Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sorting and sifting the gifted box

when i first arrived in the hallway, during my first? no. second offering--the one where i had empty matt boards and a long string and a map i found in the parking lot and an old bulletin board where i invited colleagues to find themselves on the map, tell the story of how the got to school, write what they were doing here, make something visible in the frames of space that were available for envisioning visibility, there, on a pedestal next to the beam that connected the floor to the ceiling, i had a box. it was my box. my messy box of pins and needles and tarot cards and string and plastic toys and funny giveaway possibilities of treasure.
it was a good box. i brought it to the early kaleo and elise classes. i offered up my part of the abundance and enjoyed when people sifted and sorted their way through the excess to retrieve their shiny, shiny.
over the course of my graduate degree i have learned how to sort a box.
i've learned how to take a box of anything and put it together in a medicine wheel or mandala or any of the other fancy spiritual names for a circle on the ground. i've learned the prayer of intentional placement. i've learned the feng shui of duality and integration. i've learned the ebbo--the cleansing--involved, always, in cleaning off the life left in a thing and setting it free to live. i've learned the power of placing ritual objects, the activation a little time, attention and touch can give a thing, the extraordinary ordinary miracles of stuff engaged with, enlivened, and then ordered neatly in a place they go--a home--a room or compartment or place all their own.
yesterday, i situated myself on a blanket by the bamboo in the garden of the foam god. i intended to weave--which is always what i do now--in no particular order--with no particular pattern required. robbyn came down, gave me a box, and it was my privilege to sort and sift and enjoy and make and play with all she offered.
there were love bird whistles, green, and lots of them.
there were shells collected from the oceans she had visited.
there were beads of plastic letters.
there were barbie doll heads and red cowgirl boots.
there were dominoes.
there were rocks.
there were dried roses and a wad of carnation.
there were glass vials.
there were glass vials filled with colored sand.
there was one clock.
there were tiles.
there were dreams and stories tucked in, breathing in a labored way for all that was stuffed inside the quiet of that treasure trove.
we all have these boxes--
and there were two yellow candles in purple glass caverns waiting to be lit.
i found virdell, asked her to light one, and then pass me the lighter.
i put my flame next to hers and set the center of the circle.
two candles separated by time.
the gold clock between them.
and then the birds in their paired up ways.
and then everything else sang out their place in the circle
moving in symmetry
and imperfection
and landing in relationship to the center, the whole, the guys right next to the piece ready to be placed.
and as i layed these treasures in a medicine wheel on that blanket on the earth--
and moved and danced between the objects in my counterclockwise way
and heard the whispers of what was wild alive
and what was ready and dead enough to burn
it was my joy
to put things in the fire.
to let what is dead go up in smoke.
to tell its story of having lived
in the curlicues of air
rising up and out of visibility
into the ether
of remembered
prayer.
it was my joy.
it is my joy
to know how to do this work--
of sifting and sorting boxes
and replacing contents
in their ordered whole
and giving life back what is still belonging
to this side
of the up in smoke.

and today, i come to work in the black hut and find myself doing the same ebbo with gifts for the studio/gallery space we house here in the common era, the c.e., the come explore space of becoming.

and i realize this is my work--the sum and point of all i do.
i find, receive, sift, sort, cast my gaze, bring my lover's touch to the life of the object, put it where it goes in me, thank it and all who labored to bring it all the way into being in my presence, honor it for its willingness to play with me, and put it all back where it goes.

this is what i do. this is what gets done. this is it.

thank you, dear robbyn, for your box of treasures.
i am grateful for the exercise
and recognition
of all i've learned
since offering my box...

1 comment:

Robbyn Alexander said...

an honor to behold the life-giving mandala you gave those box-creatures to live in for a moment...thank you.