Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This particular exercise is meant to encourage everyone to find their own way to communicate with loved ones who have died. A month before my friend kari edwards died she gave me a packet of incense made in the community in India where she and her life partner Fran Blau had lived for a short time. It was a sampler packet with 14 different scents. When kari died the incense developed a force field of psychic barbed wire around it for me, sitting on my desk. She gave this to me just before hugging me and saying goodbye before getting on an airplane which would fly her away from Philadelphia for the last time. After news of her death, burning the incense, even TOUCHING the incense would seem an extraordinary event for me. Then I decided that there was NO BETTER WAY to communicate with a dead poet than through the process of creating poetry with them, and for them. I chose 7 of the 14 different incense flavors, wanting to use the number 7 because as a symbol, it's designed for energy to rise up the stem and fly off the top, the top serving as a psychic catapult. This is why 7 is considered very fortunate, as it sends messages, wishes, whatever's put into it STRAIGHT up into the air. For 7 days I would meditate with each of the 7 scents, and chose the order of the scents for a communication magic spell. For instance, Day One: CEDAR is a scent associated with the god Mercury, and used to close the gap of time and space between you and the one you wish to contact. Day Two: FRANKINCENSE is a tree resin used to purify and to honor the divine. Day Three: MUSK, a scent belonging to the planet Saturn to aid in making inquiries about evolutionary spiritual responsibilities on planet Earth in this life-cycle. Day Four: EUCALYPTUS is used for many things, but in this case I was using it to firm my own resolve to become macrobiotic again, telling kari that I wanted to and needed to return to total health (it worked as I've been macrobiotic for 6 months now). Day Five: LEMONGRASS is used to dispel negative charges left behind after the healing invocations of eucalyptus. Day Six: OPIUM invokes Binah on the Tree of Life, and Binah helps the questioner understand information, and in this case understand more clearly what the messages from kari for the poems mean. Day Seven: MYRRH is the scent for the goddess Isis, the High Priestess, and I could think of no better way than to honor kari with the scent of Isis, She the great patron of nature and art, and She who puts the dead back together to live again. Each day I would UNPLUG THE PHONE, create a quiet space, then put kari's music CD on (experimental electronic music she created), then burn the incense, and WAIT IN THAT SPACE for the words to come. In my essay MACRO (Soma)tics published by Rob Halpern I discuss the uses of sound in (Soma)tic practice. The resulting poem from this communication with kari is called "kari7" and can be seen here, and was published as part of the anthology NO GENDER: REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE & WORK OF kari edwards (edited by J.T.Brolaski, e. kaufman, & E.T.Grinnell, published by Litmus Press/Belladonna Books).
Posted by poet CAConrad at 10:14 PM