Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Learning to Be(e). . .A Significant Practice

My experience with the MomoButoh South East tour has been a catalyst for a lot of change in my life. Actually, to be honest, the change began when I answered the call for our ritual pilgrimage to the spawning salmon on 11/11.
Upon returning from our 11/11 dance, I was ecstatic, floating on a high of newfound consciousness and love. Holding dearly onto the seed of an apple that Momo have given me, I knew this was a seed of big changes to come in my life. But, like my dear teacher Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (aka Dr. T) says: “Consciousness is temporary”. Soon after all the lightness had exploded out of me, a very dark phase began again in my life. I was lost, and confused. I couldn’t figure out the puzzle pieces, how to continue the practices on my own. I slipped back into unhealthy habits and wallowed in my shadow side. I was frustrated- I thought this BIG change had happened in my life, and there I was, seemingly still stuck in limbo.

Momo reminded me that the change HAD indeed happened, and that sometimes it takes seeds a very long time to sprout. And so I soldiered on my journey, forcing myself to trust that change was happening and that soon my dreams would come to fruition.

I like to compare this phase of my life, (the two years post graduating college with a huge smile on my face ready to conquer the world) to some passages from Dr. Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll Go:

“You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?

How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...

or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.”

I finally feel, after touring that I have finally turned the page and am entering my BANGING phase!

I am ready to be brave enough to fail, to reveal, and to meet change with grace and to truly love the flow of my life.

Normally, I want to control EVERYTHING, the outcome of my journey, my dance, the way I look, sound, act. Mostly to impress. To impress whom? Who or what am I waiting for?

And then I realized I am waiting to love MYSELF. I needed to forgive myself, and delve deeply into my own healing process. I have only begun to scratch the surface of this, but it is a practice I am committed to.

I am finding myself. Carolyn Rebecca “Hi-C” Boucher everlovin Booshay. My heart is big, my body is strong, my fire hot and feisty.

I was doing a healing practice where I will take long baths with special candles, stones, salts, and sage. While I was bathing, I began asking, and giving myself forgiveness.

I’m sorry feet, for hating you for being “too big”, for forcing you into much too small shoes, deforming you.

I’m sorry legs, for abusing you.

I’m sorry stomach for torturing you, for starving you, over stuffing you, and all around confusing you- no wonder you can be so sensitive sometimes, never knowing when the next bout of torture will come. . .

I’m sorry breasts for despising your smallness, for hiding you in huge overshaped bras that didn’t fit.

I’m sorry hands

I'm sorry loins

I’m sorry

I’m sorry

And then - - I got to my lungs—and I began to wail.

I’m sorry.

I’m SO SO SO SORRY for filling you with smoke, for destroying you, for hurting you, for stopping short your breath, and silencing your beautiful voice.

I made a vow right then and there I would never smoke again. And I haven’t since.

This work, as much as it challenges and frustrates me, is deeply changing and healing me. I would like to express my heart felt gratitude.

On tour I was given the honor of performing with Momo in Asheville, North Carolina. I was the bee in her Flower Child piece.

She also gave me this poem:

The Invisible Bee

Look how desire has changed in you,

How light and colorless it is,

With the world growing new marvels because of your changing.

Your soul has become an invisible bee.

We don’t see it working, but there’s the full honeycomb!

Your body’s height, six feet or so,

But your soul rises though nine levels of sky.

A barrel corked with earth and a raw wooden spile keeps the oldest vineyards wine inside.

When I see you, it is not so much your physical form, but the company of two riders, your pure-fire devotion and love for the one who teaches you;

Then the sun and moon on foot behind those.


In my mercury retrograde heightened state, I couldn’t quite grasp the poem, or the idea of BEING/BEEING. I wanted to get it right. I didn’t want to disappoint Momo or myself. I am a performer at heart, and I love putting on a good show.

Ah, but that is not really what Butoh is all about. I’m sad to say, I didn’t much enjoy my first on stage Butoh performance. I was very stiff, worried, and clumsy. I was TRYING and SHOWING. I felt very discouraged afterward. Shaking my head at the irony of me, the Bee who couldn’t just Be.

Now I am beginning to see with all of my eyes. With the help of the daily dance practice, and specifically the S.O. practice, I am learning to be, to love me, and to integrate my LIFE/ART process, instead of separating the two. My dream is to live an artful, conscious, and productive life. To taste, to touch, to smell, to feel, to dance, to heal, courageously and with my own brand of unique beauty.

Images from some of my recent S.O. practices:

I look forward to deepened connections with all of you through our vows and practices. . .


  1. Such a Sweeeeeet birthday cake of a post.....thank you for re vealing your be(e)ing dear one...i am blowing out a flame and making a wish for momo more this very momo moment!

  2. lovely... thank you for baring your-self and your challenges, your vulnerability, your forgiveness relating to your body and... your heart... your willingness to be open-hearted and for your courage in dancing into your 'new life' of be-ing / bee-ing is inspiring - thank you beautiful bee-ing! i love your still photos... the insect creature butt up, the insect's view! love-lee XO