"A choreography of being together for 7 days"
A sprawling greenhouse in Mechelen, BE
A yurt with 7 mattresses, a couch, a record player, some LP’s
A “princess room” for the people with tents, i.e. the truly prepared, i.e. not princesses
A jigsaw kitchen pulled together in a few days
Includes a fancy juicer
Doesn’t include drinkable water
Four large dogs: Taka, the giant white shepherd, and her three descendants
A funny pond with a pipe shooting water into the air and a very unstable dock
Multiple spots to be together alone, alone together, and together together
No rules or requirements except that once a day there will be a dance for a plant
And everything will run late
And everything will change
And everything will be soundtracked from the computer in the corner that is next to an adult swing.
Sometimes there is a “morning practice” that actually happens in the morning.
Justin led us through shaking and jumping with quiet music from his phone and an open sky.
Wim took us for a long walk.
John led us through a practice of touching/not feeling on old carpet at a former furniture warehouse/art space.
Antonia gave a confident and quiet concert in duet with the shooting water pipe
I teach spinal motions and breathing
Mor asked, what does it mean to perform?
zsolt and kata did a unison hand dance that repeats twice on the sidewalk.
We try being quakers letting god speak through us.
he/she doesn’t say that much.
Sinta says (or quotes)- everything is a concept. if you are not happy, change your concept.
. . . revision: change your attachment to the concept.
Groups are interesting, dynamics hard. Connections tender. Time elastic.
A schedule written on a chalkboard is decoration and we continually ask, “are you going here? Or there? When? How? By bike? Walking? All the way? When will you leave? Where is Laura? What is happening?”
but no one knows and still we do stuff.
And we start to talk about how it takes
T I M E:
To share a dreamspace
To plan a fake LSD party that we won’t have
and to walk from one end of the greenhouse to the other with eyes closed, in slow motion, backwards, or just normally.
It takes time to approach animals without startling them.
It takes time for intersections to appear without forcing them.
And the weather is time.
(A walk in the dark at sunrise on a cloudy cold day is eternity and a walk with eyes closed in the streaming sun or the pitch black night could go on forever. The heat in the greenhouse without water makes time syrupy and the drip drop of wet days is a metronome.)
The water boiler without its proper lid is time
The playlist is time
The cigarettes are time
The decisions are time
The indecision is time
Inside of waiting everything happens and almost nothing happens when not waiting
. . . but it’s a blissful nothing. A nothing that is something like presence. And arrival.
We put makeup on and fall asleep.
We do “fake this” and “fake that”. . .
(“this doing everything fake is dangerous” irina says)
Now I’m fake healing, I’m fake praying, I’m fake eating, I’m fake sleeping or talking or listening or sensing.”
The time you have before the automatic doors close at artenova is the only hard and fast timeframe. So is the train at 14:12 and 18:48.
I always take a bike. With this, I’m selfish.
But, I managed to be better in the kitchen,
with sleeping in a damp communal yurt,
with talking to plants and singing to pigs.
Better than I expected.
I managed to be a bit better at asking for what I need and at holding space for the complexity of intimacy and discomfort.
ariel lythoniedes is pawel’s latin for Ariel – Leon’s plant.
Ariel is good for rituals of letting go. We put feelings in the dirt we want to release but I realize this is also how things grow.
Bamboo is a rhizome
Clap rose is for counting
Yellow rod is for subverting power
Basil is for chassé, step, step high release
Sufian earnestly hugs a tree to communicate with the source.
John and I do skeptical dances that are, in truth, earnest and kind of interesting
Zsolt is the cartographer and he is putting tick marks on his arms for cigarettes smoked.
It is nearing time to leave.
Hoummed pushes the wheelbarrow to and fro and Taki manifests small desserts and feasts.
I miss saying proper goodbyes, the ninja practice, the flutes performance and also my train and my bus.
Then, I'm back. Janine and I are riding in a car going too fast near cyclists and pedestrians while wim smokes a joint and talks.
Somehow we are relaxed.
Cars are crashing into crowds of people in Charlottesville, Spain and Finland and here we are relaxed.
10-20 people letting time be elastic.
Looking into each other’s eyes. Embracing. Performing. Joining. Leaving.
With the second chance to say goodbye, everything comes into a sharp relief: The feelings are in the dirt not disintegrated but growing.
I get on the right train out of town and then get on the next right train out of the country and time snaps back.
I get to have one more cup of tea. Janine reads my horoscope on the terrace with long sweet pauses in between the words.
"All of these little to large issues come up for review to help you clear out space for next week’s eclipse. Some folks will “help” you do this by way of creating a conflict for you to navigate through. Some folks will simply remind you of an earlier situation that you thought you left behind long ago. Some folks will give you the opportunity to have a do-over. This time you’ll get to do it with more consciousness, kindness and less internal conflict."
I pack my bags one more time. Clip my sleeping bag on my backpack. I have one more night of less than 4 hours sleep. And then I leave.