Monday, July 23, 2007

The dandelions in my front yard

Here is a Poem I just wrote last weekend at our absolutely wonderful July Body Tales Retreat at Camp Double Bear in the Santa Cruz Mountains July 13 – 15, 2007.
Following the poem is an overview of the Body Tales structure that we all followed in which I got to write this poem — which is meant, of course, to be read outloud.

The dandelions in my front yard

I — The dandelions in my front yard — Drying, fluffing; breathing themselves apart — drift, like snow dust, fingering across the dry grasses, weeds, young trees and tomato plants of my front, no-longer-lawn.
I pull them — the fluffy ones - capturing 1/3, maybe 2/3s of the seeds
Tossing them into Green Bin, into some unimaginable urban place where miles of food scraps, bones and flesh, twigs, and other peoples’ lawn trimmings are massing up to rot down…

In my dry front yard — “Eradicate them!” screams one of my neighbors.  Who has since gotten quiet, stopped ranting about this spectacle of native tenacity which, even in this godless drought, opens tiny portals of blazing yellow, calls to the bees, “Don’t leave! Don’t burn yourselves up in the virulence that is now!”

II — My neck, in spasm, is pleading to be drenched in the vibrations of a whole gathering, a whole tribe of bees — honey-rich and queen-wise

III — We had only one dragonfly emerge this season, this Spring, from our backyard black plastic-held pond. I found her, by surprise, already fully opened – looking too still — unfolded — not trapped in the difficult unfurling. Yet so still for so long we feared death was taking her  —  like 3 of last year’s 7 such miraculous births from our pond’s reborn captive waters…
Then she just flew — free and clear — spectacularly away! Astonishing
our carefully armored city senses.

IV — The whole left side of me is frozen, tucked in, not unfolding, not unfurling,
the Right Side doing all the struggling —
To remember how it was in my Arkansas childhood —
Fantastic Luna Moth, iridescent green, shining lime green, spring green in the night’s jiggling, giggling flashlight beam – fluttering to a freedom still presumed, assumed, at the time - undauntable.
Not since my early childhood  — not yet ghosted by DDT, not yet spun out across the Great divide — have I seen one. Not on any of a hundred pilgrimages back to pray in those hot summers, for thunder and lightening…for the re-thickening of forests, of fireflies…
“Don’t leave! Don’t burn yourselves up in the hot narrowing that is now!”

The Phoenix.  The Ashes…    Rising….Fluttering…

Olivia Corson – July 2007
Camp Double Bear in the
Santa Cruz Mountains - California

Outline of the Body Tales Structurethat brought this poem to me.
(Every participant read their own poem outloud. They were each totally different from one another and absolutely beautiful!)

1. Name and speak outloud – reflecting and ruminating - about a Body place or system or ability that you like or love, that you have access with, have learned from, have trust in –
First speaking uninterrupted with another person actively listening for 3 minutes. Then thank one another – (no discussion or comments by either person) and
Reverse roles.
Then Sit still together and flow blessings to partner and self.

2. Next partner – 1 person at a time is the active listener and the other speaks what comes forward for them in this question – Choose, name and reflect on
a body place, system, symptom, that is challenging for you – that you have poor access with - difficult experiences with or feelings about – same format 3 minutes for each person to be speaking/listening.

3. New partner – stay with the focus of the place you have trouble with- First mover has 3 minutes to explore through movement and sound. Eyes open or closed – then stillness and mover speaks  3 words/images outloud in these 3 categories: animal or plant, color and quality. Listener speaks them back. Both people thank one another and mover writes down her 3 words or images.
Reverse roles
Sit still together flow blessings

4. New partner move 3 minutes the place you like/love
Still. 3 words in the same categories, spoken back and thanking and write them down and reverse roles and
Then share stillness together.

5. Then with a new partner we did a full BT piece 5 minutes plus 2 to stop talking and move sound. Stillness – 3 words – wide open no categories. unless you want them. Heard back, thank.. Blessings healing time. Write them down.

Double Bear Retreat July 13 – 15, 2007
My words/images gathered in  #3, 4, and 5

#3 – From the place I have trouble with – spasm in the left side of my neck
words/images spoken outloud and written down – (animal or plant, color and quality)
1) Dragonfly that isn’t making it, un-unfurling
2) red, dying
3) The whole left side of me frozen in – the right side doing everything
(I often have more than 3 words and some extra images, thoughts)

#4 – place, system, sense I love
My senses especially smell and hearing – sight too and taste and touch and emotion
1) big luna moth
2) sparkling, reflective light lime spring green
3) fluttering

#5 after the full Body Tales piece – open to movement, sound and words – may include thoughts, memory, imagination, narration etc. may focus on one of the 2 places or travel into material about both places.
The end three word/images – open no suggested categories unless you want them
1) dandelions
2) irradication
3) tenacity
plus my brief notes about the piece –
my neck spasm, my birth memories, honey bees’ buzzing (the sound of them– their specific  vibrations)

After both pieces emerge and are witnessed, they are then remembered – which means that both partners help one another to remember and speak out loud some of the exact words from first one piece and then the other; with no interpretation or commentary or extra words added by either partner about either piece.

After thanking one another we had 10 minutes of writing time – wide open – asking ourselves to use all our words that we had collected and add in as many more as we like. Could be a letter, poem, narrative – whatever emerges.

My 10-minute Dandelion poem (above) from this 1 hour Body Tales experience was very slightly edited, and perhaps not much improved by that editing.

So many more where this came from – years of journaled poems waiting for me to transplant them from the tides of insomnia and the plains of busyness.

Blessings, Olivia