- Explicit Work
by Jennifer Wilson
When I woke
up I started reading Steppenwolf. It amazed me how much I could identify
with the lead character. Loving culture yet loathing the pettiness of humanity
all around – the man and wolf in an endless battle with each other.
This is how I felt at the beginning of the novel.
After reading for a while I decided to go out for a walk and put my stickers
up around town. I designed some stickers years ago and still had quite
a few so I took all of them with me across the border to cover parts of
the bay area. I packed my camera in case I found some political graffiti
but before heading out I decided to stop at the blue house first. It was
Wednesday around noon and I just thought it would be fun to see what was
going on there.
Kirsten was cooking in the makeshift kitchen and the guys were working
on the house. The construction going on was really amazing. Last year it
was at a very slow steady pace but all of a sudden it was getting done
like wildfire. Floors were getting covered, walls painted and a deck was
being built in the backyard! Really cool touches like the lamps and tiles
made with Mikee designs gave the place that extra wickedness.
I talked to Kirsten a bit as she cooked and she asked if I was there for
my 1 o’clock. All of a sudden I didn’t know what she was talking
about so I jumped to the conclusion that Frank had set up a 1 o’clock
appointment for me with Kirsten and didn’t tell me so I shook my
head and said that no one told me anything about a 1 o’clock appointment.
Kirsten and I were then both flustered and she said that I had made the
appointment with her. I couldn’t remember a thing! She reminded me
about the phone call and then it all came back to me. It was freaking me
out how much it kept sounding like an appointment with her when I so totally
had something more easy going in mind. I apologized profusely for forgetting.
I was pretty glad that I went to the blue house before going on that walk.
Corey came in and sat with us while he ate. We talked about the differences
between US and Canadian healthcare. We talked about earning under 30,000/year.
I told them a story about when my mom was convincing me to get a job that
pays more because then I would have nice things and be able to travel,
maybe even own a house. I asked her if I had ever pined for those things
and she looked very sad then and said no, that I didn’t, and that
was the real tragedy she felt.
When Corey went back to work, Kirsten made herself some food and we went
out onto the front sidewalk to talk. We have a lot in common and we enjoy
each other. It’s fun talking with Kirsten. I asked if she just wanted
to take a walk with me while I put up my stickers instead of going to the
hot tubs. She said that was perfect and that the hot tubs were by her old
place anyway and she didn’t really want to go there. All of a sudden
it was becoming a relaxing good time with a friend rather than an appointment.
I remembered that’s what Frank and Linda said would probably happen
once we got together.
We walked down Gilman St. to the Walgreen’s and then took a left
into the quaint neighborhood just a few blocks from the train tracks. We
talked a lot about politics and conspiracies. I kept stopping to put up
stickers leaving Kirsten to have to turn around and find me. So she started
stopping too. I put a lot up! We went down to the train tracks. It smelled.
She pointed out a spot where there had been some bushes that people lived
in that had since been cut down. I remembered seeing a few guys sitting
out there last year but no one was there now. We walked back up to Solano
Ave. and the only picture I took was a photo of Kirsten in front of a big
beautiful tree with the moon behind.
We continued to talk as we went up Gilman again. I told her stories about
my life in Toronto and how I started showing off my chest. She told me
about her late husband. We got onto the path and went down to the creek
where I sat the day before. It reminded us of places we used to hang out
as kids, just by ourselves.
Our conversation became deeper. We talked about dreams and the kinds of
lessons we learn through life. She showed me her engagement ring which
she found in a bunch of stuff a neighbor was getting rid of. It symbolized
for her the engagement she had with her present life. I told her about
my freak out the morning before and how I coped with it. I told her what
Nic said on the phone. I told her about my thoughts of marriage and of
war and how my desperate rationale for going there was misguided. At one
point we talked a bit about our apprenticeship with Frank. How we were
drawn to it and how much it meant to us.
As we walked back to the blue house we continued to talk. We were both
hungry so she grabbed some food and asked me what I had planned for the
afternoon. I wanted to go to the purple house and make a chicken sandwich
so she came with me. As I prepared the sandwich, Kirsten ate her food sitting
in the chair by the back door and we listened to the Dave and Anna Christy
Show. I heard it last year and I really like it! Just the two of them bantering
about stuff and getting drunk, playing tunes, but mostly just bantering
about stuff and that’s my favorite part. They’re really funny!
Frank was up and sitting in the living room. To be honest, the only thing
I wanted to do all afternoon was sit in the living room too. Mikee was
getting ready to cook lunch and I wanted to spend time with them. The chicken
sandwich was just a quick snack. If I went anywhere during the day I would
make sure to be back around the time Frank got up. I don’t get to
spend a lot of face time with them so I like to catch up and stock up for
the long haul. Kirsten had to prepare for a session so she left and the
food soon arrived.
I was really enjoying Mikee’s cooking! Rice and beans are such a
staple and can be done really bland (I know by experience) but he does
them so well! The greens were good and they even gave me sauerkraut to
try every night, different flavors too - it was ok, different. I was getting
used to the vinegar. The meals were flavorful and filling, and I finished
off just about every bit they gave me. It smelled so good when the food
Lunch takes a while. First there’s beveraging, Chinese tea, Frank’s
favorite. Then water. Then juice. Then the meal comes. Linda feeds Frank
and I love watching them work together. They’ve told me some pretty
funny stories about Linda falling asleep during dinner time (usually taking
place around 5am) with Frank’s spoon full of food only an inch from
his mouth. We just banter about anything. Sometimes we’re just quiet
and we smile at each other. It’s idyllic.
Frank said that this session may be a heavy one and I said that’s
nothing new. Then when I realized Kirsten would be at this session I thought
he was going to ask us what we talked about all day and I got kinda nervous.
Perhaps I had said something that he would not want me to say. Whatever.
I was open to listen. Just listen to him, really, so then it didn’t
matter what he would say, I would just listen to it. Couldn’t hurt.
The more I did this, by the way, the less I was nervous about anything.
The more open I became.
The night went in an interesting direction. During the whole session I
was aware that Frank was addressing issues that both Kirsten and I have
about choice and opinion. He was purposely punching large holes in our
illusions, deep illusions that may have been uncomfortable to let go. In
my relaxed state, I just went with it and could see what he was saying
and how it applied to my life even though I had never really thought of
it that way before. I feel open with Frank so it’s obvious to me
when my defenses arise and that’s a big red flag if ever there was
one – that’s a sore spot. So I just touched all these tender
areas with what Frank was saying and they hurt but my defenses were weak
and I didn’t focus on them and give them power. I was absorbed in
the heavy truths being revealed. They were actually healing those old wounds.
At one point Frank asked me to describe how I keep the apprenticeship going
when I’m not there. I said that writing about it helps a lot! Also,
I like doing things for luver such as the video work with Nic. (more to
come by the way;) I focus on being productive, I focus on the work and
my relationship with Nic as well as my relationship with Frank, Linda and
Mikee. I also focus on staying open to all possibilities, keeping positive
and not sinking back into fear. And when I get praise for what I’ve
done, I try not to focus so much on that, but more on the fact that I’m
being open to the flow of creativity that runs through everything. I focus
on the magic in everything, even things that others may discount or ignore.
I was getting used to reading Frank’s board and as the words left
my lips their effect took hold. I was dedicated to the work, I was trusting
and relaxed and excited. Watching Frank work really blew me away. How he
coaxed these old things out and dealt with them. How he reached in through
the everyday armor and rubbed our bareness to see the reaction. To get
us to see what the armor really was, just a barrier dividing us from each
other. Once he gets you, you are really there, together with everything
else. The moment is there and you are not living in your head, you are
living in everything.
Our talk lasted a long time and we were tired so we didn’t play together.
After the session, Kirsten left and we talked in the living room while
I waited for dinner. Didn’t have to wait long and there it was steaming
in front of me. If my memory is working correctly, it was steak night.
I told Frank how incredible it is to watch him work. We talked about how
working with him is like pushing through something and he’s saying “come
on, it’s just a bit further” and you can’t see what’s
ahead but you’re pushing through with each other, pushing to get
to the unknown. How he finds these spots in you that are blocks to the
free flow of energy and works them. Smacks ‘em or rubs them away,
always rubbing deeper. He is a master and I am very lucky to have met him.
After eating my meat and greens, I made my way to bed. I still couldn’t
believe how awesome all of this was but on another level it wasn’t
awesome, it was the way things really are. I didn’t think too much
about it but just started to understand what living it really meant and
I went to bed feeling alright alright.
to Part 5 >
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