Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

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Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

Dream of Fossilized Oyster Found in the Desert

This week we experienced shapeshifting field-trips: Robert guided us to feel into stone-ness, Marjorie had us holding a regret as we ran our finger through water offering a subliminal catalyst for release. Carolyn spoke in the first person as the tumbled rocks and shells of the tide line at the ocean and called forth the details of that rhythm. Lainie brought us through a delightful romp as a chipmunk who dashed and looked, leaped and listened, tasted and stashed gathering nuts and savoring the squirrel’s sunflower seeds.

Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

Unreconcilable

Lucy, surprised us with her contribution by reaching back to the bard tradition as she brought us into deep participation in her story. She began by having us crawl around on the floor moving as cats, feeling the shoulders and hips initiate the movement of the limbs. She showed a short of the French tightrope walker Philippe Petit as his feet stepped along the steel wire. Then she began the story of his participation in 1987 walking aerially over the Valley of Hell between Palestine and Israel. This dramatic portrayal, 25 meters above the roaring crowd, was an occasion when there seemed to be a possible resolution between the two states. Her presentation included a lively portrayal of a confused white dove released from a piece of silk choosing to instead of fly to freedom land on Philippe’s head then the end of his pole and then walked behind him on the wire, almost mimicking his movements. All of this ended in the dove taking flight as Phillippe reached his destination.

When one actually imaginally embodies other, the experience brings emotions, information and insights very different from thinking about something. It was from this state that we undertook our Marking bringing forward powerful images from all of the journeys.  You can get a sense of that from the markings that appear after this blog.
 

Majio
 

Click on thumbnail to see full size image. 

 

Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

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Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

Fingers of Fire

This week our field-trip guides who took us into shape-shifting were creative and innovative in their choice of subject and how they induced the state of mind to be receptive to becoming like something other or something we push away. Jess began with a complex hand mudra. She asked participants to gather a variety of materials and to interact with them by feel. She had us become like the tips of our fingers exploring and getting information through body sensation. My fingers became a fire gobbling up everything within touch leaving only ash of residual sensation and wispy smoke of memory.

Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

In the Jaws of Fear

The venture that Margie stimulated was a journey into fear. She set the stage ahead of time for everyone to choose a strong memory of being in abject fear. Carol chose a more traditional journey taking us into the body of Raven with the breathing pulsing the wings in flight. Lorrie used the form of paradelle to induce the state of becoming-cloud, which will follow.

Majio
 

NOTE: “The paradelle is one of the more demanding French fixed forms, first appearing in the langue d’oc love poetry of the eleventh century. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only those words.” Poet Laureate Billy Collins, as it turns out fabricated the form.

Shapeshifting Clouds

Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun
Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun

I look to the sky the clouds stretch across weaving into many shapes.
I look to the sky the clouds stretch across weaving into many shapes.
Travelers conforming, changing, disappearing without beginning or end.
Travelers conforming, changing, disappearing without beginning or end.
Beginning to stretch into sky conforming the travelers or disappearing shapes.
Weaving across clouds I end many without changing the look.

So soft they appear I wish to wrap them all around me.
So soft they appear I wish to wrap them all around me.
They are wind clouds but I am enticed by their warmth.
They are wind clouds but I am enticed by their warmth.
I appear soft but they wrap me around their wind.
Wish clouds they are so enticed by all warmth I am to them.

Floating by like feathers I hug them to my heart.
Floating by like feathers I hug them to my heart.
Whiteness, softness, delicate movement I am looking at my Soul.
Whiteness, softness, delicate movement I am looking at my Soul.
Looking at my heart movement floating whiteness I am delicate.
I like Soul feathers my hug to them by softness.

The clouds are weaving my delicate Soul by wind movement so I am.
Soft whiteness stretch them beginning into shapes I appear without end.
Changing or floating across my heart they hug me to them.
I wrap warmth by softness around all travelers.
They enticed me but wish I am looking at disappearing.
I look conforming the sky to many clouds like their feathers.

Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun
Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun

By Lorrie Bogner as induction for Cloud Shifting

Click on thumbnail to see full size image. 

 

Blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

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blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Majio’s Original Markings


blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Lorrie’s Contributions


Blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Lorrie’s Contributions

This week we are taking a break from meeting in circle before we dive into shape- shifting. This gives us an opportunity to show some of the collaboration work that we have been doing between participants. The format is that someone works on a piece, diptych or triptych and then passes it to another member who works on it to be handed back to the original artist to finish it, taking notes on personal insights of process and/or content.

This adventure brings up many issues. One is completion, for it is courteous and respectful to not over-do your part. When working on another’s piece you need to stop for different reasons than usual. Lorrie and I took several weeks of looking at the piece in all stages, not to strategize but simply to take-in and trust in an authentic response. Rather than the usually slap-dash delight of random, I needed to listen intently at each stage. I carried the piece inside me during that time alert to a markings that wanted to participate in Lorrie’s piece. After Lorrie’s work, it seemed to need something very small and subtle for completion. I waited until a Xerox transfer of cobblestone caught my eye. I knew that was it. But again, I waited to see if the flirting developed into a relationship of some kind. In the end, I put it into the white space and as there was not enough of the print to fill the space, I continued with drawing to repeat the pattern with colored pastel pencils.

 

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio
I was more comfortable working on Majio’s pieces than returning to mine after Majio had worked on them. I think that I was afraid of losing what Majio had added because it felt like my pieces needed her expression in them. Very interesting interaction. Lorrie

Lorrie’s Originals

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

It is always a delight to work on Lorrie’s pieces as they call something new forth in marks, color and subtractions. It is like toning a new muscle or listening for a here to unheard nuance. It forces me to be attentive in a new way. Majio

Majio’s Contributions

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

All participants are doing a collaborative exchange in three parts that we will be sharing in the blogs.

Lorrie’s Completion

Majio
 

Click on thumbnail to see full size image.

Blog #5A Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

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This week we journeyed into an old persimmon tree; first down into the roots to complete our inner vision of tree beyond what the apparent. Then we traveled up through time to budding of leaves, fruit. Through sensations in the body dropping of all the leaves and ripening of the persimmon. People had a variety of experiences and explorations depending on what was valuable at this time for them.

Exploration in how to powerfully shift perspectives, for information and insights has been practiced since the dawn of humanity. This month is devoted to marking through shape-shifting, with each participant taking a turn to lead the circle. The resources that emerge from this practice are outside of familiar ways of knowing in our time. They elicits an invitation into the kind of journey that like Jane Hirshfield’s poem Bees, expresses how do we not only refuse the invitation, but don’t even realize that it has been offered.

#5A Blog Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

Jess: Persimmon Tree Shape-shift

Bees by Jane Hirshfield

To every instant, two gates,
One opens to fragrant paradise, one to hell,
Mostly we go through neither.

Mostly we nod to our neighbor,
lean down to pick up the paper,
go back into the house.

But the faint cries—ecstasy? Horror?
Or did you think it the sound
of distant bees,
making only the thick honey of this good life?

#5A Blog Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

Marjorie: Persimmon Tree Shape-shift

In our marking circle, In-Bodying the Field, we have committed to answer the call leading to hell or heaven, which I may add that by ignoring the call both, we end up where we are. As we all well know, for the first time in the history of our planet human beings have instrumental role in the sustainability for many life forms. We are being forced to frame things in new ways, as we also find new ways of knowing. Josh Schrei maintains that shapeshifting is an evolutionary force. It is conjunctive knowing, knowing through the body that that has been normative to most of the planet’s inhabitants throughout history until recently. If we want to shift the paradigm that is not working, we as artist cannot afford to re-hash the same old stories. Shapeshifting is another way to expand how we learn, perceive and create. It takes a committed practice to go through Hirshfield’s gates and let the newspaper lay.

The Emerald Podcast Shapeshifting by Josh Schrei

 

Majio
 

Blog #4D Devotional

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This week’s exploration has had a lasting impact on most everyone’s attitude towards the marking materials, as well as a new connection to the animistic field. Our marking shifted materials as commodity to means of devotion. Devotion at first felt like an old unused word relating to organized religion, but as we explored it, we realized that we are all devoted in any number of things. We set out candles and incense to create a mood and instead of our regular materials we used organic colorants like turmeric, beet powder, tea, coffee, flowers, berries, powdery sand from the playa at Burningman and whatever that would leave a trace of pigment. We used these materials devotionally, as a means of appreciation, just as colored ochre and flower powders have been sprinkled on the ritual objects in ceremony all over the world throughout history.
Blog #4D Devotional

Devotional Marking with Colorants, on paper 18” X 24”


For some of us it was like sandpainting as we sprinkled powders over wet marks then brushing the excess way. For others, the colorants were in an ink-form. For all of us at first it was difficult not to use the colorants as art materials, to be under our control. The practice of conscious breathing supported the intention to participate in the act of honoring rather exerting our ideas, personality, ego. It was obvious to everyone that it was a different experience than making something. The theme of our work was to hold in our body the feeling of a special place that was safe, comforting and grounding. Honoring this place within us through the materials.

This is one of the podcasts that we took for inspiration from: Emerald Podcast, The Shape of Art, Place, Relevance, and the Living Force Between Adorer and Adored:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

In this podcast Josh Schrei infers that our experience of art has been formed fundamentally by our museums and art history format. He talks about art as the state and quality of interaction, echoing John Dewey’s stance that art is experience. Schrei maintains that art re-enforces the animate force of life as a gateway for the experience of the animate force.

From David Whyte’s book, Consolations we evoked both the sense of Maturity and Resting, which underscored the sense of selfhood. They also confirm the somatic sense of dropping into the relaxation of the moment with no goal. Our practice with marking is to hold a greater perspective through presence that includes contradictions, not knowing and risking.

Maturity is the ability to live fully and equally in multiple contexts; most especially, the ability, despite our grief and losses, to courageously inhabit the past the present and the future all at once…Maturity calls us to risk ourselves as much as immaturity, but for a bigger picture, a larger horizon, for a powerfully generous outward incarnation of our inward qualities and not for gains that make us smaller, even in the winning.

Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also psychologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting…

The template of natural exchange is the breath, the autonomic giving and receiving that forms the basis and measure of life itself. We are rested when we are a living exchange between what lies inside and what lies outside, when we are an intriguing conversation between the potential that lies in our imaginations and the possibilities for making that internal image real in the world; we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves lone…one state of rest is…the sense of slowly coming home…the template of perfection in the human imagination….

 

Click on thumbnail to see full size image. Majio
 

 

 

Blog #4C Axis Mundi

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Blog #4C Axis Mundi

Threshold, oil & cold wax with collage on canvas, 3′ X 5′

As we go into shapeshifting in the seminar, In-Bodying the Field in Marking, it is a means to explore the animate-field in which we live. As we change shapes in the imaginal realm we want some navigation tools, like a strong concept of selfhood and an anchoring in the physical body. This week we mark into the centering and grounding of axis mundi, somatically feeling it through gravity’s attraction to the center of the earth. This also gives us a sense of directionality and relationship in the cosmos. Like all our explorations in marking this is not claiming a new belief system but nudging our unquestioned one for a possibly greater perspective and insight into our relationship to life.

Our preparation for the axis mundi marking comprised of somatic exploration with guest facilitator, Carol Agnessens, as well as the evocation of several poets. Participants connected energetically to the feeling of aligning with the world’s axis relating to Emilie Conrad’s comment, founder of Continuum Movement:

It took me many years to recognize that the undulating fluid that I felt in my body…the undulating waves of primordial motion are the movements of love. Not emotional love but an encompassing atmosphere of love. A love that has its own destiny.

If that is a bit of a leap in this great time of stress and polarization perhaps David Whyte’s thoughts from Consolations would relate:

Besieged is how most people feel most of the time: by events, by people, by all the necessities of providing, parenting or participating and even by creative possibilities they have set in motion themselves, and most especially, a success they have achieved through long years of endeavor.

To feel crowded, set upon, blocked by circumstances, in defeat or victory, is not only the daily experience of most human beings in most contemporary societies; it has been an abiding dynamic of individual life since the dawn of human consciousness…

If the world will not go away then the great discipline seems to be the ability to make an identity that can live in the midst of everything without feeling beset…In this space of undoing, and silence we create a foundation from which to re-imagine our day and ourselves…

Creating a state of aloneness in the besieged everyday may be one of the bravest things individual men and women can do for themselves. Nel mezzo, in the midst of everything, as Dante said, to be besieged – but beautifully, because we have made place to stand….

This is the axis mundi that we are cultivating our marking.

Note about painting, Threshold. It is what emerged from the many months of marking pieces. The theme relates to exploration of selfhood, intimate relationship and ancestry which I am beginning to perceive as a plumbline or axis mundi. This piece came together very differently than from how I have been painting most my life. There was no planning or evaluating, but a kind of listening. I found myself using colors I was never drawn to before, like construction orange. It was more of a constant discovery. I was guided to overlay a fine netting and press it into the cold wax and then in several days later to take it leaving a texture. I still do not know where this marking work may lead in relation to artwork, but already it feels like deeper images are arising as collaboration with the field develops.

Click on thumbnail to see full size image. Majio