes we’re students
Sometimes we inhale deep and loud Sometimes we exhale lightly and quickly Sometimes we are substantial Sometimes we are faint
Sometimes we are cruel Sometimes we are casualties
The Master looks at the world She avoids having too much
Avoids being ostentatious
Geomancy = feng shui (sp) pg 125
Liang* = be cool, be cold
My response:
Being hated is not easy. Hating is easy. Sometimes it feels good to hate. Cold anger. Everything is the fault of others – those disgusting people. Hating is a perfected science. Hating is cool. Or is it?
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Hatred is too hot. Anger boiling over the pot. Too late to recycle it into compassion or enthusiasm. Ironically, from anger comes joyful achievement. Unless it is allowed to stew like an angry, neglected, infected wound. Hatred is like rubbing your pussy sores on others – and for me – I can’t take enough showers to wash away the hatred of others. Yes, but, hatred, envy, jealousy, mockery, plagiarism are complements – backwards, slap-you-in-the-face-and-you-will-feel-better-when-it-stops-hurting complements, but they contain seeds of positive energy that if you are fortunate enough to be gifted with, can indeed get you through a long night or even a long week.
My most beneficial people to be hated by are Right to Die folks. Not all of them of course but having met a few too many that want to regulate what “everyone” should think of their body (and how I should feel about my body), well, it oddly invigorates me just hearing that Right-to- Die phrase. I get so angry. Just when I think I can’t go on, I’m reminded that my depression, frustration, self-damnation play into the very script that I want to re-write. And I feel better. That magical energy to care for myself and my body reappears.
So thank you for hating me.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 54 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #30
If you want to advise world leaders in the use of the Tao, tell them to put away their weapons
Poverty, famine, and destruction follow war
Victory is not violent
Victory is not aggressive
Victory is not something to glorify Strain is followed by exhaustion This goes contrary to the Tao
“That which goes against the Tao quickly dies” Lao – zi (Lao – tse) pg 160
Xiang = to offer, to sacrifice, to receive
My response:
It embarrasses me that I want to be a great leader. Perhaps I say embarrassed because I have no one to lead. Certainly in my daily life, I’m not recognized as someone even to be considered as a leader.
“Leader of the Leaderless!” is what I wrote in my teenage diary, but if even the alienated and disenfranchised don’t want me as a leader than maybe it’s a sign to give it up and lead myself.
Plus, leadership seems over-rated. I’d want to be a good leader, which means lots of responsibility. I like responsibility and justice (add note), but leadership, even of the leaderless, sounds likely to require uncomfortable clothing and – well, I just can’t go there....
I do want people to wake up – wake up soon and wake up early. Wake up and get up each and every day until being awake and free is a habitual way of life. But having worked within governments, within academia, within the world of the subjugated, I’m not certain if there really is any dance that will wake the dead.
Education helps. Learning formally and informally. Being taught, not just information, but learning how to learn. Thankfully, people have taken the time to teach me that.
It is embarrassing to be a complete failure in the standard form of leadership. Geez, for
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all my brilliant artistic ideas of dance troupes communicating around the world, I would have a hard time getting an entry-level position at a fast food restaurant. (Fill in any job often looked down on).
So, who is the leader and who is led? Who is the teacher and who is taught? How do I stay on track after years on this project when few know it even exists?
I like pictures of Lao-zi riding his water buffalo – very endearing – so I will lead myself.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 56 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #31
Weapons are tools for violence
A man of noble character will only use them when there is no other choice Without peace, there cannot be joy
If you find joy in victory, delight in killing, you have murdered a part of yourself When many people are slaughtered, there is no victory
Only mourning and funerals
Bo-shi pg 45
Zhu* = to comment on, to concentrate on pg 191
My response:
In spite of my best intentions and attempts at vigorous physical discipline, I have gained thirty pounds in four months. It must sound silly to plummet physically when I am surrounded by health conscious athletes. Runners, swimmers, surfers, up and out from early morning to late night. Dance, martial arts and aerobic classes and rehearsals populate the beaches in the early mornings.
I would love to swim in the ocean every morning like I used to. However, with my mobility decrease and the “leaving the walker unattended in the shallow tide while I’m in the water” aspect, there is no way I could get in and out of the water without becoming a daily spectacle.
Sometimes when I go alone to a café or shopping mall for the first time it causes panic. Especially if I do anything that might confuse strangers about my intentions or vagrant status – like looking like I’m looking for something or sitting in a café writing for a length of time. Occasionally, people react apprehensively (and once a security guard was even called) if I use the public bathroom or happen on a circumstance where they are in close physical proximity and I am looking awkward (with the giant walker, the dog and a door for example).
Well, it is exhausting to be such a fright, although I do bathe and pay my taxes. It doesn’t happen all the time – most people seem comfortable opening a door for another who has their hands full – but it happens enough that – who knows – the sight of me ascending from the ocean in full stumbling glory might cause a surfer to fall off their board, get a concussion as their confused hysteria might lock their limbs preventing them from shielding their face, and the poor surfer would drown and I’d be arrested and sued by the family.
Maybe not, but it might (oh yeah, there is the ADA so probably not). Solutions, solutions. I’d love to have a swimming buddy. Muscled, agile daily surfers and
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swimmers who could lift me out of the tide with one hand surround me. Both Doggie and I retreat, however, from intrusive touch – and trust – so a swimming friend isn’t an easy solution – but it sounds good. The other “obvious solution” to my dilemma – asking for assistance – to make my daily swims possible and enjoyable seems impossible.
I don’t know how to bridge this communication gap.
Right now, Honolulu is having a well - publicized traffic crisis with pedestrians getting run over daily. Deaths caused by motorized vehicles aren’t the binding thread of similarities that I was hoping for, but the daily deaths are changing people. Many are saying that they do not want to kill others by accidental negligence or because the sun was in their eyes.
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Tao te Ching Verse #34
Why should I compare myself to other people? All things can be like the Tao
Everything is nurtured by the Tao
Yet the Tao does not control Everything
The Tao doesn’t contrive to be great or small It is naturally magnificent
Purple = zi pg 243
Guo* = to go over pg 133
My response:
I hope that all the artists in the world write their books, build their buildings, paint their pictures, film their movies, dance their dances, sing their songs – and more importantly, invite me to see them!
Not that I like all art or all people – granted, I’m not easily impressed. Sometimes I wonder why I value the lives and creations of people who wouldn’t/don’t like me...or who don’t like people with my characteristics (as in the self-appointed humanity cleansers).
Purple, the color represents different things to different people: pride, grief, royalty, dignity, grapes, plums, death. People have a duty to express what purple means to them.
As a teen (and still today) I often felt so numb that I thought I felt nothing. One day, I figured out that I felt numb because I felt too much.
My most brilliant original genuine genius art project as an 18-year old in art school was a video/performance, Disposable Bodies.
I had spent my 1985 summer reading about the Surrealists, the Dadaists, the Conceptualists, the Absurdist. Café Trieste in North Beach, the West coast of the original Conceptual Absurdist, the Beat poets had become my office. Public art accessible to all, theatre performances where the audience was encouraged to throw vegetables and express opinions, the use of documentary film at the Nuremberg trials.
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I don’t know how I would’ve expressed it at 18, but I can say in hindsight, that as I watched Laurie Anderson play her electric violin and body-worn sound suit in the film, United States, I was getting an education in the importance of a vibrant relationship between democracy and the imagination.
Disposable Bodies would be so powerful that it would prevent anything like the holocaust from repeating itself. Or at least it would give my classmates an excuse to dress in black and walk around like automatons – then in the spirit of Sartre and Kafka there would be some transformation and the daytime sleepwalkers would move beyond the limits of predestination.
Although I had been planning all summer that Disposable Bodies would be my final video/performance class project, I walked home from class, stopping for pizza and wondering what that transformation would be.
The world will never know if an enthusiastic 18-year- old can produce a video performance that ceases global chaos (unless somebody else makes it). I was raped in my apartment that night. The next morning I went to class, cried, and returned home. The project never left the paper.
Decades later, I did write a long monologue entitled Disposable Bodies and premièred it in Melbourne, Australia’s Midsumma festival – with three dancers moving in relationship to the text. We all worked hard on it and the audience liked it, but now I understand the world can’t afford to be conflict – free as too many people would lose their jobs.
Am I trying as in cycles of violence to get the “right” outcome so that I will be free? Over and over. I don’t know.
Do I value the art of my rapist?
No. (I doubt I’d like it regardless). But I respect his right to go over his life and try again.
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Tao te Ching Verse #37
Non-interference
If people with power over others could resist using force
Stop interfering in the lives of just plain folk Everyone would be much better off and much happier
Dwarfs = Zhuru pg 88
You* = to rest with, be up to (someone) from, by cause; family name
My response:
pg 190
Are there really dwarfs that live underground or people so small that cranes can gobble them up?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that one of the hardest blows emotionally during this long drawn out Land and Water project was the increased gap between me, my friends and my artistic communities after my father died.
I know from my and my families experience after the 1977 car collision (and from getting major hip operations every ten years) that many people consciously and unconsciously avoid grieving people.
It’s a two way street of course and expectations are hard in any relationship. I’m not exactly the run and cry on someone’s shoulder type. I’d much rather be left alone then “fixed” or cheered up.
But Gooba Gabba hey! I sure do miss all those underground dwarfs to rest with. Doggie is a great coffee buddy but as I write this I’m filled with longing to rip the chains from my back and simply have a passionate honest conversation with someone that I feel safe talking with.
I did talk to friends the day my Dad died. But a dagger in the back (a dagger in the face actually) is being told that you aren’t wanted at open community parties. Infected daggers – the virus spreads quickly after being stabbed. Is it an American disease? Human disease? We are destroying ourselves with the plague of alienation. How to trust anyone? How to not take part? How to not be destroyed?
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 61 of 145 I visited a friend in the hospital recently. Interviewed her on videotape, asked her what
she most valued in life. She thought I was weird but she’s an actor and likes weird.
I visited her because I know what its like to be in the hospital without visitors. I wonder if other people are like that. I wonder if they want to be friends with me.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 62 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #38
Truly powerful people do not need to prove their power and do not fear losing it. A truly good person does not obstruct or seek acknowledgement. A truly kind person acts without ulterior motives.
Intentions and appearances of loyalty and faith are not loyalty and faith.
Can I find the strength to reject nonsense and to welcome vitality?
Heaven = pg 141
Li = to depart from pg 147
My response:
What is below heaven is, well, kind’ve crazy sometimes.
How do we depart from this craziness? I don’t think the way is mass suicide or individual slow suicide/murder. Those are ways, but well, they’ve been done – and frankly are rather stale.
Heaven on Earth. What if Earth was such a wonderful place no one ever wanted to leave? Fear of death isn’t pleasure in life – just to point out an obvious point.
There is a video that was made by some intellectually disabled artists in Australia. Each time I visualize certain images in it I cry with awe. It wasn’t especially high-tech, profound, or fancy. A short PSA for something or other.
Swoops of colors on windows of glass – a red swoop, a yellow swoop, a blue swoop, a green swoop.
It likely wouldn’t make lots of people cry – especially not art administration graduate students trying to impress possible bosses and colleagues (of which I was one and rather embarrassed by my sudden explosion of tears)
Why do I mention other artists and their art works? Because there are many other brilliant creators and creations under the sun. Each an original (or original copy or original copy of a copy of a copy..........)
Why do I mention this particular videotape? Because in the art world of rising stars and up and up and up, it was the unwanted and institutionalized who taught me how to paint colorful footprints. And that heaven on Earth is feeling the grass on my bare feet, sun on my face, laughing with friends.
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Tao te Ching Verse #40
Backwards is the motion of the Tao Humility is the foundation of the Tao
Something is born from nothing Nothing is born from something
Iron = tie* pg 152
Ren* = humanness, kindness
My response:
Mom spilt tea on her hope shirt.
Every Christmas, my Dad gave her something that said ‘hope’ on it. Her white t-shirt with dark blue letters surrounded by light blue clouds now had a large dingy stain on it.
It was an artistic sacrifice. She had been using the tea to color costumes for a play. She was sad. I convinced her to dye the shirt and use fabric paint to brighten the letters and clouds. So now her hope shirt has a new color – but it is still hope.
She might’ve fixed the shirt without my input. But I got to feel kind. Like I gave her a little bit of hope. It’s not iron shoes or an iron plough or an iron sword but it is something.
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Tao te Ching Verse 41
Wise students, hearing of the Tao, practice it as a daily corporeal habit Average students, hearing of the Tao, sometimes think about it Mediocre students, hearing of the Tao, laugh out loud
If they didn’t laugh the Tao wouldn’t be the path that it is
Thus it is said:
The lighted path is dark
The path forward is retreat
The easy path is difficult
The greatest virtue is worthless
Innocence is contaminated
Dedication is useless
Honesty is confusing
Artistic masterpieces are trash
The greatest potential is the last to be expressed The greatest note is merely a blend of sounds The greatest image vanishes quickly
The Tao is subtle and beyond worlds
Yet it is sweet at the beginning and sweet at the end
Cypress = Bo pg 77
Luan = be disorderly, disorder
My response:
Perhaps it is a contradiction that cypress trees are planted by graves because they live so long. Cypress trees symbolize longevity. But they also add an appropriate aura of permanence.
Violent images in art and sports. Good? Bad? Relative?
A burning cross. Context is everything. What happened before the cross was set on fire? What happens after? Who? Why? Where?
Cypress seeds supposedly improve eyesight and hearing if one keeps chewing them.
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So many questions. What is my cypress seed that I chew daily? That people are responsible for any harm they cause others. That people need to be held responsible regardless of what they’ve seen, heard, what’s been done to them, who they are.
It’s not a black and white world anymore. And people often die inside long before their bodies are ready for burial. There is no reason to join that crowd.
Disorder does not = Harm Sometimes, Order = Harm
Disorderly conduct is just another paintbrush. Using that paintbrush to paint a portrait of Peace takes daily practice.
(DRAW SKETCH OF TREE)
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Tao te Ching Verse #43
Water can fill any lacuna
We can’t do that, but it is worth a try
Terrace = Tai pg 287
Dao = to rob pg 249
My response:
What do you say when an emergency vehicle – siren goes by? A little prayer.
Ever been in the back of an ambulance? I always think, “go in peace” even in the midst of a conversation.
Perhaps it’s a knee-jerk reaction. Perhaps not.
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Tao te Ching Verse #48
You have the world in the palm of your hand No need to conquer it to make it yours
No need to chase it to understand it
To Master the world develop a powerful swim stroke
Cuckoo = bu-gu pg 77
Tuan* = corps, club, a measure for round things
My response:
A Tiny Bird Sits Still (in honor of Ms. Rosa Parks)
The cuckoo or du – juan is regarded as a sacred bird. Legend says the cuckoo cries until
it spits blood.
The first performance piece, a solo, in Tao and the Art of Drowning, was entitled, A Tiny Bird Sits Still. Without post – postmodern discourse, I sat fairly still holding a balloon while a pre- taped reading of the introduction about swimming played.
“My intent is to encourage others to question assumptions that they make about the meaning of their bodies, the importance of their egos in the natural cycle of change and to see all of life’s experiences as possibilities, rather than obstacles to some rigid future goal. Why is injury seen as a limitation when it opens the door for something new? Why is change, especially sudden traumatic change, so scary? Are there ways we, as individuals and as a global culture, can make the changes we want? Can we accept change without being controlled by fear?”
What was that like from a performer’s point-of-view? It was the stillness after spitting blood. The calm after sobbing.
What was it like to let go of the balloon, watch it float away at the end? It was like joining a club. But the club was me, myself, and I. Pretty good as I tend to leave myself out.
How long one can sit still is indeed a measure of round things.
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Tao te Ching Verse 51
Jump to Life
Sing when you wake up Sing in the shower Sing as you walk
Wherever the gift of life came from.... Well, gosh, I don’t know what to say.... Wow!
Perhaps it is time to dance With no audience
No pay
No expectations
To be like the Tao, now is always the time to dance
Li Tie- guai (Immortal with iron crutch) pg 165 Xue* = blood pg 215
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 69 of 145 My response: {A Frustrated Athlete}
What I miss most about my Father is his dedication to physical excellence tempered by compassion. I admired his courage in taking risks for positive change. An elementary schoolteacher for 39 years, Dad knew about patience, sacrifice, and the importance of fallible heroes.
But other people in my life have strong backbones when it comes to grace and empathy. The chasm of irreplaceable enthusiasm is his joy in mentoring others in physical discipline and competition. He was a sexy, six –packed basketball star in college. I was the fourth grader who practiced shooting baskets for hours and secretly loved the New York Knickerbockers. He was my coach when I was nine; running around the football field in preparation for the Olympic gold medal in the mile.
I’m very proud of my Dad. I cherish being able to say that without hesitation. Even the way he died fosters aliveness. On an adventure, he died doing what he loved. He had biked across the US several times, so riding from San Diego, CA to Saint Augustine, Florida was no big deal – but this time a car hit him.
“This is the best of all possible worlds,” was a favorite quote of his that we used at his memorial. Voltaire is our ancestor and perhaps the best of his qualities can be passed on through the generations.
Dad didn’t like my art much and reminded me often that he thought I was selling myself short by writing about disability. Eventually I gave up on trying to explain that I was simply writing about my body and experiences; that there was no word meaning beauty in fragility mixed with joy in perseverance. He replied that he thought of me as a frustrated athlete. And I realized he understood in a way that no one else could.
He mailed me 365 Tao; Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao when I was 25. That was the start of my daily Tao exploration. The last time I saw him was a treat. I gave him a tour of my gym and where I swam and rehearsed in Seattle. Over lunch, he laughed lots – I goaded him that my Tao could beat up his Zen any day, and tossed orange peels on his plate without meaning to. Later, his last e-mails said he had always wanted me to write a children’s book about my experiences and to teach them to live in hope.
At his memorial, students, recent students, parents of recent students and even long ago students spoke, attended quietly or gave us a handmade book of aloha that they had written their memories in. I was so impressed. This was my Dad they were talking about! The guy who, well, got on my nerves.
I still feel like just sitting by the ocean and watching the footprints in the sand be washed away. Today’s footprints layer yesterdays. It’s nothing I can see but I know it’s true.
I hope you can rest in peace, dad.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 70 of 145 Btw... thanks for letting me wear your bike shirts....
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 71 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #52
Do right by your Mother (and her Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s [infinity])
Choose your words carefully
Don’t get lost in your senses
And the rest of your life is not a problem
Waste your own time
Waste your own energy
Babble about how great you are (we all know you’re wonderful so shut-up already) And never find peace
Appreciating details is clarity
Adapting is strength
Use your inner vision until there is nothing but brightly lit darkness
This is called habitually going beyond tree-hugging (now do it again Towel = pg 296
Zhi = to measure, to regulate
My response:
and repeat)
I’m using this Hawaiian time with my Mom to learn to regulate my thought patterns and energy expenditure. Not that Mom really does know best but she does have the advantage of having a lifetime of regular sleeping, eating and work schedules. My work schedule is based on my internal inspiration, my physical endurance, and my cravings for a quiet space without disruptions.
As a quirky and occasionally obsessed artist, I’ve stayed awake for three days/nights in a row wanting to finish or getting lost in the details of a project. This is not good for me and the work suffers from over-doing to the point of sloppiness. The worst is when my own thoughts distract me. Usually it is about so and so random stranger and what they may or may not think of me. Ridiculous stuff, as I’ll likely never encounter so and so again. But I can easily upset myself so much that I mess up whatever I’m doing at the moment.
Ever accidentally cut up a hard boiled egg when you had just gotten out the avocado intending to make guacamole*? Maybe you were thinking about so and so and such and such and tomorrow if I _______________ (fill in the blank), everything will be different
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 72 of 145 – new and improved. Well, throw the egg into the guacamole. Fortunately, sometimes
mistakes are good things.
But not always. But one learns, after spilling lots of milk.
Remembering what I intended to do in the moment is much easier if I take the minimal amount of time to be courteous without discrimination. Drama is much more rewarding when it’s kept on stage. And the movie of my life is not actually my life – so the extras aren’t extras – they are the stars of their own shows
How can I measure and regulate my workday when I have no office or deadlines (unless I impose them). A smile, a brief wait for my turn in line, a “please” or a “thank you”. Providing a dry towel at a rehearsal, after a cold winter rain or lending a swim towel in the summer are gifts I give myself. It takes less effort than feeling defensive or unprepared. I am more comfortable in my skin when random strangers are friends, not enemies that I will know for perhaps 30 seconds, maybe five minutes.
Regardless of the amount of time I spend in the vicinity of others, being courteous means that I can remember what I had planned to write about and I’m more likely to bring a pen.
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Tao te Ching Verse #53
The main road is smooth and easy, but people look for short cuts.
When they have more possessions then they can use this is not the Way.
Fisherman = yu fu pg 107
Yuan* = origin; a plain pg 97
My response:
Once upon a time there was a fisherman named Dude. Some people in his town would see him walking down the street and call out, “ hey Dude, how’s the fishing going?” Other town folk didn’t like fisherman (because they often smell of fish) and would snub Dude. One day, a townie, told Dude to stop fishing and get a real job. Dude had fished since he was a toddler. He was proud to be a fisherman and it made him feel good when people thanked him for his fish.
I don’t know if Dude is still fishing but I do know that I felt human again after I found a way to dance and rehearse in the empty Hawaiian living room. (The answer to not having rehearsal space had been sitting there for months – or rather Doggie and I had been sitting in the answer).
Motion and movement release stuffed up pain while creating beauty. Beautiful tears. Sometimes when I rehearse alone my entire body cries. In a good way. There is a lot in the world to cry for. But sometimes there is nothing that one can do but laugh.
The rehearsals were like that. At the end of the rehearsal on the day before my birthday, I discovered the building power had gone out (my stereo ran on batteries), The elevator had stopped working and Doggie anxiously needed to go outside. I couldn’t go down the long stairwell and Mom, who had just bought groceries, including my special birthday sherbet, couldn’t get upstairs.
I sat in the bathroom for hours trying to teach a very confused little doggie how to use a toilet.
Eventually the electricity came on; the elevator worked again. Doggie got to relieve herself outside. And Mom and me got to eat melted pre-birthday sherbet.
And that is the origin of me finally learning that when you feel really really sad and confused, spinning as fast as you can in your living room helps.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 74 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #54
Future generations will be grateful to the people who planted seeds and built bridges with genuine care
Can you live your dreams without losing yourself?
Can you communicate with your family (talking AND listening)?
Can you cooperate with people in your own country even though you disagree?
Embrace the world as it is and the Universe will dance How do I know this?
By listening to my heartbeat
Bee = Mi-feng pg 37
Zhan = to unroll, to postpone; family name pg 191
My response:
Re-do. Re-think. Women’s bodies.
The stage, the runway, the photograph, the movie and TV screen – all thrive on simulacra of feminine physique.
Can a woman master her own life? Her identity? Her body?
Maybe. Maybe not. Is it an individual choice? Or do a lot of people have investment in insuring that women do not decide their fates? Perhaps a lot of people have investment in ensuring each and every woman can learn to live outside of fate.
Am I too fat to be a dancer? The question doesn’t even make sense to me. Let’s try it again. Am I healthy enough to be a dancer? Is the sun too big to shine?
I listen to my body because bodies don’t lie. Not that I always want to hear what it has to say – but it screams if my attention wonders. And I don’t think it cares about my gender.
When I say I am struggling to lose weight, sometimes people tell me to love my body as is. But broken hips and crushed pelvises don’t lie. The less weight on a once injured
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 75 of 145 bone means less physical, hence mental, pain. Somewhere in the middle of the extremes,
I can find what is right for me.
Of course when I’m planning a performance or choreographing a dance I visualize from the audience’s frame of reference. But the audience is not me – most people have never had a brain stem contusion. The good ole medulla oblongata connecting the brain with the spine, center for involuntary vital functions. Not to mention traumatic flashbacks.
What is sweet and perfect is in the center. In the center but it can’t be touched. And nothing, not time, not circumstance, can lessen the center’s sweetness. Like with my worn and well-traveled Reddy the Teddy who I’ve had since I was four. The fur missing in patches, the button nose torn off long ago, a hole in the leg seam I neglect to fix, the joints needing re-stuffing. Reddy is with me everywhere I go, even though I’m an adult now and would feel dumb carrying around or sleeping with a teddy bear.
I try to wear my body the same way. Perfect as is, but this and that have worn and could use some repair.
No pain = No pain and No shame = well, a more enjoyable life.
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Tao te Ching Verse #55
Why does a baby know so much about harmony in the universe? Because it has perfection of the heart
Why do people grow old so quickly?
Because they pretend to be something they are not
Medicine = pg 183
Gong = all together, collectively, joint pg 90
My response:
Dad’s legacy –– accomplished without trying
Sometimes it is hot. Sometimes it is cold. Seems obvious. Why is it obvious? Because our bodies, when balanced, un-injured and not fussed with, regulates itself very nicely. We don’t often think about temperature changes or the thermodynamics in our surroundings.
A baby doesn’t hide its feelings or needs – it expresses them – too hot, too cold and the baby cries – perfectly comfortable and the baby laughs, sleeps, plays or has that calm and curious baby face.
A baby never tries to be something its not, never tries to express something it doesn’t feel.
People do things for the baby. Why? The baby is weak. Too fragile to help itself.
Raising a baby is a collective process – for better or worse.
I want the Land and Water project to turn into a legacy for my Dad. I want to be a living legacy – of the good parts of him. But his legacy happened collectively – and it’ll live on with or without my intentional effort. But I was a part of it.
Every year he volunteered to help with the school play – one year teaching Tai chi (which he didn’t know). This year’s play dedicated to his memory. My semi- artistic family took full-on off-stage and on-stage roles. Plus, plans for an annual school play for as long as possible has already been decided. Next years play is currently in the works. My legacy goal accomplished with no effort from me. Except telling others they were doing a great job by working
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 77 of 145 When I attended the play and loved the choreography, it was a relief not to have to prove
my sophisticated artist role. I was simply a grieving daughter.
Sometimes I learn lessons from other people. Physician heal thyself applies to more than just doctors.
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Tao te Ching Verse #56
Can you stop talking long enough to listen? Those who know aren’t willing to talk Those who talk aren’t willing to know
Can you play in the mud? This is your raw identity
It cannot be obtained or harmed by friends or enemies It cannot be obtained or harmed by good deeds
It cannot be obtained or harmed by suffering
It cannot be obtained or harmed by glory
It cannot be obtained or harmed by humiliation It is a priceless state of being
Jade = yu pg 153
Kong* = be empty, sky, air, for nothing, in vain
My response:
People are mirrors.
Making peace with role models...sigh....
pg 211
Although I have nooo where to rehearse in Hawaii (the walker needs large flat uncarpeted private space), missing my Dad and making peace with everything has increased my depth as an artist. Be careful what you ask for. I wanted a wrench in my ‘default thinking’ and I sure got it.
Being here now also means, for me, visualizing the future and contemplating the past. Its time traveling without drugs; to drift and let ideas find me. Sky – diving with my feet on the ground – ideas are dangerous things. And they don’t come with parachutes or tamper resistant packaging.
Which leads me to my return to Seattle. One performer stands out in her ability to simply have a raw identity on stage. Honestly, I can’t say why. Red hair? No, its henna anyway. Taller than others? No, shorter than most. Lots of people practice, practice, practice. Lots of people are inherently talented. Innovation isn’t all that rare. Perhaps it is the combination.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 79 of 145 In live performance, especially dance; I’m amazed at how thoughts and intelligence can
beam from people’s faces.
It’s the combination of rational intelligence and spontaneous randomness in my role model’s transitions – as if each dance were a mathematical equation. She is pure like Jade.
0 = love
1 = anger
2 = fear
3 = joy
4 = greed
5 = acceptance 6 = despair
7 = courage
8 = anguish
9 = enthusiasm
2+1+0= 3
3 x3 = 9
9 –4 = 5
It is daring to decide what numbers and emotions mean and how one wants to apply them in movement.
My role model is a show and tell dancer, not conversational like myself. (I usually have a intimately sizable audience but “just 4 folks” is not work in vain. It makes for a more honest show. Empty of the need to impress).
Although I fear (dread) a Babbitt – like existence upon my return to Seattle, I realize we mirror our role models as we mirror our detractors.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 81 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #58
When a country’s government is bland, its people are guileless and sincere When a country’s government is insidious, its people are discouraged and greedy
We defend our delusions
Good intentions become monstrous acts
Honest people become deceitful
Joy leads to misery, misery to joy
Behind grief is happiness, behind happiness is grief
Therefore, the Master is Sharp, but not divisive
Disciplined but not abusive Direct but not tactless Brilliant but not dazzling
Persimmon = Shi pg 232
Da* = to answer
My response:
Our cultural symbols, our written and spoken languages are part of the poetry of our bodies in motion. Scars, tattoos, piercings are the letters of consciously writing or re- writing our bodies history. Less visible is how every representation, influences our genus.
It would be wonderful if everyone in the world knew at least eleven spoken languages fluently. Seems to me that the more languages one knows the smarter one is. Even if one doesn’t use all the languages daily, it must increase brain capacity to learn eleven. Plus, if everyone worked at increasing their brain capacity to learn at least eleven languages we’d raise the standard of “stupid” on a global level. (Still, someone has to be declared stupid, don’t they?)
But if everyone had the brain capacity to learn eleven languages, people might lose interest in negatively comparing and judging each other. But that’s impossible!
Is there an alternative to destructive, rigid hierarchy?
The answer is in spoken and unspoken language. T is not the size or amount that matters, it is the way language is used that’s important. A persimmon tree has four virtues: long life, gives shade, birds nest in it and it harbors no vermin. If we could learn to live
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with or without words, would be easier.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 83 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse 59
For leading people or serving heaven there is nothing better than economy One who is thrifty is prepared
To be prepared is a sign of character
With a wealth of character all obstacles can be overcome
When obstacles are not obstacles, nobody knows limitations When nobody knows limitations he is fit to lead
When obstacles are not obstacles, there are no limits He who can lead others beyond limitations is fit to rule
This is the way of long life Deep roots
Enduring vision
Mandarin duck = Yuan-yang
Zuo* = to do, to make pg 99
My response:
pg 177
Goals. Aspirations. Peace is not a flaccid thing. Nor is it a stagnant bog. Peace is a dancer rising, flying, falling, bouncing, catching, spiraling. Velocity, speed. Bodies counting seconds while moving in space. Energy of fire of water, beyond the speed of light. My favorite – momentum. Balance – try balancing by staying frozen like a statue. Now try balancing while walking (or traversing however you do). What works?
Bodies find their centers without trying. Even with severe inner ear damage (which I had/have), it’s much easier to walk upright if I relax and allow my body to do its elemental thang.
Science marries intuition automatically if we don’t get in the way. So if life takes care of itself, how do we do or make anything?
My minimal physical tasks in the original Land and Water project proposal were three swims and two on-land rehearsals weekly. Grieving, confusion, physical and transportation limitations have squished those plans. But failure is not always failure. No is not always the opposite of yes.
How do we do anything?
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 84 of 145 Daily. Everyday. Ever notice we don’t get a day off of life? (Sure would be nice at
times).
When an obstacle (or multiple obstacles) is so huge it stops you, going around it seems to work better than head on collision with it (although I like both styles).
Doggie and I walk every morning. Every morning I get a bit of quiet, a sunrise. Today I saw a crescent moon.
Doggie is teaching me to relate to peacefulness.
Patience. Getting up and out even when the bones creak and the mood is grumpy.
Is it E = MC2 applied? I’m not certain. But I do know a daily physical exercise ritual can make goals do-able and aspirations possible.
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1. If they’re larger than three inches, clean them. If they’re smaller than three inches, you don’t need to gut or scale them.
2. Soak in milk for one minute.
3. Drain; season with salt and black pepper.
4. Toss the fish in a mixture of all-purpose flour and cracker meal until well dusted. 5. Heat enough peanut oil in a frying pan to submerge the fish.
6. Fry for three minutes. They’ll bob to the surface when done.
7. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Governing a large nation is like frying a small fish
This is how the Tao accomplishes things
Wise leaders avoid harming people so demons have no power Not that demons aren’t powerfully evil
But their power will not be used to harm
By not harming each other, both sides grow spiritually stronger Fate = Ming pg 101
Gao = to shine (bookish) pg 63
My response:
We decide our fates. At least as much as we decide how to cook our breakfast (my favorite meal).
Skip it, too much poking, overcooked, undercooked, it ruins everything.
Mom is a great cook. My physical discipline – where did it go? Well, it’s hiding under the carpet. I’m doing something much harder. I’m doing my best to make certain Mom is OK. She hurt her knee. She had to get the same operation that Joe Namath and I did.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 86 of 145 We now share a lack of mobility in common. It’s hard to see my Mom walk with a limp.
She is supposed to stay off it. Spend lots of time with her feet up. Ice pack on her knee. But, like her daughter, walk
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Tao te Ching Verse #63
Lose yourself in your work
Lose yourself in your play
Lose yourself at least once a day
Magnify the small to see differences Increase the few to see similarities Refund bitterness with virtue
Plan for hardship before it happens Start small, unfold the great
In nature each venture is easily done
In nature each great venture began small
The Master never presumes greatness And thus achieves it
Promises easily made are easily broken Broken promises make difficult matters worse
The Master addresses complexities when things are simple and in the end it’s not a problem
Fox = hu-li pg 117
Jin* = to enter pg `127
My response:
Who wants to smell like a fox? My doggie looks like a fox and if I don’t bathe her – well, she loses her cuddly little puppy dog status.
Anger is the same way. As natural as sweat under the armpits. There are 29,000 brands of deodorant on the market to mask the fox smell. But thankfully, there’s water. And I recommend a bit of soap.
Anger is a serious subject. Even little bits of anger can cause harm – like someone can choke on one drop of water. Big rages - like volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves – start small.
Anger isn’t poison. It’s the bodies’ way of cooling off. It’s neglecting to wash one’s
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armpits that let it go rancid. Anger makes life unpleasant for you, me, everyone. There’s secondhand smoke. Secondhand body odor. And secondhand anger. True, one person’s toxin is another’s way to relax. But even doggie likes how she gets petted more and dried after a bath.
We need to sweat out toxins rather than let them poison our bodies. In my book, (and this is my book), anger isn’t purely a toxin. ???????????????????????
Compassion is like a water wheel – it needs energy from someplace to make it go around. Too much and the wheel spins out of control. Too little energy and the wheel sits with stagnant water in its cups. The perfect blend of anger and tenderness are the recipe for active compassion. Anger needs to be carefully and calmly expressed to be transformed.
Who hasn’t at one time or another stepped on someone’s toes? Maybe you were distracted and in a rush, maybe you did it purposefully, maybe it was a loved one, a stranger, someone you didn’t know well but were envious of.
“I’m sorry.” True freedom takes responsibility. What door do you want to go through? Where do you want to enter? Hell is being stuck in a room with angry people. Why not open the door and explore the house?
The key to finding home is refusing to be angry. Lots of effort and pre-planning to do that. But not smelling like a rancid fox is a good thing.
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Tao te Ching Verse #65
Avoid taking yourself too seriously
There’s really no reason to worry or make a big fuss
All your problems will solve themselves on your death bed
What is your body telling you?
Ask you physical injuries what you need to do today
Now, isn’t that better?
Nuns = Ni-gu pg 211
Rou* = to track (as in track a bear)
My response:
Kindness to my body doesn’t seem to come naturally. It is a process of unlearning rather than learning.
If I allow myself to grow too stressed or tired my not – so – healed scars become vulnerable to intentional or unintentional poking. At those times I become the hunter and my body the prey.
Unbalanced, it feels comfortably right to attack what is vulnerable. If I could only kill the weak part, the pain would disappear. Tried this? Fortunately, I’ve learned to lie down and imagine myself swimming or relax and surrender myself to the world where symbols have no meaning.
As I age, I become more and more anathema. Older women, intellectual women – in general - our bodies aren’t considered beautiful. I like seeing the mix of young and old on the beach, in the ocean. But a group of older women – laughing, presumably on vacation – without a man - makes me smile and wonder if women still feel they have to get married to look good in public.
I also get a kick out of seeing people in wheelchairs out and about. Usually, I get extra happy points from seeing people who are pushing their own chairs, but that is only an on- stage aesthetic thing.
I’m always so disappointed when people in wheelchairs or with canes, etc, etc are rude in public. I feel sort of bad about being judgmental. I get X-tremely tired of being reminded that I represent “my people” in public, even at pre-coffee 6:15 am.
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Today, I pulled over to the side of a narrow sidewalk to let a person in a wheelchair and their pusher pass. The couple stopped to pet Girly (my puppy) who was riding on the seat of my walker. Girly was trembling and obviously scared but the couple forced their affections until my doggy-dog leapt off my walker, leash and all, and cowered behind me.
I had seen the pusher act this way before, so I wasn’t surprised. But I couldn’t help feeling a “Darn! I expected better” from the person in the wheelchair.
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Tao te Ching Verse #66
The ocean is King of the Earth Why is this?
If you don’t contend, no one will contend with you This is true victory
The whole world loves the ocean
It is our King
Why?
We cannot compete with the ocean because it does not compete with us
When the Master leads, humanity advances
Silkworm = Chong pg 265
Ai = to love pg 99
My response:
Trying to finish this project (or at least the book), I feel less like the King of the world and more like a silkworm drowned in boiling water. I would love to be a monk in a community of monks rather than surrounded by commerce and the competitive civilized world. There is no where I can go for silence, no desk space, no privacy, even when I go to the ocean to gather fortitude and insight, it is a public event.
Perhaps there is a private place in each of us that should not or cannot be shared. I know that is the way it is for me. “The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao.” What I do know is that to love someone or something regardless if he or she or that returns your love, really can keep one alive and carry one unscathed through hell. There is love and there is delusional love. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do.
But sometimes it just feels good to work hard, even not knowing whether or not the weaving and spinning will result in beautiful clothing. Because one is doing it out of love.
Just the sight of people drains me. But finishing this project and wanting to see it worn by others is an act of love that I can manage. It is keeping me openhearted.
Love to save your ass.
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Tao te Ching Verse #69
When you have an enemy you become an enemy When two great forces clash, victory will go to
Those that don’t lose themselves in anger and vengeance
How does one have a lifetime of success on one’s own terms? A lifetime is made of decades
Decades are made of years
Years are made of days
Act, don’t talk
Do something you are afraid of each day
Let that thing be feeling vulnerable and not panicking
Mouth = Kou pg 197
Jian = a measure for events (see note) pg 126
My response:
Stage fright.
It is a good thing. In my book (once again this is my book – ah, the sweet voices of internal naysayers) Why is fear a good thing? It is a signal that one is taking a risk for something important.
Although “important” might only be important to me, I find the more personal fears I move through the more people I find who say, “I was afraid of that too but now I’m not” (or something resembling that).
Let’s face it. Life can be down right scary at times no matter how much confidence, physical strength or will power one has. Feeling vulnerable on-stage, in rehearsal, in classes or jams or even as I write – none of these are the end of the world. But not feeling my fears, not making friends with them, that is the end of the world. Perhaps I won’t spontaneously combust (oh no, I might!!!). My inner rabid dog, my inner wild stallion. But by refusing to be the best person that I can be, by refusing to master myself, I lose my reliability – my trustworthiness – to myself.
On stage there is a moment where I know a prayer has been answered. I move away from fear (or terror at times) into pure synergy. Maybe it’s like that Runner’s high I’ve heard so much about. Often it’s the first giggle from the audience – a signal that permission has been given to lead someone on a journey.
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How do I know that my life is worth living? That the small price paid for another breath, another warm hug, another sunrise and walk by the ocean is worth it. I let myself cry. I let myself feel fear. I let myself feel vulnerable. I let myself be touched by what is larger than my panic because I am a brightly – colored, vulnerable, slow –moving target (and I have to defend myself somehow).
Women, especially women with disabilities (pick and place your pleasing word here), are some people’s favorite targets. And I have the statistics to prove it! (ha ha)
We are all targets at times. And we are all hunters at times. The trick is to refuse to be a target or a hunter.
Yes, tricks are for kids (which is somewhat the point).
Bold choices are like brushing one’s teeth. Brushing daily prevents cavities. Brushing other people’s teeth without their consent is a really, really bad idea.
How do I measure the quality of my performance? By the lasting value of constructive changes resulting from my bold choices.
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Tao te Ching Verse # 71
Sick of being sick?
Perhaps you’re not asking yourself the right questions
Heron = Lu pg 145 Bai* = to worship
My response:
Physically sick, mentally sick, emotionally sick, living in a sick world with sick people, born in a sick family with sick neighbors, spiritually sick. Sick, sick, sickness. It’s all one big allergy. Or is it? Well, not everything is wrong. But not everything is right.
What is one of the world’s most honorable (meaning overworked and underpaid) and difficult professions? To be a nurse.
Our jobs, our lives, what we do, what I do. I give and give and give and give (although I’m one of the world’s more self – centered types, which is why I have to overcompensate). Do we ever nurse ourselves?
An image flash from a long ago performance: a six foot woman in four inch heels on a three foot pedestal bends down to offer me an orange (the truck that hit our Buick in 1977 was carrying two tons of oranges). Can we offer ourselves an orange? A small, at times, difficult to peel, citrus fruit for our lunch box. Do we dare to accept our own gift?
A heron worships by living. By swimming, standing and flying. Its reflection on the lake’s surface is beauty on a pedestal.
Only when we can see how beautiful we are just for being born, will we ever know what needs to be changed.
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Tao te Ching Verse #73
What does the rain think of evil? No one knows
The way of nature is
To conquer without an attack To converse without words Attract without trying
Always at ease
It never plans but its design determines everything
Its net is vast
Loosely – meshed but nothing ever escapes
Emperor = Huang – di pg 94
Shu* = (bookish) be cooked, be done; who? Which? Pg
My response:
Laughter is the best weapon:
239
I wonder what would happen if world leaders had to conduct their business in the nude. Kings, Queens, Emperors, Presidents –even news journalists, CEOs, athletes and movie stars – all required to be naked while working.
Actually, I guess it wouldn’t be very practical as dressing and undressing would take up valuable discussion time. But we could finally find out the truth about whether or not we all put on our pants and shoes in the same way.
I would love to see a naked world leader cooking show. Each episode would feature a different special guest cooking his or her favorite meal of choice. I think it would be extremely popular. But I can’t imagine who the facilitator would be.
Who will set the table? Do they have to be naked too?
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 96 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #74
If people have so much joy in life that they don’t fear death how can they be controlled?
Who would dare to create fear of death?
Nature is the Master Executioner
Using the tools of the Master Executioner is a certain way to cut your hands
Pear = Li pg 229
Xin = Sincerity pg 128
My response:
People die. People live forever. Both are true. I am a woman, a this and a that. My body and all my identities are me but have nothing to do with me. The list of socially constructed categories I’m forced into or could volunteer for, is endless.
Oblong fruit. Square fruit. Silly fruit. Strange fruit. Edible fruit. Raw fruit. Citrus. Melons. All fruits are different but similar. One, two, three, four, and now what?
What isn’t paradoxical in this life? Inside of each of us is a seed of possibilities. This seed knows no boundaries and is not limited by limits. Inner joy has nothing to do with surface happiness or temporary sorrow. That seed of joy is a constant like a heartbeat. Inner joy is like the law of natural bouncy. If Mass < liquid, it floats. Lighten your load when drowning and let yourself rise to the surface where breathing is easier.
If sincere and gentle actions protect that tiny eternal seed, can it be destroyed? I don’t know.
Wanting to live is much different than fear of death. The fruit falls from the tree, the tree falls, the orchard dies and is started anew from one seed. There is no reason to fear.
Who would ruin the fruit? Cut down the tree? Burn the orchard? Not me.
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Tao te Ching Verse #75
People suffer from hunger
Because the leaders eat their food
People are rebellious
Because the leaders are obtrusive
People take death lightly
Because leaders make mere survival difficult Death looks easier when living becomes a burden
When one stops thinking of life as something to achieve life will become valuable and priceless
There is no audience to impress
Panther = Bao pg 226
Jie* = Older Sister pg 75 (only randomly chosen symbol I might change to avoid possible hassle)
My response:
Notes from a friend:
Cruelty is a fact of life. Greed is a fact of life. Even after death, envy and jealousy will live on.
Is a panther cruel? Or does it just kill to eat, to feed its children, feed its community? A panther can transform cruelty. That is true power. To have sharp teeth and claws that can tear and demolish, but deciding not to use them or to use them sparingly.
We are panthers. Our family is made of panthers. Global leaders don’t need to rip us to shreds. We don’t need to shred our families.
An artistic role model once described me as a barbarian. I took it as a compliment at the time. And I still (sort of) do.
What is barbaric? Panthers are powerful. I wouldn’t want to find one in my bathroom. But being powerful is not an excuse for making life difficult for others.
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Tao te Ching Verse #77
Heaven’s path is like the drawing of a bow The top reaches towards the bottom
The bottom reaches towards the top Excess string is pulled taut
Insufficient string is adapted for
Heaven’s path is to steal from the rich and give to the poor Mankind’s way is to rob the poor and give to the rich
Who has excess wealth and gives it to all under heaven? The Master acts, yet expects no reward
Succeeds, yet doesn’t dwell
Has no desire to prove that he’s better than others
Ball = Qiu pg 28
Sheng* = to bear (give birth)
My response:
Cinderella and her handsome prince took risks for love at the Royal Ball. When in love it is important to show it. But more important is to keep your love as a friend. Not hurt them or make them into an enemy. When you hurt who and what you love that is when you become an enemy to yourself.
Perhaps my favorite “quotable one liner” that I’ve written is, “do what you love and kiss your sweetheart before it’s too late.” The words remind me that a true love must be generous and daring. A woman tosses a red ball off a balcony. It is a gift, a kiss.
A kiss, a simple kiss, a kiss with no strings attached. That is what we need to give each other. To our sweethearts, to our families, our children, our friends, our non-friends, our world. It is how we can kiss the sun and moon. Giving birth to our freedom. To see beauty in each person and each moment.
We may never see that person again. No regrets because we kissed them “hello.” Aloha? (Not my culture)
In my book, “hello” means ‘thanks for sharing sometime with me’.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 99 of 145 A kiss is a kiss is a War prevented is a kiss is a dream come true.
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Tao te Ching Verse #81
True words aren’t pretty Pretty words aren’t true
Wise men don’t need to slander and bicker
Men who need to slander and bicker aren’t wise
Those who know are not doctored The doctored do not know
The Master keeps his cache clean
The more he benefits others, the more he gains
The way of heaven and Earth is to prosper but not to harm The Master’s way is to cultivate without force
Marriage = pg 179
Min* = dish pg 215
My response:
It wasn’t until my Dad’s memorial that I realized we had so much in common and that he did so much that I admire. Or I knew it but took it for granted and merely focused on my resentments against him (and Mom).
I had carried my grudges for eighteen years. I had tried communicating, avoiding, moving on –but although we loved each other, both of us forced bittersweet bitterness on to the other.
The one-page leaflet chronicling his life said he was active in the civil rights movement. I knew we had lived in (pre-riots) Watts when I was born but I’d never realized that Watts was his first choice for his first teaching position and that we had lived there by design. It also had never occurred to me that he continued to teach at racially – diverse schools by choice – it was just something he did.
It seems strange in ways that there was so much we couldn’t talk about or didn’t see in the other. Talking about the moral meanings in the original Star Trek episodes is one of my favorite childhood memories. He had studied to be a Baptist minister in college, and when I started at a religious high school, our discussions had turned to theology. The two family philosophers – not many high school students take death and dying college courses with their Dad.
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Why did the communication stop and hostility set in? Surface reasons – but vital issues back then – he had strong opinions about my body, etc, etc. But what I knew in my heart - the thing I could never quite forgive him for was what we shared in common – a need to heal from something traumatic in our childhood – demons that seemingly possessed us.
As I type this, I realize there was a window of the deepest connection that he opened wanting to know how I’d been hurt by strangers, what he could do to protect me, to make it better. A window of a few hours, but the unfiltered rage of others wouldn’t let us talk. The mis-information began and people heard accusations when accusations weren’t made. The window slammed shut. We returned to our too painful to be too near each other shells.
My parents were married forty-six years. Longer than I’ve been alive.
Biking gear, framed marathon pictures, running journals. Doggie finds his shoes and leaves them on my bed/ Stuff, things, possessions no longer needed – so much of him surrounds us. But it is the coffee cups that confound us. The fourteen cups from the annual Tinman race, the cups given by student’s families at Christmas, the James Joyce cup, the Albert Einstein cup, the special cups he bought my Mother – what to do with them?
{illegible} We? And eat off plates that he picked out. Blue plates. Blue plates calm you down and you eat less. I put them in the dishwasher. That was his job. This is what I can do. This is what I can do now. I can keep the plates clean.
Over cups of coffee, I explode. I tell my Mom what I have repeated for eighteen years – that I am angry, that I hurt, that I want change between us and cannot do it alone. No longer able to carry my resentments, I am paralyzed by them. I ask her to help me break through the knot of chains between us, a mutual imprisonment.
To my surprise, she listens and changes. I change too. Then I wash the dishes. It’s what I can do.
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A samurai was granted access to Zen master Hakuin in order to ask one question. "Do heaven and hell exist?" the samurai demanded to know. Hakuin surveyed him and remarked, "I did not realize such an ugly and stupid person could become a samurai.” Angrily the man drew his sword to cut Hakuin down. "This is hell," said the Zen master quickly. The samurai understood. Sheathing his sword, he bowed respectfully to the master, “this is heaven," said Hakuin.
Dedication: to those who dared to write it down
Dancing.
Writing that word and reading that word and saying that word are all quite different from actually doing what it implies – dancing. Even the memory of dancing is not actually dancing.. Although I immediately relax and my muscles expand just thinking that word, most public places I’d likely be asked to “move on” if I sat in my walker and started spinning in circles while waving my arms about.
Well, I’d like to dance 24/7 anyway – the problem is curbs and cracks in the sidewalk tip the wheels easily and “Ow! Ow! Ow!” But the main point still being that I’m interested in what manifests when the Tao is conscientiously applied to motion. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
This third section chronicles my return to Seattle and return to performance on stage. A few topics covered are:
1. Being banned where I volunteered as an usher (and performed twice) over a dispute involving my service dog
2. Performing at an alternative dance festival
3. Auditioning a piece that is inspired by the White Rose student society
4. Walking my dog (god spelled backwards)
5. Going to various art museums with my dog & what we find there
6. Editing music
7. Continuing as an artist while grieving & without encouragement or expected
reward
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Tao te Ching Verse #11
Thirty spokes meet in a wheel’s center
But the use of a vehicle depends on a hole in the hub
We shape clay into a cup
But we use the empty space inside
We cut out doors and windows when we build our homes But we use the empty space to enter and exit
Thus, what exists is valuable What doesn’t exist is useful
Goose/E = ____________ pg 132
Yang *= to lift up, to throw into the air; to display, to publish, to praise
My response:
Hell = drawn sword Heaven = sheathed sword
Heaven is not always easy or delightful.
pg 261
Vengeance/revenge – wanting people dead – not being able to rest till I see people dead, hurt, suffering + Peace is my highest value = grief
Like the goose, I can only imagine having one partner for life. In this day and age of multiple divorces and affairs and sleeping around, I’m old fashioned in unexpected ways.
What does this have to do with returning to Seattle and my secret dream, of a dance/theatre/video/musical team, which will be so amazing that cycles of violence in governments and individuals will end?
Perhaps because both topics – thoughts of marriage and dreams of peace – raise memories of the first time I felt so angry, so hurt, that I wanted to kill someone. Revenge, vengeance. Nothing will bring her back. Nothing will bring back the person I was before you hurt me. Nothing will bring back that person I could’ve been, the person I almost was.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 104 of 145 But to throw all the cards into the wind, let them fall wherever the wind blows. To let the
wind blow through me, blow my pain away. That is hard.
It doesn’t matter to me if killing a killer won’t bring my loved one back.
What drives us is the same thing that makes a 13-pound terrier mix bark at the shrubs. Is she protecting me? Herself? Marking her territory? Is there some danger hidden behind those shrubs? Weapons of mass destruction?
What doesn’t exist is important. There is no praise for me in life. I talk to no one and no one speaks to me. Lonesome? Yes. But I don’t know if I could withstand the sound of voices who have barely known hardship. Nothing wrong with being inherently wealthy except when your voice and words develop that pleasantly contemptuous tone. That tone that shapes clay into coffins for innocent young men and boys. That tone – well, that is suspect and the world would be a better place without. But once something has been done it cannot be undone. Once a sound has been made it can be masked, mixed, layered and disguised as a musical note then shredded and scattered like loose scraps of paper, but it cannot be unsounded.
To lift up my heart is to lift up into the mountains full of evergreens – outside of Seattle. My travel companions – a man, age 72, a woman, age 84, singing Sentimental Movement and getting married in a week.
What doesn’t exist is a stage. I have no stage to play on, no publisher to publish my scribbles that keep me from trading my pen for a gun. Perhaps if I had pet geese I would feed them magical ink. And they would remind me to throw my troubles into the wind.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 105 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #18
Even wisdom and unconditional love can be manipulative and hypocritical when the Tao is forgotten
The regulations of the heart are not the same as the rules of civilization
Lantern = deng pg 159
Zhao = Omen pg 175
My response:
BTW...I love Marilyn Monroe!!!
No matter how fast I think I’m moving when I dance or how cool I think I must look when I move super slow, I always seem to look a bit like an over-heated tortoise when I watch the video playback. Its OK though – some people like turtles.
Between Inhale/Exhale. That was the title of my piece I performed at SFADI (Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance and Improvisation). The one thing I knew about returning to Seattle was that I had to perform a piece about my Dad and everything I’d been dancing about in that Hawaiian living room.
It lasted 3 minutes. Quick and dirty or short and sweet. Who knows? The sound was great.
Two women joined me. The thing about performing structured improv is it is half past skills + half being in the moment + 1/2 divinatory (do the math and figure out the equation).
Snapshot: at the end I rise slowly from my seated walker and stand still, center stage. On the second night, I felt like a light. Shining but empty and translucent.
Could I guide lost souls down the river to rest peacefully in Heaven? Someone else will have to answer that. I tried.
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Tao te Ching Verse #19
Let go of cant
Let go of knowledge
People will be a hundred times more prosperous Let go of moral judgment
People will rediscover compassion Let go of scheming for profit
Thieves will disappear
If external changes aren’t enough
Find your roots and take it from there
________________________________________________________________
Magnolia = Mu – lan pg 171 ________________________________________________________________
Jie* = boundary, world; scope pg 151 ______________________________________________________________
My response:
The Magnolia blossom has life-saving, restorative powers. The sweet scent alone opens a world of nocturnal togetherness beyond thought. It is the smell of pleasure. What do I do at night for pleasure? Well, I’m not that exciting. Truthfully, I find passion and excitement to be two different clowns. One I like, one I don’t.
Live art. People on stage doing silly or not so silly things. Going to the theatre or dance venue is like going to graduate school for me. A graduate school that I never want to graduate from. Young people, old people. Shaping the meaning in their lives. Finding their souls in the words of others.
Honestly, I have to drag myself out to shows. I am grumpy. I hate waiting. I hate rude people. But there is always something. Something that says: let go of your world and see mine. Look at yours again with fresh eyes to discover what you were looking for.
I volunteer. I usher. That is how I drag myself out when it is more comfy at home where I can wrap myself up with the same warm blanket thoughts as the night before.
That is not my only excuse for volunteering. Ushering is a performance in itself, especially for me. I giggle inwardly as I hand out programs stacked onto my giant walker. I fancy myself as the homeless theatre artist – an Oliver Twist satire of sorts – but instead of picking pockets or begging for change, I deliver my lines, “good to see you again,” “enjoy the show.”
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 107 of 145 I always wanted to be a traditional actress but never could quite stomach being typed cast
for The Glass Menagerie.
Volunteering is a more dignified job than a paid one. One of the benefits being that one can get away with acting undignified.
Doctors Without Borders. Doesn’t that sound incredibly cool? Cooler than James Dean? Well? To be debated. But I am an Usher Without Borders.
It is Free Will on its good days. It is the Emperor passing on the magnolia root. Why? Because the Emperor can. He has control of his free will for life – saving, restorative powers.
Why am I writing about volunteering? Because the theatre where I usher, doesn’t want me to be there anymore. They don’t want me to bring my dog. The ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act aside (does anyone pay attention to it anyway?), it hurts my feelings to not be wanted, to be expelled from school, my live performance training ground.
There is no pleasure for anyone when free will has a bad day.
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Tao te Ching Verse 26
Chill out ____________________________________________________
Locuat = pi-pa pg 168 _______________________________________________________
a street = jie* pg 115
_______________________________________________________
My response:
The human body is not meant to be just a decoration. Certainly people are beautiful but its not just what’s inside that counts. What do you do with your body?
What are you made of? Water, Carbon, DNA. Endurance testing one’s body by choice is a fruit rarely eaten, a dark alley guarded by the personal demons of our imaginations.
A professional athlete is what I’d be if I could be anything in the world. Silliness? Yeah, now that I’m back in Seattle my gym is sporadic my swimming nowhere – the disappointment of my fave pool closure is enough to derail me. Even with discipline there are the small problems of paralysis, physical pain and and and and ....
Still the words of pro athletes have been my inspiration on this journey. Not necessarily certain ones, mostly all of them. There is something I feel – encouragement perhaps – knowing that there are tons of others who walk around in physical pain. Others who get up and try the unknown again after an injury, after being made fun of, after being constantly compared to others (who are stronger, faster, more graceful, etc, etc).
My Dad quit smoking and started running after our family’s 1977 I-5 pile up to deal with his grief. I have a bike in my closet. My boxed up secret. It’s been there for years. I need help to get on and off or at least the willingness to roll on to the ground and look as if I’ve just fallen every time I want to go for a bike ride.
It’s a low rider hand crank wheelchair or hand propelled cycle designed for speed and competitive cycling. I had fantasized about one for years – even decided on a name – epiphany – so when I had a chance to buy one I thought, “hey, I’ll work out the mobility – someone will want to go for a bike ride with me”.
Epiphany is my biggest challenge. Rarely have I hesitated because of the judgments of others or because of my annoyance with being a public spectacle when I simply want to exercise. Hand cycles are big and wide – take up a lot of room and are too cumbersome for me to carry on my little walker seat – if doggie could push it – if I could figure out
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Until I re-open that box, I have the words of others who know that pain is not something to fear.
“I might win, I might lose, but I will never be defeated”, Emmitt Smith (All – American football running back)
Lance Armstrong (Dad’s favorite and now one of mine): “When I was sick, I didn’t want to die. When I race, I don’t want to lose. Dying and losing, it’s the same thing.”
Nadia Comaneci (Gymnast and nine-time Olympic medalist): “Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.”
Haile Gebrselassie (World record breaking runner and Olympic medalist): “Sport has been great for me, a great learning place that if you want to achieve, even if you are from the poorest part of Africa”.
Michael Jordan (Six-time NBA champion and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player):
“I’m not out there sweating for three hours everyday just to find out what it feels like to sweat”.
Emil Zátopek (World-champion distance runner and five time Olympic medalist): “I was unable to walk for a whole week after that, so much did the race take out of me. But it was the most pleasant exhaustion ever known.”
If I had to pick a favorite athlete it would be Football/soccer champion David Beckham,
“You always want to test yourself against the best”.
1
1 Droscoll, Michael, Ed., Breakthrough the wall, EYE Quarto, INC 2004, (Barnes and Noble 2006 edition), London.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 110 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #28
When I was seven years old, I’d fantasize before going to sleep, that all the adults had moved to the other side of the world. They take everything so seriously.
Every day, I see grown-ups sell their souls hoping to ease the pain of loss, failure, poverty, death, shame, and hunger. As if the workings of fate can be hidden. When I think of the ways I’ve sold myself out, I remind myself of the ways in which I haven’t.
The best jokes don’t always seem funny at first. The best comedians can make people laugh about their lives.
Eagle = Ying pg 89
Guan = be used to pg 241
My response:
It’s hard to settle for how I am accustomed to being treated. It’s easy to fool myself that I’m comfortable with being mocked in my intimate relationships. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m forcing lethargy down my own throat. If adapting to the environment was the only crucial modern survival skill, who knows where or what I’d be or if I’d be.
Who first looked at a lone eagle on a rock in the sea and decided to leave the land-locked- compatible elements behind? What can the eagle see that we can’t? We can fly our planes much higher than any eagle. Our ships can reach any ocean rock that an eagle can perch on. Yet can we see what the eagle sees? Have you ever tried to see what no human can see?
Facing a fear a day keeps the doctor away.
Singing on stage = My Big Fear. Public speaking? Nah. Painful death? Been There.. My voice is so voluminously off tune that even at birthday parties I mouth the words rather than scare the parents of small children.
But there that dare to sing on stage was. I wrote it into my own script – just a few song lines. Then I did it again and again – then a few years later, again. I sang a few lines with the bright light barely covering the stares of others.
I’d love to have a Gospel singer’s voice. One that aroused joyous tears of faith and courage. I’d settle for a crackly rough voice that enhanced the wisdom of even a simple tune.
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The joke is singing about harmony when I have none. I’m off key for any refrain but my own. I wrote my first punk song as a teen, “Bondage Up Your Head.” Next was a love song, “My Baby Loves Me.” But even though I like to make – up original lyrics when I’m walking in open clearings and no one is around, I can’t help but belt out “Jeremiah is a bullfrog!”
I’m trying to teach Doggie to howl at the moon. She is a very quiet dog. But I need a back up singer.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 112 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #32
All brooks and rivers flow to the [universal] sea.
Heaven on Earth is possible if we learn to be better sailors _________________________________________________________________
The eight precious things = ba-bao pg 241 ___________________________________________________________________
Dou* = to fight pg 166
_________________________________________________________________
My response:
Is it true that if you give something away it will return? I don’t know.
I do know that there are few things worth fighting over. What is precious to me? My tools. I like to write with special pens although I always lose them. It makes it a treat to find them again under the bed or in a kitchen drawer.
Dog is Not Dead/Freiheit is the name of my short performance piece I auditioned as a way to get my performance legs steady without having to do the Producing work. The Producer said it was unorganized and to try again later. Well, some unorganized is others clean. Here is the writing I wrote for it. It is dedicated to Mr. William Wrighte.
I’m a bit disappointed. It was doggie’s premiere and she was so good. She sat in her chair and looked intently at the birthday apple pie in front of her just the way I had imagined.
Then she joined me in a little dance with a red apple.
DOG IS NOT DEAD/FREIHEIT
“William –
I got you an apple pie.
I don’t actually like chocolate cake. Maybe it’s a good thing you aren’t here. I don’t get to eat pie that often.
I woke up and realized, ‘today is William’s birthday’. And I don’t know what to do.
I went for a walk. The air felt good on my skin. Like I could feel every pore and I’d never even noticed what was right before my eyes.
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Dog started digging a hole in the dirt. I just stood and watched her. She dug deeper and deeper. Then she found some root and just started ripping and pulling, trying to get it out of the ground. The root wouldn’t tear. So she dug deeper and deeper and deeper. Then she jumped and started playing with a piece of paper.
I just started to laugh. Then I realized it was your birthday and that I was just standing in the middle of the sidewalk laughing at dog.... So I bought you this apple pie. And a candle.
What would you wish for William, I mean if you could have anything in the world what would you wish for?
I can face reality. I’m strong enough. I know you’ll be dead in a few hours.
And that all the wishing in the world won’t stop that. And it can’t bring you back.
An old Mexican woman told me that if you carve a wish into a candle, it gets heard all around the universe when you light that candle.
Can’t you whisper in my ear? Can’t you hear me thinking about you? (close eyes)
I remember the first day we met. Well, we didn’t really meet in person that day. It was the day I realized how important you are. It was in college. It was the day I got your letter. I know the letter wasn’t just to me. But it felt like it. I was coming out of Economics class and someone said, “Look up.” Dozens of pieces of paper were falling from the sky.
I grabbed one (motion of reading) and I loved you write away. I knew you were like me. And...
Well, I guess I just answered my own question. (Pick up candle and write in it)
We’ve always wished for the same things William.
I hope you can escape....
But I’ll always carry you with me – you’re such a part of me – I can’t help it. And I’ll always live by the words you taught me – “dance every dance as if it’s your last.””
(Musical Cue)
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Tao te Ching Verse #33
Knowing others is cleverness knowing yourself is wisdom Mastering others is force mastering yourself is true power
Hold onto your unlimited wealth and you will live forever. Fang – zhang = ‘Square Fathom’ pg 100 (dictionary) shui * = tax pg 78
My response:
Hand over the goods. Just give me immortality. Well, what if immortality turns out to be waiting in traffic FOREVER? Is waiting in traffic officially torture? The jury is still out.
In order to create the hour-long dance piece of Tao and the Art of Drowning, I choreographed solo and duet sub – sections. (I’m certain there is a fancy word for that)
How could the roots and words of the Tao te Ching be expressed though modern alternative dance?
What does it mean to live in a human body? Taking information, making sense of it, and spilling it back out.
I am not a musician. I am not a singer. Ok, we have that established. All these great songs I love to rehearse to? Heavily taxed.
Duty – free Royalty – free Usage – free
The sounds of traffic – of babies crying – of heartbeats. These sounds are no longer free.
My sound tracks are a mix and match of my slightly modified voice, friend’s voices, generously donated songs, found sounds, and free sounds from the World Wide Web. Occasionally I’ll pay for a sound but not often.
• Words upon words in A Tiny Bird Sits Still.
• Layers upon layers in Tao te Ching #50.
• Euthanasia Revisited , my only top 10 single
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• Talking on stage in Ines’ Story
• Self as Other: (Piano: Eluvium’s ‘Taken’)
• Question?, A silent answer is louder than Words upon Words
There are a lot of people in this world. There are a lot of people in this world with more $$$ than I. And some of them want to tax me...
But I’m not looking for any islands of immortality.
In a small, empty room, I listen to my breathing, my heartbeat and the way they change when I move.
I invite others to join me. Only then do I feel rich.
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Tao te Ching Verse #36
Perception.
A snapshot doesn’t tell a story
Watch things grow to learn how to change them
Gentleness overcomes hardness
A fish out of water is like a sword out of a sheath
The results are the same _______________________________________________________________________
Five = Wu pg 108 _____________________________________________________________
Kong* = to fear pg 166
______________________________________________________________
My response:
I stood up to a bully today.
Tomorrow I might be punished. Tomorrow I might be persecuted. Scorned. I might never work in this town again! (isn’t that what all the movie villains threaten?)
I feel I might wake up happy and energetic tomorrow. It’s been so long. Crying during the day. Crying without tears. They dried up long ago.
BUT despite being physically depleted tonight, somehow I sense I’ll wake up tomorrow and THIS will all be over. I’ll be able to finally laugh in relief. Perhaps that means today is a 4. Fear = 3. Facing fear leads to 5. Cycles of life. Cycles of violence. Will it end? Ever?
Mom said, “If you keep (fill in the blank) that type (fill in the blank) haunt you.” Childhood scars still haunt me – no matter what. Did I finally lose my ghost by taking the fork in the road? Are my personal demons speeding along some hellish highway wondering where I went? I hope so.
There are rules about what not to do in life. What about rules to do? Instead of Thou Shall Not Kill what about (fill in the blank)? What would be the opposite? Or if not killing would = 3, what would 5 be?
Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.
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Tao te Ching Verse #39
Once upon a time
All things and Every Body lived in harmony as one
As time passed everything got divided into separate pieces Some pieces wore out, some were devalued, some ignored No more harmony
The world became like a highway with giant potholes and contradictory traffic signs
No matter how glamorous the landscape, the Master is as ordinary as the cement that fills the potholes
Monkey = Hou pg 192 Lai* = to come; family name
My response:
Tradition. Precision. Patience. Details details details. Who will do the calligraphy for this project? Not me! It would be disrespectful. I say can’t. I say can’t.
Girlie and I wander into Sam’s museum to study. That is SAM the Seattle Art Museum.
Sam was the name of my beagle that I got for a birthday present when I was 4. Not certain if the museum’s curators would appreciate their organization being compared to a child’s dog, so I decide not to ask.
I bought a museum membership upon entering as I thought that might ease the cultural clash. The overall show is called “Bridging Cultures”
The security guard says threateningly “__________.” I say I’m a member and after some staff and elevator fuss, I’m good to go.
Evidently I entered a backway, as I’m greeted with Ford Torinos suspended from the ceiling, a video instillation, and a car full of dynamite. I’m intrigued instantly, but where is the calm persistent dedication to quality arches and truss systems that I forever seek?
I’m still too upset about my fussy greeting to enjoy the art. Glasswork greets me and I begin to calm down.
Further explorations. I pass Diane Arbus photographs to the headless statues and coffins
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Doggie started getting lots of complements, which usually puts me in a good mood. Perhaps it was the outside woman aggressively inquiring if I was a real blonde when I took Doggie for quick hike in the rain.
I wasn’t finding insight, motivation, or enthusiasm. Finally I bought books on the dynamite car artist and another on calligraphy from the bookstore. Then sat by the car exhibit filled with dynamite and listened to the taped exploding sounds.
While writing this I am trying to look very important – the intellectual artist learning about history and other cultures – so that no one will bother me while I’m reading and writing.
I feel like I started the day by looking for a peach to satisfy my hunger, but instead found several new masks and put them on instead.
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Tao te Ching Verse #42
The Tao gave birth to one
One gave birth to two
Two gave birth to three
three gave birth to the ten thousand things
the ten thousand things carry the moon on their backs and embrace the sun
harmony is in the blending
It hurts to be solitary, desolate, poor Yet kings claim these states as titles
Sometimes gain is loss Sometimes loss is gain
What others have taught, I teach also:
"Violent and fierce people rarely die a natural [elegant] death." I shall make all this the foundation of my teaching.
Peach = Tao pg 227
Zhi = branch; to prop up, to pay a draw (money) pg 85
My response:
Halloween. Not dressing up because there is nowhere to go. Sometimes I feel like a fisherman following a small stream hoping it leads to someplace better. Sometimes I feel like a monkey crashing a party in hopes that I will finally become as powerful and peaceful as the sun.
Only losers spend holidays alone. Perhaps. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Solstice, birthdays, Valentine’s day, on and on. Do I have a great big wad of green snot hanging from my nose? No, but people are suspicious of being friends with people without friends. It takes $ to make $ - and the hard part – like a battered woman –
Desolation is a short branch in a large ancient tree that has grown too big for the garden. But even at a party, in a crowd, back stage before a performance; my isolation plagues me after the applause.
I try to rid myself of the blues
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“Don’t move too fast on stage – you call attention to your handicap”
“Don’t swing dildoes over your head on stage – people think people with disabilities are freaks already”
I was banned from a dance venue and threatened with legal action after I asked if the Administrators had assigned volunteers to keep me and my Tao project under surveillance. Another dance studio claimed a year after I had performed there that I hadn’t paid them. After I reported them to the powers that be, they reported to the Federal Government that they would no longer rent to me because I had threatened a staff member with violence (um, not.).
Strangers call the police to report that I am using my iPod and cell phone in public and its scaring them when I publicly reach into my pockets. Or they call to alert the police that my service dog might not really be a service dog and that I’m quickly approaching a grocery store. Angry white young crackheads scream “Dykes like you never talk to me!” Or in a twist of race, black men claiming to be undercover police, approach me with cameras and get off on making my dog bark – promising “I’ll catch you later”. A race of twist.
My crime? Surviving with scars that I can’t hide. Where is my peach? My fruit of immortality?
A million voices cry for a million peaches.
To not share is suicide.
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Tao te Ching Verse #45
Great achievement seems like failure,
Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.
Swing = aiu – qui pg281 [look up]
JU = to reside, family name pg 255
My response:
It isn’t often that I get to enjoy playing in the outdoor air. I get up early and walk with doggie frequently through out the day.
What if buildings had swing sets built into them? People wouldn’t feel foolish playing outdoors in public if even corporate executives played on the swings during their lunches.
How do we use our tools? Do we build our buildings or do our buildings build us? On one hand, our tools and gadgets are everything. Americans are so automated that we pile on weight while relying on our computers and calculators. (I can say that as I’m one of them). On the other hand, a ramp, a handrail, an elevator that never gets fixed, a small stair, a heavy door – details, details, details – except by the people who need them.
A good cook shapes the kitchen. The kitchen shapes the cooking. Wind, water, fire, light – the elements shape our buildings and us, even we think we are shaping the elements (the joke is on us).
Motion. How we move in traffic or along the sidewalk is how we live our lives. How we build our houses and buildings shows who we want to include, exclude and punish.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 122 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #47
Look into your heart to see the world
Do white blood cells need to understand bacteria in order to fight infection?
Thus, the Master knows without traveling Visualizes without witnessing Accomplishes without doing
Garlic = Suan pg 123
Gang* = just now, exactly, only, be firm, be hard pg `182
My response:
Seattle 2 But exhaustion, feel no hope/enthusiasm Play at base, seating back/front
Sudden rise by bicycle
Garlic is an anecdote to many poisons. I have the biggest poison of all. The longing to admit defeat. The desire to perform but no will to do what is necessary to make it happen.
My feet are petty big and sometimes smell of poison, possibly garlic. My dog likes to lick my feet. Icky sweat and all. Its gross.
De feet and defeat aren’t exactly the same but just now, days away from the one-year anniversary of my Father’s death, de feet and defeat are painful. I try to be hard, to have no feelings whatsoever – but I am just tired and isolated mid city. Even my daily three - minute cafe social interaction – the all-important door opening procedure – is draining. I don’t want to smile. I don’t want to say “Thank you” or stand out in public.
Years ago, I busied myself in fear of quiet desperation. I was like a rabid dog, chasing my tail to tear it off. My body received the punishment of my anger against social inequity. I wrote and performed a new piece every month. Now with no friendly artistic contacts and no venue, I collect notes of images. I’ve been doing this for over a year now.
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The rough draft images from Tao that I never got to use - ____________ But not thinking of performance & _________________
- Bicycles. I love seeing people ride bikes. In their loud clothes and rock star helmets.
- Bicycles rising up over hills
- People fixing their bicycles on the roadside feel like friends
Performance is my garlic. My purifier, my blood cleanser. And now I don’t even have the strength to wash the poison out
Of my blood.
If only....
If only....
If only....
If only never happens.
What is it about performance? It is the only time communication and understanding happen in my life.
Actually, I didn’t create Tao for a local audience. The final product that I was interested in was a DVD that I could send internationally to other artists that care about diversity and nonviolence. I have the underwater media kit that I bought on e-bay. Will I spend forever remorsing over a spoiled project? No , but even after a year my love of all things wheeled & delight in bicycles and skateboards – even the awe of the sunrise over the lake is fading.
I look into my heart. I visualize nothing. There is no sound. How can I accomplish anything? When I was a wolf and chewed off my own leg to be free, what good did it do? I am writing a story using my blood as ink – can you hear me? Can you see my bloody thumbprint?
Its almost day break. The vampires are sleeping for now. I have only a few drops of blood left. Now I know that garlic is highly overrated.
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Tao te Ching Verse #49
The Master has lost his mind He is good to all people
He believes in all people
The Master merges the hearts of the hundred families
The Master laughs like a little child _______________________________________________________________________
Hero = ying-xiong pg 145 ________________________________________________________
Xing = to go, to do, to perform pg 115 _______________________________________________
My response:
Who hasn’t fallen out of a tree as a kid?
My dog is trying to fly. She is trying to jump high enough to reach a squirrel in a tree.
I am on the very serious University of Washington campus standing in front of a very serious tree that was planted in memory of someone with a very serious sounding name. Is the memorial of a loved one something to be mocked? Of course not.
But in my family, with clashing know-it-all opinions on sexuality, religion, politics, and almost everything under the sun, trees are our ‘symbol of peace’. Stories of trees we have loved are peace pipes that we pass with laughter. The black walnut, the oak, the madronna, the cherry tree
When I left Hawaii, we still hadn’t planted a tree for my Dad. We agreed upon planting a palm tree in a protected area (so he wouldn’t get his coconuts cut off).
Perhaps my dog is trying to time travel. She is riding on top of the pile of dirty laundry that I’m carrying on the seat of my walker. Taking my laundry to the laundry room of an urban apt building is not quite the same as my grandmother pushing a laundry –filled wheelbarrow – my mom and aunt atop – along a 1950’s country road.
No it is not the same. But I read my Grandmother’s poem, Neglect “ it isn’t the thing you did, my child, But the thing you did not do That gives you a bit of heartache Whenever the day is through” and it is the same.
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The word hero is usually reserved for men. My step-Uncle fixes my walker so it can’t fold or unexpectedly collapse when I’m using it for dancing. My step-Uncle and I are worlds apart in many ways, but at that moment he is my hero and I tell him so.
There is nothing outstandingly unique about my family. We live in different States all over the country like many American families. We wouldn’t hang out together for fun or by choice if we weren’t related. What do I love about my family despite our differences?
A hero gets up and does. We might make mistakes but we go – and we are honest – and if you need help, we are there. I come from a long line of people who fell out of trees while trying to fly.
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Tao te Ching Verse #50 Today is a good day to die. Today is a good day to live.
Peacock = kong – que pg 229 Yin* = cause, because pg 128
My response:
This is the most important verse of the Tao te Ching to me. I have it scratched on the back of my eyelids. Reciting it is my way of warding off the evils of lethargy, my way of opening the door of the prison I put myself in.
I had lived by it for years, but it became my prayer in 2003.
Blood clot after a major surgery. Three day bed stay. The most important things I needed to do during those three days were to stay calm and to stay still. Lying flat in bed is actually rather difficult when feeling energetic.
That I might die or be further paralyzed if the clot traveled to my lungs or my brain – these were not outcomes that I wanted to consider. My life plans crashed into me like a tidal wave.
My parents visited me for Thanksgiving. I ate the hospital’s grub, which fortunately was not my last meal. I hope my last meal is something healthy and tasty, but fate and meal planning don’t always correlate.
I made my Sister a Christmas present – a tree sketch with a poem. I sketched pencil drawings of my feet, as they were my primary models.
Tonight, as I write this, is Halloween. Five years later. The things that I’d promised myself that I’d do if I lived, I haven’t done. Granted, not for lack of tying. I certainly don’t feel that I let myself down. More a case of wasting my energy banging on a locked door instead of taking a deep breath and looking for the key.
Why do I love this verse? Because it is about desire.
Tonight I etched my deepest desires and prayers into a candle. The flame is burning. The smell is musty cinnamon.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 127 of 145 I am Prometheus, Zeus, Hercules, and the punishing eagle. It is my desires that cause my
liver to regenerate each time. It is torment.
Desires and fire have bad reputations because too often the house gets burned down while
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Tao te Ching Verse #57
Leading the world is easy
How is it done?
Stop forcing people to follow rules Stop forcing people into boxes
I know this by seeing the natural balance in things More taboos = more poverty
More weapons = more fear
More clever opinions = more bizarre events More laws = more thieves
Wise leaders say:
I don’t meddle and humanity evolves naturally
I mind my own business and humanity becomes rich I enjoy peace and humanity transforms
I am content and humanity finds satisfaction Rooster = gong – ji pg 68
Jiao* = to check, collate,
Xiao* = school pg 111
My response:
The rooster announces a new day. A chance to begin again. Reliability. Courage.
My secret is out. Because of Doggie. All this arguing (that I stay out of if I can). What is Doggie for? What purpose does she serve? As if Doggie needed to psychoanalyze herself to find her true life’s calling. I am hard of hearing. I miss lots of conversation in crowds. Doggie is a treat in that she hears sounds behind and around me.
What is reliable? Vulnerability. Fragility. I’m not ashamed of it. Why would I be? What is also reliable? That a friendly café with warm air and welcoming hearts will be motivation enough. My blank paper will soon be filled with no effort on my part.
Is it that Americans demand better customer service? No, food is reliably good when hungry. Warm coffee on a cold Seattle day. The maître d' sat me and doggie at the first seen table, near the entrance. We are the in crowd. The folks to be seen with. And my love for the world and those dedicated to healing without harming returns.
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Tao te Ching Verse #61
A great nation is supportive of its people The junction of all rivers
Mother to everything
A large country and a small country have what the other needs Whichever one quietly submits seizes the advantage
Thus, one quietly submits and seizes the advantage The other seizes the advantage by quietly submitting
If the large country desires to unite and cultivate others If the small country desires to serve and abide by others
Both get what they want
But someone has to make the first move Its best if the large country submits first
Seven = Qi pg 261 Nian* = gear
My response:
pg 123
Say “Hello” to Henry David Thoreau’s soul for me.
In between gait training and Zen meditative walking is my way of making peace with my Father’s soul. I am a walker with a walker.
I’ve walked in forests and cities and suburbs. I walk in the morning dark and the night dark. I’ve walked all over Berkeley, CA, Rosendale, Ithaca, New York, NY, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide, Boston, Pittsburgh, Portland, Salem, Yellow Springs, Montreal, Vancouver BC.
Granted, I don’t walk far or walk gracefully – comparatively. And these days’ walking in Seattle is physically painful. But doggie makes me laugh as she rolls in the grass in front of the funeral home. Is it my soul? My Father’s? Is there any difference? No.
I put on my gear – I love the cold fall air. My Australian wool coat. My one claim to dignified fashion. How many times have I lost the ability to walk and re-gained it? How many operations have I had? 20+ but who’s counting? In between memories of physical
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 130 of 145 therapists and leg lifts, I take a deep outdoor breath and look out over the lake.
It doesn’t take much intelligence to walk but walking daily seems a sign of street smarts. + a sign of life. A sign of valuing life. Walking is a gentle way of being assertive. There is a way to walk that is beyond sexy. Yes, it is in the hips and knees and spine. That turn of the derriere’. Of course.
But to walk in awe of the falling leaves and the smells of the city – the rotting fish, the abandoned trash, the abandoned people. The revolt of the senses. The warmth of the sun. The cold rain. Now your hands are numb. Now you are smiling at the man reading his book at the bus stop. Now what are you doing? You stepped in a pothole. Maybe the City will fix those. Probably not. On your next walk say “hello” to your Father’s soul for me.
Hi Dad.
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Tao te Ching Verse #62
The Way harbors all things
A treasure for the good man
A refuge for the evil man
Its polished words can buy titles
Its honorable deeds can gain respect But it never rejects the less proficient
Thus, when the emperor is crowned
Gifts of wealth and skill are not equal to an offering of a lesson in the Tao
Why did the ancient Masters show reverence this way?
Because following the Tao, one is free to forgive and correct oneself
That is why it’s everybody’s treasure
Gourd (melon) = gua pg 132 Shi = to lose
My response:
Sometimes I joke (a bit rudely, I admit) that people with disabilities should never hesitate in public. Because someone will always ask them if they need help. Nothing wrong with offering to help someone. It’s just that repetitiveness and predictability get boring. Like a Dentist being asked the exact same question about teeth whitening with the exact same wording and the exact same tone at every single party they attend.
I don’t mean to poke fun of Dentists or anybody else. Really.
I don’t know everything and I ask lots of dumb and/or annoying questions (depending on one’s perspective). I love questions. They are a sure – fire way of finding information one doesn’t know or knows but doesn’t know that one knows.
How to be a Choreographer with disabilities with dancers/performers without disabilities? How to gain their respect? How to show them movement possibilities when one can’t physically match their balance and range of motion or even imitate the capabilities of the average adult human body?
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A professional human rights activist asked me if I was disabled how could I produce and perform in a theatre/dance performance. I would like to consider myself a professional human rights activist but I’m not certain I can since I don’t get paid. Nevertheless, I surprised myself with my response, “anyone can dance on stage if they want to.” I guess that is not a surprising mental image.
I saw in my mental videophone screen that the guy didn’t believe me whatsoever – or maybe he thought I was mocking him. I gave him the names of the not so innocent mocking dancers who I have performed with when he asked. I didn’t know what else to do.
Is it a crime for people with disabilities (and their fans and loved ones) to appear on stage? I know my family, friends, loved ones and supportive colleagues also sometimes get burdened with the “less than” label. So how to find that buried treasure?
I started asking Choreographers how to deal with that separating slash in ability/disability. The best answer:
Be organized at every rehearsal
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Try new things but tell the dancers, “This is an experiment”
Loss leads to gain leads to loss leads to ... but I still miss my Dad and lost friends. There isn’t any rehearsal, not really – even rehearsal is The Big Performance.
Practice, practice, practice.
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Tao te Ching Verse #64
The secret to finishing what one starts
Learn to be a teacher, a student and perfectly still Return to what has been forgotten
Thus, you can prize all things
Money = qian pg 189
Cheng* = to perfect, to become; family name
My response:
- •
- •
- •
Other’s hatred fuels me
The lesson of the molest: I never want to be like that Desire is battery acid in my veins
What is this book about? It’s not about inspiring others, it’s not pretty. Its not. It’s not proving my normality. “Happiness is right before your eyes.” But when I look to see Happiness’ face – its gone. I spend Happiness as quickly as money in my pocket.
What is this book about? It’s not about inspiring others (one more time, repete’). It’s not about disability. If it were about disability, I’d be socially obligated to be an inspiration and to write inspiring books. My small life – like small knives and small change – is worn down, covered in filth and isn’t incredibly useful...until you need us. We never seem to be easy to find because rarely are we in the last place you thought you left us.
“Desire is battery acid in my veins. Each orgasm, hideous beauty that I must remember. Coming everyday. My sweat, cunt juice, tears, breathy moans: sacraments. So I’ll remember that this Existence isn’t Houses and Haircuts. Not girlfriends. Not even identity. With orgasm I lose my body...Discover it on the bed where I left it...I pick it up, wash it gently. “You are fragile. Celebrate your mortality.” “
[Queen of the girls]
Morning coffee at a café. My “type” greets me and I barely make it the bathroom before my guts explode at both ends. Too much information? Yes. That is what I say too. T.
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M. I. But I don’t get these physical reminders too much anymore. 29 years after THAT and it is still simply too much information for my body. My mind has it down – race, class, disability/ability, power dynamics, cycles of violence, secrets, hospital secrets, family secrets. What is it like to be believed? What is it like to be comforted? Tell me please. Please, someone tell me.
That is disability. To not know what others take for granted. What is it like to be comforted when your destination is nowhere???
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Tao te Ching Verse #67
Laugh all you want,
Doesn’t bug me if you bug me.
Be kind to yourself and the world will make sense
Dare to look foolish and give compassion a go, you can complain later
Phoenix = feng – huang pg 234
Claws (rat) pg 98
My response:
The Chinese phoenix has little to do with the Egyptian myth. It’s possible that the feng – huang was originally a god of the winds.
Have you ever been in a wind so strong that you couldn’t hear your own name being shouted? I haven’t, but I’ve lived in small towns that were next door to tornado- devastated small towns. And I’ve felt so desolate that I’ve shouted questions into the wind. The wind usually does answer – it’s just usually in a poem and very hard to understand if awaiting a routine reply that makes “sense.”
At the 2002 beginning of this project, before it became a verified “project” it was the “Ok, I’m in a wheelchair again with a hip replacement that might pop out if I don’t stay still while my new grow in pelvic bones settle and I can’t push myself, my apartment has a stair at the entrance, a drunk grabbed my walker the one time I tried to walk outside on my own, I’m going out of my mind with boredom, there is no one to talk to or to be creative with, what can I do besides pout?” life experience – but the “Land and Water” project sounds better, doesn’t it?
Anyway, a Butoh teacher at the Japanese cultural center allowed to me sit in on her advanced classes. Butoh is a performing art that was first performed in 1959 Post World- War II Japan. The use of white body make-up, as in traditional Japanese dance and theater is often used. But the intangible strength behind Butoh as a dance form is the meditational prepatory process. The grace of a Butoh dancer in performance reflects martial art training in that the physical movements seem to renew themselves from some unseen place – unconstrained but not at all random. I had seen one Butoh performance but didn’t know what to expect. Watching the dancer’s engagement with walking across the floor – I knew someone like me – someone who has walked across floors knowing my bones would shatter if I fell – I knew I could learn something.
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I was thrilled when I found a Butoh teacher and community here in Seattle. But I’m not going to describe Seattle Butoh. Not even a performance I was in or that I choreographed.
Because like the Chinese phoenix and the Egyptian phoenix, dance and the different types of dance need to be experienced to be understood.
Describing is not watching, watching is not doing. All are important, but in this area – trying to salvage one’s body and spirit - only getting one’s self-conscious, klumsy, doubt- filled caboose into action will suffice.
What is it like to be deactivated? I doubt I’ll ever be fully rendered inoperative in my lifetime. It’s too late for that.
But what is it like when a stranger says, “yes, stranger, you can sit in a chair and watch us wrestle with the wind and waltz with the raindrops. We will temporarily become monsters, then walk as if we’ve never walked this way before.”
That is a gift. And a gift is a trapeze.
Be gentle. Play on a trapeze in the privacy of your own home. Then pass it on to another strange stranger.
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Tao te Ching Verse #72
When people ignore warnings disaster happen Don’t take away their homes
Don’t destroy their livelihoods
Only when there is no oppressor will there be no oppression Knowing this the Master has self love but doesn’t worship himself He rejects this and accepts that
Clouds = yun pg 67
Shiou = to put away, to receive pg 174
My response:
I took a series of...
I took along the youngsters to share what their silly Auntie does.
Clouds of many colors bring good luck. I am looking for a sign. A signal from nature that everything is ok now. IONA (what does that mean?). A dance troupe (I am searching in my memory).
- • My family is no longer angry
- • Underwater video in dance performance
- • Put theory into dance sustainability
- • Global cooperation as the world heats up and melts
- A sign that I’ll wake-up feeling good
In a series of classes mixing Butoh and Modern dance, I created my own clues. They have been too painful to write until now...and I don’t understand why. My memories hurt.
A dance from a dream. As a kid I used to dream that I was in a MADD TV promotion. Wearing a tuxedo, playing Beethoven on a grand piano when a truck crashes onto the stage. I never thought of what happens after the devastation. The class assignment: we are holding on to an egg – can’t break it. I tried to stomp on it, desperately throw it across the room. I spun and traversed.
Another piece I called Meditation On A Gun. At the end I put the gun down. Sometimes clouds mean rain and floods and destruction. Sometimes clouds mean
something else.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 138 of 145 When my memories are too painful and I know the answer is something besides
destruction, I do a little dance.
I hope someday I can do a little dance in Antarctica before it melts. Maybe I could even use my wet suit again and do some underwater video. I hope the penguins will join in.
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 139 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #76
People are born gentle and defenseless
Dead, they become rigid and hard
The countless things – plants, trees – are flexible and fragile when alive Dead, they become brittle and weathered
Thus, the hard and rigid are intimates to death
The pliant and gentle are intimates to life
This is why the soldier that relies only on his own strength will eventually find defeat The strongest tree begs for the ax
The strong and rigid belong below
The adaptable and gentle belong above ______________________________________________________________
Odour = Qi- wei pg 214 _______________________________________________
Li = hobgoblin pg 147
___________________________________________
My response:
Dance ‘till you wake the dead.
Dead hobgoblins have a foul order. I didn’t need to take a class to figure this out. Which is good because in my first Forensics class there was no mention of hobgoblins.
Forensics: The use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law. (think CSI with half the budget)
A new class, a new step for this new me in my new life (or whatever). “The dead talk” was a phrase that sparked my interest. I hope that if we have a lab visit that the corpses do not literally begin to speak, although a vanquilitrist could have a lot of fun.
My first class was actually filled with hospital humor - or in this circumstance – crime scene humor. A way to communicate the nearly unbearable in conversational tones.
I am still trying to complete my 1st real art project from 20+ years ago. Last century, in my gifted teen life drawing class at San Francisco Art Institute, I wasn’t feeling too gifted. My first day of the class, as the nude model took her pose for the twenty-two young geniuses, my seventeen year old healthy ego was certain that I was on the path of Michelangelo. Before long the teacher (one of THOSE once in a lifetime lucky break teachers), pulled me aside and asked why I kept missing class. After some, ‘ums’ and the excuse that as a small town kid, I liked to explore the city, I eventually admitted that I
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was ashamed that all my model human life forms looked like goats standing up and wearing baseball mitts on both front hooves. Everybody else’s drawing of people looked like they were supposed to look – detailed, proportioned correctly, life like - and no matter how careful I was the lumpy goats in their baseball attire seemed to graze happily on my page. Life drawing just wasn’t my style.
Incredibly cool art teacher put up with none of that. My assignment: walk around the city, find an image of the human body that moved me, come back to the studio and draw it as big as I could.
I walked around for three days feeling wide-eyed innocent and plaintively estranged when some graffiti on an alley off of Valencia Street made me leap 10 feet backwards. “Surprize Your Dead!” The banner above a human scull with a knife protruding out the top and a fleeing stick figure. I had my image. On a 26 “ paint drop cloth, with spray paint, paint marker and a bandit’s bandana for protection, I stole myself from the way things are supposed to look. Cool art teacher loved it and to the school’s sha – grin, put it where the advanced senior students show their work in our end – of – summer showing.
Listen to the scent. Follow your nose.
Odors, smells, scents. Smell measures time. Remember that smell? That smelled like history.
Is it true that certain Saints smell of flowers after they die? I don’t know, but I suspect so.
[picture of ‘Valencia Street’ “Surprize your Dead]
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Verse 78
Water is the most adaptable substance in the world Yet for attacking the rigid, there’s nothing better
Everyone can see ocean waves wear down rock
But no one can match water’s patience and persistence
Thus the Master says:
He who welcomes the country’s dirt is fit to rule
He who welcomes a long life of calamity deserves to sit atop the world
Tsunamis can pass underneath a ship in the open ocean
Straightforward words seem paradoxical _______________________________________________________________
He Xian – gu pg 146 ______________________________________________________________
Li = Ritual; manners
______________________________________________________
My response:
I believe that each and every person has the capacity to change the Earth – its present and future possibilities. That each and every person has the capacity to leave a life- preserving footprint.
If sustainability had a hipper (not hippie) sound or a better PR manager, it might catch on better. Because what I question is whether or not people (en masse) can put aside tradition and learn to live to better the planet (and its populations).
I’m talking international relations here. Life, love, medicine, education, food, clean water, clean air – all without boundaries.
Isn’t it traditional to make fun of or hate others?
The future is created each and every moment. Like an alto jazz solo, we need to listen to what has been played before and go beyond it.
In my cynical heart, I don’t believe that people will forgive themselves for being themselves. And I don’t believe that people will forgive others for being unlike them. I believe we will continue to punish the Earth because we have to prove that we are separate from nature.
We are made of Heaven and Earth.
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Tao te Ching Verse #79
Failure is an opportunity
If you blame someone else there is no end to the blame
Pine = song pg 237
Yin* = bride, marriage connections pg 269
My response:
4 rather than against.
How does an artist reveal their art to a booing audience?
Everyone has a booing audience. Sometimes the audience yelps and cavorts in our minds only. Sometimes the external audience nags bitterly. Sometimes the audience follows fair play codes and waits for a performance, a concert, or a showing of work. Sometimes the audience – devoid of scruples - tries to stop the practice chord from being played or the paintbrush from ever even touching the canvas.
Let a youngster admire the grown up Pointe shoes in the window or for me as a child, it was the fancy costumes of Shakespearian actors. At the time, some of the plots were kind’ve boring but it looked like fun to be able to dress however you wanted and to convince people that you were riding a horse just by wearing a silly equine-looking paper –mache prop around your waist.
Sometimes our audiences yell, “BOO!” before we even leave the cradle. Sometimes my audience heckles me in my sleep – until I open my eyes and remember that anyone can dance on stage if they want to.
Throwing a birthday party and no guests attending is not necessarily a bad thing. Lonely. Disappointing. No one ever said a great song has to feel good in order to be sung. A great song might not even be pretty. It might be so bad that it makes you laugh, and that’s a “BOO!” that’s not so bad.
How does an artist find the self-discipline to create and show in a hostile environment?
#1. Be certain that hostile environment isn’t your mind. Or encouraged by your attitude and actions (I guess that’s 2, 3 or even 4 things)
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I like to talk to trees. They are the most useful friends that I have. Our conversations are filled with wisdom. And I must admit, the pine tree says more about the importance of showing your beautiful self (complete with dirty feet) than I or my audience full of hurting boo- boos. Pine trees make friends with those unlike themselves: plum trees, bamboos. They keep each other company and are friends in winter.
Mom gave me a corny sentimental poem when I left Hawaii. “I Wish.” I don’t know the author.
What I like about trees is that they don’t think I’m dumb or make fun of me when I’m sentimental or corny. They even laugh at my jokes. Trees remind me not to waste my breath on blame but to whisper my most secret wishes until I can marry them.
When one is at the alter, what is most important? Jealous friends and envious enemies? Not being 100% prepared? Not being wealthy, popular or good – looking? Or saying, “I do” to the bride?
Marry your art.
Marry your secret wishes. Marry yourself.
And you will always have at least three friends in winter.
Dolphin Julie Trahan
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 144 of 145 Tao te Ching Verse #80 (with a side mix by Zhuangzi: Ch 10, “Climbing
out of jail”)
Long ago, during the era when only Masters attained virtue, there was a small country with few inhabitants. The people had found a good method of governing themselves. They valued manual skill and had no need for mass-producing machines. The people loved their homes; there was no interest in using weapons or doing foreign trade. Death was taken in earnest, so life was not wasted.
Nowadays, people strain and rush to find the man of superior knowledge. They know how to ask external questions but not how to find internal answers And they know what they will say about what they think is bad before they say it. And they don’t question what they think is good.
So, let the people return to
Simple accounting methods
Communicating face to face Decorating their own clothing Being secure in their own homes Delighting in their own traditions
When each person embraces his own virtue, the world won’t be alienated
Imagine neighborhoods so close that the sounds of each other’s roosters and dogs are heard. Yet, the people are born, grow old and die naturally without interfering with each other. __________________________________________________________________
Gecko = bi-hu pg 124 ____________________________________________________________
Sui = slow pg 98 _____________________________________________________
My response:
Humans aren’t what they used to be. Now we are part metal and plastic and artificial joints, artificial tubes, artificial limbs – plastic surgery, implants for this or that; interior or exterior, enlarged or reduced.
Immunization. Vaccines. Vaccines. Vaccines. Meningitis, influenza, mumps, polio, AIDS, tetanus, hepatitis A, B and C. Humans aren’t what they used to be. There is no Shakespearean sonnet on Viagra; no Ode to Orthotics.
I wouldn’t be alive without la technologie médicale. Good? Bad? Technology, television, text –messaging – not my questions to answer. My questions to ask are how
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Tao and the Art of Drowning Page 145 of 145 do we use what we have? How do I use what I have?
I love editing video. I take pride in being a dinosaur of the analog, clunky machines, portable cameras the size of your head days. When Public Access on cable was still a fantasy. Give the people a voice. A tripod in every pot. An independent documentarian in every family. The world will be a better place. Each individual will find peace through creative expression.
Having a voice doesn’t mean to stop listening. Just the opposite. Artists today have so many choices – all of the classic arts, all of the new sciences, a cornucopia of forms and mediums.
Will I re-do the performance of Tao and the Art of Drowning with the giant video screen backdrop? Will I figure out how to build robotic dancing skeletons? Dance in conjunction with wireless red motor scooters?
Geckos eat vermin. If a small lizard can still be the Guardian of the Palace, what does it matter if Black and White film is now obsolete? If a person is a cyborg or a gadget with gizmos or a half blender or half blenderized, what does it matter?
An image of a person is not a person. A text message is not a F2F.
Time to slow down time to slow down time.
Geckos eat vermin. We destroy our inner geckos as we destroy the RL geckos. Slow down. Slow down.
Geckos eat vermin.
Geckos move fast.
Protect the Geckos and they will guard the palace.
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When My Mind Jumps To The Left ¥ (poem title)

When my mind jumps to my left side I don&#8217;t consider it over compensating for my survival (requiring a little bit of effort over the years): my sidewise diagonal nimiety response is stretching as my all American dog does her yoga I faithfully follow my left side without words of injury or disability or comparisons damning me for pulling my temple wherever the hell hell is I know a part of my right side has been there and with the weapons of wisdom escaped as creativity as an alternitive to violence: just letting y&#8217;all know that while my Girlie Dog is in her Vet location (fourth photo) I didn&#8217;t really forget the beyond comatose strength of a hand held in love a beckoning voice calling my name the simple sound of a poem spoken outloud

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Making A Christmas Tunnel (poem title)

when I wrapped my Christmas gifts as a teenager I did feel ashamed at how my corners weren&#8217;t perfectly even or even near straight: when wrapped and underneath our Christmas tree I forgot excess of harshness and just celebrated my nimiety of gifts recieved

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Tampon Chronicles: A Woman&#8217;s Energy (poetry series title)

healing ointment in nimiety is what is possible for everyone

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Poddy Dog!! Poddy!
(poetry title)

Hesitation as she begins to run outside into what promises to be a hot day Girlie Dog turns back in nimiety and then understanding the importance of a moment jumps out the door with her tail upheld like a flag

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Emptying Garbage Immediately (poem title)

damages notion of sex and love damages education of a sharable planet I want your influential bodyregardless nimiety
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Making A Christmas Tunnel (poem title)

when I wrapped my Christmas gifts as a teenager I did feel ashamed at how my corners weren&#8217;t perfectly even or even near straight: when wrapped and underneath our Christmas tree I forgot excess of harshness and just celebrated my nimiety of gifts recieved

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When A Friend&#8217;s Heart Is Broken (poem title)

then when now today at three o&#8217;clock in the afternoon what could I do? what could I say? under the circumstances when your heart hurts I say Silly Dog and as you look at me to see what I will do next our dance opportunity
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Would You Like Some Pepper Spray With Your Coffee? (poem title)

morning coffee with a side of somethin&#8216; pleasin&#8217;: maybe a breakfast burrito with some mighty strong hot sauce and my eyes go wide: circumstances are pepper spray hot hot hot gets my blood goin&#8217; until I get out of bed and heat up some water

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Type Worth A Life Time Multi State Ban (poem title)

Lethargy is a dangerous dance .com
Perchance this is our moment in time when we realize why is this world war different? our circumstances are such that we can communicate instantly across geographic lines in languages multiplicity (I am a Poet not a Politician so I can make up phrases anytime without having to apologize): A war against women? A war against healthy reproduction?
To be able to face God and say I care about other people&#8217;s births is to say I value my own life
And that is worth struggling in a war of words and fonts

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Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday April Tenth 2018

Dear FBI,

priorities; my Mom&#8217;s safety, my safety and the safety of those concerned with our safety including our dogs and people interacting with me in a respectful way

mom is going to visit a friend

Also, while I was in bed I found a piece of clear plastic folded and sticking painfully onto the outer side of my left leg

positioned secured with my peach colored incontenence underwear

I intend to leave the plastic in a garbage can at my bloodtest at Providence Hospital&#8217;s Anticoagulation Clinic in Milwaukee, Oregon this afternoon

if the FBI wants to see if there are toxins or infectious substances on the plastic

I might also put some toxified personals as I really resent being given posons and I don&#8217;t want them in our house or even our garbage

I also found a mysterious wet spot underneath my pillow and my pepper spray container lying prominently visable in Girlie Dog&#8217;s carrier

I have paratransit reservations to my my bloodtest at Providence Hospital&#8217;s Anticoagulation Clinic in Milwaukee, Oregon this afternoon

I am really resenting extortion entertainmentbeing created around my need for medical care and my medical appointments

I would not have to go to so many blood tests if I could eat the same amount of vegetables every day: probably regardless of whether or not scumbags are getting into my prescription blood thinner

Hopefully some assholes will become more concerned with their jobs and their reputations rather than their fascination with toxic tampons


I am also concerned about my missing word of the day iMessage compilation

another Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Friday April Twenty Seventh 2018 :

Dear FBI,

Priorities: my Mom&#8217;s safety, my safety, my elderly relatives I am visiting with safety our dog&#8217;s safety and the seafety of people concerned with our safety

I have paratransit reservations tomorrow Saturday April Twenty Eighth to pick up a prescription for antibiotics that I don&#8217;t think I need as I have permanent skin discoloration on my left foot and left leg that is more like scarring than infection

I don&#8217;t want sedatives, illegal chemicals (ecstasy ice crack heroin eg) or/and poisons or/and allergens

I have an audio mix (on my Facebook page) of a few of my childhood medical records being read out loud and my guess is some asshole claimed my medical records as theirs

then instead of admitting they had done something really stupid and instead of admitting it , is being used to promote medical malpractice {and worse}

the invasiveness to prevent me from finishing or presenting *any creative work* or/and obtaining an income has been out of control bizarre since I performed at On The Boards in 2006

I don&#8217;t care what anyone calls it: when I saw infected cuts and bruises on my Mom&#8217;s arms when we were at least maintaining some sanity in Honolulu was bad

maybe make creating false emergencies illegal as shouting in a crowded
~~~~~~~

edit

end of Note sent to FBI via the FBI website web form on Tuesday April Tenth 2018

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