This, my dear friends and family, is how I will live this prophetic 2012. Even if the core of the Earth doesn’t explode, Jesus doesn’t descend upon us in a Wall-Mart parking lot, or Dec 21 comes and goes without ecstatic revolution–we will still only live this year once. So let’s make it a year of creative manifestations, fearless communication, and graceful, honest dancing…..
Yesterday my partner-in-crime, Nikola, and I moved into a tent for the summer. We packed up our mattresses, clothing, camping chairs, dreamcatchers, and sunscreen from our paradisiacal house near Santiago, Chile and headed south. We left our peaceful house, surrounded by shady avocado and almond trees, for a two-room tent on a dry, agricultural plot with tall dry grass and prickly trees. Welcome to La Bella Eco-Aldea (“the Beauty” eco-village)–a budding community on 135 acres, located at the base of the Andes deep in a valley known for it’s witchcraft. In order to arrive to La Bella, you have to pass through a tiny village called “Rari”, famous for its horse-tail-hair artesania and swiss chocolates.
We didn’t leave to escape electricity and traffic. We’re following an artistic “mirage”, a dream of creating a dance piece in residency here. For those of you who don’t already know, we’ve already won one international grant to produce this grand work of art. It’s called UMA, which means WATER in the indigenous language Aymara. Through dance and theatre, we will create an ode to the magic, consciousness, and reality of water. What is our relationship to our Life Source? What happens when our water sources run out? Who owns water? How can we conserve and honor water in the most efficient way? We will dance all these questions. So far, we have 11 dancers from USA (me!), Australia (a sacred clown!), Argentina (an actor!), Colombia (a mystery!), and Chile (the rest). We’ve hired Leo Yanez, the son and prodegy of the most famous living Chilean folklorist, and have a Greek audiovisual engineer with his wife who will work as the visual designer. WOW!
The plan: The company will live in LA BELLA for three months in residency. What was once a raw piece of agricultural terrain is now, after three months of hard labor, an inhabitable land. We have an open-air kitchen, water tower, running water, a 40-foot geodesic dome, a teepee from the north, dry toilets, and showers. We begin Feb 15th. Stay tuned for more details…
Artistic residency: check. Self-sustainable education: here we go. My dear friend from Colorado, Cuatro Kruse, arrived two days ago. He is a professional permaculture designer, natural builder, and all around bad-ass. He plays a mean bass. We organized a couple of workshops for him to come and teach people how to build a “cob” kitchen. Between now and march, he will be occupying this eco-village, teaching us how to sculpt sinks, build a living roof, create grey-water systems, and install solar energy in a 20-foot kitchen. See the “upcoming retreat” page for more info.
And to start the summer off right, tomorrow I journey to the blessed mountains near Pucon for my annual Vision Quest. Based loosely on the Lakota design and modified by the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan, the vision quest is a time of solitude, fasting, and contemplation. This is my second year, the year of the SOUTH, developing the WILL of the HEART, and returning to the WATER (what synchronicity!) I will be in solitude for 7 days and couldn’t be happier to take a break from the world and learn how to LISTEN more deeply.
Okay, this is all for now. I will add pictures soon. I sign off from the straw-bale summer kitchen with my new dog, Lua (a white dogo, my angel), convulsing at my feet in her dreams. Cuatro is testing the soil to find the ideal mud and dancing to reggae that blasts from his solar-powered stereo. Hey–maybe we ARE the change we’ve been waiting for!