This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Appointment with Venus, pt. 2

The weeks leading to Burning Man were challenging in new, creative ways. Hadj was a frenzy of action. He was finishing a mass of regal projects like a home-made geo-dome composed of hand pressed metal rods, hand sewn and dyed canvas tarps, and hand tied knots. The thing was glorious in its late stages in his yard, I can only imagine what the dust and wind on the playa are doing to it. The distance is grueling to deal with already, added to that was his unrelenting focus on the projects leading to his week and half of life-drunkenness in the desert which left me feeling a bit overlooked and crabby. I also had all the time in the world to be thinking about L, that odd situation in the past, and what oddities were going to arise from their future week in la la land together. I found all sorts of dark secrets in my heart. I also, eventually returned to love and acceptance. The day Hadj left for Burning Man he shared with me a realization: we had spent the weeks leading to Burning Man focusing on things that will have very little bearing on our real lives afterwords.

We also know that reality is all perception. If a week of ecstatic art communion isn't real life, then I don't know what is. It all matters. I have to keep busy. I have to keep aware. I have to remain sensitive and also relaxed.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has a phenomenal exhibit by Scandinavian artist, Olafur Eliasson, right now. I returned to the MCA yesterday intent on seeing this exhibit alone and doing as the title of the work, collectively called, Take Your Time, instructs me. I spent an hour in two of the four galleries dedicated to this exhibit. An hour interacting, inspecting, wondering, playing, and being awed by his work and by what seemed, to me, to be an unmistakably playful aesthete. He covers a wall in heat pressed soil geometry, leads you through a hall of spectral glass into a round white room of ever shifting light. He takes you into a hall that washes every color yellow and then wonders, will you wait in the hall and watch the exiting viewers' clothes and accessories magically regain color under more natural light? He sets up a room, so black you can miss its entrance, and leads you on a dense but flexible floor to a misting shower of water, where light is pointed creating rainbows; where no guards stand watch so you are free to interact with the life of water and light as you please.


Some stuck tentative hands into the water, some blew shots of air at it, some walked through gleefully, and some paraded. I got up close in wonder, held out my hands. I flapped my arms. I stood back watching, awed, and laughing.

Another of the galleries of Eliasson's exhibit presents a wall that is covered, floor to ceiling, in moss. When I went to the show a month ago the moss was greener, and the room smelled less dank. As I returned I took pleasure in seeing the decay; how the light is bleaching the green moss to yellow, how dry pieces have become brittle and fallen, now laying scattered at the piece's feet, how the smell of the earth is stronger in the usually stark white rooms of the museum.

Decay is one of the things I love about street art. Street artists know, and work with, the fact that their work is on public land and will be changed, covered over, or even destroyed by removal. They build this impermanence into their work. As my friend put it to me early this week, the desert is like this and people going to Burning Man know, the desert gives and takes away. It may destroy your expensive camera and give you the love of your life. I think artists of all time must know this. Artists, and strong livers in general know that, to create you must allow death.
Even as [Love] is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
There is not a lot of creation and death in my life this week, but I find it where I can. I am allowed a rare week of reprieve in which to process my favorite way, silently, all the events that have led me here. I am making a commitment like I've never made before. I am not "just" moving to Washington and in with Hadj, I am saying that I am ready. I am ready to begin another initiation, into the kind of life I can be proud of; the kind of life I always knew I must have. There are so many questions and unknowns. Only my attentiveness keeps the monkey mind from filling in the holes with fear. My friend remarked on the journey I am preparing to embark on at the end of this month. That's a good word for it, I said. That's what it is, she replied matter-of-factly. I had not thought of it that way yet. The word journey brought images of the Lord of the Rings characters to me, specifically when they are on the pass in the mountains before the cave where Gandolf falls into the abyss. I thought about their journey, and every other great journey. It is full of peril and success, of life and of death. Needless to say, I'm beyond excited as I take these steps. In addition to all that is Burning Man 2010.
This is the liminal period. When you leave, you are ready to be the next version of you.

from "
The Goddess of Love in the Liminal City" by Cybele Knowles

2 comments:

pulley-whipped said...

it's so sad that they don't let you touch the moss. it's decaying! and i want to take a vertical nap in it.

Devyn said...

I am so happy for your happiness. Really. And I am so thrilled for you that you are finally embarking on a path of your dreams; remember what I once said of you, what you posted in your office.

I think of you often, and my heart bursts radiantly for your joy.