Questions, questions

Because we never really know each other as well as we think, in response to this post I’d like you to ask a question. Anything about which you are curious, anything you feel you ought to know about me. Silly, serious, personal, fannish. Ask away. Then copy this to your own journal, and see what people don’t know about you.

I reserve the right to answer in personal email.

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  1. Ironically enough, I, a man, won a Slam for a poem about soldiers against B. Henderson by wearing a Lilith Fair shirt. The two Clark u. Lesbians who had just come from schtupping each other apparently thought it was cool. 🙂

    Go figure.

  2. slamming lesbians!

    Ironically enough, I, a man, won a Slam for a poem about soldiers against B. Henderson by wearing a Lilith Fair shirt. The two Clark u. Lesbians who had just come from schtupping each other apparently thought it was cool. 🙂

  3. I’ve performed a lot of my poetry on a slam poetry stage. I’ve never scored well, because I don’t fall within the typical slam poet’s persona/profile/typology.

    The one time I won a slam ($10.00! W00t!), it turned out that I’d worn a t-shirt that a couple of the judges really liked and I got high scores because of the shirt. Ooops.

  4. Tough Question…

    Hmmm. I like to wear costumes, but it’s gotten to the point where nearly everything I wear is a costume. I don’t really feel comfortable in jackets and ties, or jeans, or ‘fire circle’ clothes, or medieval costume, or religious costumes or any other of the strange things I’ve worn over the years. And because of this, I tend to wear things that don’t GO together, or shouldn’t, or send out really weird conflicting signals.

    I can’t recall a set of clothes that I thought I looked good in, and wore well, and felt good about wearing, that also felt like ME, if this makes sense. (I also don’t necessarily want to be naked, either, so this isn’t about nudism).

    But this also means that a lot of the time I’m feeling like I’m an actor wearing a costume and a mask, and playing a role or a part. And it means that I almost always feel like “this is Andrew being the game writer” or “this is Andrew playing the part of the poet” or “This is Andrew playing the teacher.” Maybe everyone feels this way, but I rarely feel or notice, “this is just Andrew being Andrew.” And because of that I feel constantly like I’m being a fake, and not letting people see the real me.

    Then I think about it and realize that the ‘real me’ doesn’t really have a whole lot going on. I’m sort of a bundle of information and stories, and poetry, and art, and thinking about things, and facts and opinions and muscle and flesh and fat that doesn’t really know how to wear clothes. And it makes me feel very peculiar sometimes, and self-conscious. And I don’t really know how to explain that this is just me acting, playing a part, wearing a mask — but there’s not anything behind the mask. Is this odd?

  5. Firecircles over time.

    I think that I first went to firecircles not having the slightest idea what they were. At first, I saw them as a place of stories and song, a place to connect to something tribal and primal.

    As I learned to work within them consciously and aware of my actions, I decided to help become a creator of the space. I think it would be hard for someone of my background to do otherwise. A trained user-of-words, I think, can’t help but piece together chants out of rhythm. I think I remain weak as a dancer in circle, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be more than a workmanlike drummer, but I think I’m a pretty powerful chanter/singer/storyteller in circle, and I think my service-aspect is unquestioned. Though maybe it should be.

    Anyway, when I first started, I think I was startled by a fire’s ability, in the context of drum and dance, to open people to ecstatic experience immediately. I’d guess that most people are. My first circle, I remember being an observer only, save for two “O”s round the fire at Starwood. But I kept being drawn back to that fire, to watch others dance and dream.

    SpiritFire and PhoenixFire were two very different experiences, though. PhoenixFire was very showy and very much performance-based. It was celebratory, in the same way that a cathedral is celebratory. But while it could be a place for deep spiritual work, I don’t think it could be transformative in itself. You need a place to do your regular work, the minute day-to-day changes. By contrast, SpiritFire was more like a local abbey. You could meet and know a community there, of people you could meet in your day to day life; at least in part this was because SFF is close to home.

    Starwood is more remote to me now. It’s physically closer, but it’s harder to see myself going back. I’m more than a little afraid of it, to tell the truth. It’s radically shifted my life each time I’ve gone, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of change. It’s a pilgrimage to Rome or Jerusalem, not a walk to the local church, so to speak. PhoenixFire, or what PF has become now, also seems distant but for different reasons. It’s gone away into being something else, something for California and the West Coast, and I don’t live there.

    What do I get out of it? Magic, community, poetry-without-words, poetry-with-words, starlight and sunlight and moonlight, mythmaking in the woods with people who might wear suits and skirts in the workaday world. Narnia, and Orien, and King Arthur’s Llogres, all rolled into one. It’s weird… I think of fire circle culture as being at once very real and very much fantasy. It’s more real than a Renaissance faire, because you’re an actor as well as audience, and not just pretending to do, but doing. But it’s also fantastic, because you believe, if only for a week, that the rites you perform have the chance to transform the whole world. And I think that I’ve met more Christians-in-an-ethical-sense in Firecircle than I have in Church.

    That said, I wish I had a place/time to do this regularly with a group, that had a fire once a month or every other month. It feels like four nights a year is too little to achieve real change. And yet, I think that you do need a certain critical mass. It’s easy to say, one to drum, one to dance, and one to watch, but you can’t really get a whole lot of energy flowing without a meal together, and a lengthy window of time.

  6. How has your relationship to (or experience of, couldn’t find one word) firecircles changed over time? How do they fit in your life now?

    Feel free to interpret “firecircle” broadly.

  7. Oh, this is tough. Your the kind of person you can know all at once and not know just as easy.

    If you think there is one of your characteristics that you think people don’t pick up on, or misenterpret (SP?!) what is it and why?

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