Accommodations: A Writer Wednesday Post

September 5th, 2012 | Posted by Irene in Uncategorized


Orange Mosaic Mandala, image & all text
©Irene O’Garden 2012

(Technical snafu this week! Sorry– will repost recorded version when I return)

Today I leave for Denver to perform a show there on Saturday night. “Stand-Up Dreams” sprung from reading from twelve years of my dream journals to my friend Scott. What if you took the most compelling, well-written dreams  and performed them like a stand-up comedy routine? So you get not only comedy, but drama, horror, sex, violence, and quirky imagery as well. One-stop entertainment shopping.

Happily for me, not only did Scott instantly grasp the idea, he offered to sonically accompany me, in what has turned out to be a fascinating score using ancient instruments, sound effects and recordings. A version of the mandala above will constitute our set.

Grateful as we are for them, the kind of accommodations on my mind this week are not Denver hotel rooms, but the inner accommodations we make for ourselves and one another.  Accommodation: the making space for.  The willingness to be patient and see what happens. The accommodation Scott offered me. Prerequisite for any kind of creativity, bedrock to any enduring relationship.

This idea was underscored in an excellent, vivid, gritty book I bought in Canada and just finished: Eating Dirt, by Charlotte Gill, about her experiences as a professional tree planter replanting clearcuts. In it, she talks about a phenomenon among trees of all kinds.  When they grow in groups, trees may overlap, but they stop short of touching each other, even in rain-forest canopies. It’s called crown shyness, (though it seems more like crown courtesy to me.)

It reminded me of one of the closing dreams in my show.  I find myself addressing the UN (!) saying that we live in a psychic library of cultures.  It’s important to preserve the volumes, even if we don’t want to read them all. And they can exist side by side, the way disagreeing books do.

Accommodation. I’m glad my dreams and friends make space for me, and glad that I make space for them.

What are you making space for this week?

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  • MARK R.

    Hi Irene, I like this post especially for the knowledge regarding crown shyness…. its really a physical example that reminds us that there are many other beings on the planet — and just as the trees allow a healthy amount of space for their neighbors so to0 do we as humans on the planet accomodate our friends and neighbors ( AND OTHER BEINGS ON THE PLANET ) …. that idea can be extended to saving resources on the planet using our ” fair share” so to speak … On a human personal level, it is this reminder that we ought not “take” too much space from our friends and neighbors or they begin to lose their ability to receive the ” sunlight” of healthy self actualization….. as well as the ability to endure a relationship with a healthy normal separation or distance. The trick is knowing when to give more space , how to give more space when it is needed by a friend ( WITH THE PRE -REQQUISITE THAT IT IS NOT HARMING OURSELVES ). When man IMPROPERLY imposes on the “crown” of others he risks “killing” healthy relationships or on a grander scale killing other living things on the planet…. I thinks that’s a pretty good summary of what you are writing about and in your usual prosaic and accessible style! — or at least thats what I am happily taking away. ….

    This week I am making space for possibility / trying to remove the encroachment of unnecessary counterproductive thought which encroaches on the ” CROWN” of my own healthy internal mental space….. this is a daily exercise….. As I told family members taking care of Alzheimer patients ” If you don t take care of yourself first, you cant take care of them .” So, to me, the beauty of the relationship of each of us to each other is that when one of us falters others are there to offer support — but this support can only be given by a healthy , person growing healthily in their own ” crown space” . ( and i find it interesting that the english word “crown” is synonymous with ” HEAD” — and head synonoymous with brain and thought .) PEACE, LOVE SERENITY YOUR WAY / BREAK A LEG IN DENVER!

    • IreneOGarden

      I like your global extrapolation here, Mark, and also your personal one. And happy to report the show went well last night! Love, Irene

  • Linda O’Brien

    How appropriate that your message came tonight. Dan and I just brought our visiting foreign exchange students(3 girls, Emma from France, Sofia from Italy and Lisa from Belgium) back from their first Rotary Exchange Student orientation. The 21 students met and spent the day together – making friends, comparing host families, talking about their homes and families. When discussing their day with them, they talked about the rules they must follow, but also about the emotions and realization that they are far from home. Sofia is “afraid” of the homesick part – while Emma comforted her by telling her she can call her when she is lonely. But the Rotarians acknowledge that they will have problems and get homesick and want the students to reach out to their American friends for help and comfort.. It is an exciting time for these young ladies, such an adventure. They will have to find support for themselves by reaching out – it was pointed out out to them that they can make friends for life with so many if they reach out. By letting the friends help them through a rough patch of time, both will become stronger and the friendship is bound together a little tighter. After this “heavy” day for them we brought them home and about 15 minutes later they came down the hallway asking if it was too late to go into the hot tub…….on this crystal clear night, I can hear their mumblings as I type this………of course, they are in the hot tub! I am going to bed – thinking of being 17 again and what it would be like to live in a foreign country away from all that is familiar for a year. Good night. Hope your Denver reading went well.Lots of love.

    • IreneOGarden

      Wow, Linda that is amazing. How generous of you to make space for these young people in home and hot tub! How long will the lucky lasses be staying with you?

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