telluric dreaming
Art-Life Rituals for Radical Tenderness (3/4)

telluric dreaming

telluric dreaming is dreaming of, with, and in the earth. they say that to tremble, to let ourselves vibrate, is to co-regulate the body’s frequencies with the earth’s breathing. it is listening to ourselves: the body in relation.

English translation by Raphi Soifer

the nights are for prayer, the days are for struggle

MC Wera[1]

OF PRAYERS

PDF deste artigo disponível em português aqui

i begin trembling. literally, fingers shaking on the keyboard, trembling gestures in my body. the effects of the unknown? maybe… 

i draw closer to radical tenderness, which is why i vibrate, opening myself to the invitation to co-sense, and to allow myself to be crossed through in a dance…a dance directed by different forms of gravity…and whose master is the earth itself.[2]

where do my feet step in this moment? i’m walking in the brazilian Cerrado,[3] in the centre-west of the country. i walk, conversing with the frequencies that send goose bumps over the hairs on the surface of my skin, with the whispers that guide me as i listen to my breathing:

in, out, systole, diastole, emptiness, movement

i walk through the Cerrado, opening myself, singing for inventiveness, and praying for lucidity in times that are so clouded over with depletion and devastation.

here, i have asked for the assertiveness that comes from vegetal listening, for the strength that comes from grounding in subtlety…and here, too, i am guided by flashes that come from anger, firmness, and determination:

i want to live, i want to live together, we want to live.

i begin this performance walking and praying, or better, conjuring and asking permission of the forces under my feet, of the red dust of this earth, the twisted trees, the roots that are under each of us.

i walk here, trembling, and learning to tremble. honing my listening, bit by bit, to the immense modes of consciousness that vibrate in every body.

so this is how i begin: asking permission and intoning a song of thanks, with the intention of making the voice that inscribes itself on this screen resonate with the sounds that contain innumerable names and modes of existence.

vast voices are necessary to sustain (urgent) answers and questions, to open space for mutations of our own collective-life-healing. multiple voices are necessary to train sufficient courage, that which makes it possible to let ourselves collapse:

the shit, the rough edges, the ugliness, the lines of destructive and suffocating histories.[4]

crumbling inside-out and outside-in.

crumbling and resonating with the present, with instincts that guide through the incorporation of communitarian purposes.

crumbling and resonating in collective weavings of transformation.

in this instant, the song of the web sustains me, because all who exist move, we move ourselves together.

crumbling and resonating with challenging paradoxes.

crumbling and resonating: am i speaking in this tune? before i open my mouth, i must know how to speak.

this is why i pray and give thanks and evoke this body and its intersectionalities in the same way that i call my ancestors. i ask, please, that they—the crossroads that make me—speak truths. that they open their throats and tell about dark and light; about the entrails of habits that reinforce the narratives of the past, projecting them into the future, shadowing the present. i ask for integrity in times of fierce polarization, dogmatic extremisms, doctrines of annihilation of what announces itself as diverse. i ask, because if i don’t know how to listen frankly, the words inscribed in this text-action will be lies;[5] allowing me to perform-sleep in a landscape of dreams determined by domination and suffering. 

thus, here, to the sound of these written words, i draw a communitarian-letter, a sigil: an inscription of some of the infinite existences-names that make me alive in the present.[6]

The hebrew letter alef painted in pink with smaller black text written in each paint stroke.

through this gesture, i ask permission, once again, i pray and give thanks before beginning to open the body-mouth to seismic dreaming.

OF THE ACTIONS/OF THE PERFORMANCE

they say that to tremble, to let ourselves vibrate, is to co-regulate the body’s frequencies with the earth’s breathing. to free vital energy staunched by the tension of traumas. it is listening to ourselves: the body in relation.

would listening to ourselves as bodies be opening to an intelligence more vast than humanity itself?

would listening to ourselves as bodies be opening ourselves to a seismic dance?

dancing and being danced?

dreaming and being dreamed?

from an almost imperceptible vibration, from a spasm that changes course, a breeze that aligns the body, i hear and accept an invitation:

to find the border between night and day
dream and waking
unconsciousness of mutation, consciousness of liberatory action
it is the whole body that dreams alive

5 dreams, 5 actions: conjurings. dream-offerings.

humbly, before the secret of the dream, let its agency guide the conjurings. maintain the sensation of the dream vibrating in your consciousness. 

in this way, t r a n s d u c e d r e a m s: mutate forms/maintain energies.

dreams reach us, they say.

◈ for 5 days, 5 nights, bathe-inhale-sweep myself with basil, an herb for cleansing energy, an herb that nestles me. let the body awaken and, if the dream wants to reverberate, open space for its expression, be attentive to the body of the nights and the mornings.

◈ for 5 days, walk at the end of the afternoon, with no destination, bare feet on the ground, a conversation with the Cerrado that sustains the city of brasília. hear the grasslands, feel the grasslands, open myself.

◈ for 5 days, find moments to lie on the ground and tremble without fear. 

◈ for 5 days and more, co-sense with radical tenderness.

Four colour blocks, each with text as follows. "Feel the pain of the earth passing through you." "Follow non-normative and non-linear time." "Integrate with a wider metabolism, with a much longer temporality than your human body." "Listen to non-human authorities, and care about our relationship with them."

◈ for 5 days and more, let questions reverberate::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

A double exposed image: two hands each holding a small rock mixed with a person wearing a mirror like a mask. A thick red line runs down the image off-centre.

OF THE QUESTIONS

how to open the body to seismic dreaming?

how to dream the vibratory unconscious?

they say that dreaming is a continual corporal activity.[7] an immense consciousness that dreams and dances through every being, in dream, in intuition, in vision…

maybe the question is not about dream-content, but rather about dreaming-gesture.

who and what walk on our earth-body as we sleep, amplifying our collective imagination and, thereby, our communitarian actions? who and what walk on the earth—the earth that is us—while we dream and live?

after all, maybe the question is not about the dream, but about how we dream.

are there as many ways to dream as there are beings that exist?

or, perhaps, has dreaming been split open?

how many methodologies of dreaming are muzzled by patriarchal colonialism?

how, then, to dream together? how to ritualize ourselves in this listening, as a cosmic-political individual-community act of transmutation?[8]

how do we learn to give passage to the unconscious of mutations that belong to the vital movements of the planet? how do we transduce dreams that heal?

t r a n s d u c e: a change of form, strengthening of the energy-in-gesture-action-desireservice.

OF DREAMS

conjuring1:  dreaming of a cemetery, dreaming of wisdom

A double exposed image: a figure dressed in white stands at a gravesite with their hand against a tree; the same figure stands holding a small rock in each hand with blood dripping from their head to their torso. In the background are the Brazilian government buildings.

it was a night of a sun-lit moon. a red flash accompanied the clouds illuminating the sky. i was with my mother, and i asked:  where should i begin this performance?

we walked. she said come with me…i followed her into a garden full of people, with a certain tranquil calm in the air. my mother talked, playing around, greeting people on the path, until arriving at a gate. she said: this is where you ought to begin. it was the entrance to a cemetery. she was very calm, and i was a bit curious. we passed through the gate and she showed me the tomb of my grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents. here, she said.

conjuring2:  dreaming of shoes, dreaming that comes from the dance of the dead.

i see a dance hall, big and airy. night. i go closer. at the entrance, lots of shoes. i pass carefully between pairs, and bit by bit, i perceive that a dance is ongoing. lots of people, more shoes, mounds of earth in various colours. the game seems to be to wear one another’s shoes. i feel a strong desire to participate in the dance, bit by bit i enter into a big circle. time dilates. this is a dance that changes the positions of history, a cathartic, twisting, guttural dance, a dance that makes the future transform through the recreation of the past.

conjuring3: dreaming of the path

a very dear and beloved friend. we meet at the edge of the mouths of two rivers that look like waterholes. we look at each other and hear a voice that resonates: “those of us who don’t trust technique better go deep.” we dive into the water, into the earth.

conjuring4:  sonorous dreaming, dreaming of whistling whispers.

of sounds: only listen to whispers

of sighs: silences, an old wound

of inside: noises, opaque fractures…

grunts, rumours

of listening: murmurs, roots

open tremors, profound moans

of the libido: long live the serpent; tongue that heals: en-chantment; a yell

of the body: tear; of the organs: blood; of the pitch black: melody

of the dream: spectral passage, only

only hear

conjuring5:  dreaming of disintegration, dreaming without words 

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

 ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ 

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ 

A double-exposed image: a figure in red lies in a field near a mountain range, and the same figure stands in the field swinging a piece of fabric above their head.

OF THE INVITATIONS

invitation with radical tenderness

following non-linear time, the transduction of dreams seems to me to come from the confluences of various moments. spiral meetings, in which haste appears as a false idea of precision. the effectiveness of this conversation, for me, comes in an opening to the long term, in intensities that breathe, contracting and expanding, sometimes more intense, sometimes almost unfelt. until, at some point-escape-time, the dream reaches us, both in our own lives and in the intuition that there are confluent permissions/signals from more-than-human authorities for its transduction.

i tell you the steps that have brought me closer to dreaming. suggestions that could be ritualized in cyclical temporalities, concentrated in days, weeks, months; or diluted in a spontaneity in the long term of the quotidian.

re-learning, together, to dream:

◈ in the gaps of the everyday, the runaround, the fatigue, the anxiety, the pain…find a deep commitment to opening the body to the present, even if only for a minute. breathe, tremble, place your feet on the ground, dance, close your eyes…incorporate yourself to the gestures that nourish you.

◈ learn to ask permission and to give thanks, pay attention to the night and the dawn, the agency of dreams does not belong to “you.”

◈ try not to interpret, seek to perceive dreaming as something of the present-future and not as a retroactive movement that narrates exclusively about an individual psychology.[9]

◈ try to connect to the sensations of dreams, more than to the story, narrating comes later, like a creative, relational gesture.

◈ try to maintain sensation, the energy behind the sensation.

◈ with which beings does this energy converse? plants, animals, ancestors, water, fire, air…

◈ with what situations does this energy invite you/us to co-sense and to cooperate? 

◈ in which directions does this energy teach you/us to mutate?

◈ in what senses does this energy make you/us crumble ?

OF GIVING THANKS

i begin praying, asking for permission, and giving thanks. i finish and continue conjuring, asking permission, and giving thanks. 


Endnotes

[1] from the rap song in Guarani, Retomada da Terra (Retaking the Earth) by MC Wera.

[2] a way of thinking that reverberates with a passage in the book hijikata tatsumi, pensar um corpo esgotado, by Kunichi Uno, p.33, n-1 edições, 2018.

[3] the Cerrado is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, which includes the Federal District, where this work takes place.

[4] ideas directly inspired by page 69 of the book radical dharma, talking race, love, and liberation, by Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedukkah, published by North Atlantic Books, 2016.

[5] ibid.

[6] the inscription of multiple names, meanings and energies in a letter is part of the ritual interpretations of sacred gematria in mystical jewish traditions. for this work, i would like to name every little force that sustains me in this present moment, but that wouldn’t fit in these pages. instead, i have drawn one simple letter that contains all my gratitude to all those lives-beings that make me alive.

[7] the idea of a dream as an uninterrupted activity can be found in the introduction to the book kabbalah and the power of dreaming: awakening the visionary life, by Catherine Shrinberg, published by Inner Traditions, 2005.

[8] the idea of healing as a cosmic-political act of emancipation is presented by the author, psychologist, and healer Lorena Cabnal, a self-described communitarian feminist of Maya-Xinka ethnicity from Guatemala. This concept can be found in Cabnal’s publications, videos, and lectures, as well as in the article “a recuperação do corpo como território de defesa,” revista geni, n.26, p.1-15, outubro, 2015.

[9] the anthropologist Barbara Tedlock studies dreams in non-Western cultures, and discusses differences between systems of dream interpretation in her article “the role of dreams and visionary narratives in Mayan cultural survival,” published by Ethos, 1992, vol. 20, pp. 453-476.

Filed Under: Multimedia & Performance

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mar~yã (they/them), also known as makabra coqito, is a multi-spirited artist born in Brazil and rooted in México.

They work at the intersections of performance, street theatre, drag cabaret, healing practices, and popular education.

Their processes of life and creation are viscerally moved by political art and ancestral medicines.

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