MUSES LAB REPORT
Confessions of a Former Tunnelman
©2010 Antero Alli
Part 1 - April 1, 2010
I do not know myself as "artist" or "creator" but as vessel for the expression of forces guided by Muses. This is neither pretentious bullshit or false humility but a confession of love for creation itself and the real artists working deep inside the engines of dark flow creation: the Muses. For the last 28 months, I have been a tunnelman, walking the bardo limbo zones between Muses -- marking the longest fallow period of artistic expression in my adult life. Doing next to nothing I have discovered what I know and don't know about surrender, patience, and faith. After 28 lunar cycles, I am finally opening up to a whole new reason to serve creation.
Tonight, the Muses (paratheatre) Lab enters session #16 of 20. At this point, all previous doubts have collapsed regarding the palpable numen of this autonomous archetype the eight of us are courting. At first, the Muse was nowhere to be seen, heard or felt and now, It has made a home near the edge of our group mind where It is free to enter and exit according to Its will. In our persistent appeal, the Muses have found us appealing. My ego still throbs from last session's one-two suckerpunch of hot blessings and cold slapdowns -- I hope to never fully recover.
Part 2 - April 3, 2010
After the sudden death of my second daughter Zoe in late 1992, I was torn asunder and exposed to multidimensional sources of overwhelming power, vision, and magic. These potent inner sources fueled an almost nonstop run of film production for the next fifteen years. During this era, I surrendered myself as a love slave to the plutonic Muse that transforms Tragic into Magic with films that doubled as vessels for a heady mix of tragic insight and magical realism. After the 1/11/2008 premiere of my last film, "The Invisible Forest", this Muse suddenly abandoned me, initiating a two-year journey through the bardo tunnels of undoing. Here I learned to relax my desire to create and simply walk the internal landscape -- which was everywhere and nowhere -- until I became just another shining babe in the abyss. Now I know what Buddhists mean when they say that fertile void expresses true nature.
Having recently exited this tunnel, I am thankfully walking in the Light wide open to communiques from whatever Muse will have me, that finds me appealing and useful. In session #16 (of 20) in the Muses paratheatre Lab, a revelation appeared. I had assumed that the Muse that transforms Tragic into Magic was done with me and that a new Muse would appear and sweep me along to vistas unknown. In session #16, a new Muse did appear and it was free of the power and magic of tragedy -- this new Muse was radiating the white-hot fires of pure joy. As I physically passed back and forth between these two sources, between the dark flow and the bright radiance, the revelation presented itself: I was not leaving one Muse for another but becoming the bridesmaid of their wedding. The two Muses seek marriage within me.
Part 3 - April 6, 2010
In this Muses Lab we have been working a series of charged trinities, any trio of sources showing strong resonance in our lives, as a bridge to the realm of the Muses. Through these trinity sources we have been able to approach the Muses indirectly (to minimize impotent manipulation) while maintaining the integrity of our personal energy amidst the often highly charged impersonal presence of the Muses. I must say the Muses have been acting on my daily life processes and behind my back when I wasn’t looking -- as they typically will.
Over the past 18 months, I have uncovered three separate stories for a film I want to make yet I have been unable and unwilling to move forward on any one of the stories. Since I don’t force creativity, I make peace with patience. My observant partner Sylvi suggested I look to these three stories for my next Muses Lab trinity and in session #17 (of 20), I did just that: Magician, Clown, Shaman. Each of these characters, or archetypes, link to entire stories with their own charged forces and unknown fates.
The ritual space was dark except for four lit candles atop four separate pillars: three pillars formed a large triangle in the room -- the fourth candle/pillar was placed in its center and designated to the Muse. Everyone worked their own separate trinity in this trinity temple by traversing the pathways between each of the three outer pillars/sources. Our intention was to journey through all the pathways to connect with each source, feeling the process of leaving each source behind and approaching the next source in a continuum of trinities.
Magician > Shaman > Clown > Magician
The Magician revealed the source of knowledge and vision. Here there was repose, study, and clarity of architecture and universal design. While leaving it behind and approaching the Shaman it felt like I was walking backwards in time, centuries with each step, to the originating source of magic -- the Son pays homage to the Father . The Shaman revealed the source of wisdom and power. Here I immediately united with the living Earth, the animal and plant and mineral kingdoms became my allies, all forms I embody to fulfill my purpose in service to creation. While leaving the Shaman behind and approaching the Clown it felt like I was becoming human for the first time. The Clown revealed the source of joy and folly. Dancing and yodeling the goofball celebration of the fool I was, I was also completely free to express myself. The slaphappy human. While leaving the Clown behind and approaching the Magician, I became aware of squandering myself and the necessity for temperance and sobriety. Once returning to the source of the Magician, I felt sorrow for the loss of the Clown’s spontaneity and the disconnection from the Earth I felt with the Shaman. Too much understanding has its price.
Magician > Clown > Shaman > Magician
As I left the Magician and walked towards the Clown, my innocence was immediately restored as unbridled joy subverted all my heavy hearted magical knowledge. In the Clown, I danced my goofy dance and sang my whacky song in a joyous cacophony of infinite chaos. The world was my circus. Walking towards the Shaman I collapsed to the floor, slowly crawling in the dark towards the single flame before me. Yelps and squeals of wild animals filled the space above and around me as I slowly took on the form of a panther, sauntering into the Muse realm, stealth and hyper-aware. Returning to the Shaman pillar, I rose and sang my heart to the Earth. Leaving the Shaman behind and walking towards the Magician, I brought with me ancient history of paleolithic traditions, connecting the Shaman’s archaic legacy with the Magician’s modern views of the world.
Part 4 - April 19, 2010 (final entry)
The Muses Lab itself is over and now the echoes begin -- the waves of influences absorbed over the last twenty sessions now settle and rise, descend and ascend, throughout my daily course of living. I find myself tending to a new inner action, a movement similar in feeling to the tiny convulsions of seedlings breaking ground as they reach for sunlight. This feeling informs my daily decisions about what to do, where to go, who to meet, and also around what, who, and where to avoid contact. Certain elements of the new film script story incubating in me for the last year or so have begun to converge, bringing new complexity and texture to previously segregated ideas. I also find myself reaching out more to situations and people that might inspire me, regardless of previous preconceptions, beliefs, and standards.
The bardo tunnel realm enveloping me for the last two years is gone. What's before me feels open and lit up yet requiring the second attention to navigate the phenomena (first attention linked to language and the machine of thinking; second attention linked to presence, energy, phenomena). All the trinity source work -- our groundwork in the Muses Lab -- has formed a kind of internal foundation from which I am discovering new contexts to view my daily experiences and the artistic direction of this next film project. I am feeling ready to start scripting the story within the next few days, which is to say, I also don't feel ready but am willing to start the effort of articulating what has been gestating in me. Fortunately, this assumption about needing to be totally prepared before initiating a creative process was long ago exposed as just another excuse, a sorry-ass justification to procrastinate. Excuses! Excuses are for wimps.
ANTERO'S RITUAL JOURNAL -- WINTER 2011 "MUSES" LAB
BACK TO -- SPRING 2010 "MUSES" LAB
"My Heart Trembles" - Armenian Choral
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