Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The poet dances over her poetry

All photographs taken today, at my first ever rental of a beautiful room to videotape dance. I can't believe I've done this. It's been a wish for 7 years.

(You will note that I lack the energy at this hour with the dog still to walk to clone-tool out the camera that the camera records in two of these stills from the video :-)

(click on any to see larger size in a new tab)

The poet is dancing over her poetry

Since 2002 I have wanted to rent a room and videotape dancing for footage for videopoetry. Today I finally realized my wish in a beautiful room that I rented for a few hours in a nearby church. Though it's taken 7 years, and I'm older now, I am celebrating my courage.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Videopoem (1:56min): Solstician Rain

Direct link to YouTube video: Solstician Rain

The light was beautiful, but ripe, fruity, dense, as if walking through a film in technicolour. Light swimming to us through veils of vapour high up, some particles clear, others refracted. Colour magnified. Air, rich. The streets a vision under a distant roar of stratospheric surf. Then it poured.

The woman I passed saw the light, its ominous hush, picked up an umbrella on her way out. I didn't.

We, my dog and I, stood under a tree cover while thunder broke its drums.

We weren't slicked and soaked by the time we reached home, only dampened with large drops: she, smelling of happy wet dog; me with my khaki green long soft Indian cotton skirt, spotted, juiced.


'Solstician Rain' is a description of my walk yesterday evening. An hour or so after getting caught in the rain, I went out and recorded the video. It was dark by then but with various filters I was able to achieve something resembling the feel of the atmosphere earlier. Holding a microphone out of the window, I recorded the rain and thunder. Working in Final Cut Express, I layered video and audio tracks to form this videopoem. I love the rich fertility of this time of year.

The music under the thunder is by AlFa. It's approximately the first two minutes of an eighteen minute piece, 'Poème de la forêt,' from their album, Nuance Khaki, Fiber Lily, which carries a Creative Commons license and may be found here: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/10688.

Here is a screen capture of this video in Final Cut Express.
Click for a larger size.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making another dance video...

(I put some filters on the video, which is why these stills from it look fuzzy... not so bad in the actual clip, really!)

Busy, in my own quiet way...

Over the weekend I wrote a dance article, submitted it by email at 2am Saturday morning, after dancing and before dancing yet again, had a belated Mother's Day dinner with my son Saturday night, and worked on a little dance video from a clip I took at Erica's Summer Solstice Ecstatic Dance for Women. It's a sweet down-home video. I'm going to try to finish it soon!

Today hasn't been very fruitful. I've only been sifting through a few pieces I've written for Summer Solstice to see if something might work for this little video. The piece I like best, The Earth is Teeming With Becoming, might not be poetic enough and too, too... dense... and the perfect piece, the Amaterasu one, is too long. Perhaps Bramble Rose, though too short. Then there's The Sun's Trailing Veil... (which I didn't post at Blogger but at Xanga in 2004 & its long been privatized so no link). And perhaps the little video needs no poetry. Or perhaps I need to write a new piece for it. My kids will tell me - in their decisive, kind ways.

I've rented a beautiful room to video myself moving, dancing, but panicked today, it was booked for tomorrow for 2 hours, and had it changed to next week! Terrified is the word. And I'm having trouble figuring out what Creative Commons music might work in case I make videos of any of the clips. Oh, that was Sunday, after the 12 hours I spent on the video, listening to music on Jamendo for hours, downloading albums, not sure, not sure. With the article and working on a dance video (which wasn't planned, I set the video camera up only to pick some stills from it, but I guess making dance videos is my passion), I wasn't quite ready to video tomorrow anyhow.

You can see from these photos, stills taken from the short video clip, that it was joyous, we were joyful. We'd danced ourselves into our ecstasies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Facebook Reminds Me To Join Myself

(but I've had fun with it nevertheless)

I have removed all active links, so dondwary.


Also if anyone knows of a direct and easy way to alert real Facebook of this phishing scam, I'd appreciate it. I've already spent close to half an hour trying to find which help form would apply to this issue. Facebook makes it so difficult to contact them about an email scam, I've given up. (You mean you think perhaps the *real* Facebook is behind the scam, then? Hmnnn...:)

The following person recently invited you to be their friend on Facebook:
Brenda ClewsBrenda Clews
330 friends
9 photos

Other people you may know on Facebook:
Cliff WarnerCliff Warner
Michael CoveyMichael Covey
John BeckJohn Beck
New York, NY
Ian Paul MarshallIan Paul Marshall
Toronto, ON
Melissa NoventaMelissa Noventa
Toronto, ON
Patry FrancisPatry Francis
Boston, MA

Facebook is a great place to keep in touch with friends, post photos, videos and create events. But first you need to join! Sign up today to create a profile and connect with the people you know.
The Facebook Team
Facebook is free and anyone can join.
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To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below:
This message was intended for *-----------*@*---------*.com. If you do not wish to receive this type of email from Facebook in the future, please click here to unsubscribe.
Facebook's offices are located at 1601 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Has anyone else received an email from Facebook reminding you that you invited yourself to become your friend? And suggesting you add friends who are your own Facebook friends? Duh?! Scam?

Hahaahha... no, I didn't consider actually joining myself on Facebook! I'm still wondering why Facebook sent a "Reminder" that I, myself, invited myself to join myself and that I might like some of my own friends and become friends with them too.

Note: I found 3 other "Brenda Clews's" in the turning world of Facebook, and sent invites some months back, but they all ignored me - wacko Brenda Clews from Canada I guess - I thought it'd be fun to be "friends" with women with one's own name, but I swear up & down and all over Facebook that I DID NOT send an invite to myself. No. I did not.

BTW, *Facebook* sent this email to an email that I didn't list with Facebook but have at other sites, an email account I have set to automatically forward to the email account I regularly use. So it's a scam.

And here I thought Facebook was becoming existential on us! Theatre of the Absurd, and all that. The Surrealism of Facebook life. :-)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One of those days of running around, chores, places to go, rehab to visit, and now a moment with a thick French press espresso with cream and then my brother arrives for a barbecue. I'm almost too tired to begin preparing coals and food, so we'll see how it goes. As long as he's not in any hurry, it'll be a few hours of slow and fine...

The day is nearly perfect in sunshinyness and heat, and I'd love to have gone to the beach.

Soon, and I promise some photos or a video of Lake Ontario waves...

On the graphic images of violence on the news

On the graphic images of violence on the news.

I can accept seeing videos or photographs of uprisings, rebellions, bombings. Sure, I cringe in horror and shame. These images make me aware in my non-violent world of how bad it can be. They keep me from forgetting the horror of our actions toward each other in times of trouble, resistance, battle or war. It grieves my heart to see the senseless hurting of each other. The desire to control. What power does.

Perhaps seeing these images, their contexts, keeps me from becoming ethically flaccid.

Watching riot police beating dissenters is hardly a pleasant activity, yet the news floods my vision with such depictions.

This is the world we live in. It's a tough world. Behave or be beaten.

Forceful subliminal training. Of a sort. The theory is either you emulate it, which horrifies everyone even more, or it makes you want to stay under cover, stay out of trouble, be an ordinary person doing whatever whatever regime or government mandates.

In Canada, our news is nowhere near as violent as American news, but that's another story.

What I wanted to get to with this post is that while watching some of the atrocities in the political world is perhaps passable, the images of terribly wounded, dying or dead people crosses the line for me. It becomes a voyeuristic media circus that takes enjoyment in human suffering and which does not take into account a person's privacy.

If someone said, 'Sure, take a video of me screaming in horror and shock in the street with my arm blown off, I want the world to see my pain,' that would be fine.

But to blast images around the world of people in the throes of violent mutilations, for I don't know what else one would call the effects of guns, machetes, and bombs, robs them further of their power.

If I was shot in the street does that mean I would lose my right to privacy and that in my weakened and wounded state it would be permissible to take photographs of me and stream them in international newscasts?

What a horrible thought.

Yet this is what we allow our news reporters and producers to do daily.

It's demeaning to all.

The graphic depiction of violence does not reduce violence.

It further dehumanizes an already dehumanized landscape.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My mother was moved to rehab last week. Everything's fine. Her memory is decreasing, though. She keeps telling me that she can't remember where she lives (which may or may not be entirely true, you'd have to know her to understand this). I tell her where she lives. She says she can't picture it. She's been living in her condo for 28 years. We had her checked a year or so back, and it's not Alzheimers, but dementia, what Margaret Thatcher has. Her recollection of the past has never been better and we're hearing lots of stories we hadn't heard before, including finding out recently (actually when one of my brothers was checking her email) that she had two brothers who moved to Australia that she'd never mentioned before. I think they are both deceased now, but their progeny know my mother, apparently she's visited them in Australia in past years. We knew about the sister who was 6 foot tall and died of cancer of the throat (because she smoked my mother admonishes again and again) who had a daughter who has a son (now in his 20s or 30s or something) she won't leave even to come to Canada for a vacation, and a brother who'd entirely disappeared - no-one's heard from him or of him in at least 30 years and he's presumed dead - in South Africa, where she's from. It's all somewhat odd, to discover we had two more uncles we didn't know about on yet another continent, but then that's my mother.

Anyway, she's tiny and frail and holding her own and doing her physio apparently (she had been refusing in hospital), which she has to do if she hopes to be released. My brother who's considering moving in with her may have his hands far too full, though, and we are considering the possibility of a nursing home, though she continues to threaten suicide -"I'll die if I go into one of those, I won't live!- as the spectre looms.

She's an extrovert and has always been very social and as she is already finding rehab much more fun than hospital with so many similarly recovering patients (she's on a hip floor), so she may find a nursing home more congenial to her gossipy nature.

I hope so, because I can't imagine as her memory slips away how my dear and sweet brother, a brother who has been more kind to me throughout my life than can be expressed, will be able to cope.

It's one step at a time, however. She's in rehab. She's in fairly good spirits. She's doing her physio without complaint. She wants to come to my place for a barbeque before the Summer's finished, and she may just do so.

So this is the line, and we laugh:

Granny's in Rehab on a hip floor.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Laurelled Petals

Browsing old sketchbooks when I was making navigation buttons for my new Art & Writings website, I found this poem. It fits quite well with the Botticelli Suite of Poems, and I'll probably add it as a 'page' to that manuscript. You can see I've been into ways to combine words and image for a long time! I must have written this piece around 1976 perhaps... I think the poem was published in a university mag too.

(click on image for readable version)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bramble Rose

Petal edges
butterfly wings
blue powder.

from the hips.

hip-hop shaking
struggle with closed bud
of a cocoon.

Here to blossom.

A whole life
to unfurl.

Unexpected, that.

It never gets boring.

The unflown flying.

Petals in the wind, pink,
blue dusting to indigo.

This sun, this rain
never felt before.

Be the valley of women dancing.
Be the flowers, and the earth,
and the wind, and the moon.

Tattoo me on your skin.
Ink me in colours of the meadow,
a blossoming bramble

As I dance the opulent
of you.

a little ditty written at Erica's recent "Blossoming" workshop.

Image of gorgeous dancing women - a stylized version of a photograph at Erica's Dance Our Way Home website.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My 86 year old mother who broke her hip on the weekend is doing fine after her operation. The fractured bone only required a pin, which was good. Thank you all for your kindnesses and support.

'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' Zoom video August 20, 2020

   "I'd dance to death to evoke it." "Who in me writes?" It was a rich, varied poetry evening where we read, talked ...