kirsten’s blog

Click here for Kirsten’s film.

float 6
16 july 2013. 11 PM

before:

how to integrate the 2 “parts” of the film—what is the link, how to express it via movement—or stillness?

outer & inner
what is the bridge
& what to edit
open to guidance

after:

seemed so long—at first afraid it would be over before i’d gotten into it, then later thinking “this will never end.” finding the balance, the still point between. so interesting how time warps in there, how it expands and contracts and is utterly beyond any sense of control or reason. and never knowing what’s next. that’s one of the deep levels that opened tonight—the absolute truth of that. easier to just let go and witness what unfolds.

in and out of spacious unity. sometimes caught up in eddies of mental words, thoughts. body so much more open & healthy than any previous floats, despite (because of?) all the physical work these past few weeks. able to consciously relax at will.

lots of new movement, curling deeply to each side and rolling onto my sides, binding in twists for who-knows-how-long, staying there—as if I was liberated from the “rule” of facing upwards.

vision came through for filming: just do it, this morning even, sunrise, don’t think, just create

“body is in charge here”

glimpse of the skull-being again—w/ red (or green?) light-dots for pupils. “don’t show the skull, be the skull.”

feeling of being half above and half under ground. lots of garden/plant visions and feelings. feeling of receiving. rather than pushing for information or controlling the float’s trajectory. focused on coming back to receiving, making myself a vessel, a blank slate.

alternating stillness w/ movement

got out partway through to pee, shower, because i could. follow the body. so interesting the shift since the last float, over a month and a half ago. caring so much less about “rules” and control now.

–> bring this into filming/editing/sound

feel very in my body

noticed ways i’d try to distract from the void, the space—touching body all over, moving around, finding things to think or ask about. revolutionary was when i’d allow myself to let go of all that and trust the unknown. trust the void. infinite possibilities.

brief flashes of light—purple, yellow

allowing myself to sink below mental boredom and busy-ness. mindful, noticing, letting go. no longer identifying with it.

“that pelvis… was twerking!”

let go of control in all aspects of this process


Float #5.
24 May 2013, 2 AM

BEFORE: 

Tonight I’ll ask a question.

“Life is a grand creative project and self-expression is essential to you. Express yourself, always. Divinely. Exceptionally. Grandly. Utterly. Darkly. Lightly. By self-expression we venture further into ourselves. And by venturing further into you, you can’t help but become transformed.

When was the last time you ventured down there?”

and, Herman Hesse:

“Man is not by any means of fixed and enduring form. He is nothing else than the narrow and perilous bridge between nature and spirit. His innermost destiny drives him on to the spirit and to God. His innermost longing draws him back to nature, the mother. Between the two forces his life hangs tremulous and irresolute.”

When was the last time you were okay with not knowing?”

Closing paragraph, from the same page:

“Even in the boundless realms there need be a boundary laid, for how would you understand the beauty of the realm were it not dualistic and set up in the language of boundaries? Light/dark. Hot/Cold. Sleep/awake. Conscious/Unconscious. Boy/Girl. You/Me.”

(The above, from here.)

My question… something about uniting the seeming-dualities. Launching forward, moving beyond. Birthing, being birthed. Let it come.

1.5 hours of sleep after last night’s float… felt pretty normal all day…!

How to heal/whole pericardium?

Just before stepping in: body feeling tired, ready to release/give in, anticipatory, young

AFTER:

Was getting the message all day not to use earplugs tonight—I use them every time. Got lots of ear infections as a kid, and in the past few years when I’ve gone in water without earplugs, one of my ears will inevitably close up entirely. Started out this float with them in—then they both started leaking so I took them out. I didn’t notice during the float, but now that I’m out, sure enough—my entire left ear is clogged. Can’t hear anything out of it. The last time this happened was last summer when my friend and I jumped in the ocean. Now it happens again on the day the same friend leaves from visiting here.

First float of the project in the Ocean tank. After so much ocean-ness in last night’s float.

Another interminably long float though was very calm the whole time (took a nervine tincture beforehand). No mind chatter, really. More the boredom that kicked in about halfway through. Also got out 1.5 hours in to ask to turn the heat up a bit—in the larger, more cavernous tank I felt cold and exposed most of the time.

Lifted legs out this time, feeling the gravity. Big heavy legs.

Sky’s just starting to lighten outside… very aware of left inner ear. Whole left channel. What is the medicine in this?

Not sure what to say about this one. Got a sense of a wrapping-up of a section or chapter, entering into something new… something richer. Like this time it was a spacepod again, a transport, a birth canal… a waiting room?

Lesson of accepting what is, allowing each experience to be unique, itself.

Trying out the giant flute Jordan brought… don’t care about clogged ear when I’m playing music. This is important.

Tonight’s eclipse as point of connection

Theta waves = in-between state, that moment between waking and dreaming that we experience for a few moments every night… floating prolongs it

Two days later and still the left ear is clogged. It’s an interesting experience: I’m very, very aware of my internal world. Almost like my body is now the float tank. Also relevant to the exploration of seeming-duality, left/right, masculine/feminine.

When I got out of the tank the other night I felt like I was acting very strange/regressively. Told J. “it feels like I only have half a brain!”

Also have been staying up until sunrise the past three nights. Everything in-between.

 

Float #4.
22 May 2013.

Day before:

It’s been fun thinking of these as space missions.

Fun and… ??? Like the movie Contact coming true. In a way.

Sound. Music. Just recorded some.

Mask idea came through: elaborate mask of cardboard and/or plastic, combination of dragon and the skull being… interesting way to show confluence of dimensions. Bright paint, lots of points. Like rows of shark’s teeth, but neutral in intention. Open to imagination/interpretation. Something from another part of the spectrum.

Also make something with all the plastic packaging I’ve been saving up.

Via Turning Wheel Astrology:

“At this stage in our evolution (and in the Uranus-Pluto transit) we have to be willing to accept help from unlikely places, because we need all the help we can get. We also have to be open enough to understand the signals, to read the signs and have enough authority to take action when action is necessary.  And lastly, we have to be clear enough that we can trust what we feel.  Here is a meditation that Joyce Mason writes for this chakra:

‘Third Chakra Meditation: I trust my feelings. They are my power. My body responds to all questions and provides answers. The universe is in my body. I open to interpreting and following my instincts.’

“For the next few weeks and months, focus on your Solar Plexus chakra, which is your internal Sun. It is your own solar power: endlessly renewing, giving generously and sustaining life wisely.  Breathe into it. Imagine it glowing and healthy. Feel what it is that you need and learn to trust your instincts. Like learning anything, it takes practice and patience.”

From this week’s Free Will Astrology (Sag is my moon and the moon of the full moon eclipse on Friday. My sun’s in Gemini, which we just went into):

“Are you ready to go deeper, Sagittarius? In fact, would you be willing to go deeper and deeper and deeper? I foresee the possibility that you might benefit from diving in over your head. I suspect that the fear you feel as you dare to descend will be an acceptable trade-off for the educational thrills you will experience once you’re way down below. The darkness you encounter will be fertile, not evil. It will energize you, not deplete you. And if you’re worried that such a foray might feel claustrophobic, hear my prediction: In the long run it will enhance your freedom.”

This week there will be a float Wednesday night, a float Thursday late late night into the sunrise, and then full moon eclipse the next day. Okay.

From Facebook just now:

“The unknown is terribly tempting, and danger even more so. But in its contempt for the instinct of the individual, modern society has done its best to eliminate both these phenomena: certainly, under present conditions, the unknown no longer exists except for those whose emotions are easily intoxicated, and as for danger, everything visibly assumes an inoffensive hue each day. And yet in love–love of all kinds, whether it is the physical fury, or this specter, or this diamond-like genie who murmurs to me a name equivalent to coolness–in all love there resides an outlaw principle, an irrepressible sense of delinquency, contempt for prohibitions and a taste for havoc. Confine this hundred-headed passion within the boundaries of yr estates, if you will, or requisition whole palaces for it: nothing can stop it surging forth elsewhere, always elsewhere, there where its appearance is least expected, where its splendor is an outburst. Best of all, love thrusts up shoots where no one plants it: how vulgarity convulses it!”

(from The Passage de l’Opera)

AFTER:

Was that seriously 2.5 hours?! Quickest float yet. Came out afterwards and the first person I see is Kaj-anne. We debriefed, open and mellow and totally in present float tense. Untense. Interesting—the “phantom others” in the project now begin to materialize. Tomorrow’s the first group meeting.

Can’t believe it was 2.5 hours. Breathing. What to say… lots of mulling-over, in a good way, of events from this evening. Really felt the ocean this time. Feeling like I need to make part of my film at the ocean. No feeling of outer space this time—just ocean.

Came through how for so long I’ve lived in my head—which is a beautiful, magical place to be—

Internal dancing. “The magic mirror,” K. says, “internal wind and external wind.” Like in butoh. Energetically dancing, all the time.

So—head, beautiful dark jeweled cosmic place… and in this float asked my body if I could trust it again. Realized how deeply I’d still been afraid to do that, had given up on it as a possibility. Related to the skull and pelvis (from earlier floats), their dimensional qualities. Always swimming, drifting, dancing through my mind these days.

Near the end started breathing down into my feet, had to really bring attention back to it.

K. says he follows no rules (ever) and also in floating. I was noticing that this time and last time—how I sort of just assumed there were rules but of course there are NONE. None.

This was such a gentle float. I even had forgotten my contact stuff and just decided to go with it anyway. There was no problem at all. So calm. Nothing extraordinary, nothing irritating, just… calm. Perhaps I’m becoming used to the landscape? And it continues to unfold…

Moved around, stretched spine… breathed. That’s all. Said thank you a lot.

Tiny little emotional releases—re-trusting body, letting go of legacy of grandmother(s). At one point the ocean was all my grandmothers and ancestors holding me up, presenting/supporting me into the utterly new. “You are not us. You are different.” Which is almost like a challenge, and a charge. On the front lines. Can’t fall back into the old ways, even though it might feel safe because it’s been done and is the story. I come from the sea—I rewrite the story.

Arms keep coming up: literally and figuratively. Last night in the tank, arms out in a right-angled T, felt a little like this:

Holy Fire (Alex Grey, 1987)
Holy Fire (Alex Grey, 1987)

Float #3
17 May 2013. 11 PM.

Friend just posted on Facebook:

“The child will not mind the shadows on the wall if he is given the candle and shown how to make them dance up and down.”

(Dr. Edward Bach, 1932)

Had plans all this afternoon and evening and then, with the blessing of those the plans were with, stayed home instead. Every cell says relax. Which, given the past few floats, seems to be a good idea. This afternoon I’ve been playing with dancing, feeling of floating in this day-to-day gravity.

It’s been so good to read everyone else’s float blogs. Helps shed so much more light on what’s going on, this exploration that’s deeply personal and collective at the same time.

Interested in diving deeper into the need for stimulus/letting go of that need. Terrified, I’m realizing, of that much letting go. What could be on the other side?

Then casting aside the fear. Because one must, sooner or later.

The feeling of sitting on a mountainside listening to the wind, the sky huge above, the fresh good air. Or at the ocean. Or under the stars.

AFTER:

Love this color (turquoise pen). Wow, what a different float from last time—many similarities and so different. Was very aware (whoa, peppermint and jasmine tea is an… interesting combination) beforehand of my state. Felt like the float actually started earlier this afternoon, at home—as an experiment to see what kind of difference it would make, going into the float very intentionally (vs. biking there in a bit of a last-minute ungrounded frenzy). Of course there’s only so much control we can have over what comes up, yet we can be aware of how we deal with it.

Took a hint from Estelle and let myself explore the tank from the inside at the beginning, learning the boundaries, becoming familiar with the space. Was in the same tank as last time—of course—re-entering the space that had kind of scared me last time. This time it felt more familiar, almost like a friend. Felt so quiet, spacious, was such a relief to have my mind quiet. Of course little thoughts, to-do lists, etc. kept coming up… did a gratitude practice since I was heart-up, wide open, receiving.

Going in, my primary intention was to listen to and learn from my body, to be curious, to learn my body’s beautiful secrets. Soon into it I felt like I was in outer space only like the back half of my body was in one substance of space and my front half was open to and moving into the void. The substance part held me and I felt like I was its extension—I’d say “like water” but it was even more elemental, as though I’d entered into pure yin/yang space.

Played with that later on, moving my hands and arms in and out of the water very slowly—pushing them down into the water first, feeling the resistance as though pushing against a magnetic force—then letting them drift up to the surface, then lifting them out of the water into another realm, lifting them higher and away from equilibrium, they felt heavy, pulled down—then let them come back to center. The middle way, the meeting place.

Later it occurred to me that I was really suspended between heaven and earth.

What else… moved around a lot, bending legs, stretching quads, going into baddha konasana my feet would sink to the ground and touch, be the only thing touching ground as my body was horizontal. Sensation of that root, like I was a plant with a root connecting me to the ground.

Lots of very soft sensations, physical feeling of water on skin, safe—today an affirmation came through (this afternoon): “I am safe. I am held. I am protected by my ancestors. I flow for the next seven generations.”

This feeling—water on skin, soft, held—was so simple and so powerful.

Feeling of the tombness of it was there again, moments of it feeling very stuffy, closed-in. Also like it was a place in which I could let go of all the little holdings and controllings, physical and mental—to essentially “die” to all that in order to be reborn. Every moment.

Lots of motion and stretching in just hands, wrists.

NECK PILLOW changes everything. To have the spine relax and lengthen…

One very sudden moment, early-ish on, of suddenly snapping into a profound stillness. Literally like an electron jumping orbit. Witness remained, was aware as it was happening.

Much easier to remember to keep bringing attention back to the breath, to let thoughts go as they came. Really appreciated what Wren wrote about feeling slightly guilty for letting the thoughts go/turning attention back to the breath. Recognizing my tendency to do that, which made it easier to let go of it.

Got a little impatient near the end, really got in touch with that part of me deep deep inside that was always checking the watch, making sure everything’s happening as it “should,” checking time—breathed all that up, exhaled with gratitude—no longer needed. Again, the resistance to that—what lies beyond it—in the space it opens up, what appears?

Little surges of emotion coming up, tiny releases throughout the float. Like clearing out the far-in nooks and crannies.

At the end, as soon as I thought “I’ll be in here for half a school day’s length,” the music came on.

As soon as I got out, found my feet. Realized it’s crucial to remember that step. Like landing on a new planet or getting off a boat.

Film idea: holding camera upside down… camera above solar plexus, rotating camera

NEXT DAY:

Just experienced an emotional purge of something I’ve been carrying for at least 14 years (and echoes, tributaries, for even longer). Crying, screaming into a pillow, memories from high school, past connection(s), roots of so many things coming up right now (travel, dance, intoxication, true beloved soul-connection, expression, theatre, physics, genius, cosmos, Pan, wildness, everything—and negatives, too: using others, rape, manipulation, too much caretaking, deriving nourishment from drama). Wow. Of course.

So sweet, so bitter, the letting go. Old stories, even the most beautiful jeweled-in-the-dark ones.

“Don’t quit before the miracle.”

For real.

Float #2
14 May 2013. 11 PM.

Before:

Went in with intention to receive what wanted to come through.

B., at dinner: “Astronauts are shamans.”

After:

MOST. EXCRUCIATING. FLOAT. YET. Even more so than last time and longer. At beginning, was very interesting—could hear my digestion, bones popping, lots of body sounds carried and amplified in the water [edit: looking back, it was entertaining, too; like diving or hovering in the ocean while a pod of dolphins play and make sounds around me]. Realized that would be an interesting way to do sound for the dance rather than coming up with a whole elaborate musical score—recording/gathering tracks after every float, put them together, see what happens.

Later, an irrational fear came up that I was going to be electrocuted in the water! It stayed for what felt like a long time, half hour or so (is that a long time? Quantum space time is stretchy). Kept bumping into the pipes and thermometer cord at the end of the tank and freaking out, feeling of being tangled in it or that it would hurt me. Like weeds at the bottom of a pond. Wondered if I had any distant relative, and I think I do, who had to endure electroshock therapy. Will ask Dad. Kept with it, breathing, would experience little moments of relaxation but finally had to get out, dripping, get my glasses, turn on the light, get my headlamp, and literally check to see that all was well. It was. Noticing my urge to judge myself for that right now, related to hypervigilance as a child, checking the doors at night to make sure they were all locked. Echo of sadness about that as I write it, moves through, is gone.

Very interesting were the moments where I’d start to go off into dreamstate and my body would jerk suddenly and I’d come back. The jerking was never in the same place or limb. Left leg, then later whole left side, or right foot… but my consciousness, it seemed, stayed constant, like a light through a tunnel. Like it was the body, and the attention, that needed to come back. Also as though the jerking was a “reset.”

The more day/night-dream states contrast with other states I’d go into, 3rd eye visions. Early on: a sort of multidimensional skull spirit, with eyeballs, related somehow to the pelvis from the last float but in the multidimensional spectrum, whereas the pelvis was more of a day/night-dream quality, third dimensional-ish. Other visions, shapes, hints—jeweled structures. They’d fade and I’d be back to feeling very uncomfortable in the tank. Called in Reiki guide finally and felt like I was receiving Watsu—and suddenly all these memories of C. came up and I just let them come, breathed. Sadness, tears welled for a moment, didn’t realize at all that I’d still been carrying feelings from that time.

Kept wanting the float to be over, considered getting out early, wondered if they were keeping me in there for extra time. Moments of relaxation, but never actually fell asleep. Body would shake/wake every time. As if I had to be present for what was coming up. Wow. Have no idea what this means for the dance. Stillness. Body sounds. The jerking, yes. Let myself move more in this one. Played with toning during the more tricky and visionary states, noticing hints of the images/manifestations focusing, changing the shapes that appeared—the way water molecules change form with sound, emotion.

Did a full-body scan in the middle of the float, which was interesting. Noticed tendency to disassociate from certain areas after a few moments. Don’t remember details now, but very distinct and different images/feelings came up with each part and chakra, though they were connected as well, part of the same sea.

There was also several moments of the feeling of individual pin-pricks on different parts of the body, one at a time, localized electric-feeling tingles, almost like acupuncture.

Hmm…

Now I do feel a much more complete sense of my body, a connectedness and spaciousness.

Received in email tarot the next morning:

The Priestess
When this card appears in the present position it tells you that there is no point in attempting to interpret the world through “normal” means.   Our interactions with others will yield unexpected insight.   Life itself is likely to gather itself up and treat us in a different fashion that in ordinary mundane life.   It is as though cracks appear between the fabric of this world and the next which allow us brief but illuminating understandings that will serve us well in the days to come.  Try to step back from life when the Priestess represents your present.   You will see and understand much more comprehensively.

Float #1b
May 2013. 7 PM.

Before:

Today’s is this evening, just before dusk. Yesterday chose to let go of the past and fully say yes to my own life. Now we launch into it.

Intention: to come to a deeper/greater clarity and understanding re: balance of masculine and feminine in myself and how I can receive and dance with that balance in my own life, bring it to the world.

After:

Wow. Spent what seemed like much of that float wanting it to be over, “waiting for something to happen.”  Big message of being un/comfortable with “nothing happening” (visions, dreams, psychedelic unfoldings). This time the right arm jerked once. Also swore I heard a dolphin sound. Went into dreamland for a bit but don’t remember it. Very aware of breathing, didn’t really start deep breathing till the end. Shallow breathing keeping me “stuck” in one place. Stillness and motion happening below conscious awareness. Also got a text just before that I let stress me out a little, spent the first bit of the float breathing through that, noticing how I tend to hold other people’s stress in my left ovary as an attempt to take care of them. Old habit illuminated in tank.

Main message: Learning more about the many facets of the void. Learning comfort within perceived non-motion, within void space.

Float #1a
3 May 2013. 9 AM.

Before:

Going into the float this early morning after dreaming of floating on a moving train last night, going through land, mountains. Something was amiss—no one was having a very satisfying or complete float on the train. Too jostly, too much chaos? It was a little frustrating, even though there was also a sense of lightness, community, camaraderie. The mountain terrain was beautiful, a little snowy, foggy, socked-in.

Going into this float with no expectations, simply the intention of “there is a dance that is coming out of this.” Simply to be aware, listen, remember, transcribe what comes through. On a personal level, seeking release/new understanding of certain relationships and connections, especially whether to confirm taking the job this summer—general next-step illumination. Also integration of these past few weeks.

After:

Was sleepy-ish going in. Letting go of muscle holding, controlling in the body. One fast movement of left arm, as if jerking from sleep. Sensation of drifting to the left through space, inertia of space. Then a dream, though there was no border between wake and dream in there. Main image was looking into the tank from outside the door and suddenly there’s a skeleton pelvis dancing at me. I’m looking right up into it only across the holes was a yellow Ganesh prayer cloth like the one I have—red Ganesh on bright yellow cloth right across the base of the pelvis. Protecting and also a symbol, a gateway. The pelvis was dancing, moving wildly, deep African dance style, coming at me, almost had to duck. Then I was in the tank again and thought I woke up and sat straight up, could see light coming in through the tank walls, hazy general light. Kind of like in the movie Contact when she’s about to go through the wormhole and the walls of the spacepod become translucent. Except this was foggier, more like daylight. Then was suddenly floating in the dark again… as if both things, both experiences, had happened and were true. Dreaming and waking, overlapping.

Then felt very awake—there’s definitely a difference between floating at night and in the morning. Was thinking of what was going on out in the daytime. Let myself relax again. Sensation of stagnancy within—muscles, lungs. It’s so noticeable in there. Stretched a lot, moved more than usual (during a float). Worried I wouldn’t hear the wake-up music, which is never true.

All the bits and pieces are fully visible in there. The hidden anxieties, the holdings.

Later in the day:

Now I’m lying/resting/writing out in the sun—polar opposite of this morning, where there was no light, definition,  boundaries.

Lying facedown on the ground in the bright sun. This morning was face-up in water in utter darkness.

Floating really is like traveling to other worlds/systems/dimensions. Remembering, recording.

2 responses to “kirsten’s blog

  1. I always like reading about your journeys. resonances include discomfort, fear, deepening awareness as a valuable but not always enjoyable. I am so happy (may I say proud?) that you and S and the rest have come to the point of doing this project. Wonderful work!

    • Thanks for this reflection — reading it helped me see and accept what was really there. The way through transformation, yes? So happy the project is here too. Thanks for reading!

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