audrey dimola[art for the wild]

Posts Tagged ‘darkness

17.

Posted on: January 6, 2017

hello, my friends and loves and wild kindreds. here we are.

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i wrote this at the end of 2016:

many things have happened to me this year, i have caused many things to happen this year. some of the greatest triumphs, some of the deepest lows. this is what i learned: each day we are asked to hold a candle up against the things and people we love, in order to truly see them. to remember how to see them. but it is a definitive action, a powerful choice. an interaction, not passive. this is how the light works. sometimes our habitual or learned choice is darkness. we cannot always resemble the decisiveness of fire or the horizon or blades of grass. or soaking rain. we must make a choice, a conscious choice. for what we want to be, what we want to bring. to choose to heed or ignore the question posed to us, everyday. because whether or not we listen, the question is always there. will you hold up your candle to see things as they are? things and people worth fighting for. you, yourself, worth fighting for. it takes action. and i wish your body and soul recognition of that eternal, inherent movement, and the power in it. that no matter how much we recede into the darkness- hide, seethe, recoil, hurt. there is always potential to return the pendulum swing, call back the eternal question. back to the light. #happynewyear

**

what else?

the debut of reliquary: the body was my last performance of 2016 (you can read the full piece HERE), with amazing fotos by geo geller below…

it was something totally different for me, edges i need to continue pushing and playing with.

i cried when this was over and i cried into the mirror before it started. everything screamed in my head not to trust. i was more nervous than i can remember being for a performance in so, so long. i released the deepest and darkest. the cracked doorways and red sheets. it was done. and i just lost myself inside it. i seldom memorize my work, get stuck on perfection or fear of forgetting words, and just forget what’s possible in the visceral. this is what’s possible. to just give it, fully. and let it go. thank you with my whole heart to edjo wheeler & LIC-A and everyone who watched me debut ‘reliquary: the body.’ everyone who was moved. it was beyond me. i know that through everything, i just have to continue pushing. #thankyou

this is the video by bill hopkins which i feel so lucky to have…

and this

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1.1.17 first day of the world:

some days you ride with the current. swiftly, effortlessly. the earth seems peopled with feelings, with presence. walking alone is not walking alone. it is not being afraid. not feeling the passage of time. i remember, now, walking this bridge under delicate slice of crescent moon, cars roaring. how it felt to walk the woods alone. stand on the edge of the road at night. sit in the field, watch vultures circling. i fear again and again i will be robbed of myself. but it is just a matter of slipping back into the stream. nothing gained, nothing lost. resuming, pulse of the infinite. onward, and on.

**

find me, here [upcoming events]

including- something very close to my heart:

HOW WE CREATE/HOW WE COPE:
intersections of art & mental health/mental illness

Friday, February 10th, 6:30-8:30pm
at Queens Council on the Arts’ LAB space in Astoria [Facebook invite]

Queens native and poet/curator Audrey Dimola hosts a panel and performance evening aiming for safe space, honest talk, and open presentations about the too-often stigmatized topic of mental illness, particularly in connection to the creative experience. Throughout our cultural history, many of the legendary artists we know today grappled in this way- yet it becomes a passing line in their bio, a tragic footnote; and their brilliant work remains. In the present day, an increasing number of individuals of all ages are struggling in similar fashion, frequently in silence and shame, for fear of judgment and unanswered questions. How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experience of the artist, and when is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like? A variety of local featured artists will present their stories, poetry, music, visual art, and more, in addition to facilitated discussion, Q&A, and sharing of resources/experiences on these topics. All are welcome, your voice is encouraged.

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1 is the year of completion,

(with gratitude for you always)

XO

a.

i will not die like this, the girl said.
and so, she didn’t.

the black wolf’s voice hung in the air, the char emanating from his fur melting the snow in a tiny pure circle around him.

she said she would not die and so she didn’t.

the girl was silent.
ragged from crying.
someone pressed their breath into a ram’s horn miles in the distance.

this is a choice i don’t have anymore.
she remembered his words.

how long had she been walking in multiple worlds?

two years had gone by, trying to bleed out the wound or tie it off, sometimes simultaneously.

she felt entirely mad, most days.
the other days, she wasn’t sure.

her stomach felt hollow, sick.
the all-familiar headache that comes with unrestrained tears.

the ghosts were carrying her weeping through the woods, wisping around trees.

she wished they would just bury it.

the horn sounded again- a pure tone against the crying.

all untruth is rooted, child.
just as the truth is.

a house made entirely of fogged mirrors appeared to the right.

the black wolf motioned.

following the root always goes..
somewhere. sometimes. here.

* * *

i walked the perimeter of the house. where was the warmth, what was the memory?

you haven’t wanted to look.
he paused.
find the way inside.

my anger nearly doubled me over.
collapsing, i grasped a stone and hurled it towards the structure.

suddenly i was a little girl.
or at least that’s who i saw in the bathroom mirror. sitting perched on the sink, a faraway moment, blue walls between the color of sky and sea.

i never really look at you, do i? i said, running my palm down my face. i never do. i never tell you anything- ever.

just look right past you.

i was supposed to protect you.
a voice i couldn’t tell came from inside or outside.

i watched the girl in the reflection’s mouth move and i was holding the stone again, this time on the inside.

i raised my finger and wrote in the humidity, words i couldn’t place, prayers i had never learned.

the little girl was beside me. i took her hand.

why are you so afraid of this place? i asked her, the letters slowly dripping in the heat.

because no one has told me i shouldn’t be.

my heart clenched.

no one has ever told me i would be okay.

i just have to keep moving, we said in unison- the words slipped to the ground and collected at our feet.

i didn’t want to cry anymore that night. i couldn’t tell whose voice, mine or hers.

we stood, looking at each other, infinite reflections in unfogged glass.

i lit a candle.

it pierced the endless like a burning star, streaking.

i placed her hands beneath mine on the wax.

you are okay. i am okay.
we are safe.
we are safe.
we are safe.

the horn blew again and i was outside mid-hurl with the rock. startled, i stopped, dropping it into the snow.

the house had dissolved and there were letters all over the ground. the little girl was picking them up.

i rushed to her.

we will make a new home, i said, kneeling. and the black wolf smiled softly in the shadows, stark against the landscape.

don’t be scared, i whispered, my hand on her head.

we will put these words up somewhere else.
we will make them say beautiful things.

the little girl nodded, a slight glow returned to her face. i turned and looked for the black wolf, seeing nothing.

the ghosts were burying the cries, returning them to earth.

i took her hand.

i will not die like this, i said into the air. laughter of young ones and animals curled in the distance.

and so she didn’t. the little girl squeezed my hand. we began to walk.

[see the previous parts of this story]

* * *

happy winter solstice.
happy return of the light.

in this night of seemingly endless darkness, i offer this.

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a beginning, a discovery.

see you, here.

XO

a.

i didn’t know when another piece of this story would come, but it did.

* * *

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the city loomed in the distance.
we were returning.
everything was amber. wildlight.

i thought you were in love, and you were gone.

here, whole cities are made from regrets, the black wolf said.

everything still smelled like ash.
my head burned. i was lost again.

i picked up four stones from the riverbed and arranged them in compass formation. i placed my hand over each, reciting the last prayer i could remember.

whenever you are most scared, go north.
when the darkness seems it will never end, go north.
when you are no longer afraid to die, go north.
when they tell you not to go. go north.

i lit sage in the center and inhaled until my eyes reddened.

i came upon a camp of young ones. my own child self was there, running and stomping around. laughing and barking orders. making all the plans.

plans, i thought. plans.
when was the last time you had one? the black wolf asked, eyes on the children flickering ’round their fire.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

maybe. him?

the warrior with the chipped shoulder, with the heart made of feathers. being already partly of that species, he didn’t have to turn into a bird- he just chose to burn.

some nights all i saw was his eyes. never heartbroken. just- gazing at me. infinite. in love.

i looked down at my hands. there was still a rusty colored mark around my ringfinger.

the children roared with laughter, howling and poking their sticks into the fire, scattering embers along the forest floor. tiny brushfires lit and unlit- the children weren’t afraid. i knew they would never know what it was like- the city made of regret. i wanted to smile at such roughness, purity- but i couldn’t bring myself to.

it’s happening again, i said, staring. i don’t want to keep walking, i just want to stay here. the roots, hearing this, tangled around my feet. i am better off hidden. i am better off dead.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

from the flickering lights and laughter he emerged. wings tucked behind his back, his face, gentle. he pulled me into the spine of his legend, my hands a dog-eared page. our lips parting- all warmth, all agonizing electric. his hands ran over me, filled to the fingerprints with everything. everything i had loved, let go, refused.

we were back against the ocean again after the snow, mana sending sparks into the ether, the most beautiful firelights i had ever seen.

a thousand timepieces smashed in my head and i shook. we made love for hours, explosion after explosion, one sun climbing higher than the next and bursting- harder. brighter.

i could feel the buildings cracking through the ground around us- i wondered where the throne room was and if he knew i was the king of this awful place, locked in the back of a speeding car, kissing furious through twisted neon streets. every glinting road sign cracked and fell to the pavement as we passed.

we were so close.

i want to spend the rest of my life with you, i heard myself say.

a tree lit up in front of me and my eyes snapped open.

i expected to see the black wolf and the children rushing but i only saw the warrior. standing next to the boughs on fire, the bark pulsing with words.

he outstretched his palms to me, burning red, his wings slowly unfurling as he took me in his arms. the ghosts charged through the forest, to the edges of the city, wailing.

a cast-iron crown rolled to the singed land, the dust at my feet.

i couldn’t remember the rest.

* * *

that night i dreamed of the white wolf, cloudy and hovering on a cliff-top. i called to him but he did not move. my mother was with him. my father, my siblings, my grandmother, and my child self.

i clung to the arms around me- some flesh and blood, some gnarled, some winged, some ghost. their arms, their fingers, their hands were all i could focus on.

with my eyes on the white wolf, i drowned.

* * *

i awoke curled against the smoking fire with the young ones all around me. my body throbbed. i could still taste the warrior, the visceral urge to hide inside his feathered chest. never come out alive.

i thrust my face into the smoke and breathed.

one of the little girls, moppy golden hair and crystal blue eyes, brought me a stack of bones.

this is what remained after the warrior left.
the black wolf sang you back.

i stared at her, wide eyed, accepting the bones into my palms- feeling their roughness, the archaic encryption, the fire, the salt.

the black wolf slept curled on a stone chair a few paces from the children and me. i blinked. one half of my brain walked through the city wearing the roughshod crown, forehead bloody. the other half wandered the burning woods, my own voice screaming against the promises.

how do i know if this is real? i asked the girl, eyes welling with anger and confusion.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the warrior’s wet breath on my neck, my chest.
his hands.

where is the safe place! i cried, slamming the bones to the ground. sparks shot up and the black wolf’s eyes opened- stoic, not startled.

why aren’t you saying anything? why aren’t you letting me leave?
my finger trembled as it pointed in his direction- the tip flickering, gathering ash.

it’s because of you i’m stuck here- my own dreams touching me in the night, traveling from realm to realm, life to life. i can’t say goodbye, i can’t do anything! soon it will all be cities of regret or burning forests- i can’t keep a promise, i can’t stop regretting, WHAT ELSE do you want me to realize?

the black wolf came down from the stones, standing over the bones. he ground them up into a paste and smeared it on my forehead and tongue. he did the same to the little girl. i did not recognize until that moment, it was me.

in my mind’s eye, i watched myself take the words from the flaming trunks. standing in the city, blood dripping down my face, i repeated them.

i thought i was never going to see you again.
this time, it was my own voice speaking to the little girl.
i ran my hand down her face, crying openly.

i don’t want to do this anymore. it hurts too much.

i curled up on the floor in the tightest ball i could and the children buried me with the dead bird they had found in the underbrush.

i inhaled the dark earth, becoming a tree that broke out on the other side of the mountain.
i emerged from the leaves, calm and crying, a candle lit inside my chest.

when i climbed from the boughs, the black wolf was there to receive me.

you have done well, my child.
now it is time to rest.

* * *

see you, here.

XO

a.

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go slowly, see miracles opens fri 5/20/16 from 6-10pm in 43-01 21st street in long island city but will be on view 12-6pm on saturday 5/21 and sunday 5/22!

it’s a little after 2 in the morning and less than an hour ago i returned home from day 3 of my install for LIC arts open 6. sitting down at this blank page (computer screen?!) words just can’t seem to do it justice. carolina and richard from LICAO- thank you, thank you for this opportunity..

this is more than a project, an art installation, a room transformation.. it’s a commemoration. a milestone. this was one of those things- it emerged out of dreams, experiences, words, darkness. to think that- earlier this year, i was in a place where i couldn’t recognize myself, at all. the changes in my life completely displaced me- the decisions, the goodbyes, the wild adventures, the woods, the farms, the art, the risks, all certainty became uncertainty, grounded to a sudden halt. all unfamiliar, hollow, numb. i perceived the disassociation as a new norm.. but out of that darkness- came the beginnings of this. i’m a lifelong writer but also a lifelong artist. when words failed me- i worked with my hands. i worked with scratches and tears, collage, mixed media, the mysticism of found objects, ink and smears, fire. golden paint like byzantine halos. earthen material. the things i couldn’t say- i created. it was the only thing i could do, at that moment.

we often get stuck in our own spheres.. i am a poet- i use voice, i use words. that’s who i am. it’s scary and uncomfortable to own another role (in this case- installation artist), and we so often hesitate. paralyzed by judgment of self and imagined from others.. yet my longing to expand remained. poetry in three dimensions materialized while creating ‘art for the wild’ with my brilliant sister april- found poetry, tearing up books, collaging with images onto wood, onto painted glass bottles, inspiration stones. THE WILD PAPERS in collaboration with some beautiful friends was my first site-specific experience in the theatrical/performative realm- i carry it with me everyday. but i have wanted to create a world of my own since before the conception of that show.. a space i could transform. fairy lights. jungle greenery. hideaways. wonderland.

the roots of this project are deep- but somehow deepest at the moments when i felt my own nearly ripped out from under me. the fact that i am here, in realtime- three days into the installation of that world i dreamed of, the world i laid the foundations of in one of the deepest darknesses i have ever experienced.. the vision is becoming real. the vision is challenging, humbling, emotional, electric, frustrating, EXCITING. BEAUTIFUL. WILD. but it is all mine. my ladder climbs. my sharpie words. my mirror shards. my relics. my tangles. what will you think when you see it? what will you feel? what will the reception be..?

for me, this is not just an installation. it’s the identity i swore i’d lost. the legend i swore i’d lost at the beginning of 2016. my heart, my memories, my story- in three dimensions. in a space. in a world. i feel like i’ve created neverland and now i can go home again.. yet it takes creating something OUTWARDLY to realize that it has always existed INWARDLY.. creation is an incredible thing.

over and over.. you recreate from the ashes. you honor where you’ve been. ’go slowly, see miracles’ is my chance to do that. to prove to myself that i can survive. that i have survived. and i can trust these hands, this head, this heart- to carry me into what will soon be my 30th year on earth.

i choose life. i choose immortality. i choose wildness. gratitude. grace. a prayer of thanks to THE WONDER and the beauty of losing and finding and losing and finding it again.

thank you for being a part of my story.. come see it in front of your eyes this friday, 6pm at the opening for the 43-01 21st st building, filled with incredible art of myriad mediums and 2 other immersive installations.

thank you// mama always. my family. amazing april. scott weiland. nahko bear. ‘to the wonder.’ marcus & zuko. daddy. kristine. j. syd. sana. joan. nick. everyone who finds my writing in the street. the friends who looked for me. the words that saved me. riley, isabella, cristiano, layla. the woods. the ocean. pluf. chris mccandless. jen & TYR. my patron saint peter pan. my guardian angel nana. my TRIBE. LICAO. and the darkness that almost beat me.. for showing me how bright i can be.

[[SO MUCH MORE is going on in LICAO 2016, check out the booklet for all event & exhibition listings! festival runs may 18-22

scenes from the journey thus far… (click on the videos to play them!)

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reflections from tonight:

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{insert really loud peter pan crow here}

XO

a.

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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.. (click on the videos to play them!)

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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..

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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.

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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.

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to the wonder,

XO

a.

[.upcoming

3/10/16 – Hosting for Queens’ longest running reading series, Boundless Tales at the Astoria Bookshop, 7-8:30pm [Facebook]

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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]

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4/7/16 – Performing for Queens Book Festival/Wendy Angulo Productions in Long Island City at the Q-Boro Lit Crawl! [Facebook]

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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!

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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

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things have been tumultuous.

today, on a whim, i got in a cab and told the driver: “anywhere in coney island.”

in my entire life, i don’t think i’ve ever been to the beach completely alone.

after having so much trouble writing.. relating. feeling. loving. believing.

in the sea, by the sea, as the sea- i was accepted, broken.

and in the space- i wrote.

i.
it is always as if- i am
seeing it for the first time.
i must believe as the first man did
god is in the ocean.
god is in the earth.
i no longer believe in one god.
i do not know of omniscience.
i only remember what healing is
when my feet touch scorching sand
particles glittering in a force
as wild
as i am.
nature is my only echo.
i am part and parcel.
crash of wave in my roiling heart.
murky depths.
unexplainable.
home to everything.
home to nothing.
home- forever changing.
i must have been a sailor.
because i can’t remember
what it’s like to not be in motion.
dwarfed and frightened and
awed by
majesty beyond your
mortal life.
when i arrive here:
I Arrive.
seagull shadow on
pen and paper.
leopard crabshell
discarded on the beach.
i want to walk
straight out into the
water
and never look back.
as hard as i try-
i cannot understand
anything else.
my heart on fire
has cooled
to floods, to this-
giving and taking
away, giving and
taking
away.
my mind which
never lets me
rest now
dissolving to
foam, bubble,
fragments. seabirds.
i know now
even the barnacles,
the ocean moss, the
crusted shells in
cluster-
have a place here.
i, too, would
latch on
and never leave.

ii.
i love
everything about
the ocean.
even, suddenly, things i couldn’t
bear to behold.
here there are no
notifications.
no guilt, no
smashed
hands or
phones.
you cannot force me
to feel.
i, who in these moments
have felt nothing,
now feel
all.
or at least-
the smallest glimmer
from a match-flick
of something.
an ocean whisper-
don’t leave us.
not yet.
we still have
things
to say.

iii.
if i could lead you
into a poem that is
my life
right now it would be
sounds and
only
darkness.
the slightest shrill of
wayfaring birds, the
slightest swing of
contained flame
in the distance
on the end of
an
outstretched arm,
the prow of a ship,
a billowing sail
saying only- i can
do this.
you must try
to move with me
in the dark.
walking will
do you no good here.
nor any knowledge
of four walls.
only sandy stretches
glittering like nebulas
a sky made of
bluing mussel shells
and fading
footprints.
there is no way
to make me see
otherwise-
the worldly things
besides
ankles tangled
with seaweed,
the crash of wave,
the
infinite
motion.
please do not
ask me to
stand still.
please do not beg me
to feel something
when i am curled
inside
these shadows.
only remind me
of the cycles.
the dusk and dawn
of the sea.
remind me that
these waters
in my heart
my head
this poem
are home for all
who have no
other place
to simply be.

iv.
i feel so infinite and
at peace.
like nothing exists
but this.
if i have to, everyday
or every other day or
every friday
i will return to
this ocean.
i feel as out of place
in the world as
a girl with fins
on land.
i am singing my own
sea shanty
in my heart
always.
i told him this morning
my heart feels like
a piece of driftwood
with the ocean crashing
against it.
and now here i am-
standing in the
water.
calmed by the sea
crashing into
me.

v.
this glittering sand
feels like
the most beautiful thing
i have ever seen.
it reminds me what i am a
part of and
what is a part
of me.

20150529_114824

thank you, coney island.

XO

a.

i wish i knew, i wish i had a way – to take you away from yourself.
the tricks your mind plays.. the sadness. the darkness. it’s hereditary. maybe.
i remember when you told me, that night in the car – i hope that doesn’t happen to you.
i never even realized you thought about those things.
and i told you i’d fight it, fight the darkness, but you said – you can’t. why do you think i can’t work?
so every day, i guess – i’m fighting. for both of us..
and you don’t even know it.

28 years later and i’m still trying to scale your walls.
– excerpt from THE WILD PAPERS

20150513_200640

the darkness has crept up on me recently.

it’s funny how we get so entrenched in our own situations, worlds, societies, histories, genetics, pre-dispositions, habits, etc. that we forget it wasn’t always like this.. and we don’t have to be bound by it.

this is a strange time to be alive – one in which my heart tells me to be wild. but everything else pokes and prods at me – to stay connected, update my status, check my notifications, my messages, my comments, my likes, my invites.. share, share, share, check, check, check.

the mind has a fantastic capability.. that has been whittled down to infinite scroll and obsessive checking, reporting, observing, comparing.. everything. i am specifically talking about facebook/social media and i am specifically talking about myself..!

i made the decision a week or two ago to quit. for anyone who knows me and how interconnected i enjoy being, especially as an extra-visible media person/artist/party animal/scribe – this is strange and drastic. however – i feel my mental state was far stranger and more drastic.

i have lived on the internet since i was 12 or 13 years old. what about us internet kids, coming into our identities as early teens at the BOOM – we grew up like this, yet we have enough of “life before” to make us wistful.. is this always why i feel like i’m living in two worlds at once, pulled by both? and what about “kids these days” – who have nothing to compare it to? you’re born with an ipad in your hand.. my friend’s baby knows how to tap and swipe and she’s not even 2 years old.

there’s nothing wrong with the internet. it’s a beautiful thing. i’ve been connected to friends from all over the world – some of which i’ve still never met in person. you have a myriad amount of information at your fingertips. the ease of sharing moves at lightspeed, like life itself..

i remember fondly the days of AIM chats and ICQ, angelfire and geocities. message boards, RPG’ing, and writing stories. teaching myself HTML, the satisfaction of skinning a scrollbar or making a photo into a clickable button. endless xanga entries, lyrics, photos, and chat excerpts. all the zillions of ‘about’ statements you write as you grow, change, get older.. myspace. collecting internet friends and comments. and now facebook. and all the rest. we grew up with the rise of the internet. we remember the excitement! the addiction. all of a sudden – everything is meant to be documented and shared, and easily. there’s a whole other WORLD that exists out THERE – in internet-space. and there’s nothing in us – or in me, specifically – that knows how to turn it off.

until now.

20150516_173459

“If science could see freedom, what would it look like? If it wanted to find the will, where would it search? [George] Eliot believed that the mind’s ability to alter itself was the source of our freedom.

i started reading a book i found tossed around the apartment – “proust was a neuroscientist” by jonah lehrer. i didn’t start reading it until now, and – like many things in my life – it arrived when i was ready for it. sometimes you need a reminder of our inherent ability to learn, change, grow. literally the way we’re wired.. literally the way we evolve. the randomness. the chance. the mistakes. the oddities. the way we sneak out from under the thumbprint of concrete rules and regulations.. to be this strange being that was made to change. inherently – we are made for freedom.

this invigorates me.

to look back into history and see people emerging from their ages of anxiety. twisting and turning through theories and speculations, what stuck, what didn’t.. to be reminded that everyday – we have a chance. we have newly born parts of our brains. we can create new pathways. new patterns. and break them. and make them. again and again and again.

“…human freedom is innate, for we are the equation without a set answer. We solve ourselves.”

i guess what i’m trying to say is – it’s beautiful to be human. this freedom i am constantly grasping for – freedom from my habits, my patterns, my addictions, my anxieties – is literally in the fiber of my being. for me, it’s come through resolving to stay wild and keep away from the things i feel are WASTING my brain cells. scroll, scroll, infinite scroll – and endless DISTRACTIONS. i want to read books like these. i want to climb trees. i want to live without documenting every single moment as it happens. i want to live without so much STUFF. and i want to feel – like i have lately – that there are no longer four walls encasing me. that there is more than constantly having to keep up. more than constantly feeling like i’m missing something. more than the knee-jerk reaction to grab my phone or open up a tab for facebook or figure out a filter for instagram at every spare moment, between every task..

yes, this is our world. our gorgeous and troubled age of anxiety, our age of everything and nothing, our culture of scarcity, our over-information age, our over-stimulation age. but this is also me – having grown up with the internet, being prone to anxiety and distraction, having a past of OCD and fixation.. letting my patterns get out of control.

“Eliot was fond of quoting Tennyson’s In Memoriam: ‘There lives more faith in honest doubt,/ Believe me, than in half the creeds.’”

we fall into these pits so we can dig our way out. there is no other way. there is no learning that comes from walking on a straight road, straight into nowhere, knowing it all, seeking nothing. the learning comes from the sweat and the dirt under our fingernails. the blood and bruises. the ache. the digging. the getting up. the walking on.. the doing it again. and doing it differently.

our so-called “mistakes,” our contradictions, our doubts, our duality, our paradoxical nature, our “reckless swings of animal will” (i LOVE that phrasing).. it. is. part. of. us. the blessing of chaos and the randomness that literally allows for our evolution..

the fact that “the mind ‘is not cut in marble – it is not something solid and unalterable’ […] As Eliot wrote, ‘we are a process and an unfolding.’” this is seeming so absolutely riveting and electric to me right now. the fact that – not only is this okay.. it’s how it’s supposed to be.

i think i love this idea so much because it’s literally saying, in science, in our very BEING, our very BODY, written INTO US – is hope. we are malleable. “the soul ‘may be rescued and healed.’”

i am being reminded – by words, by nature, by my contemporaries, by science, by art – that everyday we have a chance to decide. it is MY responsibility to rewire myself, rewrite myself. that a possibility for something ELSE exists every single day, every single moment – and it’s not just new age gospel or self-help fodder. not just in our souls. but inherently – in our bodies, in our blood.

“To accept the freedom inherent in the human brain – to know that the individual is not genetically predestined – is also to accept the fact that we have no single solutions. Every day each one of us is given the gift of new neurons and plastic cortical cells; only we can decide what our brains will become.”

only WE can decide what our brains will become.

“…to be alive is to be ceaselessly beginning.”

and let us never reach the end.

XO

a.

20150517_203711

ps: i picked up a four of clubs / four of wands on the street the other night, and now i know why. (ever find cards on the street? google them. playing cards translate into tarot meanings..). four of wands?

“seeking freedom
getting out of an oppressive situation
breaking free of bonds
cutting loose
opening to new possibilities
escaping unhappy circumstances
claiming self-determination
letting go of limitations”

“If you feel trapped or restricted right now, use the energy of the Four of Wands to launch you into freedom. Do not be afraid to claim the open vistas that are rightfully yours…” [more?]


Into the wild wonderland…

Celebrated as "a wildfire in a world of fluorescent bulbs" and a "poetic force of nature," Queens, NYC native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, connector, 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. // As always.. STAY WILD, STAY GRATEFUL!

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My Books

I have two 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 coming fall 2017

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!