Stand With Me

Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs on Indiegogo

DSC00616As someone who spends a lot of time searching for words, I am always relieved to find engagement apart from the written or spoken word. Don’t get me wrong, I love words. I’m using them now to give voice to the transformative power of dance.

And theater. I love movement with supporting visual orientation and Paula Josa-Jones is a master of the theatrical move.

But, as important as that is, it’s not why I’m writing. I’m here to tell a story. It’s about passion and commitment and collaboration. I’ve been photographing Paula since early in 1985. When I saw her in front of my lens I knew I’d been waiting for this mixture of innovative movement, comfort with the camera and an eye for detail that allowed my wild eye to flourish.

Now, when I talk about passion and commitment, I am not talking about us, Paula and me. I’m talking about Paula reaching out, asking dancers, set designers, and all those connected to production to plunge into their most authentic selves and come together to make truth in the work.

It takes courage and steadfast wildness to come to this place. And that’s where my story begins.

A few years back Paula was searching. We had moved here to the NW corner of Connecticut. Dancers were in Boston. Horses on the Vineyard where we had spent twelve years and major production of RIDE, dance theater with horses.

Now that I’m writing this, it seems simple. If you’re alone, do solo work. Duh. But then it was a revelation. Like a sword finally untethered, sharp and ready to strike. So, use it, duh.

When she asked me, I said, do a solo, you’re really good at it. But something had been hiding, Paula was shy. Who knew? Her company of beautiful dancers acted as a shield and we had chosen to live in a new place without “protection.”

She started rehearsing. Building this new solo work, Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs.  This is a lengthy process and now – I’m not sure how many years later – performances, dance showcases, artistic residencies, 1000 hours of listening to music, collecting brilliant collaborators. looking at costumes and photographs – not all mine, check out her Pinterest site.

This is serious work. Important work. Evocative and smart work. She does her best, is doing her best. You too, please. Thank you.

Open the gate – you won’t be sorry!

Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs on Indiegogo

Jules

Jules

 

Our walk this morning included an unexpected excitement. Scads of horses and trailers, riders and dogs just a few hundred yards from our path. The hunt was on. Jules had never seen so much commotion! He raced to it and halfway there I called him back. This is a shot of his return to me. Joyous, finding deep satisfaction every moment. I love Jules. He is my idol on this morning and so many others.

Beautiful Mama

Who you are and where you are is important in what you see as beautiful and what is not.
This beautiful mama will not lay her eyes (all puns intended) on her progeny. No bonding needs to take place for the tikes – in this case expected about the end of July – issuing forth from what is to my eye a hastily dug hideout/birth place. She will be far away and they will somehow make their way to her. I know I could do it by the smell alone except the first steps would be hard – she came from a place way beyond my olfactory abilities!

This one, however, is well within my reach! And when we walk around in our world with her, she is mightily sniffed! All manner of human experiments come close to place their noses on her head. She responds positively; luckily for us! I suspect the tiny turtles have the same response to their mom. For all I know she might be recognizable to them if met.

Moments To Remember

One of my favorite songs when I was a teenager was a song called “Moments to Remember.” Yes, it was very soppy and filled with moments to remember! At the time I was building my moments and the memorable ones were often ones I made up. Now – when I took this photo – without the knowledge of the subjects – I know my moments are here. This is one of them and from my perspective it’s a great shot!

My Snow Angel

The drifts around our house can be weird. Thanks to the garden and the dogs we have two dog gates, four exit/enter the house doors and paths to match. The wind during this storm has gone around making bare spots as well as wonderful shapes many feet tall. My snow angel Paula was making the complicated patterns outside my studio into navigable paths. Thank you, Paula!!!

We all go back and forth to my studio a lot these days. Eli is there. He is the sweetest cat and loving, warm and playful – with a couple of our cats and dogs. But in the aggregate they are too much for him. I go into my studio, open the door, he hops out, follows me to the house, plays around then after a bit he goes to the door and asks for some more alone time. He is a fun, playful, sweet boy. A wonderful presence and we hope to find him a home less complex than ours.

Travelling

 

I went a long way to get this shot. A few miles, yes, some equipment, film in canisters to avoid the airport x-rays. But really what I’m talking about is how I grew into this shot. I travelled a long way in faith to take what I see and believe in it enough to let it be. To let it stand by itself.

The other part is my muse, Paula, who allowed and asked to be in my viewfinder, on my emulsion, in my life. We are together in that. This is not solo travel.

She loves to put herself out there in rocky territory. I do too. What you can’t see is where I’m lying! There is a lot of washed up detritus on this our favorite beach on the windward side of the island. We love the raggedness of it, the unexpected objects, the harshness we can encounter before we go get some wonderful French delight. This is St. Barts, the rugged, no crop, no slaves  island peopled now by wash-ups and French settlers – the originals were the Caribe Indians of whom nobody has anything good to say, but who are not here to defend themselves.

This is part of our work together. I get to see it everyday, get to revisit us and the mindsets who created our visions. We get to look at photographs, dances on video, paintings to  explore the mysteries of our minds and hearts. We are lucky beyond imagination and we have our imaginations to thank for all this. We travel. We love the Journey.

NEWBORN

Be tender with yourself
Reach for the moment
Carefully
As if you really cared
As if you were newborn
Here, now
Just out

Be soft in this light
Be soft in this moment
This is your moment
This is your skin
Your new eyes
Your new ears
Your new precious life

Be still in this moment
Be the listener
The ears of the moment

Your eyes are full and empty at
The same time
Ready to be charged
To be breath and light in the dark

Hold this new station
Come back
Make this your home
Make this life your home

Pam White
August 4 2011

Angel Cards

Every morning I take and angel card from a little bowl I got in Acoma, NM. It’s signed by M. Miller and it’s tiny, made by her thumb – or the hands of angels, which is how I look at it.

Lately I’ve been taking two. Pairing them up. It’s being an interesting juxtaposition. Yesterday it was Abundance and Purification. Today it is Play and Obedience.

Hummm. Provoking some thoughts! I went for the simple first, to be/have abundance, purity – of heart, of mind, of body – certainly makes life more felt, observed. A mindful approach is the surest way to lack of suffering, and brings clarity and joy. In fact so many words and thoughts come to me I can hardly put them in order – can’t put them in order.

They are like the meadow outside my window, so many different grasses, colors, birds, insects – but it looks so unified and whole when I observe it. Like the insects that seem to be wandering aimlessly around, letting the elements take them – and yet, when I observe their work, their houses I am astonished at the organization I see.


The same is true for play and obedience. I often take words like “obedience” and “purification” as “hard” words – or things that are hard to do and be. But what if I just saw obedience in play? What if I turned obedience into play? Then I could see the height of the leap, the circle of a hug as following a larger truth – which it is. I can have pure joy, obedient dance. Anything can be done purely and obediently – it might be fun to see how far I can go.

Thank you Angel Cards, Angels, All of You.

Woodstock Market – Woodstock NY 2011

You’d hardly know what year it is. And for sure it doesn’t matter. What matters here is love, music, friends – just like always. So many people come up to me, “are you Connie, I haven’t seen her for years.” I feel like Everyman – no one special, someone counted and counted on. No one asks directions – people often think I know where I am –  everyone knows where they are and how to get to the next place – wherever it is.

We listened to music, ate vegan ice cream and felafels, watched, listened and were so glad to be there.

It was a beautiful day, we were in the heat of the summer, and it was in us.