Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My heart: a wildly improvised thing, a simple machine, all of wire and string

delicate, sputtering, powerful

My mind:  a well-framed window askew in a mudbrick wall standing with no ceiling in the vast landscape of me and you

My body: an electrical storm grounded to the Earth spinning in space

My spirit: a light breath of the grace that the Hurricane blows in each tiny flow

I had a dream:
I cradle my dear friend's head
in a sweet hotspring at dusk or dawn
and nothing can go wrong.
We say not a word at the visit of Hummingbird on wing,
and knowing we wouldn't see each other for a year,
we shed no tears
as I recall another dream:

I imagine tending a fire by the stream
down from my once-lover's home up the hill
where I try clumsily to help in the kitchen,
and think to give her new husband and baby a sapling.
I do not stay, we do not sing,
but simply are together as I move, softly, to other dreams:

Everything moves, I miss half the cues,
and the train's always leaving.
I lead seekers through muraled labyrinths
and battle nausea on shoot-out seas
where huge beasts –that I heard about from my ancestors– leap
flashing surprising colors and elegance in flight in Amazonian moonlight
before they dive back down into rivers divine
that seen from above join to make the infinite sign
with tributaries radiating serpentine out–
visions of my soul: rhizome veins that connect what they will when I can
be still.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Expanding Horizons

I was going to post each chapter of this video one-by-one, but I've decided just to release the whole shebang here, and refer you to this page if you want to see the 8 stand-alone videos.


Here is Expanding Horizons, as I have been thinking of the project, or as Where There Be Dragons, who commissioned it, is calling it: How We Travel.

This is a collaborative, education- and community-based video project, featuring the work of Dragons' students, educators, and partner communities worldwide. I co-wrote the script in collaboration with the Dragons community of experiential educators and guides.  I then directed instructors and students in 15 countries on 4 continents, and personally filmed in 7 countries. Total, including the musicians, we were well over 100 contributors in as many communities.

My deepest gratitude to everyone who participated, who are too many to name, though I've done my best to credit everyone who had a direct contribution here.

This video draws from Dragons’ Summer, Semester, Gap-Year, College Accredited, and Custom programs worldwide. Dragons students and instructors recorded all of the images, words, and music in the field, with help and inspiration from local communities. The relationship with local communities is an integral component of the Dragons experience, as families share their homes, temples, villages, music, and wisdom with our students, and through them, with the world. We have aspired to honor, and do justice to, this relationship through this video, both in product and process.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

the first of a flurry of vids on their way... part of a worldwide collaboration with hundreds of individuals and dozens of communities in 14 countries... credits forthcoming!

Monday, April 01, 2013

This is a year for giving:
clear-eyed, we become open-hearted.
Release tight-fisted lonelinesses
in group hugs, we encompass all our sick selves.
We surrender our wound-up and wounded insides into the earth,
the hoarded riches of our selves rushing into her warm embrace;
humbled to our knees,
vomiting and shitting out what we do not need
into ancient tunnels that take all into the sacred river
that accepts all pollution
and gives by giving up its own purity:
divinity come down down down to earth.
Likewise, we level our small selves to exhaustion
stretching ourselves thin to brittle breaking
so others may be full to brimming
and so fill our newfound emptiness grown in our expanded boundaries.
Freed from our own clutches,
we give ourselves a break, and give in to break-throughs
as we give way
to the sweet offerings of milk and smiles
we have so long denied our severe, separated and starved selves.
We give gods to ourselves, to each other,
to the caves and temples,
to the rice paddies and filthy alleys,
gods in cosmos-imbued stones and bowls and bells and paintings
and poems.

This is a year for joyfulness:
reveling in richnesses, we give the world permission to thrive.
We pardon our sad poverties for the suffering they heap upon simply being poor,
and extend a laughing hand to our haughty unhappiness, pulling it down
to roll around in the grass with us,
to smoke a joint in bed
and giddily watch the wow of the world in slow-motion.
We sit in pain and thank its power to unclench our head's fingers
from its hold on our souls,
so that we may spring rejoicing straight through our crowns
and into the ecstatic cosmos.
We dance in wild figures of eights intertwined: knots of infinities,
our feet blissfully making love with time and space
with that bee-bop ta-tha-ta dance,
with new stomp that unmakes existence as we know it
and the old drum that brings us back into the familiar beat
calling us to get back up to boogie back down,
to leap swimmingly into the air and down to the river like a homemade kite,
rejoicing in the breath of the moment
as a hungry child cries rejoicing in a mango out of season,
as a pilgrim cries rejoicing, after years of walking in exile,
in the sight of their spiritual home,
surrounded by their sisters and brothers
in that enraptured bliss born out of the blooming lotus of pain
that is holy joy.

This is a year for integrity:
becoming the change we hope for the world, we heal.
We practice what we preach, and only preach through practice.
We teach peace with every step, being imperfectly in the perfect moment:
ringing what bells still ring,
forgetting perfect offerings to perfect gods,
we know the crack that runs through everything
lets in the light which illuminates all.
We radicalize the interconnectedness of reality,
rooting down like the bodhi,
calmly stretching like her branches;
rhizoming out-up-in like ginger,
infusing our metabolic movement with his nodal energy.
We cognize, recognize, decognize and dive in to dissolve
those manifold manifestations of the multiverse
and find the buddha within as she smiles
in the passing stranger, praying and cursing,
in the filthy child with outstretched hand,
a hand asking to be held, a voice asking for change,
eyes demanding change,
presence requiring to be held in the same world as palaces for dead kings.
We contemplate,
we caress,
we cry out in yearning to integrate,
and slowly, with the care and calm of walking meditation,
of being held by the branches of aerially rooted trees,
of feeling out kora around high transcendence-striving temples,
we become whole.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dragons Global Video Project

First fruits of my travels in Asia, and collaborations with good people worldwide... more to come!

This video was created entirely with images, words, and music recorded by Dragons students and instructors in collaboration with local communities (representing 15 countries) who shared their homes, temples, villages, families, music and presence with us. Over 100 contributors from around the world conspired to weave together the poetry and magic of this experimental collaboration, "Where There Be Dragons' Global Video Project."

Where There Be Dragons is a community of educators with the collective aim to guide authentic, rugged and profound cross-cultural experiences that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the developing world.


More videos to come soon. If you've been on a Dragons program, stay tuned for an open invitation to send in your (past, present, future) videos to contribute and participate in this ongoing project. If you want to know more about Dragons, visit www.wheretherebedragons.com to learn about who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

IMAGES filmed by (in order of appearance):
India, Tibet, China, Nepal, Thailand, Bolivia, Peru - Mateo Hinojosa
Silk Road, China - McKay Barrow
Laos, Cambodia, China - Caleb Brooks
Burma, China - Stew Motta
Morocco - Allanna Hearn
Burma - Kara Wong
Guatemala - Juan Salvador Galich
Indonesia - Aaron Slosberg
Peru - Annelies Hamerlinck
Rwanda - Jamie Persons
Rwanda - Ariana DeToro-Forlenza
Jordan - Sarah Hay
Jordan - Paul Fean
Nepal - Amrit Ale

MUSIC created by: Art Vandelay (Andes and Amazon 2010)
FLUTE played by: Zach Sirotkin (Himalayan Studies, 2012)
SITAR and TABLA: Ravindra Goswami, Ram Chandra Pandit, Narendra Mishra, Kishore Mishra
VOICES singing: the children of Ale Gau Elementary School, Nepal

VOICES reflecting:
China Princeton bridge year - Yun-Yun Li
China South of the Clouds - Eli Rosenthal, Chloe Larkin, Jihelah Greenwald, Alexis Cheney
SE Asia Mekong semester - Sami Burke, Allyson Quigley, Cody Barnes, Lindsey Kelley
Himalayan Studies semester - Madison Shankle, Nicholas Gredin, Soffe Watson

STUDENTS and INSTRUCTORS appearing* and collaborating:
Henry Casserly*

Nathaniel Aron
Katherine Blenko
Zoe Ettinger
Katie Fee
Marley Forest
Irene Garcia
Abigail hester
Erik Janson
Margaret Leshner
Alexandra Lovaas
Grey Martin-Buhrdorf
Ye Thao

Jack Betz
Jacob Binzen
Grace Cawdrey
Cooper Feltes
Michele Ferrari
Juliana Heffern
Andrea Herrera
Charles Myers
Julia Rosenheim
Catherine Von Holt
Andrew Wofford

Eliza Browning*
Alexis Cheney*
Evan Gastman*
Jihelah Greenwald*
William Hallett
Chloe Larkin*
Kira Tebbe
Eli Rosenthal*
Talia Brooks-Salzman
Rachel Chen
Justin Kierskey*
Sara Galvin
Stew Motta*

Zach Ashley*

Thomas Denenberg*
Sean Fentress*
Nicholas Gladstone*
Eva Horner*
Lucky Jackson*
Cecelia Jeffrey*
Maya Katz-Ali*
Sarah Knapp*
Julia Reichard*
Natalia Shevin*
Jenna Spitzer*
Elizabeth Teach*
Eleanor Tremayne*
Matthew Collaciello-Williams*
Elizabeth Johnson
Bantu Pandey*

Emily Armstrong*
William Brokaw*
Eliza Culhane*
Peter Foster*
Lauren Harper*
Naya Herman*
Alyssa Isabelle*
Lyda Langford*
Olivia Rothberg*
Cassidy Schultz*
Scout Vernon*

Emma Lister*
Leo Lou*
Franscis Balken*
Olivia Markbreiter*
Marshall Surowiec*
Justin Vogel*
Brendan Powell*
Forrest Stone*

Cody Barnes*
Sampor Burke*
Henry Copeland*
Solara Farquhar*
Thacher Hoch*
Lindsey Kelley*
Benjamin Pratt*
Allyson Quigley*
Oliver Rock*
Caleb Brooks*
Sarah Galvin*
Jesse Millet*

Alex Ding*
Jackson Kenna
Anna Klink
Benjamin Marrow
Deina Mejia
Amber Nielsen
Sharon Shuppe

Laura Aldridge*
Emily Alford*
Hayley Drury
Maya Fielder*
Nicholas Gredin*
Morgan Mamon
Anna Medina*
Amara Ames
Charles Nunziato*
Emily Tatro*
Sebastian Vasquez*
Japhy Dhungana*
Hillary Sites*
Gavin Turner
Madison Shankle*
John Wyrough*
Andrew Billson*
Joshua Kohnstam*
Soffe Watson*
Margaret Sears*
Emily Fields*
Stacey Morris*
Zachary Sirotkin*
Christine Lifton
Amrit Ale
Germaine Bartlett-Graff
Derek Shephard*

Jamie Whalen*
Annelies Hamerlinck

Cameron Barker
Isabel Castellanos
Bermeley Ferreras*
Finn Freymann*
Oumourumana Jalloh*
Gerardo Jauregui*
Calum McGuckin*
Dilsy Mendez
Alice Woods
Ariana DeToro-
Jamie Persons*

Silk Road:
Jack Rosenberg*
Roger Mittnacht*
Robert Hutchins*

Alyssa Li*

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Where are all the people at?

mostly in Indian subcontinent and E China, it appears...