It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you are willing to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine. It doesn’t interest me where you live or how rich you are, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and be sweet to the ones you love. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life.
– Jon Blais
Category Archives: beauty
I told him,
I feel my boy
to understand his breadth
when it mattered
as I imagined
even if he
or said foolish words.
droplets tumbled over
as I imagined you
your speaking eyes,
Will you accept,
with the wrinkles,
to not listen,
to not sense,
to not understand your breadth
this becomes my crucible:
to noisily seek and capture,
forcing you to touch my tears
to trust the love I was given
to give and gave,
So the skin is the greatest organ of learning (Montagu, 211), even in a spiritual sense. Our language still betrays these connections. We are ‘grasped’– we ‘grasp’. We cannot grasp what does not grasp us. Or we ‘grasp’ only in a grasping, violent sense. Those who keep alive their bodies, their feelings, their skin as levels of communication will find it difficult to fall victim to an abstract ‘grasping’, but will constantly retain bodily thought.
In touching we experience the world and one another. In today’s ecological ethics the skin and the sense of touch associated with it become unusually important. ‘As I touch, so I am touched’ (Meyer-Abich, 252). Experience of self and experience of nature coincide. The Western self bids farewell to manipulation and exposes itself to new experiences.
The most intense form of touch takes place in love. Unadorned skin also allows love to be experienced again. A French feminist has said: ‘We have so often used cosmetics to please him that we have forgotten our skin. Outside our skins we remain far from ourselves. You and I far from one another.’
From the first day to the last day, touching (*the healthy kind) is experienced as assurance, confirmation of the self and healing.
-Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel, I Am My Body: a theology of embodiment
A new video by Vincent Haycock using Florence and her song, Lover to Lover. He wanted to explore her acting capabilities, my I would too. The ending is the best.
You are still new, my love. I do not know you,
Stranger beside me in the dark of bed,
Dreaming dreams I cannot ever enter,
Eyes closed in that unknown, familiar head.
Who are you? who have thrust and entered
My very being, penetrated so that now
I can never again be wholly separate,
Bound by shared living to this unknown thou.
I do not know you, nor do you know me,
And yet we know each other in the way
Of our primordial forebears in the garden.
Adam knew Eve. As we do, so did they.
They; we; forever strangers: austere, but true.
And Yet I would not change it. You are still new.
Bury me, bury me try as you might
But I will keep yearning,
until the dawn is night
And night is dawn
And dawn is night
Your soil gives me feeling
instead of intended fright.
Bury me, bury me try as you might.
This film is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, go rent it.
I went to a great lecture last night with a friend, whom I shall call Aphrodite (she once was called Katy Perry, but times have changed and there is a fuller and more matured sexuality at hand). It was titled The Female Body in Art: Adoration, Attraction and Horror from a psychoanalytic perspective. I couldn’t have been more excited to witness such an intersection of what I feel called to study. It merely whetted my appetite. There’s little way to be satisfied within 2 hours of lecturing, but nevertheless it was a fantastic intro and painful reminder of how much I miss taking art history and theory classes.
One image seized my attention and sent me into a refreshing direction with my performance art practices. Since teaching a performance art class to women over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been so elated to watch these women undergo works of art of which require vulnerability, receptivity to the moment and courage. It has required me to continue to learn about my craft and wonder what is this thing I love and why.
Performance art has many various forms, yet the prevailing fundamental is that the body is the new canvas for which art is created upon. It is the one genre in which you cannot possess it as a consumer, which is, in part, why it came into existence. It protests commodification and consumerism and rather invites a present and visceral experience between artist and viewer. You can either engage or forcefully disengage, but you cannot eat at your own pleasure or leisure. The experience is the gift of the work, regardless if you hated or loved it.
Away we must go,
into the darker and lighter places as we reside on this earth, not as consumers or self-indulgers, unless we choose to deaden what aches for life–but as makers and farmers who use our hands for beauty and hard work. Art tumbled into my world as my conduit for such ventures. What the hell is yours? Search until it’s found and keep finding it even if it’s lifeless in your hands, even if it’s slipping from your hands; remember what sent you on the hunt and reclaim it over and over. The earth’s seasons offer us the process for which we are to undergo as creatures who are all invited to create.
Here is the image that I hope to performatively recreate. My style of performance art would be categorized as “body as ritual” versus “body as form in space” or “body as living sculpture” or “body as autobiographical and introspective”. I want to synthesize ritual and living sculpture, which undoubtedly possesses some autobiographical marks, yet appeals to a greater context than merely my own. This might be the first one.
Giovanni Segantini, The Evil Mother
What if we used our sense of smell to smell our bodies? All of its grotesque and sweet smells representing a long, stressful day or a kind and caring day.
What if we used our sense of sight for our thighs, and rather than harshly accessing them, saw the cellulite and imperfections as artifacts of our beautiful and broken genetics, of our impoverished relationship to food, of our need for community to remind us of the strangeness of beauty that it is not only smooth and perfect, but rippled and dimensional? A beauty that is not only feminine and supple, but also masculine and robust.
What if we used our sense of taste to enjoy a deliberately good meal; to experience each bite on our tongue as we slowly chew and notice the herbs, spices, moisture, and subtleties of what was created?
What if we used our sense of hearing as we take pleasure or delight in something? How might we gasp or coo or ache over the beauty of an onion, a tree, or your lover giving to you? How might we listen for those moments?
What if we used our sense of touch to feel our curves, from the top of our head down to our toes: running our fingers through our hair, cupping our faces, holding our warm tummy, massaging our hips, and feeling the hair on our legs as we linger down farther to caress each foot?
May we revere the body, take time to acknowledge its members and parts and all the work it has done for us to remain alive and voluptuous and open to God. The voluptuous God who is willing to abandon all power when the bold, crawling woman demands healing from her endlessly bleeding body?
We are given this languaged body to listen to and help us understand the world around and in us. We are given this languaged body to thwart evil from dividing our bodies from our minds in order to live full, embodied, and present lives.
Utterances of the Body: an intro to performance art
A non-theatrical class dealing primarily with the body as the main form of artistic expression. It will be playful, meditative, conversational and most importantly, a place for you to find your body’s distinct voice. We will dare each other to try, to experiment with certain concepts, and to find kindness even as we all fumble and bumble and make lovely fools of ourselves. Our bodies stammer and expel, utter and whisper; and so, it takes some courage and foolishness to listen and then create.
*this is for ladies only and begins September 10th at 8pm at the Aurora Commons