on Loss, Death, and what's on the Other Side.

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:: it’s been a long time! ::

fitting, somehow, that my last blog post was a repost. i remember actually writing one sometime after and we shall see if i can ever time travel back and squeeze it in.

but maybe it’s happily lost and i don’t need to…

needs. i have been thinking about needs a lot over the past year or so. what do i actually need in any given moment? how does that change in the next one? and how is what i need different from what i want?

one of my very first theater collaborators, Davi Cohen, introduced me to this way of approaching my life and artmaking process. Davi and i became collaborators with a desire to make work together, so we started training in the shared language of Suzuki and Viewpoints. as we evolved, we danced together, made work in unconventional ways, traveled across the country, presented in our home city, went on residency, made movies, ate food together, shared our personal triumphs and challenges, and broached the question:

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:: the process that i go through writing this blog ::

DMunk and i affectionately joke about my never-ending ability to be “meta” about everything. (and you better believe that when i found out that WordPress has a Tag Cloud above a section called Meta, i revel in staring at this cloud and seeing what shapes emerge.)

but i haven’t really gone very deep with the process of writing this blog. maybe because it is inherently about process that it seems redundant to do so. but then i hear these little words repeat themselves and i realize that i channel these words often when creating new work. in Saratoga, Anne Bogart told us that when she directs SITI Company, a common thing she says when something is cooking is, “could be more.” to me, this means: it’s good. keep it. and where else can it go?

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:: in transit ::

and transitioning from one thing to the next.

today is my first official day of many things:

  • official meeting for the Dalí Project with my Cosmic Twin. possibly meeting Dalí himself
  • official meeting with my Japanese teacher (well, one of them anyway). and an inspiration for a possible Japanese-Dalí combo meeting
  • first day after being back to work at Santos Party House. negotiating my work-nightlife with my work-day life
  • first day going to the park since i’ve been back to NYC
  • first day feeling like EWDIR (Everything We Do is Right.) just kidding! i feel that way every day.

and so i get to thinking about transitions and starting new things. re-starting old things. and how to focus on one thing fully when there are so many things to focus on.

this problem, as psychologist Barry Shwartz has articulated, is reminiscent of The Paradox of Choice. when we have too many options, we don’t know how to choose. we believe that greater choice leads to greater freedom, but infinite freedom is paralyzing (which is kind of the opposite of complete freedom). however, when we have too few choices, we don’t have freedom of choice either because then there are not enough options.

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coming back to New York is difficult. i have been here a day and a half and already, i am overwhelmed with meetings, work, emails, rehearsals, and more. it comes down to this obsession with time. how can i find enough time in the day to do all these things and do yoga, Suzuki, clean my apartment, learn Japanese, read, fix my broken shower, play the ukulele, and take care of my cats and all of the others in my life: my “otters”? i start to hate New York City because she is not like Bali or my parents’ house or anywhere else.

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:: On Escapism ::

it is one thing to go to another place because it is calling to you. it is another to go to a place because you don’t want to be in the one that you are currently in.

i know because i have tried to do it.

i tried to go to Berlin. i tried to make that happen. and i got thwarted. (most notably by my self.)

my proposal wasn’t truly honest. it was in the sense that i was saying that art here is over and i want to go to the place where it is present and to figure out why. but my proposal was unclear because i wasn’t being truthful with my self about what i was running away from here. and staying here (being here then, being there now), i now know the difference between escaping and following. seeking vs. finding. making things happen vs. allowing them to. running from one’s self vs. facing our true selves.

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:: A Family Collaboration ::

i have been thinking a lot lately about co-existence. this summer has brought a lot of odd changes to my life and apartment. once a solitary yoga haven where i could write, eat, and create in a void, it is now going to be occupied by a series of other bodies and voices. Toshi will come and live for a time, as will my European artist friends, Zdenka (with her creative partner) and Lorenzo. after three years of living alone (and loving it), this is a big change to my now-quiet lifestyle.

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i am feeling very quiet today. i don’t have much to say, so i am going to let someone else do the speaking for me:

“Home.” Leo worked at a small sliver of wood on the old trunk. “The Island’s always been home to me. How did you like living in New York?”

“I loved it and I hated it. I learned a lot.”

“Like what?” Leo stopped pulling at the sliver and looked at me.

I looked out to the sea. Near the horizon I saw something dark leap out of the water in a beautiful arc. A porpoise. I shivered. “Oh—how very protected we’d been, living in a tiny village like Thornhill all our lives, with visits to the Island a couple of times a year. I’d been under the illusion that most people are pretty good.”

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Toshi and i have been friends for 7 years now. we met in Voice & Speech class when i first started acting school at HB Studio and he just moved to the U.S. from Japan. we were friends at first sight even though we never officially hung out that much outside of class. but i believe that we shared a connection and mutual respect for each other’s talents and spirits, and despite wanting to work together, the chance never came up.

we kept in touch super loosely over the years. you know, via Facebook, or seeing each other at shows that we or our mutual friends were in. that was, until about a year and a half ago when he insisted that I audition for the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

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:: Day Seven Back in NYC – One Week Anniversary! ::

well, it looks like all it took was a night of getting a few drinks, having great artistic conversation, and pushing myself to go to bed a couple hours later than the jet lag time was allowing—and i am back on my usual sleep schedule. i was enjoying the wack-a-doodle times that the jet lag was making me awake, but i don’t think waking up around 1am or 4am is the kind of thing that one can do regularly and be a functioning member of society (for most intents and purposes anyway).

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