some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful things:
i took one of the lil wild ones i babysit to a park in ravenswood i spent so much time playing in when i was little.. most of it has changed but some things remain, like those concrete tunnels. what a trip it was to crawl through them again, see the same vantage points, lean my back against the cool surface in the shadows. // i am an intensely, heartquakingly nostalgic person, to the point that my present is consistently affected by my past. ‘everything i’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.’ // yet i realized- our task is not to forever mourn the innocence and precious discoveries of childhood, always looking backward, tears in our eyes. but to recognize that we are eternally children in the wake of the world’s wonder. we must STILL learn to use our bodies, expand for new thoughts and ideas, new questions, new perceptions. tear down everything we know to start again with something new. the wonder isn’t over once we learn to walk or talk, balance or write. keep remembering to forget that just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re done learning and you can just relax into ‘this life,’ the day-to-day, the grind, whatever it is. we owe it to ourselves- past, present, future- to remember we are forever children, forever explorers, forever students of the word, the earth, movement, adventure, imagination.. light.
do your heart’s work! my heart is so full helping out for a cause i wholeheartedly believe in- creating a new space for literature and literacy in queens with my beautiful and kickass friends at the queens bookshop initiative. getting to play and read to these kids was so wonderful- i even got to share one of my own favorite books from childhood, ‘the land of many colors.’ stories are forever, creativity is forever. we have to foster it in our kids as young as possible.. if you want to support them in their effort to build a second bookshop in queens (we only have ONE in our massive borough right now) please donate to their kickstarter and stay updated throughout their journey!!
making. this. real. coming to the former wills building at 43-01 21st st, may 18-22, 2016 for the 6th annual LIC arts open festival // Known throughout Queens for her explosive poetry, performance, and curatorial work, this is LIC native Audrey Dimola’s first art installation. ‘go slowly, see miracles’ is an immersive amalgam of hidden treasures and alcoves of memories, a cross between a lost boy’s wilderness hideaway, a secret grotto in the mind, and the gritty intersections of love, identity, and nostalgia. It features a variety of never before seen mixed media art pieces, 3D poetry, found objects, sound and visuals, and more- exploring wild spirituality, descents into darkness, reclamation and annunciation. The work is specially presented in this form for LICAO 2016.
things like THIS happen in the promo video they shot..!
and most recently…
after MANY years of wanting to do this, and running along with checking off bucket list items (like the polar bear plunge!) in my 29th year… i finished the five boro bike tour this past weekend!!! // i was so emotional at so many points throughout this trip. just remembering the darkest moments and feeling this, NOW. knowing there’s no limit to life, to the way it can surprise you, how things you dream of are even better when your sweat and hard work make them REAL. despite the rain & cold we didn’t back down from the challenge today.. here’s to riding hard, living wild, and renewed faith in my own strength. i let out a peter pan crow while whizzing down the verrazano to the finish. i will never forget this day & the one soul i had beside me the entire time.. love and eternal gratitude for this entire experience and my wonderful family for being our pit crew in LIC!
to survive in this world we constantly have to remind ourselves that wildly multitasking is not the goal, going faster than everyone else is not the goal.. being fully present** is.
also… i could not feel more blessed about working as the new public programs coordinator at my beloved socrates sculpture park!!!
30 years ago, this year, socrates sculpture park and i were born in long island city. i am so proud, elated, excited & inspired to announce that as of last month, i’m the park’s new public programs coordinator! socrates sculpture park has given me SO MUCH- for literally as long as i can remember i’ve spent days and nights playing, writing, observing, and seeking solace within its gates. its home has always been my home. now in its 30th year, which will also be my 30th year this august, i get to give back.. gratitude doesn’t even begin to describe.
never give up // never give up
[all upcoming events are listed HERE
keep the fire in your belly & the gratitude in your heart.. biggest big love!
this wkend i got to hike up to hunter mountain in my beloved catskills and help with repairing the devils acre lean-to.. through rain, a little bit of hail, blue sky, a gorgeous clear night, and then waking up in 19 degrees & 6 inches of snow! thanks to destination backcountry adventures & the best guides/volunteer crew, i LOVED it.
hiking & working in the woods is a microcosm of life. you’re learning at every moment & you have to be ready for anything. carry logs? re-shingle a roof? break camp in the snow? let’s go. and the things that stop you cold in the city, that raise your anxiety.. you don’t have time for it here. i love the catskills because- everytime- they bring me back. no notifications, laughter with strangers who become friends, strength stretching, and the kind of silence that fills you instead of making you uneasy. thank you DBA & co for the chance to return to woods & work and remember why i started the journey this past summer. every lesson you need to learn is in the earth.
[here’s some more photos and dave’s post about the trip on the DBA website
it’s been a long-time wish of mine to experience camping & hiking in the snow, especially since i started training as a wilderness guide & educator last year.. i missed going adventuring this winter due to an extremely rough season in my head & heart.. but unexpectedly, on this trip at the beginning of spring, got this. /// these are the moments.
[psst- upcoming poetry & performance events are listed HERE!
after writing this, i cruised through some notebooks from summer of last year onward (all affectionately entitled “WILDERNESS”) and revisited the trips i’ve taken since getting involved with DBA and another amazing organization, discover outdoors. i dug out two poems and realized they both mentioned birch trees- bookends of each other, one born out of the first trip i took with DO as a client/observer, and the other from one of the last trips i went on before winter, the first i ‘really’ led as a guide. i remember scribbling in tiny notebooks while on trail, trusting my feet.. ‘i am a student of the forest. i feel so at home in the woods it’s unbelievable. this is my SOUL PLACE.’
birch trees like
fire of gold
out of a dream
in the limbs,
the souls of old
here the trail
the pin in
settles not on
stop its flicker
blue and turquoise
remind me of the sea
my other home
shrouded in the
my other mother
just as powerful
as the flesh
me to be
the red blaze
the fire flicker
she speaks to me
but now refuses to
how can you waste
let the wild
tendrils of your
will anchor you
not the flimsy
that binds you–
high pt mtn
trail teaches you to focus, be present
flex the sinew of your awareness..
stark birch standing like
ghosts of a former
i remember you
you gave me these
you used to lead me
now i’m leading
the leaf litter
some kind of
there is a trail
is no trail
(just because you’re
life is like that.
is knocking on
the door of
my old life
it echoes through
like an affirmation
i will fill my
and streaks of
god i let my
i keep forgetting
to say grace
when i eat but
each inhale of
i remember jesus
in the garden
he is my
your senses are
know when to
a bone will
does a heart
react the same way?
it’s all instinct-
as i’m leading myself
take us to the
how right he is-
false self to
i fold my
wings like a
this is how
i give thanks.
it has been an interesting number of weeks for me. like tumblr once upon a time, instagram has become a safe space to document experiments with lots of different things- natural light, video, physical art pieces, minute moments..
things converge to create such a particular mood, moment, influence. spending time in emotional darkness, in physical sickness, days without blue sky. watching movies like gaspar noe’s ‘love’ and ‘to the wonder.’ returning to the proust chapter about memory (a memory is altered everytime you recollect it) in the ‘proust was a neuroscientist’ book.. walking over the triboro bridge to randalls island, again and again. looking at everything from high up. experiencing that particular feeling that hits me every year at this time- threshold. lingering light. possibility.
several things are on the horizon- i want to curate and perform in a different way, playing with poetic theatre hybrids, video editing, spatial exploration. i feel lucky to have new possibilities beginning with the incredible IDENTIFY show starting next week, and with my dear friend mwest this summer on SI.. it’s why everything has to fall out from under us, sometimes. sometimes seeing nothing, nothing at all, for awhile- is the only way to see things differently. to remember the vocabulary that exists in your hands, your body.
even thinking of ‘self-love’ in a different way..
wonder directed inward. inward(,)seeking wonder
my overwhelming need to build castles triumphantly is sabotaged because i don’t pay attention enough to not keep building them so close to the sea. one castle falls after another and i am enraged, heartbroken, impassioned, and blindly inspired to keep building, again and again and again.
you can still build the sandcastle. just be cognizant of the foundation. of where the tide comes in.
and that’s what i have to look at, now. the foundation. which comes with examining patterns without judgment.
what is the cure, the elixir of life?
having the patience- although part of me doesn’t want to use that word because it feels too conscious- to live through the days even when you are robbed of existence. even when you feel ‘you’re wasting your life’ – that is your life. right? it’s something you have to walk through.
i am a proclaimer, i love to feel strong and overcome and get to the end of something. but you don’t get to the end of this- it’s not neat, it’s fucking jagged and awful and meaningless and makes no sense. but it also just is.
we have to retrain ourselves to feel these things. accept them as whole, full, meaningful stimuli- instead of always seeking seeking seeking something more, something else. this is even about me, feeling myself. appreciation of the tiniest meaningful gestures- no one else can explain that to you.
i write these words while knowing in some days’ time they may be robbed from me but i guess that’s why we write, or create. not for continuity’s sake but to capture the feeling of a moment- i was here, feeling this.
every moment we can just stand here and say- this i what i am, right now- whether or not it is incongruous with our legend, what we want to be percepted as.
can i find the wonder in the small things? let everything touch me with profundity- the grace in what it is, not what i want it to be or wish it was?
birds outside the window, in the light. to take things as they are.
we are the only ones who can unravel our own illusions.
we are learning everything- painfully, by crashing into it, by watching it go.
i trust that i am supposed to learn from these golden moments instead of always “having what i want.”
because then everything gets numb. no wilderness, no sex, no recognition, no sunny days can fill you if you lose the ability to be filled.
gratitude is a word we all say so often. wildness, too- everyone is wild now. perhaps this is my journey to really uncover what they mean- by going slowly. seeing miracles. unravelling the dissatisfaction. and truly feeling again.
because from inside the gold of the moment- it just is. you are most grateful for your breath when you are breathing, fully, not thinking about it. you are most grateful for your life while you are just living it.
this week i will be standing onstage again. i’m hosting boundless tales on thursday and on friday i’ll be performing a brand new piece from this time at an event i’m so looking forward to- the wonderful joan becht willette‘s celebrating queens women artists event at queens council on the arts! it gets me thinking so much about history, HERstory, identity, perception. all themes running through my mind, my creative production at this time.. i want to explore this further and push past some edges i previously stopped short at. what does it mean to be vulnerable, to fully share? what about the space between the words? what about the power that comes from not always being the loudest or the most outwardly powerful or explosive? this is what i want to experiment with. how sensual, how gentle, how tender, how graceful. slow. nuanced. there is power in that.
after being in the dark you become obsessed with the light. physical light. feeling it on your face, the shapes it casts on walls, the way it warms bricks on sides of buildings, tied to some memory you can’t quite place, something from childhood, something sprang from goodness- something you somehow know- that even after all this– you believe in. you can remember what believing means. it is effortless, when real. the light. and even the light in the gradual fading of it to twilight and dusk, streetlights winking on, the sweetness of gradient. all the shades in between- we are.
i am easing up on the weight of the illusions- baudelaire, ‘to every man his chimera,’ stooped low, carrying.. i want to give my back a break. stand up and feel that light on my face. experience the gradients. not the violent highs and lows. the moments i have been too afraid, too restless, too impulsive to inhabit. i will be there.
springtime- in mind, in body. as always. so welcome.
to the wonder,
3/10/16 – Hosting for Queens’ longest running reading series, Boundless Tales at the Astoria Bookshop, 7-8:30pm [Facebook]
3/11/16 – Featured poet at Celebrating Queens Women Artists Event organized by Joan Becht Willette for Women’s History Month at Queens Council on the Arts, 6:30-9pm [More info]
4/7/16 – Performing for Queens Book Festival/Wendy Angulo Productions in Long Island City at the Q-Boro Lit Crawl! [Facebook]
4/16/16 – Poets from Queens reading with Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella and other distinguished local poets at Queens Library in Flushing (auditorium), 1:30-3pm!
And later that night… 4/16/16 – Featured poet at UNDER THE INFLUENCE: The Inspirational Legacy of a King from Queens honoring Astoria graff legend DON1 with Louie “KR.ONE” Gasparro at QNS Collective, 7-11pm [Facebook]
[all events, past & present, always listed HERE
i am i am i said i’m not myself but i’m not dead & i’m not for sale
hold me closer closer let me go let me be just let me be -STP.
“the pull is visceral. it may also be an act of self-loathing or anger against home or society or even the human condition in which the promise of death shadows us from those first fresh moments of birth.” -scott weiland, ‘not dead & not for sale.’
there comes a time when the pain is too great and you have to make things.
physically- knot them, paint them, scratch them, burn them. scavenge in the street, rip from pages, make a mess. as much of a mess you feel like you are- to create- that.
because- for a person for whom words are everything- sometimes they mean nothing.
and out of this disillusion, disappointment, hurt- something else is born. something in the realm of craft and mystic- synthetic. organic. trash. treasure. dirty hands to remind you you’re still alive and there is still a way to express the infinite bewilderment of that fact.
the only way to truly rail against death is to disappear for awhile- and create something.
“i embrace the day at a time mindset. for me, there’s no other way to live. i’ve got to stay present. i am optimistic. i have to learn to see the beauty in the mundane. i believe this is a key to my spiritual well-being. i have to change my perception and see god’s beauty in everything.”
“the human heart filled with sorrows and gold.”
-scott weiland, ‘not dead & not for sale.’
. still frame from movement to ‘interstate love song’
. still – collage
. i only have one antler (assemblage to the old life); what are bones for anyway (the stake, & association- ‘dying isn’t the hard part’) [two pieces]
. incomplete initiation [detail]
. breathing is the hardest – collage
. i only have one antler (assemblage to the old life) [detail]
. breathing is the hardest – collage [detail]
. still frame from movement to ‘interstate love song’
. incomplete initiation
. notes from the bottom (this is a cry for help)
**notes to self:
an installation is coming
do everything in the glow of candles and christmas lights
art is a permanent solution to a temporary problem
you are the only one who can decide what is healing to you and what that actually means.
sometimes you can’t accept help.
sometimes help is the thing that turns you further and further away.
sometimes you know you’re spiting yourself. isolating yourself. hurting people you love. but there’s nothing you can do.
for me, i’m such a hyper-aware/obsessive/fixating person that my cognition is on overload- what is the reason? how are we processing this? what comes nextnextnext?
the greatest thing- the only thing- we can do.. is just show up. as yoga teaches us every time we arrive.
just be there, in some situation out of the ordinary. with no expectation, cognition, pressure, NOTHING.
applaud yourself for the days you move. smile. go outside to touch a tree. look at the stars.
don’t guilt yourself into or out of anything.
just show up at yoga. start making some crazy collage. make a therapy appointment. go for a walk. make yourself a meal. any small thing. and then just be there. be in it. receive it. because the healing just happens. i feel it right now, 3 days back into yoga.
you can read self-help and advice books until the end of time- and i love them too- but you have to just embody it. get there. be there. get out of bed. or go to sleep early. and show up.
sometimes teachings work backwards for me because i constantly beat myself up- i know this. i know better. you feel the pressure, the expectation, the guilt, shame, time slipping away.
so- i am just writing to you lovingly from a moment outside the darkness.
just show up.
because the possibility of transformation is so much more pure and REAL than any kind of cognition, reasoning, logic, grandiose or complicated process your mind wants to implement.
right now- that’s all i can ask of myself. showing up, everyday. some consistency that i have never had in this increasingly bewildering world.
our lives feel meaningless because we’re always waiting for the big bang, so overstimulated it’s only the big things that can touch us anymore. what about the sensations of being alive, the sights and sounds, awareness?
as my best friend said so perceptively.. we are pulled over on the side of the road fiddling with our GPS, google maps, and wifi signal. instead of remembering- WE. CAN. JUST. DRIVE.
here, my heart goes analog.
“go slowly, and you will find the way out.”
of winter and the war. at this point i only care for what will bring me back to life.. happy (belated) snowstorm, nyc.
“you must not give way to desires which you don’t believe in. i know what you desire. you should, however, either be capable of renouncing these desires or feel wholly justified in having them. once you are able to make your request in such a way that you will be quite certain of its fulfillment, then the fulfillment will come. but at present you alternate between desire and renunciation and are afraid all the time. all that must be overcome.”
“i have been and still am a seeker, but i have ceased to question stars and books; i have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. my story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams- like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves.”
when i dream it’s of us looking down, watching everyone else from the heavens.
i kiss you in the space
where wings should be
place my fingers
on your ribs
where candles could be
you’d think our hearts
would be tired of this
but the snow is enough
pull up the blankets
fold back into
there are never enough
words about you
scribbled in half-light
with white-out outside
slipping in like
reality under sheets of
you have always been
to make me forget
and so i
fit myself against you
like a prayer
i somehow still remember
how to say.
tones to some
i am following
sunken footsteps to
how many times
can you write and
your skin it
to trust you
the first and last place
to ever truly find
the only warmth that
could receive me-
i am writing you again
when i swore i wouldn’t
your flesh under my pen,
like the whispers you make
half gracious, half afraid,
when something other than god
breathes the chill
into the wind-
our legends are dead..
the winter light
than the rest-
no page could contain
your foot against mine
on the other side,
if i could
slip this pen
bones i’d say
leave it there
to be written,
black ink, my
of those who
while i was
to rewrite a
the words came
from there too
and the hands
the ways they
in ways the
i am doing
for another winter
too long to
too short to
i kiss the space
where your wings
because i still
words are hands
and hands are
i light the
when he made
if we were
to the origin story
in a blizzard.
isn’t that just
trust the hands
om agnaye namaha,