Honing + Homing– mission statements for the New World

101359945_10102734395701154_5416480598124396544_o

I do not come to you with an abundance of formal certifications– none, actually, save for a Bachelors in Media Studies now over ten years ago. I have learned as our ancestors learned– through the natural world, from story, in community, in communion with spirit, and from direct experience.

I did not come to this work because it interested me. I came because my life depended on it.

At 21, I was Managing Editor of a glossy arts magazine in my home neighborhood. At 25, I was managing high-level corporate clients as a digital project manager for a rapidly growing tech start-up. At 30, I became Director of Public Programs for a world-renowned outdoor art museum, NYC park, and community event space. I have self-published 4 books and performed all over the city in venues large and small.

I have wanted to end my life many, many times. I have suffered through the literal shattering of my container so that I could expand to more fully accommodate my truest Self. I was arrested for spreading positivity through poetry graffiti. Ended up an outpatient in an addiction treatment center after my relationship– with a man struggling mightily with hard drug addiction– exploded. Lived years and years of compounded, unresolved interpersonal trauma and codependency. And was diagnosed bipolar II and anxiety disorder in 2018.

With the help of alternative frameworks, earth-based traditions, radical vulnerability, community in the human and more-than-human worlds, and the “mythic remediation” that comes with recontextualizing my Life as Legend– I have arrived in this Place that allows me to come to you As I Am, to meet You, As You Are.

I am interested in Ecopsychology and its practice of Ecotherapy because it brings me new vocabulary for the deeply interconnected, reverential, poetic, mythic, wild realms I have inhabited my whole life, but especially over the past 5 years of descent and healing. I am naturally inclined to help you walk between worlds and reclaim your birthright as a wondrous creature on this precious earth, privy to the generative wisdom and inner/outer adventures that extend so far beyond our purely mental capacities as well the mortal realm.

I am here to shatter traditional narratives and disempowering, oppressive, disconnected frameworks in the way that my own was shattered– to remind you that there is a framework that already exists, that already belongs to you, as you belong to it.

During my time in the addiction treatment center, one day in group a man who never ventured to say anything, for weeks, suddenly spoke– and he said, “You have to rewrite your own legacy. Because if not they’re going to be standing around your casket saying– ‘He never got a hold of that, did he? He never kicked it.'” On the way out of the room I told him, “I liked what you said about rewriting your legacy.” And he replied– “You have to, or someone else will.”

H E L L O

NYC native Audrey Dimola is a Bearer of Legend, alchemical artist and poet, event curator, sacred space-holder, youth mentor, and impassioned advocate for education, access, and understanding of the healing interrelation of myth, mental health, and the ecologies of spirit. Audrey’s rich experiences with Nature and the more-than-human world, creating and practicing ceremony and ritual, and the True Self’s mythopoetic depths helped her reclaim and save her own life, and she vows to continue assisting others in walking between their own worlds and edge-spaces. As of October 2020 she holds a Certificate in Ecotherapy from The Earthbody Institute!

She has self-published 4 books including “WILDLIGHT” and “THE BOOK OF LEGEND,” performed in venues both intimate and massive around NYC including The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (with experimental troupe Dzieci Theatre!), LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and Brooklyn Museum, and has nearly a decade of experience curating and hosting countless multidisciplinary arts events and working creatively in diverse communities. Since 2016 she has planned, provided, and managed a vibrant array of ever-expanding free public programming with over 150 partnerships for world-renowned waterfront art-space, Socrates Sculpture Park, in the beloved Queens neighborhood where she grew up.

She is an active proponent of radical vulnerability; sharing a kin-centric relation to All Things (animal, plant, spirit, human); peer-centered, holistic alternatives to traditional narratives that are often disempowering and disconnected; trauma-informed safe spaces for sharing; the healing power of looking inward instead of outward for guiding wisdom; and the vital importance of moving through these revelatory days with deep reverence, self-awareness, humor, and compassion.

Naturally emergent while heeding the soul’s calls of initiation, Audrey’s unique yet deeply rooted methods and modes of practice have been developed, honed, and explored through innate spiritual faculties and extrasensory perception, wilderness work, intuitive sense, lifelong artistic pursuits, and extensive on-the-ground experience, both person-to-person and in service to community and the environment.

You’ll find all her past and present work at this online home, as well as new blog posts. Poetry, prose, videos, events, photos, articles – it’s all here… !!

“I recognized myself in the mirror of the stories– and only then did it become clear to me how to negotiate the quandary of my life. And so the stories– more than just food, more than just nourishment, are medicine. Not specifically to heal– because we have a fantasy of healing– which is that the wounds and the scars will be gone, and we’ll be just as we were before the affliction ever landed on us. But to heal, as I mean it, is to make the wound a source– a generous and generative source– of what you have to give and bring into the world.” — Danny Deardorff.

93714051_10102672956061684_4606513958680002560_o

i have known within myself, since i was a child, that there are worlds within worlds within worlds.

i have been drawn to the spirits who walk between them– mercury/hermes, especially, The Messenger.

and i accept fully in this moment that i too am Psychopomp– a guide of souls into their depths.

all these years– especially the past five– of living so close to, and inside, the very real possibility of my own death. inside the want for it, along the edges, within these liminal spaces i felt would literally decimate my very being– and nearly did.

But I Am Here. I Am Still Here. and my dual-pronged experiences of “mental illness” and spiritual/shamanic awakening are no mere coincidence or by-product. Walking These Worlds are what i’m here to do– and i want to Walk Them with You, too.

i state here for the first time my dedication to what has arisen as my own unique practice– but rooted in the depth of collective unconscious, archetype, myth, spirit, symbol, living poetry, and eternal wisdom. i am a Practitioner of Living Legend. i play with the prima materia. i live in alchemy. in the effortless creation, the back + forth and in-betweens.

the rest of my life– will continue to be my unabashed coming out party as wise + wild woman, priestess, warrior goddess, divine feminine conjoined with sacred masculine, messenger, magician, healer, channel, guide.

WHERE CAN WE GO, TOGETHER?
YOU TELL ME…

***

The entries below are blog updates/news in real-time.

Enjoy exploring!

LIVE THEATRE / Personal Truth + New Names

92715274_2825886690813118_8265893461434040320_o.jpg

hello my friends–

i haven’t written to you since before all of this began. truly hoping that you and your loved ones are okay– that you are finding joy and lightness in this– that you are protecting yourself with love from all the fear-mongering, being led by evolution into alternate and higher states of consciousness and healing.. we are IN THIS, aren’t we? here. we. are. please reach out if you want to chat, zoom, so on and so forth. i am doing my best to be Here, first and foremost for mySelf {self-care is essential and 250% valid– please remember this..}.

most immediately i wanted to share with you– that we are presenting the mystical and ritualistic theatrical offering, “A PASSION” by DZIECI live on YOUTUBE LIVE tonight (april 10) at 8pm as we usually do in person– in time for easter and passover.

working with this company since last year has been transformative and life-changing– and being a direct part of how they have “accepted the conditions” and adapted such a physical play full of presence to the virtual medium we have at our disposal– has been exhausting, revelatory, precious, frustrating, and full of inherent truth.

{edit from the FUTURE, you can watch it HERE!}

“Taking ‘The Passion According to St. Matthew’ as a starting point, Dzieci researched early translations of the text, relying heavily on the Aramaic Pashita, and incorporated Hebraic song and chant and ritual elements of Judaism to craft a work that would appeal to the human spirit in everyone.

This delicate and communal piece was originally crafted with choral singing, dance, and ritual movement. It has now been re-envisioned for another medium. Though separated in body, may we remain together in spirit.”

i have also been directed to Speak Plainly about Extraordinary Things.
to stand more fully in my Truth of Being as messenger, alchemist, bridge-walker, spirit-talker, storyteller-seer.

i shared this last night on instagram {after 4 hours of dzieci rehearsal in the dark on the floor in my bathroom ;) #accepttheconditions}:

92749138_10102666761166304_6640628719381643264_o.jpg

#realism
today during my somatic session i heard my {brilliantly intuitive} practitioner reflect this seemingly innocuous sentence to me: ‘this feels too good, i can’t stay here’ — but without warning, immediately, tears sprang to my eyes, i turned away + my body locked up tight into defensive crunch.
i couldn’t believe how quickly + how deeply the nerve was pressed.
and there it was.
the dichotomy, stark– and i got to be with mySelf, and lead mySelf through it. without forcing, without pushing, without jargoning/analyzing to death inside my mind.
just by Being. With.

it’s difficult for me to face the idea that my time as Wildfire is over. this was the name that resurrected me, that pointed me in direction of my purpose.
but i have lived enough days burning my way through things.
the fire that i feel now is Honed. Gentle. Focused.
the fire, the heat– channeled, directed– into another kind of self-generated alchemical fuel.

i have been given New Names– perhaps as bastian was directed in the neverending story, to give the childlike empress her New Name + recreate fantastica in his own unique way.

the faeries gave me NOVA.🌟
and last night in my dreams, i was given Linnéa,🌼 ringing in my ears as i awoke. subsequently not surprised to understand its link to my beloved linden– grandfather tree– its flower and leaf i have tattooed on my forearm beneath ‘A Prayer To See + Be Seen.’ i have been wild for so long. forceful. erratic. stubborn. cavalier.
but i am not afraid to be gentle.
i am not afraid to be good.
i am not afraid to move with peace, have peace, Be Peace.

may i grow– towards new stars✨ and with deeper roots🌱– as holy New Destinies shape themselves inside me […] 💎

***

this is a Moment to Stand Fully, and Truly As We Are.
surely, the truth of our lives, and the life of humanity Itself, depends on It.
what is the message held in the truth of your life, and are you allowing yourself to express it?
this time is as right and as true as any– in fact, perhaps so much truer.

wishing you and your beloveds safe travels in these strange times.

loving always,

XO

audrey
{NOVA Linnéa}

here also is a new PRAYER POEM i wrote called “the body is a prayer for beginning,” debuted live this past february for borne dance company‘s eating disorder/mental health awareness event :)

NOVA.

channeled + wrote this morning.
spoken + shared with YOU.

***

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MESSENGER?

right after i wrote that sentence a shiny big red heart balloon floated into my windowframe. it floated on the air before landing in the back yard of the house where i live. balloons from nowhere have been a sign from my nana not long after she passed. that and the encouraging rainbows i’ve been seeing in windows– first randomly in brooklyn, and then in several houses i passed during my morning walk in the in-between times.

i am being called to deliver this Legend. my fear stops me– not fear of what i have to say. not fear of being seen. but fear of having my voice fall silent. there is so much noise– how to cut through it? how to reach people when you cannot physically be with them?

i am reminded again– speak plainly, and even just for yourself, your voice will be heard.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MESSENGER?

i think i have subconsciously always been drawn to it– growing, as i got older, to accept it as my true duty– because inherently there is a letting go, a releasing, that is required. the messenger is the messenger no matter the circumstance. it is something that is beyond you– something you need to ‘move out of the way’ for, ‘keep yourself pure’ for, treat yourself kindly, for– so that it can move through you, and out into the world. something that is greater than you, but that comes from you.

each of us have this ability, and often we silence it.

yesterday i was asked, while the clinician from the counseling center drafted up a safety plan for me– what is worth being alive for?
and i realized in that moment– it was me. it had to be me. just me.

it is this inherent worth i have been seeking for many years, and certainly most acutely in my adult life– especially the past five years spent wandering the wilderness.

to step back– and give yourself permission.
to release your story.
to be Seen, as you are.
to soften and ACCEPT and let PASS the feelings and sensations that come through you.
to remember what it feels like to be, purely, a receptor..
you do not judge what you are receiving, you just be with it. which is even a subtler form of witnessing, for me– witnessing feels divorced and cold, sometimes, when i think of it.
this is a Seeing. a Being With. an Accepting. and a–
Creation of Safety, Within.
so that Whatever It Is you Receive– you know that you will be Safe in being with it, experiencing it, acknowledging it.

we have developed triggers and defense mechanisms that do not belong to us.
i have very many that i did not realize for a very long time.
in my discovery of them, i was bent on analyzing them– this, has always, given me fascination, control, obsession.
i deeply, deeply want to understand.
i deeply, deeply want to know.
but because i am a storyteller– because i take stock of my life in its episodes, its adventures, its memories, its STORIES– i began dragging this tome around with me. it has stooped my posture, and lowered– sometimes even obliterated– my ability to see through and into the Present Moment. into the Expansivity that is my birthright. because, of course– there is a life history here.
there is a sense of Self that is based on what has happened in the past. based on trauma. based on learned behaviors, inherited behaviors. and things we needed to do in order to survive.

i have realized, over the past day or so– in a way that is more alive than i have before– that there exists a Pain Body.
it is this Pain Body that is holding the hulking tome. not even carrying it– clutching it. offering it to you whenever you try to cast out into the Wild Unknown.
here, it shows you, reminds you. it remembers every single moment, every single page.
here, remember when you failed.
here, remember when you were betrayed.
here, remember when you felt smaller than small, worthless.
here, remember when you tried– here, and here, and here, and here. and it didn’t work.

i do not feel this force as malevolent.
it just Is, what it Is. as All Things Are.
it is a victim and product of its circumstance.

but You Are Not.
You Are Not.

i do not wish to destroy the Pain Body.
i have learned inside my Legend– that violence is not the way. force is not the way.
it is an Allowing, a Being With, a sure-footed present consciousness– that allows things to release, to Flow, for Highest Good.

i See myself, in my mind’s eye– where i have experienced so many things– guides, gifts, quests, signs and symbols–
i See myself taking the tome from the Pain Body. with its missing skin and its patchiness, its shackles and punctures, its hardened, sad eyes– its relinquishment of Trust, to be Seen. to be Touched.
why would i want to continue hurting this creature?
why would i want to continue punishing this creature— telling it how small it is, how worthless, in agreement– of what it already feels and believes it is, and is Not?
this is where the Great Work happens. the Allowing. the Accepting. the pivot we are all being called to make, right Now–
is an internal one. as they often are. but we remain distracted– by everything Else.

i was Met today, on that walk in the morning in-betweens– by my black wolf and my white wolf. they were those with whom i began this quest, long ago and just yesterday– all Time is all the Same.
we walked under the archways and stood before a towering stone support for the bridge above us–
but all i saw in my mind was a radiant stained glass, not unlike ones i had seen in lofty, ornate cathedrals.
in that stained glass i saw the Newness. i saw NOVA. i saw my Self.
and the black wolf, standing beside me, was his half-hybrid, half-human self.
and the white wolf, now, too– was a beautiful woman with white wings flowing from her temples.
i understood the Union. i understood the Balance.
i understood the other pages in this story– i could not fully understand, at the Time.

who is coming to Be With the Pain Body?
it is this reunited Self. this reconstructed Self. a Self that has existed and yet has never existed, at the same Time.

i realized once more that when we feel Sovereign and Safe in our bodies, we can hear the messages Clearly.
they transform effortlessly and shift from the riddles or metaphors into plain spoken truth.
days ago– as in many times during my Legend– i actually did not want to kill myself. i did not want to die.
my Spirit was EXPANDING radically– in ways the old world, the old container– Could. Not. Hold.

we have a Choice, in every Moment.
be obliterated with the old container. the one that was too small to hold us. the one that restricts us.
or create a New Container for the Winged Self. one that can truly support the fuller Wing-Span.

that is who i saw on that stone wall turned mystical stained glass window, underneath the bridge.
standing in the park with my shimmering guides that only my internal eyes could see.

NOVA. do you know where this name came from?
a child had written with chalk on some stones that i stumbled upon, at the base of a tree.
“fairy house.”
and on the rock sitting above it– “HI NOVA.”

sometimes we are recognized by Spirit, by Wonder, in ways we cannot yet acknowledge ourselves.

yet this is the Work, and the Work i invite you to do, with Me, With and For Your Self.

this Newness is an ever-present Gift. this burst of a star, this beginning.
but it can only be given PERMISSION– SAFETY– KINDNESS– AGENCY– with which to begin–
if we gently remove the tome of our Past Lives from the grasping, tired hands of the Pain Body.
you may Burn it, or you may Bury it. it is no matter.
the ritual happens Inside.
i understand now that the more important thing– the most important thing– is not what happens to that book of the Past.
it’s what future-creating action is set into motion– when you sit down beside the Pain Body.
and let your Highest Self re-teach it how to Feel. Accept Love. Accept Touch. and Heal.

i thank you for the opportunity to flow this through me today.
it is not the Last, and not the First.
but the Present, Ever, and Always.

NOVA**.

hello again + 2020 !!

74236357_10102498213871434_7294008165543182336_o.jpg

hello out there my beauties– !! {freddie mercury said this and i literally cannot, ever, stop beginning blog posts or emails like this..} here is what i wrote to end 2019:

there are not enough words or photos to describe the decade– so i’m not even going to attempt. so many dreams made real. blessings of falling in love. even greater blessings of owning my truth in ways i never thought i would. traveling to places i never thought i’d see. reconnecting with the land, performing my own words + stories, trusting my voice enough to sing + my body enough to dance, returning to theatre, creating my first art installations, sharpie scrawling my words everywhere i went. finally having a room of my own– then moving more times than is probably healthy. reclaiming my own story, alchemizing my trauma, healing my own lineage, brushing up against death, carrying only the firelight of my heart into the deepest darkness + most harrowing threats. i am so grateful for all the people i met, all the places i shared myself + my work, the journeys that have contributed to my ultimate healing, the 4 books i self-published, the tons of shows i curated + hosted all over the city. but really. i have seen the bottom of the bottom. and the heighest fucking heights. i love my family + all those who never lost hope in me, and for me. i am my own greatest gift at the closing of this decade. my own Legend. my own Hero. where we go from here is all of my own choosing. and i couldn’t be happier– to be the sacred firekeeper for my own utterly unique + magickal blaze of a Life.

happy new year, everyone.
may you never give up on yourself.
may you remember what it feels like to wildly dream.

///

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 7.34.22 PM.png

and with that– may i reintroduce mySelf… 

i have been creating art– writing, drawing, book-making, singing, dancing, imagining my own worlds– for as long as i can remember, expressly to make sense of my vivid mental and emotional landscapes, quite literally to survive my everyday traversal of them {map-making comes in handy}, and to bridge deeper connections to my fellow spirits + humanimals.

i started my professional career as an arts journalist + editor and grew to (re)discover my passionate sensitivity for community organizing, holding and facilitating space, and of course returning to my lifelong love of multi/cross-disciplinary performance.

my work is based at the core in communion via the written and spoken word and its theatrical vocalities– four full-length books of poetry + prose and countless live performances charged with immersive imagery, myth + spiritual dynamism; thunderously edgy, honest + rooted in reverence to the natural world.

my practice also extends always into the public sphere– to ephemeral poetry graffiti, whimsical + ritualistic art installations, and lovingly curated gatherings of creative souls, from intimate to massive, dedicated to the expression, experimentation, evolution, and enjoyment of all– both in my longtime independent practice in venues across queens + NYC, and since late 2016, as director of public programs at LIC’s socrates sculpture park {where i grew up playing + exploring, two blocks from my childhood home}.

i am first and foremost a torchbearer, alchemical storyteller, and servant of the people– in addition to a very proud queens, NYC native + descendent of southern italian immigrants {polignano a mare!}. art is my lifeblood and lifeline, and an absolute necessity for the survival turned thrival of these challenging + transformative times we all are called to navigate– both bravely + vulnerably, both inwardly + outwardly.

///

what’s. up. NEXT:

seqbiennialfront invite.jpg

seqbiennialback.jpg

i’m so grateful to be included in the second southeast queens biennial exhibition– the thematic timing couldn’t be better, as i’m literally currently processing, healing + moving onward from many {more} big life changes + moves throughout 2019 that are finally ending in 2020. i’m considering the grander arc of my story in three {four?!} dimensions in this show, with two installations in these two jamaica, queens venues + hopefully some performance too. thank you so much to molaundo + margaret for this opportunity to share new work in new ways. i’m always so enlivened by the challenge + invitation to express myself in ways that are not solely paper + voice, the viscerality of the physical. {coming soon} “IN THE BEGINNING WAS A HERO SEEKING HOME”

2020 Southeast Queens Biennial – WRITING HOME:
Literacy. Identity. Environment.

Curators: Margaret Rose Vendryes & Molaundo Jones
Dates: February 14 – April 17, 2020
Press Reception with Curators: February 21, 2020 at 1PM starting at York College Fine Arts Gallery and at 2:30PM continuing to the Miller Gallery at the Jamaica Arts Center
Programming: March 27- York College Fine Arts Gallery, 6-9PM / April 16- Miller Gallery, 6-9PM

Opening on Valentine’s Day, the second Southeast Queens Biennial will be a nine-week group exhibition at the York College Fine Arts Gallery and the Miller Gallery at the Jamaica Arts Center. Molaundo Jones and Margaret Rose Vendryes, the curators who are also visual artists, have invited ten Queens-based artists to address literacy, identity, and environment with work that investigates how their creative practice contributes to the life of the borough. Statistics document the remarkable ethnic and cultural diversity of Queens, but relay little about what is it like to live/work/play within culture-fluid communities that are still becoming “home” for many of its residents. Through painting, book arts, installation, photography, doll arts, performance, and interactive constructions, the 2020 SEQ Biennial artists reveal what can be “read,” in more ways than one, through the visual arts. Definitions of literacy, identity, and environment, remain open-ended as these Queens artists compliment, and complicate, NYC life through visual narratives that are like WRITING HOME.

For participating artists, location details, and general RSVP, visit: www.seqbiennial.com

82498395_10102574541639974_3703958853809864704_o.jpg

ABOVE: cut outs of all the places i’ve lived after leaving 25 years spent in my same family home in astoria/long island city. it’s been a wild ride, to say the least. “i did it for Love” …

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 7.09.15 PM.png

more in the hopper from me, from the 2020 season at socrates sculpture park, new collabs + evolutions of the very interesting shapes my work is stretching towards taking. i hope to use this site more often + not have everything lost on facebook + instagram {although it’s worth watching on instagram .. hahah}. i’m feeling a Moment of edging + discovery and i’m hoping to have more of these conversations + discussions in Person, soon. the last piece i wrote felt like physically feeling my way into the darkness– using my instinct instead of my eyes.

i was very unexpectedly not able to have a formal book launch for my latest, THE BOOK OF LEGEND back in september, so it feels as of now incompletely introduced, in a way– but as the universe always does– it has its own plans. i still think it’s learning how to take up space, how to howl from its gut, its Own Name.. and i’ll let it lead me there, and to you.

here’s to what’s Out There– and In Here, of course, too–

XO

a.

embracing self + other: dzieci’s FOOLS MASS begins this wk

78066731_10102525163374414_4874199582109597696_o.jpg

it’s december, friends..!!!

and at a moment in which i am working through much forgiveness towards myself for past actions, compassion for myself and others, seeing and being seen, no matter how painful– there is nothing more honest than donning the grody teeth, sooting yourself up, and embodying a fool in dzieci theatre‘s long-running production of FOOLS MASS. it allows you to look at yourself differently, point blank– and at others, the idea of ‘otherness’ and the judgment and repulsion directed towards those in that category– what we feel is grotesque, crazy, abnormal, be it differently abled people, body types and abilities, mental illness, deformities, the homeless, addicts, outcasts.. and the dark or unruly or nontraditional or seemingly shameful parts of our own selves. there’s a place for everyone in fools mass, because there’s a place for everyone in dzieci– and it’s hugely transformative to partake in. please join us this holiday season, SHOWS START THIS WEEK in bklyn, nyc, queens + upstate <3 you literally won’t forget a dzieci performance. i guarantee this! .. did i mention we are performing at st. john the divine??!! #holyshit #dreamcometrue

more info (including many more testimonials/reflections):
http://dziecitheatre.org/the-work/fools-mass/

quick link to 2019 date listing: HERE

“Fools Mass is such a rich exploration of human nature and our spiritual search. There is the constant flow between control and chaos, aloneness and togetherness, creation and destruction, the absurdly mundane and transcendent simplicity. The search for true contact without an intermediary leads us into a true spiritual connection within and between one another. It’s a rich experience worthy of multiple viewings.” ~ Matthew Purdon ~

“By the end of the Fools Mass, I was in love with every character. I no longer saw their teeth, or the dirt on their faces, or their stooped and spastic forms. I saw only human beings in love with the sacred, in connection with spirit. I saw brothers and sisters. I am still in rapture. It was magnificent, and deeply moving. And I can’t stop thinking about it.” ~ Dave Klaus ~

IN OTHER NEWS:

as i am embarking on my 4th move this year and 8th or 9th move since 2015– i’m honored + excited to have been invited to exhibit new work in The 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial: WRITING HOME, which will be on view in two venues: the york college fine arts gallery AND the miller gallery at JCAL, from mid-february through early april 2020. i’ll share more info as we get closer– i always treasure the opportunity to stretch from page into three dimensions, especially on a subject (HOME) that is so deeply pertinent at this moment. molaundo, my old friend from queens council on the arts– thank you for Seeing me <3

“Statistics document the impressive ethnic and cultural diversity of Queens but, for those who live here, numbers appear hollow and rhetorical. What is it like to live/work/play within culture-fluid communities? How do neighbors communicate without a shared native language? How can one remain true to self, family, ethnicity and fit in out there? The 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial invites artists with a significant connection to Queens to visualize these and other questions that address literacy, identity, and environment.”

AND SPEAKING OF ART:

my wonderland of public programs at socrates sculpture park is in hibernation for the winter BUT our OPEN CALL DEADLINE FOR PROJECTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO DEC 8! and the theme this year is: MAKING MONUMENTS (!!). more info on the socrates annual fellowship HERE.

ALSO; WHY NOT:

we are nearing the one-year anniversary of my first alchemical theatre work, PROVENANCE, which debuted at the plaxall gallery last december. you can watch the piece in its entirety HERE, or if you need a shot of spirit in these early waking hours, open to this DRUM PRAYER…

it’s also coming to me to work on a new piece:
liar + a truth-teller: a performance/discussion on things we don’t like to talk about.’ more on that soon..

it has been a helluva year from start to finish. i’m always posting reflections, vulnerabilities, news + updates from the road on my INSTAGRAM. don’t forget, folks, that we are nearing the END OF A DECADE. what has happened in your life from 2009 until now? what have you created? what have you kept in? who were you then, who are you now? these questions have prompted rapid change in me in the last few months. looking forward to creating where 2020 will take me..

hope to see you out there– all best + happiest holidays to you + yours

XXOO

a.

A PRAYER TO SEE + BE SEEN

Creative Reframing.png

“An exploration of mental illness as an invitation to radical self-discovery instead of a disease with no cure.” it means the world to me to be able to share this documentary film, CRAZYWISE, that has helped me so much on my own mental health journey– and to do two events, starting tomorrow, world mental health day– with the wholehearted support of art house astoria and astoria presbyterian church– based expressly around creative reframing for mental health & mental illness, the ways we can take our journeys back into our own hands. please join us & RSVP on eventbrite: tinyurl.com/creativereframingnyc. i’m grateful for my life and for the opportunity to speak on these literally life-changing and life-saving topics, with humans whose work and being i truly admire.

A PRAYER TO SEE & BE SEEN:
Creative Reframing for Mental Health & Wellbeing
a 2-part event featuring CRAZYWISE screening, discussion & experiential resource-sharing

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. During this week, we gather together in an effort to SEE & BE SEEN– to build community, share resources, and dive into alternative methods of exploring mental health and mental illness– recontextualizing it as an invitation to radical self-discovery instead of a disease with no cure.

Thursday, October 10 – 6:30-8:30pm
CRAZYWISE – documentary screening

We will screen the 2017 documentary CRAZYWISE, with time for opening/closing exercises and post-film reflections.

SHORT SYNOPSIS:
Crazy… or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience.

WATCH TRAILER / FULL SYNOPSIS: https://crazywisefilm.com/

Saturday, October 12 – 5-7pm
Experiential resource sharing with presentations/activities & discussion

Building on the theme established by CRAZYWISE– what are our options and resources for creatively reframing mental illness and founding a progressive new relationship with our inner selves? We explore and experience with several members of the community sharing their approaches, including healing practices and traditions, floatation therapy, mindfulness, storytelling and “living your legend,” with time for group discussion and activities.

FEATURING:
Satya Celeste of SacredWaters
Rebecca Gitana Torres of Healing Through The Home
Alex Tatis of Refined Inner Being LLC
Sydney Projekthandmade of innerNest
Representatives from Mindful Astoria
Audrey Dimola, ‘THE BOOK OF LEGEND’
Aldo Cano Trevino of Mental Health First Aid

FREE EVENTS – ALL ARE WELCOME
LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE, PLEASE RSVP
http://tinyurl.com/creativereframingnyc

!!! SPREAD THE WORD + SHARE !!!
Hosted & curated by Audrey Dimola
Part of World Mental Health Day 2019 at Art House Astoria Conservatory For Music and Art, in partnership with Astoria Presbyterian Church

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…