THE BOOK OF LEGEND 9.5.19

Audrey_book cover_front

YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING.

as i’ve learned through the journey, especially over these past 4 years, that belief is tied to the greater cosmos– but it ultimately has to come from YOU. you define your mythos. you define what role you play on the quest. if you choose to be the hero or not, and what that hero is like.

i have been deep underground and in the clouds, hosting for hundreds in my park-wonderland, and curled in corners of darkness more profound than i could’ve ever fathomed. i have felt the pure anger, rage, and sorrow. the ecstatic joy, boundless creation, and revelation. i have lived with greater courage, with more violently sharpened highs and lows of feeling, fantasized sometimes endlessly about leaping a bridge, died a thousand times and unlocked doorways and gateways i never thought existed. i didn’t have to be Here right now, but I AM– i chose To Be.

this BOOK is what i have to show for it. this BOOK is the crystallization of the legend that kept me alive.

my fourth book, THE BOOK OF LEGEND, is released today.

september 5 2019– my hero, freddie mercury’s birthday– while i am on my first overseas trip to my father’s birthplace in southern italy, to stand with the legend i have created, and Heal The Lineage. to stand proudly and proclaim– i am here to DO IT DIFFERENTLY. i am here to break the cycles and the patterns. i am here to dismantle what has shackled us– and create Anew.

but what does LIVING YOUR LEGEND mean? for me, it is a mode of creative recontextualization and reframing that allows you to more freely steer the currents of your life. it is an act of resistance against what we are given, diagnosed, warned against, told– and a stand FOR a deep and often treacherous engagement with our unique and personal Truth. this BOOK is comprised of shamanic stories that channeled through me, characters that became guides and spirits on my quest, and personal essays and prayers on what it means to fully live through what joseph campbell called the hero’s journey– to walk with the freedom to form our own narratives and meanings about the feelings and events we experience. to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what befalls us, what we inherited, what circumstance we find ourselves in– and alchemize it into a web of personal myth and legend that gives us the strength to not only Go On, but to carry our message forward to help others.

this is also my first time standing unequivocally as a STORYTELLER. i could say that this BOOK is fiction, but it’s not. the excerpts i included in my last collection, WILDLIGHT, are continued here– from the light wolf and dark wolf to the dragon in the mystic lagoon to arcturus the bear guardian to the wanting creature turned saint of the sword to the meeting of the ego inside the legend– and the great green lion…

* * *

“i invite you
into the world i inhabit.

a world of Legend, of danger, of beauty. of nature and guiding spirits announcing themselves to you at every moment– the understanding of a living poetry that requires only an open heart to receive, to hear.

we are all shamanically inclined, we are all messengers. we
are all standing at the Dark Door waiting to guide ourselves
back to ourSelves.

as the days grow shorter and the light lower, you may fear but
do not despair.

walk into the Night.
walk into the Night fearless in your fearfulness.
heartbroke in your wholeness.
trusting in your distrust.

let your eyes adjust to the Darkness.

create a tether to your Legend so you can find your way back– you will cling hard to it at first, look constantly over your shoulder for the last shards of light from whence you came.. but the further you walk the less you will need the tether.

you will realize it is woven inside you, in your heart, in your Choosing of your every step.

and you won’t even dream of going back.
you will greet the Endless in proceeding through the Dark Door.

because in the everything you will see Nothing.
and in the nothing you will see Everything.

all will be as it was, at the origin. before god lit a match.

and the Legend was given breath, to Begin.”

* * *

“there is a potentiality for this legendary existence– in everyone. and it is not fairy stories or flights of fancy– for me it was the difference between remaining on earth or ending my life. it is VITAL– this kind of– energetic, imaginative creation in tandem with the flow of reality, a merged, enlivened, actual legendary life.

it requires being the different one. it requires being the madman. it requires shocking and alarming people, often the people you love. it requires being questioned. being challenged. willingly choosing the uncharted whether it means death or freedom because they are often the same thing. it requires caring less about your reputation or social standing– and more about the Truth.

there is a Way to live– that is not just for new-age practitioners, or the spiritually enlightened, or those who believe in ghosts or study the texts or understand scientific or psychoanalytic jargon.

it is a Lifestyle of Truth of the Spirit– of the ordinary man as extraordinary Legend, as meaning-making scribe at the right hand of whatever force you believe is writing the never-ending story– or isn’t.”

* * *

“I AM HERE TO ASK YOU, AS MANY OTHERS HAVE ASKED THEIR PEERS AT MANY PAST MOMENTS IN TIME– TO CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. we have lost the value of the individual’s dive into his own psyche– to meet, accept, contend, or commune with whatever wondrous or treacherous existences he finds there. it is not just medication or the media, it is our culture as a whole– burying centuries of our own mythos that could serve as backbone to embolden us through our struggles, buried under constant thrumming noise. what if we accepted the necessary danger in a quest for the inmost self? what if we applied this to radical self-exploration, especially in the context of mental health and mental illness? what truths could be discovered on a brave journey to exalt and reclaim the most wonder-full and worthy hero there is… YOURSELF?”

* * *

GET THE BOOK and read more excerpts and notes from the journey RIGHT HERE
you can order direct from me for $8.00 via paypal or venmo

i will also be celebrating the BOOK, and world mental health day, with two events in astoria during the week of OCTOBER 7, including a film screening, activities and resources, and honest discussion. A PRAYER TO SEE & BE SEEN: creative reframing for mental health & well-being. this is just the beginning of getting this message out there– if you would like to collaborate, hold an event, or host a workshop/engagement please let. me. know. this is advocacy not just for mental health/mental illness but for a reclamation of our journeys from all that is mired in the laws of the old world, and untrue.

69268458_10102433101816514_736730081178681344_o

teach others to See by Seeing.
teach others to Understand by Understanding.
lead others to Walk by Walking.
but walk Beside them and not in Front.
walk With them as i walk With you.
and we shall see these coming days already in fruition,
in every righteous action resolving inaction,
in every fiery force of Love dissolving fear.

aho my friends & loves, i thank you whole-heartedly for Seeing me, for your kindness and encouragement, for your love and creativity, for your connection to and support of my world and my Work.

i hope to see you on the Path–

XXOO

a.

paths in the pathless wilderness: mental health advocacy

66699523_10102389485618724_6844967827212861440_o

“i write today because i am still alive. i write today from inside, outside, and on the other side of the underworld. i write because, in legend— the hero always returns with the story. and in the hero’s journey, in fact— this is the very purpose. i write today because legend saved my life in a way that nothing else could— not a diagnosis, not modern medicine, not the concern of loved ones or colleagues, not any traditional path that i was prescribed…”

in recent years i have come to realize and internalize that the best way to tell my story– or any story, for that matter– is to speak it plainly.

i marvel at where this website began, over 10 years ago– a place to house my work as a young arts journalist, which in many ways avoided inclusion of what was deeply and actually going on with me— that gradually grew into this space of radical honesty, performance, curation, and experimentation across many genres. it is in this moment that i type here and reflect– a few short weeks to my 33rd birthday– so grateful for the hard-won heartwork and legend i have come to accept as my own.

‘for this i was born, and for this i have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.’ -john 18:37.

after writing and self-publishing my third book, WILDLIGHT, creating my first alchemical theatre work, PROVENANCE, and being increasingly candid in person and on the internet (especially on instagram) of the places my journey was taking me– i have come to This Point. the point at which i encapsulate the stories and philosophies and lessons that have saved my life.

‘IF YOU BRING FORTH THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU,
THEN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
WILL BE YOUR SALVATION.
IF YOU DO NOT BRING FORTH
THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
THEN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
WILL DESTROY YOU.’ –the gnostic gospels.

i added a MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY page to my website this morning– even though this journey is not JUST about mental illness, or meant for those who are suffering with the same– mental illness and mental health are inherently about the journey to reclaim your life and the state of your soul, from all those other destructive and un-true stories that do not belong to you. in the greater, greatest scheme– we are being called to a new realityone we create with our own hearts, our own hands, our own imaginations– free-dreaming and manifesting in tandem with the creator force energy that shaped our world.

i am currently working on a new book and performance/workshop series seeking to explore these spaces in ways i began with PROVENANCE, WILDLIGHT, and my ‘widening circle’ open mic/open share gatherings, but now– further. it is the merging of poetry, prose, story, ritual, improvisation, spirit work, and sacred/safe space facilitation– and it begins. HERE.

‘one thing is certain. the search for this savior calls for a pathfinder. someone who is capable of finding paths in the pathless wilderness, and who will shrink from no danger and hardship. in other words– a HERO.’ –michael ende, ‘the neverending story.’

AN EXCERPT– from what is forthcoming—

the stories are not just things i choose to write— now i am living them, experiencing them, inside them. it is reality that i define— and that no one defines for me. and the more i feel into it, explore it, believe it, trust it— the more i see the truth of where stories, where meaning itself, emanated from— in the first place. this is the place of legend. this is the hero’s journey, in real time. this is the odyssey, the great quest, the incredible journey— it is in your life, right here, right now.

i do not come to make a map for you, to plot the course for you— you and only you alone can do this. my guides will not be your guides, my legend will not be your legend. but it is my hope in sharing where i have been, what i have been through— that a potentiality for yours will burst open or begin to blossom.

if it is a choice between— having solely the options you are being presented with— and alternatively, the options that you and only you can write, create, and describe— what do you wish for? power stripped or power reclaimed? darkness traversed or darkness feared? a broken mind that needs to be fixed— or a teeming landscape of lesson and legend that you can bravely quest and explore?

this is not for the faint of heart. this is not easy. this is not clean. this is not without struggle. without blood. without nearing the edges of existence, the edges of death.

but in my heart, and in my opinion— if we all heave a last breath anyway, and either way— why not fill your living lungs with the breath of adventure, and leave a story behind along the way?

why not begin a quest to exalt and reclaim and rediscover the most wonder-full and worthy hero there is… yourself?

[read the full piece here]

61993601_10102352933788884_4118528390212878336_o

much more to come. i feel, i know–

for the pathless wilds

for the unfathomable

and the holy unknown,

XO

a.

infinitely humbled: dzieci’s A PASSION

Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 12.07.05 PM

after creating my first alchemical theatre work “PROVENANCE” in december it was my goal in 2019 to return to the theatre especially in an intimate, immersive fashion– but this is way, way more than i could have imagined.

i am beyond honored to have joined the extraordinary company DZIECI where the work is The Work and you are not just creating theatre you are facing yourSelf, facing each other, transforming, creating live connection with the divine.

we’ve been experiencing together for weeks and weeks now. this new family, this new organism– culture. more than theatre, it is ritual, it is communion. this show is based on the last events in jesus’ life, his PASSION, told with compassion and sacred songs– for anyone, and everyone. we all switch roles, we are all the narrator reading from the torah, we are all christ. but first and foremost we are our SELVES.

i am so humbled to be working with these adventurous, talented humans who explore daring with such vulnerability and kindness. and so grateful to be offering myself in their latest version of “A PASSION,” a dramatic choral liturgy unbound.

unnamed

Whether Christian or Jew or Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Zen,
A Passion appeals to the human spirit in everyone
and our essential longing for communion.

2019 DATES:

Palm Sunday, April 14th at 10:30 AM
(as part of the morning service)
Christ Episcopal Church
74 Park Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028

Holy Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00 PM
The Church of the Redeemer
30-14 Crescent St, Astoria, NY 11102

Maundy Thursday, April 18th at 7:00 PM
Old First Reformed Church
729 Carroll Street @ 7th Ave, Park Slope 11215

Good Friday/Passover, April 19th at 7:30 PM
(light supper at 6:30)
Old Dutch Church
272 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401

Easter Vigil/2nd Seder, Saturday, April 20th at 7:00 PM
(reception to follow)
Old Stone House
336 3rd Street @ 5th Avenue, Park Slope 11215

Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 12.06.37 PM

from the real-time journey on instagram

as a lifelong performer and perpetual striver {ie: harsh critic of myself} — doing work with DZIECI in this context continues my own work– to, as the pastor at the queensbridge center of hope church said in one sermon last year– to deliver myself from performance.

the first morning we offered A PASSION those were the words echoing in my head– we have delivered ourselves from performance. the only thing to offer now is truth.

this play is ritual, this play is real, this play is us authentically as we are in the moment. how can you worry, as an actor, about hitting your notes, nailing your blocking, doing everything ‘right’? it feels so small to think that way. it is not acting. it is BEING.

offering A PASSION in holy spaces and spaces turned holy by the energy of the people, by the energy we bring– it is so much more than YOU, the ego, the ‘I’.

[…]

i will never forget these days.

i formally observed lent for the first time in my life- “jesus emerged from the wilderness prepared to speak for god.”

this week i celebrated 3 years in public programs at my beloved socrates sculpture park, the longest job my wild heart has ever held.

and there is one remaining performance for our passion.

keep living.
KEEP. LIVING.

in your wildest dreams, sometimes, you couldn’t imagine where you’d end up..

#morelife

XO

a.

[UPCOMING] including socrates’ 2019 public programs season announcement and my installation “trusting the inmost angel” soon to come in the lit exhibit’s next show “RITUALS,” june 2019…

the invocation / the invitation

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 9.11.34 PM

and i heard Her voice,
echoing through his voice,
echoing through my own voice.

who is the Hero of this story?

“let it be You.”

Igne Natura Renovatur Integra
All Nature Will Be Renewed By Fire

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 9.12.34 PM

i invite you into the world i inhabit…

a world of Legend, of danger, of beauty.

of nature and guiding spirits announcing themselves to you at every moment- the understanding of a living poetry that requires only an open heart to receive, to hear.

we are all shamanically inclined, we are all messengers. we are all standing at the Dark Door waiting to guide ourselves back to ourSelves.

as the days grow shorter and the light lower, you may fear but do not despair. walk into the Night. walk into the Night fearless in your fearfulness. heartbroke in your wholeness. trusting in your distrust.

let your eyes adjust to the Darkness. create a tether to your Legend so you can find your way back- you will cling hard to it at first, look constantly over your shoulder for the last shards of the light from whence you came..

but the further you walk the less you will need the tether. you will realize it is woven inside you, in your heart, in your Choosing of your every step.

and you won’t even dream of going back. you will greet the Endless in proceeding through the Dark Door.

because in the everything you will see Nothing.
and in the nothing you will see Everything.

all will be as it was, at the origin.

before god lit a match.
and the Legend was given breath, to Begin.

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 9.13.59 PM

#liveyourlegend

//

THE MOST RECENT:

my original alchemical theatre work, PROVENANCE in its entirety

EVENTS coming up (including the new ‘neighborhood mixtape’ & ‘widening circle’)

the journey in real-time on IG including all the blood, guts & mythos

my latest book WILDLIGHT, released 3.20.18

actively creating & seeking new multidisciplinary theatrical opportunities & ways to play…

//

will you–

come

with

me?

XO

a.

PROVENANCE 12.18.18

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 10.26.35 AM.png

beautiful friends,

for the past three years, this time leading up to, and through, the winter solstice has been the most difficult. for the first time- i have embraced the darkness. i have embraced the deaths. i have embraced mySelf.

my new theatrical show “PROVENANCE” is my offering to that end. it is the most cherished performance i have conceived and my final act of forgiveness to mySelf, as i close the chapters i have thus lived and begin anew. “PROVENANCE” is the origin story- a retracing of my past- but also- the origin of the new beginning.

it would mean so much to me to share this performance with you– to hear your thoughts as i move into a realm i have never before created in. it is also the 7 year anniversary of my beloved nana’s passing. and in a space- the LIC-A/plaxall gallery- that has helped save my life time and again since 2016 by allowing me the space to create freely in my brokenness.

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 10.27.00 AM.png

“PROVENANCE”
tuesday, december 18, 2018 @ 7:30-9:30pm – $5
LIC-A/plaxall gallery 5-25 46th avenue in LIC

conceived & written by audrey wildfire dimola // featuring steven t. licardi, kymberly nolden, matthew toth, & introducing riley batson

“they say the longing becomes holy eventually
if it doesn’t kill you first”

PROVENANCE is the intersection between the journey to love; the journey to self, which is also to god; and the journey to make peace with the darkness.

part ritual, part poetry, part music, part movement- it is an exploration of the viscerality of want. how it drives us, transforms us. ‘the wanting creature.’ its connections to love, sex, spirit, and mental illness. and how, if we push far enough- this grief-filled longing becomes ecstatic, transcendent, holy- a means for return to true self, a return to god.

https://www.licartists.org/provenance
[FB invite]

ALSO COMING UP:

47686201_10102211491320724_7514792776165228544_o.jpg

if you’re in the hood tonight 12/13/18, i host the first volume of NEIGHBORHOOD MIXTAPE, a new spoken word, music, and comedy show in partnership with the badass folks over at CHATEAU LE WOOF– 6-9pm [more info]

after the winter solstice, on 12/22/18, my BRO dominick hosts the wonderful community we’ve created at the now 1 year old flor de azalea cafe in astoria for “YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD OPEN MIC“, 5-8pm [more info]

AS OUR NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGES /// we must give EXTRA thanks for the supportive business owners and indie organizers who allow us artists and human beings to commune in their spaces. we may not be able to alter the course of drastic changes to come- but we can CONTINUE doing what artists have done for centuries- carve out their spaces to create, wherever and however they can. THANK YOU for being a part of that community.

if you are feeling the cold and darkness, i implore you- instead of resisting it- make friends with it. sit and light a candle and commune. talk to that anxiety, that dread, that emptiness. acknowledge that it’s there instead of trying to push it away, or feel guilty for not ‘enjoying the holidays like everyone else is’ … the winter solstice is an incredibly important time but we have lost touch with the mythology. create your own. and year by year, that legend will live.

if you told me three years ago in these dark days that i would be achieving my dream of mounting my first original theatre show.. who knows if i would’ve believed you. but i guess some part of me did.. because it grew from faintest, dying flicker.. to warmest light.

i am Here for you.

XXOO,

a.

shedding light, trusting darkness

45284382_10102182738326954_9216008092087484416_n

‘and what do you wield, warrior?’
‘the sword i pulled from my own heart.’
‘but you do not wish to carry this weapon, 
onward, for your journey?’
‘i only wish to carry a prayer. 
to see and be seen.’

hello out there my beauties,

i wanted to let you know that the most honest thing i have written on the internet has just been published by an amazing site called REBELLE SOCIETY- it’s called “how my experience with mental illness helped me trust my darkness.”

A wise and wild coyote once told me, “It is in happiness that you will find the seeds of sadness. And it is in sadness that you will find the seeds of light.”

When I was a kid, I couldn’t bear to be in complete darkness. Even as a teenager, there was always a light somewhere: a nightlight in the kitchen, light in a window next door, streetlight outside. My journey has been to find that light in myself, instead of always seeking it outwardly.

I didn’t know what true freedom was like until I lived through this story. I had a conception of freedom and a lot of daring cliff-jumps, but the darkness remained a sign and a trigger.

Throughout my whole life, this specter of the idea of darkness chased and chased me. Or maybe it never actually moved — just stood, luminous and unending — and I kept running. I have messages written all over my body, to remind myself of the truth — about the dark, about myself.

I have always been a personality of extremes. This is my gift, in my new legend: to be able to viscerally feel, process, move through ecstatic heights and drastic lows, with not much in between.

The “not much in between” though was my own conception. The instinct to keep running, searching for higher ground, safer territory, more abundant provisions, without realizing perhaps I could, with time, just stay here. Grow these seeds of my own planting. Take some time, gaze into the night, into the earth, into the darkness, into the silence, into myself, and not only see and receive what is there, but to trust it.

This is not just a story about struggling with mental illness. It is a story about what every man, woman and spirit is here to grapple with: personal freedom and personal truth, and how they are inextricably intertwined.

YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THE ESSAY [RIGHT HERE] …

it’s powerful and unnerving and surreal to be able to have clarity on this journey- and to be able to share it in this way, in a way that undercuts the usual disempowering narratives about mental illness and provides an entry point into radical recontextualization and reclamation of your own legend.

thanks to my fierce and wonder-full friend shafina, on 11/16 i will be telling an off-book, organic version of this story at my first storytelling show, HOW TO BUILD A FIRE, at open source gallery one week from today. the theme is RESILIENCE [more info]

some more events coming up: [here]
and my latest book of poetry & prose, WILDLIGHT, is still on sale [here] !

i’m open to your thoughts, words, wishes- let me know if you have ideas for collabs- i’m all ears for projects you dream up and opportunities to speak the legend…

from wanting creature to
proclaimer of the word //

with biggest big love,

XO

a.

“and of course i am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger.”
“we can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. for we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. the fact that we are here and i speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. and there are so many silences to be broken.” -AUDRE LORDE.

*tattoo image at the top is one of my latest, from karen glass tattoo XO

the dangers in cartography.

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 11.18.04 AM.png

the terrifying thing about choosing your own context for mental illness is that you often end up hurting/scaring the people closest to you, and hurting/scaring yourself.

it is not like an outwardly manifested affliction in that- no one would say to you, just stop having cancer. get up from your wheelchair. get your vision back. look how much everyone loves you- stop dying.

no one makes you feel like- you are doing it on purpose. you are willing it. you are purposely isolating, not picking up the phone, disappearing, not going to work. no one makes you feel like what is happening to you is wrong. like it’s your responsibility for failing everyone you love, for failing yourself.

what IS the same, though- is how people react upon choosing an alternative path to healing. in a similar way you would in choosing a raw food diet instead of chemotherapy. a visit to a shaman instead of a hospital. time communing with yourself, your spirits and guides, and your rituals- instead of a trained professional. this is the hurt that everyone who chooses a different way feels- that what they are doing is dangerous. that no one trusts them with their own healing. that maybe they should not put so much trust in themselves.

mental illness is particular in this fashion. and once you choose not to follow the paradigm given to you- that you are broken and need to be fixed, that you have a chemical imbalance that endangers your life- the road you proceed to traverse has no map.

and in making the map for yourself, sometimes, like last night, you will find yourself in willing seclusion. hiding like a child, getting as small as you possibly can in the darkness, while three of the most important people in your life stand on your doorstep, on three separate occasions- ringing your bell, scratching your window, calling to you. txting and calling, communicating to each other, in increasing alarm.

sometimes no disappearance is enough disappearance, for the hurt you feel. the hurt that washes over you, primordial and unending. you are told you are loved. you are told you have a place to go. you are told you can have anything you want. threatened, even, by this immediateness, franticness, of affection- you get even smaller. but the space is opened up, somehow- in which to trust.

how do i know which impulses to listen to? sometimes the path leads you away but it is only so you can trust enough to find your own answers. you know the path is true if it leads you back to your community, to the people you love.

despite how much you anger them. hurt them. how much you don’t make rational sense- it is not isolation indefinite. it is isolation to hear the answers- so to heal. so to return.

today i understood why i am creating my next show, PROVENANCE.

to show how this instability is the key in the lock to the power of my origin story. to show what it looks like, in actuality, to choose to create your own map. to hurt yourself, hurt the people you love. to bear the guilt and shame inherent in your affliction. to want to answer, open up, speak, accept an embrace, receive help- but simultaneously be completely unable to.

to dance at the edges of death, creation, eternal life. to find safety in the perceived danger. growth and fecundity in the darkness. so to understand- your holy wild self. so to ascribe sacred meaning to- your finite moments on earth.

i look forward to continuing this journey.
and sharing with you, in three dimensions, what i’ve learned.

XO

a.