Intimacy, Community, and the Milonga

It is a mark of the experience of the leader of our workshop that by the end of the second day, our group has developed a level of “community comfort” that is unusual unless the moderator/leader actively strives to develop the types of bonds (or conflicts) that they consider conducive to the work.  In our work, it is necessary to feel capable to take risks and be comfortable with the context to make good work.  In an ordinary class structure this level of relationship usually takes about two weeks to evolve without specific catalysts.  For me, I decided Bruce Marrs would be allright when he mixes plaster without a lot of anal precision – by look and feel.  I actually got to mix the first batch, and it seemed all wrong to me – and it turns out it was.  It had gotten too humid and portions of it had actually set and made little rocky bits throughout that wouldn’t mix in at all.  

I have never been able to suss out exactly what it is about creative endeavors and theater in particular that supports a level of openness – at least in communities that are focused on the work and not on the fame game.  I’m quite sure there are few contexts in life that individuals who have known each other for less than 48 hours will be examining the most intimate details of their life and identity like we all did tonight applying the brown paper strips to our plaster face positives.

Then we had an impromptu tango lesson as our workshop teacher is multifaceted in their creative outlets and at one time was a dancer and now also plays tango music and is playing tomorrow night.  

Soft Snuffling Downy Love

One treasure of insomnia is that I can be a silent spy in the sleeping wonderworld of the other breathing beings in my household.  Surrounded by their soft snuffling snorkeling sleep, I feel a gentle soundscape draw over me like the downiest of comforters.  A little cat cuddles at my foot.  I am connected to all that I hold most dear.  Where IS that Catzilla?

Tired Already – Day 3 –

Obstacles too numerous to enumerate keep arising until tomorrow at 9:40 am I can put this year to rest.

The PowerPoint & Technology. What a nightmare that has been.

It is easier and harder this year. I am not so overwhelmed trying to accommodate the novelty of the experience as in the first year, SO I have mental space to grapple with self-doubt. I wonder how that fits on a scale of experience …. FEAR is first level – then once you master fear, you can progress to SELF-DOUBT.

Last year’s group is so laid back it brought out another totally different side of me. Boy, this year we have a group of people who can really remain “on task”. Miss my fellow zannes from last year a bit – we never stayed on task, but got the job done anyway with hilarity to boot.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Morning: Day -1

Sunday AM or more precisely PM as it is one minute past noon. I awake from much needed sleep. I am feeling light and breezy and excited. I walk through campus to forage for coffee. I feel as personally connected to UM-Missoula campus as I did to UVa-Charlottesville . Yes there is the geographic similarity of being nestled between kind, lovely mountains. It is remarkable. It took me 4 weeks to acclimate last summer to where I was in place and culture, and within a day of return, I am happy. I am home.

Last year I struggled as the Chameleon Girl strived to fit. But she could not. No matter what I sought – the essence of myself was wrought of Manhattan and the South, there were strands of my soul that would always be of those places that could not be covered over or denied. The First Year of the Creative Pulse on campus was the first time, I had to adapt to being Me – and not some chameleon chimera of myself. I was “out of the closet”.

Ergo – University of Montana is now associated with being free. I know the lightness I felt when I woke up this morning was the absence of not being burdened with dread of assuming Chameleon Girl’s role of the day. It was not necessary. I have for so long been playing roles to fit in that do not commend themselves well to my temperament or my dreams. The challenge to come is to give myself the permission to abandon the Chameleon Mask anywhere, especially in my ordinary life. To feel as free to be Me anywhere as I now feel here in Montana.

How to actively mantain myself without slipping back into the carbonite. Where does it come from?


Neither rain, delays, or snooty people can delay me from my appointed goal. Plane was late – Pantzer hall was locked by time I got in. Huge pieces of luggage – much rain. Shared cab from airport with sophisticates with well honed sense of entitlement. Give thanks I have evolved further from that life condition. Nice Pakistani ESL student lets me in. I finally consent to pay cabbie – after door is opened of course.

Lock myself out of my room within first hour, but thankfully it is only 10:45 pm and attendant is still on duty. Only $1.00 to get back in. I am so tired I could sleep on concrete, so bed in room without linen or blankets seems cosy.