audrey dimola[art for the wild]

Posts Tagged ‘awareness is empathy

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‘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

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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.

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thanks to my incredible, lionhearted 9th grade english teacher at LIC high school, my latest book WILDLIGHT is being read & responded to in her classroom.. unreal

hello out there my beauties,

i’m going to hit you with a bunch of wild & wonderful things…

** 2018 SEASON OF FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMS BEGINS AT SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK THIS WEEKEND

check it all out: http://socratessculpturepark.org/programs/all/

this weekend kicks off what every weekend will look like through mid-sept:

SATURDAY- yoga @ 9:30 & 11am
saturday sculpture workshop- art-making workshop with a different artist each week, drop-in anytime from 12-3pm
mini-market with vendors like hellgate farm & little wildbranch bakery 11am-4pm

SUNDAY- yoga @ 10am
tai chi @ 11am

and that’s in addition to a FULL SEASON of music, international film, art-making, festivals, cultural performances, dance & more, everything from our new festival QUEENS GREEN DAY on june 2 to the metropolitan opera and ballet folklorico mexicano’s guelaguetza festival.. please come out & see us!

** MY NEW BOOK ‘WILDLIGHT’

“three years of blood, sweat, fire, heart, and LIVING have gone into this book, plunging into the wildernesses of love, spirituality, addiction, sex, shamanism, mental health struggles, self-love, and rebirth.”

my latest book of poetry & prose, ‘WILDLIGHT’ has now been out for almost 2 months and i am forever grateful and incredulous that this thing exists in the world…

if you’d like a copy or to learn more: https://audreydimola.com/books/wildlight/

** SHARING THE JOURNEY ON PODCASTS!

i was recently featured on three amazing podcasts..

* NYC Geek Society’s NYC Geek Podcast #3 (Poetry & Discussion)

Audrey Dimola comes in to discuss her book “Wildlight: Poetry and Prose From Inside the Fire”. Jon reads an excerpt from the book, which is a catalyst to a discussion about the metaphysical / physical realms, heartbreak, travel, and philosophy.

* ME2RADIOZONE mental health podcast with alex tatis & keys will

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE #AWARENESSISEMPATHY here

May is Mental Health Awareness month and Alex and Keys had the dopest experience with mental health advocate Audrey Dimola! Audrey, a Queens native, is a powerhouse and a constant stand for the mental health community in addition to being a self published author. Shit gets real when Audrey takes it there with a powerful, authentic piece from her new book “Wildlight”. Follow us on IG and FB @Me2RadioZone to see what your mental health crusaders are up. Join the movement!

* IT’S IN QUEENS podcast with rob mackay & chris donovan

This week Rob and Chris welcome writer, poet, performer, singer and of course Director of Public Programs at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Audrey Dimola. They talk about the multitude of programs coming to Socrates Sculpture Park including movie nights, art installations, yoga, tai chi, farmers market and more. The crew touches on some events happening in Queens this week including a ragtime tribute concert at St.Michael’s in East Elmhurst, a ton of activities in Long Island City including the Wizard of Oz and painted canoes, two Queens Symphony Orchestra performances, the folks at King Manor kicking it old school and bringing it new school as well, a Flushing Town Hall global mash up and finish up with some more information on Audrey. She is a published author and her latest book of poetry and prose is called Wildlight. Available through her website and coming to an independent bookstore near you.

** IT’S MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH & SO EXCITED TO SHARE THESE UPCOMING EVENTS/OPPORTUNITIES…

* IN QUEENS: HEALTHY FAMILIES DAY OF WELLNESS

i recently connected with the wonderful nicole, outreach coordinator for department of health and mental hygiene’s THRIVE NYC program and she is helping to organize this- bringing families together for mental health education and resources in Western Queens!

* IN NYC: A CELEBRATION OF DANGEROUS GIFTS

i also recently connected with the incredible sascha who is one of the founders of the radical mental health group ICARUS NYC who is organizing with/through/as ‘the institute for the development of human arts’ an event called A CELEBRATION OF DANGEROUS GIFTS in june…

So many of the things labeled “mental disorders” have lessons to teach and power to give if we learn how to harness them. We have found this much easier to do in community.

The Institute for the Development of Human Arts (IDHA) invites you to a day of community, art, music, spoken word, global report backs from the culture shift front and celebration of madness and creativity.

We understand that it is time for a new paradigm in mental health: one that affirms self-determination and healing, that accounts for the complexity of personal, social, and collective traumas and oppression, that opens up our narrow definition of “normal” for the full range of human experience, and allows us to look beyond medicalized and disease-centered thinking to offer regenerative, holistic, and transformative practices.

this is a HUGELY important effort for all of us- re-contextualizing and re-engaging with the idea of mental illness in a revolutionary way (closer to awakenings and gifts than illnesses we need to be cured of)… did i mention y’all should watch the film ‘CRAZYWISE‘??

thank you all for being a part of my journey. it has been an even wilder one for the past few months but i feel a vital breath in my lungs howling-

MORE. LIFE.

all my love,

XO

a.

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#nosleeptillWILDLIGHT

XO

a.

[[ what’s coming up ]]


Into the wild wonderland…

Celebrated as “a wildfire in a world of fluorescent bulbs,” a “poetic force of nature,” and “inspiration incarnate,” Queens, New York City native AUDREY DIMOLA is a poet, performer, curator, messenger, local arts advocate, community organizer, and lifelong artist, as well as Director of Public Programs at Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park. // Thanks so much for stopping by! You’ll find all my work on this website, past and present, as well as new blog posts. Poetry, prose, videos, events, photos, articles – it’s all here. // STAY WILD, STAY GRATEFUL!

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ABOUT
Pleased to meet you..!

POETRY & PERFORMANCE
Poetry & prose, live performance videos

PROJECTS
Compass Project, Nature of the Muse, THE WILD PAPERS, #poetsinthewildnyc & more

EVENTS
Full list of upcoming & past events

ARTICLES & MEDIA
Features, reviews, interviews, essays in print & online; blog posts; video interviews

CURATING
Original events I've curated like Nature of the Muse & the Queens Literary Town Hall

PRESS
Coverage of my work - print, blogs, TV!

CONTACT ME!
Info, mailing list, testimonials, specialties

MY BOOKS
My collections of poetry & prose

My Books

I have three poetry & prose collections for sale, proudly self-published. Like what you read? Support an indie!

Decisions We Make While We Dream (2012)

TRAVERSALS (2014)

WILDLIGHT (2018)

Compass Project Poetry Stickers

As of February 2012, I've been sticking my Compass Project poetry and prose stickers up around NYC & sending them around the world! Have you seen some? Want some? Find out more!