Wouldn't call this "a video" so much as how one might talk in a quiet conversation with a friend. Therefore, a vlog (video blog). Sparked by a discussion of 'change' in my dance class, reminiscences on my years of journaling leading me to feel that we only become more of who we are...

Comic Book Characters

Another side... this one makes us laugh. Hope you get a chuckle too.

(1:45sec) "White," Butoh-inspired dance-in-progress

This blog is a place where I keep my work, along with the progress of pieces. Here's a little Butoh-inspired dance piece in the process of...

Last night I stayed up till 3am composing piano notes in GarageBand to go with it, but had trouble synchronizing, also the notes were too busy in the middle. My first go with GarageBand, and I'm not a musician, so allowing my clumsiness to guide me.

Then I'd also like to overlay images since I found something that struck me on National Geographic this morning, but don't seem to be able to do it in iMovie. Should I go for broke and invest in FinalCut Express? Hopefully I can copy my old Photoshop Elements onto this computer and might be able to change transparencies to overlay that way.

In the Japanese aesthetic, art is always embodied in images of nature. This is true of Haiku as well as Butoh. I may or may not add the photo, but I'd like to have the technical capability to try it and see if it works.

Anyway, the uncut video. I h…

(4:16) On Butoh-based Dance: A Saturday morning amble...

Discussing Butoh-based dance having just completed a 4 day workshop with Denise Fujiwara in Toronto, Canada.

Ok, so. My first iMac video on Butoh-based dance with a poem in my white flannel nightgown this morning.

Even before coffee. I leave as is. Though I did add the poem later this evening and you might have to increase the volume since, though I re-recorded a number of times much closer to the computer's built-in microphone than the original clip, I wasn't able to arrive at the same volume levels.

In the emptiness of the dancer everything comes to be. I hope I imparted this in my little experimental video. Sharing a recent experience which I am in the process of understanding.

Strange and surreal as it appears, the intensity of the dancers, intimacy, exposure, vulnerability are the core of Butoh.

YouTube URL here

Butoh Dancers

do not express but expose embodied emotion

in the Noh tradition of restraint

line of red belts on the kimonos

the dancers move towards us

as slowly …

Four Hard Drives in as many weeks and counting...

Today my 3 month old Dell Inspiron laptop arrived back from a Dell Depot. Installed in it is a fourth hard drive, the fourth since the first one failed about mid-August, followed by the failure of the second one 3 days after it was installed, followed by the failure of the 3rd hard drive one hour into the four-hour Vista installation process. I see they have replaced the hard drive and the motherboard this time. I wonder if the laptop will actually work smoothly for the rest of its natural life?

I purchased my iMac nearly 6 years ago and it has run like a dream - never crashed, never had a virus. The most stable computer I have ever owned.

I had the laptop upgraded and configured for my daughter and it was always my intention to give it to her when I was able to afford the MacBook I really wanted.

My short foray into the PC world, however, is enough for me.

This woman is an Apple woman. An Apple woman this woman is.

I'm going for the 24" iMac with a tax credit from some years back…
the air that I breathe out carries me with it,
the air that I breathe in
brings me back

Red Balloon

Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon)
Albert Lamorisse, France, 1956 34 min

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris. Winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, despite almost no dialog spoken in the film.

Le Voyage Du Balloon Rouge (Flight of the Red Balloon)
Hou Hsiao-hsien, France, 2008 113 min
A little boy and his baby-sitter inhabit the same imaginary world: through their adventures they are followed by a strange red balloon. Directed by celebrated Taiwanese New Wave director Hou Hsiao-hsien who captures the magic of the mysterious balloon often through an elegant use of the reflection of mirrors and glass.

A more thorough synopsis of the film here.

May be spoilers, not sure. I sought to write something that would enhance your viewing if you saw these films. I explore the red balloon as poetic image. Not a film review; rather the way my thoughts of the movie hovered and swam in the air like the red balloon.

The Red Balloon, the 1956 near…

The Painting Nook

woke this morning with a sense of joy as I cannot express, something that hasn't happened in a long time, such relief so welcome

In the middle of August in the Summer of 2008

Perhaps there were different ways of understanding, parallel paths of interpretation and it was impossible to pick which was more real. Or you could let your feelings emerge in meditation, the sadness, sorrow, rage, lust, tenderness, love.First one, and then the other seemed likely.But, no, it was more like a kaleidoscope of turbulent thoughts and chaotic feelings.Perhaps they were lassos you were flinging from each hand, sometimes they swung wildly divergently, sometimes they entangled.The problem was there was no strategy, or even a map of where we were.Or probably you didn't swing anything and the parallel ways of understanding were the metaphor I was most comfortable with.

I couldn't decide, on the long walk grocery shopping that day which path more accurately represented your feelings, or mine, or what happened.Or when I lay at the beach on the hot day imagining Ferris wheels of kaleidoscopes where everything impinged on everything else.

It was an embarrassing situation from…
what is it in life that is reorienting slowly?
with all the fans off last night wake to the press of heat sun streaming through veils of leaves

Me as an Audience Extra

The last year has been one of the most difficult years of my life. While I cannot share much of what has happened, the good news is that I am still going. Sometimes I'm not sure how.

At the end of May my last contract position ended and since then I have been officially unemployed, a disempowering experience to say the least.

Anyhow, for a new experience last Friday I was an 'audience extra' at Market Call Tonight on BNN. Here's a clip of me asking a question, something I make myself do whenever I attend a seminar. Okay, I don't know a lot about the stock market, but I realized that I know more than I thought I did.

By all means watch the whole show, Ross Healy's viewpoints are interesting. If you want to see yours truly, a little nervous (could have done with some of those beta blockers, laughs) go to 7:25 on this clip (after the ads) for about 2 minutes to hear his full answer.

Bridging Transformations

In the time of transformation, what bridges the gap between what is disappearing and what is coming to be?

What do we leave behind to cross?

Who are we to meet?

As we transform, what are we bridging in ourselves?

I found these questions scrawled in my notebook. Surely that day in late August I had something specific in mind. Perhaps I had just seen the video clips for the movie, Man on Wire, of Philippe Petit's dream to walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, and who did it in 1974. Twenty-seven years before their destruction, his delicate dance of balance across the strung edge of death bridged his dream to its realization.

Or perhaps I was considering the Oracle of the Hunab Ku, number 36: Bridge.

What bridges the crossing for you?

What are you crossing from,
and where are you going?

Discus Thrower

Discus Thrower, ©Brenda Clews 2008, oil pastel on paper, 13" x 17", 33cm x 43cm (click on image for larger size)

Began by playing with some new oil pastels while watching a movie, abstract at first rubbing and painting the soluble colours but I'm a figurative artist and so overlaid them with a guy inspired by the famous Ancient Greek Discus Thrower, in turn obviously inspired by the Olympics that I watched obsessively for two weeks. It is amazing how our experiences come through in our art. As I outlined him, first putting in and then removing an arm to give him a paradoxical angle whereby he can appear to be facing the viewer or with his back to us, depending on the light -squint & you'll see him from behind, look and you'll see the barest representation of a face to incline you to think he is facing us- I thought, to me he represents a 'force of nature.'
In my recent paintings I have chosen to work slowly with an eye to detail; this, by contrast, was …

Clustering the Night Sky

A star system that spins around its black holes. Twinkling nexus of neurons. Why do I breathe or lie here wondering why I am. Or you.

No, I don't wish to explain mystery. I like the strangeness of life, knowing we are real even as we part from our bodily images in our imagination of being.

I follow the lines of your body with my fingers of light. Lines that limn memories of you, you haven't lain with me for a long time.

In the masses of stars how did we find and then lose each other?

Do I carry a simulation of you, you are so real beside me? Mirrors of the past reflecting in the present. Neurons traveling the gaps in time.

Or are you here, thrown into my arms by the electricity of what is conscious, our connection beyond time and space.

In the strangeness, clarity.

Night after night I roll into your warmth imagined beside me.

Women In Summer

If anyone knows the code to reverse the order of a Flikr slideshow I'd appreciate it. It's currently running backwards, from finished painting through all the stages to the drawing, which is a bit awkward. Women In Summer, I'm happy to say, is finished.

(Clicking any of the images will stop the slideshow and provide more of the info I included for the picture.)

Also, I've grouped this series on one page by the tag, WomenInSummer, at Flickr, here.

The Dancer Who Turns

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you are NOW - at this very moment
using more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

Please consider what neuro scientists have discovered
through careful research:

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Copied from a comment by Ken Grisnak, Aug 16, 2008, at a blog post, Losing Your Religion, Part I, by Ann M. (imag…

Race of the Medals of Fortune

(This is rather long, & loose, what I wrote while watching the race live on my computer through CBC streaming without commentators - I could hear the rain and the distant cheering of small groups of people as the runners streamed past, the breath of the camera crew and the breath of the runners, their feet pattering the pavement kilometer after kilometer - I posted this piece because it's current though would rather have sat with it a bit longer to tighten the phrasing and bring out the race as metaphor.)

the women, running

they look like they're in pain

in pain, yet with runner's high

it won't let them stop
desire and the power of their bodies

she leaves the packs of women
everyone runs in packs, occasional loners
falling behind to the oncoming pack or streaming ahead to the next one

does she feel her winged feet touch the pavement?
can she hear the onlookers straggled in the rain along the avenues cheering?
does she see the multitude of cameras following beside, in front, w…

Sailor's Delight

the sky is yellow with rain

it hasn't stopped raining all Summer

the wet sky is
stained with rain

I rewrite and wash
my life

the pitter patter of mantra, or tears
sheets of rain

then I saw fashion colours for this Fall
are amythyst and burnt orange

like the fresh clean billows blowing in the sky
suddenly at sunset

finding the moon

round light that is the moon
gliding, a psychic eye in the sky
before lightning drowns it
with falling water

water of the moon floats over me

water of the moon is a dry seabed
on the spin of rock in the sky
that swings round
and around us
pulling the

as I am pulled to you

envisioning what always was
but can never be

and then becomes
when the shroud of purple cloud
drifts clearing our hearts
luminescent crystal ball

moon is round

spiritual truth and illusion
one vision

tonight we find
we are found

Liquid Metal


falling through space without landing, or flying

into an eclipse, deliberate blotting out
the darkening of the sky
denials of our feelings
for each


writing kept us from recognizing

the fissures


how we hurt each other


fiery strands of interrelated passions
memories, motives, what happened
what didn't, the suspicions
times of deep connections
pulsing at varying speeds
in varying directions
hooking up here
& there exploding


like the heart


the moon glides
releasing the sun


we chip away anger
a brittle ceramic mold
on the gold

of love

forged in our fire of desperation

Birds Wings

Images of the world. Under a chestnut tree with your dog reading Ondaatje, a superb writer, watching for the police lest they catch you unleashed, a musician on a bench who put his book down and lifted his guitar from its case on the ground and began strumming though you are too far to hear, on the pale-striped green and blue fleece blanket with the nylon underside from Vancouver where it's generally wetter though we've had record rains in Toronto this year, sipping a mug of fresh French-press espresso coffee with cream, rocking a little in a camping chair, your iPod nano beside you unused, your hair clipped back, a black camisole and comfortable thin cotton khaki shorts, and such green as this city never sees by mid-Summer, usually the grass has brown patches, unaccompanied by your invited kids who couldn't conceive of anything more boring than sitting on a blanket in the park up the road on a hot sunny day, and you're content amidst these images of your world, the br…

Fragments of Healing

where I am, the edge of oblivion

blank, empty stare

you carry it in the palm of your hand

delicate music-maker, this filler of hours

without art, I couldn't imagine living

blank, empty stare,
its simmering anger boiling at the edges

that I see on your face
I know the edge

come back to those who love you,

Almost Finished Painting

(28.5"x20.5"; 72.5cmx52cm; oil & watercolour on Waterford paper, click here for larger size & press F11 for full screen)

The women on the right appeared ghostly from a distance.

The greens of Nature and the poppies and marigolds much stronger.

She wondered if that was a statement.

The ocean has turned into green.

She had to put the water back in for depth.

Otherwise she'd be flooded.

Where was he anyhow?

Why were the women always waiting.

They were naked and waiting.

Even she who was born from a seabrush
of sea foam.

Paiting Still in Process, nearing end though...

awake in night, sleep soon, hope, embroiled by my painting, get overalls on, go at it again

complexity of colours & figures driving me nuts. ready to throw it out. obsession. unscrew tubes of oil paint, try this, that. mess of reality.

where painting has progressed to, or regressed to.

(click here for larger size, you might need to press F11 if you'd like to see its whole cacophony)

Mirror of Venus

I am the mirror that I watch my
self in.

Behind the mirror is where I see.

Only ask for the 'freedom to revolt- psychic,
analytic, artistic- a permanent state of questioning,
of transformations, an endless probing of appearances,'
......found on the dustjacket
......of a book by Kristeva,
who wrote about revolt, and love.

Everyone should love wholly once in their life, as
the daughter of fortune knows.

The tenor of love demands it.

Love, illicit, a revolt against the order
of the rest of it.

The amatory moment is poetry, open-ended,
without a story to guide it, what's behind the mirror
where I watch your face.

Venus, Goddess of Love, married to Hephaestus, master craftsman.

Of course love is wedded to art. How else
could it be?

The block was a red clay-baked brick which took two hours to smash. It revealed
itself, heavy, smoldering with beaten passion, betrayals and intrigues, over my heart. Cracks of light appeared that became white-red lava that disintegrated slowly the faster I danced.

When …


Is my art confident? Intensely meditated? Is how deeply I love what will be remembered about me?

Strange questions Lightbrown brings to his biography of Botticelli, who was only remembered by Vasari's Lives of the Artists in what was otherwise five centuries of obscurity.

How odd that it was his paganism which appealed to the fin de si├Ęcle who brought his work from the shadows of history.

The barest outline of a life.

Botticelli is his art.

A Love Affair hits #2 on the Charts

A Love Affair #2 in SoundClick's Poetry Charts?! You guys!!! Thanks. 16 min of too-rich poetry, no music, & a Summer weekend? Blow me away...

(Go here to read the poems, which I pasted into a comment.)

(Yes, I am a little out of place at SoundClick's Poetry section, but I've been posting there for a few years, before they even had a Talk/Poetry section, and it's where I keep my poetry recordings: Aural Pleasure.)

Painting In Process July 08

Clipped 2 clamp lamps each with 100Watt daylight spectrum bulbs on either side and snapped it. Blue is a bit bright, slightly darker in the original. The lower right quadrant a little darker than in the painting, but running the Dodge tool in Photoshop over it even at 25% didn't bring it to its shade of colour. Every monitor's different anyhow. My old iMac & new Dell laptop each present colours differently. Overall, and I worked on this awhile, between the 2 computers, the coloration's not bad.

Anyway, how's that drawing I posted going? Eh. Tinkering, dabbing, letting it grow in its own fashion. Slow, but I'm enjoying slow. My paintings used to be done in 20 minutes and that felt fine then only now I want to linger longer, enjoy the process continuously. A dab, a little bit of paint, wait a day, see what's next. This piece, however, who knows, it seems quite complex to me as I work on it, and I don't know in which direction it'll develop.

I just sprea…

A Love Affair Charts

I'm tickled no end that something 16 minutes long and all poetry, an almost too-rich offering since there's some fairly complex stuff there too, and no music has made it to #5 on the charts at SoundClick! Thanks to you...

(note: only first poem is explicitly sexual, none of the others are)
A Love Affair (15:53min) # 24 in Talk (highest position was 24). Total songs: 7,345
# 5 in Poetry (highest position was 5). Total songs: 1,594

(ps-check comments here to read all the poems, which I pasted in)