He walks about four feet in front of me, weathered simian hands grabbing thin rainforest tree trunks, shaking them. He pauses, looks around, smells. I'm aware of those hands on the tree skin, not really separate from the lichen and bark, such is the communion, the Oneness of the gesture. His hands. The trees. He's listening to the Land. My father.
When I was a kid, Dad was always asking, with a roguish grin, 'wanna go for a bushwalk?'. I didn't. Back then I hated the bush. It was too hot, too arduous with its rocks and crevices and creeks, too sweaty, and too....dirty. Elite level young dancers don't bush-whack. They Dance, darling. In studios.
Dad walked though, a reluctant me trailing occasionally behind, getting - absorbing - something important that he knew to impart to me. The Land. The living breathing body of the planet. Back then, I'm ten years old.
And then, I am nearly thirty. Dance accolades and University medal and laboratory working and nervous breakdown and...something more ancient pushes to be heard. And breathed. Re-membered. Midlined. As a young Mum with two of my own kids and living in the Blue Mountains, my 'something important' continued. At first, I listen to the trees howl on our acreage in Wentworth Falls, and I'm terrified. Their aliveness is palpable! These towering wind-lashed and screaming Beings. Huge. Present. I'm in their land. At first, I want out.
Later, kids strapped to our backs, and then kids running ahead of us, (and kids perilously tumbling through and over mossy log drop-offs in rainforest), we walk. Singing bony escarpments, jumping-for-joy waterfalls, tissue penetrating mist. All spoke to me, etching themselves onto, and infiltrating, my own terrain. Locating and igniting my own interior songlines. It was here, I received my initiation into the Land. Yes. An initiation not generally benedicted non-indigenous Australians; an initiation into Indigenous Wisdom.
At the time this path found its expression through jewellery making. Gemstone jewellery. The body of God. The body of joy. Vibration, pattern, felt frequency; our first language.
Over time things morphed, as things will. We moved to the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, hungering for Australian Januarys where the waratahs weren't swirled with snow. Daily, I now walked and immersed my fluids in the rock pools at Alexandra Headland; la-la'ing a visceral memory of my childhood on Sydney's Coogee Beach where my Dad had surf-lifesaved. Agape. How I longed for a camera to capture the patterns of tessellated rock, organ-algae, villi-anemone, the sun-wave-consciousness-water! How important not to have one; to allow, instead, the imprint, unalloyed with, or sculpted by, 'creative process'. Direct clear cellular impact. Five years of it. Breathing it in. Every day. A different land.
Finding instead, its expression in contemporary dance and traditional Egyptian dance. Weekly movement research over three years with my students, moving from the places the land informed our bodies, leading to the crafting and performance of several works at Brisbane's Power House. The Bones of the Earth-Body of the Land project, later developing into Cathedral of the Body movement research teaching laboratory.
Breathe. More cycles turn. Brisbane. Frogs and fruit bats playing the liquid-air of shuddering summer nights. These days I do have a camera. Searching, seeing. Hearing echoes: the places where the land echoes our own physicality. Lichen, nerve. Bone, rock. River, spine. Rainforest, lung. Originally trained as an Biomedical Scientist in anatomy and a histology (among other cellular roadmaps and pursuits), my being perceives through this lens of perception. I'm not trained in photography, and I care little about 'composition' or....anything technical, really. Decades ago, as I travelled through Europe, I had my husband's OM1 at my disposal. A manual image making light recorder, I did care about f-stops and shutter speeds. Crafting through calculation. But not now.
Now, I stand in the land. And see. I listen. Much more to the point, I experience. My heart breaks open; over and over. The inner surface of my heart, the carneae trabeculae, my light capture. It's here the images write and render themselves. Click. I often can't truly see the camera's viewfinder clearly; it's either a question of the fierce Aussie sun's glare or, the fact that I'm not wearing my specs, which I do need. And, I don't particularly care. Agape, in Love, point, click. What I DO care about, is capturing the voice of the country as it rings and sears itself into the inner calligraphy of my heart. That echo-memory of felt vibration and frequency of body-land. Speaking to me. Heart open. Gob-smacked. Awe-struck.
Shot through with consciousness.
A few weeks ago I went to visit my old high school bestie. Hadn't seen her in 38 years. Further north in Queensland. Cane territory. Land of rainforest and river-creeks. Lush and green. Now, I'm nearly 55.
In August, (a few breaths away), I'm deep into Country in Central Oz; Uluru and other red rock voices call. Remember Kakadu last October? Yes, I will make another e-Photo Book for you, of the Center. My heart reaches forward...
EASS-y is about to enter the Green Room. In a few weeks Registration to its inaugural offering will open. An opportunity for you to experience the tumbling terrain of your spine. The Embodied Anatomy of your Spine in Scoliosis-applied to Yoga. Although, in reality, EASS-y is for anyone with a spine, (wink!). The curving river of your strong, fluid spine. A little e-sojourn, duration four weeks.
July is the end of Earlybird Rego for Earth Felt Dance retreat in Bali (held 2-7 November, 2014). A sensing of your body's interior, in movement. In effulgence. Come!
Oh, and, you can have a taste of both yoga and dance (with a photo exhibit!) if you're around Vancouver in October.
As you've noticed, this Blog post is a little different. A group of pals and colleagues decided we'd 'share the love', and share some wee info 'bout each other. The brief: 'share something of your creative process'. Huge grins. Introducing:
Sue Ann Gleason, creator of Chocolate for Breakfast, the Well-Nourished Woman, and the Luscious Legacy Project, is a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination, and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life. Sue Ann has been featured in Oprah and Runner's World magazines and numerous online publications. When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, she can be found sampling exotic chocolates, building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes, or crawling into bed with freshly sharpened pencils and pages that turn.
www.sueanngleason.com (wise business), www.consciousbitesnutrition.com (nourished living), www.chocolateforbreakfast.com (joyful eating).
Enjoy her post in this creative process Blog hop:
Emily Gubler suspects John Wesley Powell would say she is over encumbered by unnecessary scruples. She spent a decade traveling the country as a wildland firefighter and another half working in the back of an ambulance–and was thrilled by the number of poets and artists she met in each field. Currently Emily lives on a Colorado hillside, writing short stories and personal essays and delighting in Western Tanagers, Great Blue Herons, and Golden Eagles. Her writing can be found at www.ordinarycontradictions.com
With a background in physics and English, Melissa Fu is an educator and writer who enjoys working across many disciplines. Currently, she is writing a collection of pieces based on growing up in the Rocky Mountains. Melissa’s approach to teaching writing is informed by her experiences in the classroom as well as her studies at Teachers College, where she earned a Masters in English Education. She is especially interested in creating ways for writers to claim and hone their voices. Read more from Melissa via this Blog post,
and, find out about upcoming workshops at www.melissafu.com
Lynne Cameron loves change and being in different places. Each new space offers fresh ways of seeing, and its own opportunities for making a home. Basic needs include a kettle for making tea, poetry books, paints and brushes. She is an artist, painting colour-rich abstracts grounded in the natural world. She has been a professor of applied linguistics; a teacher of children and adults; a trainer of teachers. She’s written books on complexity, metaphor and empathy, some of which won prizes. She runs training workshops for women who want to progress through academia (with Karen Littleton), and for businesses who want to understand how empathy can work for them (with Jo Berry). And she paints. You can see Lynne’s paintings and read her art blog on www.lynnecameron.com
So, I'm curious, my Lovelies. Life is an act of creation, of pure choice. Ongoing.
What whispers through your 'creative process'? Share, in the comments below. We are all storytellers, communing in the flow of All.... And we are all creators. Of that, there is no doubt.
Love and Bless,
PS I'll be sharing more of the simple and ongoing inhale-exhale of consciousness, choice and creation, as I experience it through dance and embodied movement, and through the deep immersive practice that is yoga, in subsequent blogs posts. Stay tuned. Kiss-blow x