Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.

Psychology:  We project onto others what we reject in ourselves.  Some call it a Shadow.  Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing. 

Zen:  There is no separate self.  When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.  

We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.   


Tuesday
Jun052012

The Straight Line (La Ligne Droite)

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:30PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

So named for the challenge of running blind in a straight line, this film (at the Reel Abilities fest) features a young, rich, male runner, recently blinded, who encounters a not rich woman recently out of jail.   They are both hard and angry.  In a totally unbelievable moment, he recognizes her as kin.   He--actually his mother--hires the ex-con to guide him as he learns to run again.  Both are guarded, misunderstood, angry.  They fight, become vulnerable to each other, begin to trust.  The interfering mother interferes.   (Don't forget, when you make a movie about heroes, to include either a dead mother or an interfering mother.)   Love blossoms.  Against all odds, he wins the race.  

I braced against the emotional manipulation, my cynicism reinforced by the titles for the hearing impaired:  [soft inspirational music plays].   But gradually, my resistance weakened. 

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Monday
Jun042012

Crutch Master

Gales of laughter in the bus as he gets the first reaction--people on the street in some kind of shock and awe at a man using crutches to skateboard through the streets of New York.   He is known as the Crutch Master, and the mastery is evident and spectacular.   We are in the bus as the audience to his performance.  Hooked up to cameras, a DJ, and a major sound system, it feels like a combination of a hip dance party and a sting operation. "Wall Stall" Shannon Technique 2010 

So we are in the bus to watch the watchers.   We desperately want to see people on the street react to our Crutch Master.  We want their "Huh?"  We want to see them dislodged from their complacency.   We are hungry for it.    Many of us standing, craning necks from window to monitor display, aching to see a bystander get shook up.  Crutch Master is doing his best to deliver.  Here he is bumming a cigarette from a Wall Street Trader.  There he goes doing a jig for a tourist bus.  We see the people try to resist, turn their backs, shake their heads.  In the bus, we are cracking up, laughing forcefully at how people try to just keep going, how they can't recognize a true phenomenon, how they miss what is right before their eyes.  

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Monday
Jun042012

Menopause is an Athletic Event:  Insomnia!

I dozed until midnight, then adrenalin and heat fired up my body for the race, the chase, the battle in the jungle.  Only I'm not in the jungle; I'm in bed trying to sleep.  I'm having a major argument with my body:  What is wrong with you?!  Can't you feel the fatigue?  Why are you flooding me with all this energy?  Body:  Hey, it's not my problem; you're the one with all the worries and ISSUES that keep me up.   Mind:  You have a lot of nerve calling me out on ISSUES when these things wouldn't even bother me if I weren't flooded with adrenalin and cortisol and whatever else you're doing to me.  

Most functional people would have grabbed a cab straight to a psychiatrist for Ambien. 

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Sunday
Jun032012

Gay "Marriage"

Made in 2008 or so, Gay "Marriage" exposes the dilemma of the maddening and unfair paperwork imposed on gay couples who want the same financial rights as heterosexual married couples.   It is a tragicomedy that blends interview and animation to bring to life the horrifying effects of paperwork unfairly imposed on gay couples:  JTROS, taxable gifts, powers of attorney, HIPAA, and more.   

A star-crossed lesbian couple get the romance knocked out of them as they wake up to legal reality.  Music by Mayra Casales.  Running time, 12:13 minutes. 

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Sunday
Jun032012

What is Dis?

What is Dis?*   Dis-ability.  A lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability.  Incapacity.   A physical or mental handicap.    So how does a cripple dance?   And do you want to see her try?   Don't stare.   No, wait.   Please do.     

Have you heard?  Disability is the new Black.   Disabled dancing bodies are everywhere, and people are talking about it.   Facebook-acclaimed New Mobility  features "Physically Integrated Dance," and the brand new International Journal of Screendance investigates the "Spectacle of Difference."   Dance Film and Dis Dance are coming of age together.   David Toole of DV8, photographed by Anthony Crickmay and John Cole 

What is Dis?  One of Dante's circles of hell, a walled city surrounded by a field of limbs of non-believers.   Do you dare visit?

Don't dis me.  "DisTHIS!"  proclaims Lawrence Carter Long, as he introduces his so-named film series featuring disability:  "No handkerchief necessary, no heroism required.  This is disability through a whole new lens."     

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Sunday
Jun032012

Baby Crone

Sure I thought the release was happening as I turned 40.  I don't care what people think, said I, boldly striding into the decade.  So I unleashed my creativity upon the world.  And then, after making the autobiographical Martyred Moms, I proceeded to suck up praise and criticism like a baby starving for milk.   Don't care? my ass!   Narcissism roared its head and I, helplessly it seemed, inflated and deflated according to the circumstances.  It wore me out.  Like a stone on a beach being polished by smashing up against the rocks.   Smash!  ahhh…  Smash!  ahhh…  see?

50 is Smash.  40 was playing around.  At 50, my life shows on my face.  At the movies, they ask me:  Senior or regular?   I can laugh but I  tell you it feels like a punch.  I'm in another category. 

Not that I was ever beautiful, but I certainly knew how to be eye-catching. Now They don't look at me that way.   If They look at me or talk to me at all, it's often because They need something from Mother--or even Granny. geez!  

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Sunday
Jun032012

What's the Rush?

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:44PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Maybe it was on the millenium or maybe it was 9/11, but on some momentous mark, I resolved to Stop Rushing. Years passed, charged by, actually, as I watched, bewildered, my resolution crushed by the stampede of moments.  Resolution wasn't enough.  I had to ask:  

What's the Rush?  No, Really.  What is it?

First of all, I don't have time to stop rushing--too many other things to do.  The Tyranny of ToDos, I call it.    Except who put the damn things on the list?  

Don't start with me!  I've tried dropping the list.  If I don't have a list, the world runs me down.  My daughter's needs and the bits and pieces of life fill the entire container and I'm still rushing to keep up.  

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Saturday
Jun022012

It Doesn't Show

Updated on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 11:50AM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:50PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

It doesn't show, they started to say after the surgeries.   This should have been a cure for shame, and maybe it was, but it also produced a new problem.   A deep and integral aspect of my personhood became invisible and unknowable. Don't look. Juvenile arthritis is a peculiar and defining experience.  As a toddler, you get braces and casts instead of the exhilaration of walking.  As a kid, you get the special  role in the ballet recital.  Then, as your wrists are progressively deforming, Phys Ed with its impossible pushups and volleyball falls by the wayside.  You are left with the other rejected kids in Choir and then in Drama Club, where, to vanquish your depression, you pledge yourself a career and vengeance.  The twist (pardon the pun) in the story is that, along the way, you fall in love with dance--the one thing that everyone agrees is totally out of the question. 

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Saturday
Jun022012

It's All Worthy

If you've read What's the Rush?, you already know how my mind complicates the effort to walk a simple line from here to there. What I learned is that I need to surrender to my mind's need to wander, and book myself some play time, some empty time to do and think whatever I want.  Oh yes, it solves everything, except that I have to rush like crazy to get to my scheduled play time.  

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Saturday
Jun022012

Ripe 1: Mommy Doll Gets Old

Ripe1: Mommy Doll Gets Old, an amalgam of documentary and performance art, skewers ideas about aging.   What do you think of when you think of Old?  Does it mean it’s time to give up?  Does it mean we lose our minds?  Does it mean it’s time for plastic surgery?  Or does it mean wisdom?   Mommy Doll Gets Old evoked tears and fascinating conversation at the Garnerville Arts Festival, the Trail Dance Film Festival, the Rivertown Shorts FestivalGIAA (3rd prize), and Digifestival.net 2007.  

Total running time:  11:14 minutes

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