Inside the Befana’s closet

I am at my parents’ house in Houston, Texas, in my old bedroom from childhood and adolescence. Looking for a book, I began to open the boxes in the closet (in America the closets are spaces as big as some of the bedrooms I’ve lived in at Damanhur), and it unleashed entire worlds and universes. I found the book I was looking for… and everything else.

le-coseThe photos from New Year’s in Chiapas, Mexico with the Zapatistas together with those of the grave sites of my great-grandparents in Taiwan. Years of documentation of my artistic projects and art books. My mother’s glasses from the 1960s and her traditional Chinese wedding dress (red) that I intended to wear when I got married (hasn’t happened yet). An edition of Romeo and Juliet printed in 1909. My copy of the book Eat, Pray, Love, gifted to me by my sister when I went to Italy in 2007, of which I’ve only read the “Eat” section, because reading the part about Italy while in Italy, I thought I would also read the part about India and Indonesia when I go to those countries (haven’t quite gotten there yet). Letters, art and handmade gifts from many ex-lovers. Vaccination documentation, poetry, nearly a decade of We’Moon with my writing inside, a book of prayers from the hospital I was born in, a complex family tree with names in Chinese and lineages of multiple wives. The black dress my mother sewed for me when I was 16 years old (still fits me).

I ask myself, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?” They are all things precious enough to have survived many phases of clearing out, selling, recycling, giving away and moving. And now? Do I leave it all here? Bring some things with me to Damanhur? Where will I put them? Do I really need them? When will I go to India? and Indonesia? Will I ever come back to live on this continent in this lifetime? Do I burn everything in a bonfire? Will my children (If I ever have children) want to see these relics from the life of their mother and her family? If I don’t figure out where these things are going now, I’ll need to do it someday, anyway.

One thing I know for sure is that every object feels so alive. I sense the vitality, the emotions felt, the love transmitted, the energy invested. and Time… How much information can be conserved within an object… it’s really incredible!

Something else that is certain: I won’t be taking any of this with me into the threshold (the beyond), which is just as well, otherwise we’d need to figure out how to make everything fit in our bedrooms there too. I will bring nothing but the imprint of my experiences on the personalities within, the absolute purity of living every moment fully, here and now.

Quaglia Cocco
The Befana


Dentro l’armadio della Befana

Sono nella casa dei miei genitori a Houston, Texas nella mia vecchia camera da letto da bambina e adolescente. Cercando un libro, ho cominciato ad aprire le scatole dentro l’armadio (negli Stati Uniti gli armadi sono spazi grandi come alcune stanze in cui ho abitato nei nuclei di Damanhur), e si sono aperti tantissimi mondi e universi. Ho trovato… il tutto.

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All night archiving

Where is my place?

featherIt’s here. at the desk with a pen in hand (or keyboard under the fingers in this era of digitized feathers and ink), almost midnight… past midnight… way past midnight. in the silence, listening to the rhythm of hearts pulsing ever more in unison, in dreams… translating heartbeats into images. transmutation of pure emotion in a trail of color, vision, sensory delights. this is the alchemy of the artist of life.

although I am not an artist, not really… I am an archivist. every encounter, thought, sensation and impulse – from the first time I saw you to the most recent courageous tale – everything is conserved and catalogued in the library of memory – the astral one and the random access one – in the subversive library of congress and the one of regressions in time and past lives. the university one with interminable shelves on tracks with steering wheels to move them left and right, creating an opening just big enough for a human body to enter and search through the volumes of knowledge and history, with the ever present risk of finding yourself crushed between the section on the French revolution sliding closed against the discourses on macroeconomics… reminding us that even research is a daring journey.

in this immense spaceship, traveling between time empires and stellar conquests, millennial lifetimes and oracular knowledge, my place is much smaller than all that. the bed of a cat that prowls at night and sleeps little, purring and gathering intuitions. I am like any of us, never essential and always unique.

Dov’è il mio posto?

E’ qui. alla scrivania, penna in mano (o tastiera sotto le dita in quest’epoca di piume ed inchiostro digitalizzati), quasi mezzanotte… oltre… ben oltre… Continue reading

Water: my favorite alchemical substance

mareWater. You just might be my favorite alchemical substance (Please don’t tell fire I said this). You are so pure, clear. They say you are a purifier, though instead of annulling memory, energy and residual emotion, you communicate them I believe. You fall from the sky in a torrent of rain curiously mixed with hail and the sun shining in daylight, like you did today before being ritually celebrated in the wooded area of Damjl with prayer, water fountainSacred Dance and flute, honoring your sweet presence on the earth, your gift of life on this planet and beyond.

You come down and bring with you like a chalice stories and memories, written in your molecules so beautiful and symmetrical, hydrogen on this side, hydrogen over there. You are a brilliant storyteller, the author of jokes for telling after midnight and the most tender fantasies before dawn, fallen to my skin, you enter within me, whispering all of this hidden history, within my cells that nourish themselves with you, absorbing your invisible vitality.

Thermal waters, water from the sea and ocean, faucet water that is newly potable again, I feel honored to take you in every time I drink from my bottle. You become my blood. You are a part of me, sixty percent to be precise.

L’acqua. Forse sei la mia sostanza alchemica preferita (non dirlo al fuoco ti prego). Sei così pura, limpida, ti chiamano una purificatrice, ma più che annullare memoria, energia, emozione residue, le comunichi secondo me… Continue reading