THE BOOK OF LEGEND 9.5.19

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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.

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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

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“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]

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much more to come. i feel, i know–

for the pathless wilds

for the unfathomable

and the holy unknown,

XO

a.

the dangers in cartography.

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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.

WILDLIGHT LIVES.

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HOW TO BUY:

WILDLIGHT is available for purchase directly from the author via PayPal, for $18.00.

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Please note you do not need to have a PayPal account- simply choose “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” to check out as a Guest.

If you would like to use another payment method- feel free! You can send $18 via Venmo to audrey.dimola@gmail.com, or contact me for other options.

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the fact that this book exists means that there is triumph of the holy wild spirit over heartache, darkness, ruin, illness and dis-ease, lack of self-worth, addiction, depression, sorrow, death.

i cannot describe how proud i am of this piece of my heart, blood, and bones.

3 years, 258 pages.

i proudly present my third book of poetry and prose, WILDLIGHT.

available for you. NOW.

///

WILDLIGHT: POETRY & PROSE FROM INSIDE THE FIRE

MARCH 20, 2018 – SPRING EQUINOX

[MORE INFO ABOUT THE BOOK]

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

///

“to all those
who reclaim their
spirits from darkness-
who resolve to protect
the body as an altar,
and keep the fire safe-
know there is an energy of
resilience that unites us all.
we may have to fight everyday-
but we never fight alone.

this is a book about reclamation.

about staying close to the fire. trusting in your wildlight.

it is a book about struggles with honesty, with identity. about all-consuming loves- passion, destruction, regeneration. about leaving and returning. about lack of self-love and self-worth. about mental illness and addictions. about the indomitable power of the human spirit. about reasons to live. about what happens when you break away from the life you thought you wanted- to walk into the wild. to be taught in ways only the universe can truly teach you- with blood, with sweat. with grief, and wonder. with fire. with heart.

it is a book about trying and trying and trying again…”

crack the spine of this book and the author will know it. this is an alchemical document- rubbed with earth, singed with flame. found curled inside the inmost core of an animal, fanged and feathered. each word a bone picked from an endless desert, blessed with tears and triumph from the road. “WILDLIGHT” was written from 2015 to 2017 by a shamanic poet and journeywoman who is most often likened to wildfire or supernova- this third collection of poetry and prose an act of sacred invocation that will keep howling at you even when its pages are closed.

THE POET IS UNAFRAID TO BECOME FULL WILDERNESS.

///

NYC PERFORMANCE & RELEASE PARTY:

March 24, 2018 3-5pm at Q.E.D.: A Place to Show & Tell in Astoria [Facebook]

more upcoming SHOWS

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READ SELECT PIECES FROM “WILDLIGHT”:
+ lazarus was a house on fire (WOMAN)
+ reliquary: the body
+ blue sky
+ peter (i want to be real)
+ studies in reaching
+ somewhere else
+ two wolves

THE JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM: #wildlightbyajd

VIDEO FROM THE DAY I RELEASED THE BOOK:

XO with ecstatic love and FIREFIREFIRE,

a.

we only heal in spirals

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touch my mouth with your hands
touch my mouth with your hands
oh i want to understand
the meaning of your embrace
i know now i have to face, the temptations of my past
please don’t let me disgrace
where my devotion lays
now that i know the truth, now that it’s no excuse
keeping me from your love, what was i thinking of?
holding me from your love, what was i thinking of?

thank you lauryn. you are brilliant.

///

my words. #fromtoday.

sister fire spoke to me
she said put the antler back around your neck
know that there is a purpose in all you do
you get lost to get found you get lost to get found, girl
to show you yourself over and over that you can.
that you can.
sitting here with flickering flames in cups
salt lamp emanating radiance my hands
to your mouth put your hands to my mouth
let me remember how to pray
let me honor my own radiance
let me remember how to pray
there is darkness darkness only dark
down well-worn paths in my cognitive loops
i say pull the axe from the thornbush righteous one
i say cut i say cut a new way
you were not meant to die in darkness, my love
you were not meant to die right here
i know you want to lay until the vines steal your breath
take you back to where you came from heal the heart
returned to earth but i say i say my child
you must believe that the righteousness of the warrior
is inside your very being
i say go on you don’t need your eyes your hands
you do not need your feet or legs
you need the whole body burning spirit
led by your heart
my girl i say pick up the axe my love
and cut that new way
cut that new new new way
do not be disillusioned, heartbroken from
finding your way back here
she sings he’s just like water
she’s just like water
you are her she is him
sanctified these candle flames
in cups this salt rock glow on my lips
bid me to speak my love
let me remember how to live
stuck in the vines my girl
curled in the vines my girl
you have to get up
you have to get up
not wait for the light
cut a hole to the light
not wait for the light
cut a hole to the light
come on.
come on and on and on
crumpling days of protection
solar plexus you forget your
intention to grab your
bunches of feathers
jump that cliff and
commit to soar
the vines are growing around you, girl
the vines are stealing your breath, girl
what will you do?
what will you do?
do not be disillusioned by ending up here again
the candle flames in cups the salt rock lamp
we always heal in spirals
it’s the only way to find our way back
we always heal in spirals
it’s the only way to find our way back
do not be angry at your constitution
at your weakness at your ache
another man almost stole the life of you
but the bone in your backbone is back
not stiff but fluid not braced for impact but
impactful, my love
the only thing you can collapse into
is gentleness
is gentleness
is love
touch my mouth with your hands
my mother father goddess
touch my mouth with your hands
let me speak these words i
fought my way here to say
i will not die buried in the vines
i will not die buried in the vines
i will cut my own way.
someone once said
there is a way to die a
spiritual death
there is a way to
remember your lips
pressed
to the holiness
of a creator that
loves you
that you can finally
feel
because you finally
love yourself back
take yourself back
my girl my heart
be gentle if it seems like
it’s perpetually
on the mend
give it some time
you always fighting fires
making fires
spreading fires
keep the warmth
remember that the
next fire your spirit wants to feel is
the sun on your skin
on the other side of this
tunnel of black dark
my love
we can only heal in spirals
it’s the only way we can
find our way back.
i can only heal in spirals
it’s the only way i was able to
find my way back.

///

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“see fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.. and i just retired from the fantasy part.”

///

“at that point, i had to do some dying.”

“artists do fall apart,” a record executive says. “the most commonly held falsity in the game is that they have it all together. they fall apart. […] they all have a moment where you go, ‘are they really all there?’ and i think lauryn chose to expose that to the world.”

bless up, queen.

bless up, brothers & sisters.

XO

a.

[[shows + events // what’s coming up]]

i speak

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i speak for the addicted
i speak for the mentally ill
i speak for those who need the woods to survive
i speak for the little girl who forgets she is a wildwoman
i speak for the lost boys and lost girls
i speak for those writing poems into a voice recorder while they ride their bike
i speak for those who won’t smile because they feel guilty
i speak for those who take responsibility for everything
i speak for the savage heart and the sacred life, the sacred breath
i speak for the roots who are constantly doing their work even though you can’t see them
i speak for the trees who are constantly purifying even if you don’t thank them
i speak for the fire on my altar who had to burn things to show them to me
i speak for the birds
i speak for nature who just states facts
i speak for all those who ride their bikes without holding onto the handlebars because it makes them remember there was a time when they knew how to be free
i speak for remembering to be free
i speak for the initiation, for the woman who was initiated, for the initiated woman
i speak for all those who are ashamed of what they’ve been through
i speak for all those who are afraid to be crazy
i speak for all those who take responsibility for themselves, who remember it is we and only we who can write our own legend
i speak for the cracking open and the sewing up with golden thread, healed
i speak for the alchemists
i speak for the wild ones
i speak for the fools
i speak for the messengers
i am the messenger
i speak for the cards in the tarot deck
i speak for the constellations
i speak for free will
i speak for the sins of the father and of the mother and how those sins are not ours
i speak for trying to take care of everyone else and never taking care of yourself
i speak for long bike rides in the cold because you know it will bring you closer to the tribe
i speak for the tribe
i speak of the tribe
i speak with the tribe
i stand by the tribe
i speak for going slower instead of faster

i speak for writing a poem on your bike and almost crashing into construction
i speak for reconstruction
i speak for reconfiguration
i speak for readjusting- to go forth, healed
i speak for the stolen generation
i speak for our shared history
i speak for the mother goddess
i speak for the divine feminine with the divine feminine as the divine feminine
i speak for finding a way back home
i speak for light, for legacy, for justice for myself
i speak for feathers on the ground
i speak for shamanism
i speak for poets
i speak for healing
i speak for trauma
i speak for forgiveness
i speak for recognition
i speak for sight
i speak for self worth- not because, or when, or if
i speak not of conditions
i speak of pain
i speak of grieving
i speak for grieving
i speak for duration
i speak for patience
i speak for balancing your elements, child
not just fire, not just wind- but earth. but water
i speak for power, strategy, and protection- of identifying your body through your body, your own body, your self
i speak for the metaphysical orgasm
i speak for the body but only because i listened when she talks i listen when she talks i listen when she talks and i hear her- now
i speak for my beautiful brain and its shadows- and its light
i speak for the altar in my heart- sacred blood that keeps it pumping
i speak for the scars
i speak for my river and my mountain and my rebirth and my reclamation
i speak for my goddess, my scientist, my wise woman, my self
i speak for all the children who think they don’t have a voice
i speak for all the children forced to keep their family’s secrets
i speak for all the adults forced to keep their family’s secrets
i speak for all the adults forced to keep their own secrets, in shame
i speak for the anesthetization of the body
i speak for the shaking
i speak for the wakening up
i speak for the howling out windows
i speak for the graffiti on the roof
i speak for the flapping of wings
i speak for the falling on your knees, praying into the earth
i speak for the cycle of life/death/life
i speak for the codependent
i speak for those that just want to be happy
i speak for those that just want to be loved
i speak for all those who think they’re not good enough for any of it
i speak for the man perched on the triboro bridge that night
i speak for my self, wailing in the night when you went missing
i speak for the sadness, for the depressed, the anxious, the manic, the bipolar, the suicidal urge- and the will that keeps us here
i speak for the hunger in my body, the restlessness in my soul that reminds me constantly there is a deeper nourishment that i must tap into- a nourishment beyond accolades, sustenance, sex, adoration
it is wild and it is free and it is whole and it comes out of me when i sing, when i let my rattle move, when i give my body to dancing, when i give my body-
safety
beauty
tribe
protection
Love with a capital L
i speak as the fierce prayer that is my life
i speak as the warrior
i speak as the gentleness
i speak as the transfiguration
i speak as the roots and the bearing fruit
i speak for the dead and for the living, and the dead who are alive, and the alive who are dead
i speak for the words on walls
i speak for the crown in the heart
i speak for the silence
i speak for the blue sky
i speak for the infinite abundance
i speak with the breath that creates the living word
i speak now and for every other day i am granted to be here
i speak for the plants that crack through the sidewalk
i speak the medicine
i am the medicine
i am the heart on fire flying eagle spirit
i am the fact that even as this prayer poem ends, it will reverberate-
create your echoes- brothers, sisters
create your echoes everywhere you walk-
find harmony
wildness
and acceptance
and bravery
and goodness
and truth
AHO.
– transcribed exactly as recorded into my phone while riding my bike, astoria to bed stuy, 11.12.17

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‘i liked what you said about rewriting your legacy.’
‘you got to. because if you don’t, someone else will.’

XO

a.

‘go slowly, see miracles’ the art installation experience

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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.