What are the odds? I had posted this on January 30th. two months before I walked onto Ken Kesey Square with my camera rolling. I was desperate to save the creative legacy Christine and founded and sustained. There was talk of a movie. There was hope. My descent into hell – had just begun! Did Belle, and others read of my plight, and down they swoop, the Gallery Gargoyles – Harpies to the rosy feast?
What are these First Night Celebrations? How long has my Muse been the Belle of the Ball? In the Wild Frenzy and Fight over Ken Kesey Square, all the Clowns and Jugglers were wheeled out in a Juggernaut, each claiming to own The Tradition. But, she was a no-show! Belle Stella, and her Phantom of the Opera! Why has no author compared the Pranksters to the Kabuki theatre? This is the traditional connection Ken longed for!
When SLEEPS saw my video and read my blogs about Belle, they freaked. The She-Thing knew I had made their clandestine performance – my art piece! On this day, I declare a new form of Kabuki which in truth is very ancient. Both Buddha and Jesus employed the homeless, the hungry, the blind, and the insane people of the street, to get their message across! Did not David dance before the Ark? Did not Jesus say; “I will bring the sword!”
The individual kanji, from left to right, mean sing (歌), dance (舞), and skill (伎). Kabuki is therefore sometimes translated as “the art of singing and dancing”. These are, however, ateji characters which do not reflect actual etymology. The kanji of ‘skill’ generally refers to a performer in kabuki theatre. Since the word kabuki is believed to derive from the verb kabuku, meaning “to lean” or “to be out of the ordinary”, kabuki can be interpreted as “avant-garde” or “bizarre” theatre. The expression kabukimono (歌舞伎者) referred originally to those who were bizarrely dressed and swaggered on a street.
At the Wandering Goat Belle is lecturing me on the importance of genealogies. Is it possible she descends from Rosamond Clifford? This is the real game of thrones. There is a ROSE in THRONES! Catherine bids me to forgive her daughter!
“Rena had to have read several blogs where I talk about Ronald Schwary optioning the second biography about my late sister, the world famous artist, Rosamond. Rena had to have read my concerns about the lies told about my family being broadcast on the silverscreen, and thus, viewed by tens of millions of people who would not believe anything in my biography because my story never made it to the big time. This fight for ‘First Story Out’ began hours after Christine drowned. The Rosamond Movie was being pushed at Christine’s funeral, which had a theme that my friend coined;
“Don’t let the Dream die!””
I understood from the start that I was in the role of The Hero to Belle. But, I was an old man, and young women and the world – demand the hero be young! Many were repulsed. How to solve this dilemma is the crux of our story – our movie! Belle asks;
“Are you for real?”
I feel like I am posting this – with a brush! Was Belle’s mother a Muse to an artist? Imagine what it was like to follow after her ‘The Great Owl Woman’ this child resigned at such and early age to be in her shadow. But, when I beheld the timeless silhouette of this young woman, who is only free when he does the Tango, I knew the honor that awaited her.
Are you for real -now?
I just took a break for breakfast and pondered over Catherine and I being born in 1946. I then wondered what sign she was. My first guess was Libra, then Aries, then back to Libra. Then I consulted Google.
VANDERTUIN, CATHERINE was born 03 October 1946. Belle was born November 21, 1990. Catherine gave birth to Belle when she was 45. Is this possible! Belle must have looked at the mothers of her schoolmates, and then at her dramatic mother. Belle may not own a prejudice against older people.
Catherine was born three days before Yom Kippur, and I three days after – during an amazing star shower! I compared Belle to Venus. This is like pulling dragon teeth. Belle and I sat down for two hours in a get to know you meeting, and I come away with nothing, and, she has this blog!
Marilyn and I identified a Eugene syndrome called ‘The Mumbly Grumblys’. If they are not noticed, they grumble. When they are noticed, they mumble!
With the revelation Catherine is a Libra, we have a literary solution, which I will save for the ending! Let the dance and play – begin!
What? I….feel faint. It’s too much. Can it be? Days after I met Belle, I am authoring a Musical Play abut us titled ‘My Beautiful Blue Bicycle’. I never had a Libra Lover. Brigit Bardot is a Libra. The question I am bid to put forth, is, how long has Catherine been my Angel Muse? Are we composing the un-finished Kabuki Tale, the Never Ending Story.
“Originating in the 1600s, kabuki is a stylized all-male theatre that combines music, dance and acting to tell stories about samurai vendettas, love suicides and everyday city-life in performances that use outlandish facial makeup and elaborate costumes.”
Is Kesey Square ready for a Kabuki performance about a young woman who has runaway from her cruel husband and now seeks shelter with an old monk who has left the temple. You could not ask for better words to form a Kabuki play around. She has fallen in with eleven wanna-be Samurai determined to overthrow the Emperor. She is disguised as a male. The monk sees her snatch fruit from a cart, and gasps at the beauty of her hands.
Yes, those are my hands in the RG. That was the first time I had ever appeared in the news as an activist.
Yes, I got a misdemeanor along with 11 other people for trying to talk to a silent and (cowardly) hiding John RUIZ.
I LOVE Crouching Tiger. It’s one of my favorites. The scene where the two young warrior lovers are in the bath together in the desert is my favorite part I think.
Is Bohemian a language as well as a place? Or are you referring to Romani? Was Romani the language that was spoken in Bohemia?
I’d like to hear more of your personal life story. “When I got sober”, “When I was homeless”, “When I was fighting cancer”……. these are words you drop and then let flit by without much detail or explanation or storytelling. I want those details and stories. Please.
Tell me what you thought of my poem. Did it make you feel anything? Did it make you think? If so, what?”
I just reposted on the Green Sword, and then found a play that Belle’s mother was in. Catherine was a disciple of James Brandon, and is the Storyteller in ‘The Cross and Sword’. Belle is the heir to these words, and this sword, that came to mainland from Honolulu. Belle is the heir to the Labyrinth Walk of Eugene.
“I know of no other person who has accomplished as much as he has done — taking the work of one country (Japan) and presenting it so beautifully,” said Terence Knapp, his UH colleague for more than three decades — now retired and an emeritus professor — who specialized in Shakespearean and classical drama while Brandon focused on Kabuki and its intricate staging rituals. “He was a pioneer in staging Asian theater for the rest of the world; he started it all.”
Here is my favorite version of Fair Rosamond by Evelyn de Morgan. Click to enlarge. Not the demon monkeys – and other bad spells! No male artist would dare put three monkeys on any woman’s back! Evelyn was a woman Pre-Raphaelite and would have whisked Belle away before another artist capture her.
“The palace was deep in the forest and its approaches were constructed like a labyrinth designed to foil Eleanor, should she ever decide to do what she was doing now. Alas for Rosamond, a silk thread had become detached from a needlework chest that the King had given her for embroidery. Once the Queen discovered it, she was able to follow it to the heart of the labyrinth and surprise the young woman.”
Before I beheld Belle, I was looking for a model for my version of Rosamond. I found her. The long contest………..was over!
My muse, my beautiful muse!
I awoke from a dream about destiny, to push hands with Belle who was in bed with her master. This is not about sex. I am an enlightened being who long ago gave up the light to lie down with women so they may go on the path. One must overcome duality in order to be one with the truth. The truth is my student tried to steal my lessons, even have her teacher humiliated and slain by a minion of demons. This is profound for reasons yet to be explained. This is why men have kept women off the path because they are forever in search of a short-cut. Women are not honorable by nature. They are rarely culpable. If you catch a woman in a lie, or, being a thief in the night, there is hell to pay.
Belle Burch wrote in a e-mail how she likes the movie ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. Jen steals the sword of Green Destiny. Master Li Mu Bai duels with Jen to retrieve Destiny. Jen is placed in a cave and put to sleep. Here is Sleeping Belle who woke this morning realizing our destinies are forever intertwined. There is no escape from this truth. In his Manifest Destiny Benton approves of the white race mating with the Chinee race.
When I first saw Belle, she was performing. She grew up around thespians. Her late mother, Catherine Vandertuin was the founder and director of the Eugene Chamber Theatre. My daughter was raised to be a thespian. I did not know I had a daughter until April of 2,000. She was sixteen years old when she came in my life. Her mother found me when she found the ‘Rosamond’ webpage. Her mother aimed our daughter at my famous sister all her life. When I got an inheritance, and got in the way of they being in the biography of Rosamond, they plotted to throw me off a cliff.
Only when Belle and I met at The Wandering Goat, did I see she resembled my daughter. Belle looks like my grandson. Hovering over her is ‘The Beast’.
Heather and Belle created much drama, then blamed it on me. I was just their shadow puppet. They toyed with me. They wore masks.
They slipped me a Mickey Finn in bar on Montgomery Street. They shanghaied me, took me to Japan and sold me to a failing Kabuki theatre and bar. They kept me drugged on opium. I was too fucked up to leave. I was a star….for a little while! I did this dance titled ‘The Cross and the Sword’. Then, she walked in. Of all places, why did she pick this one? She said her name was, Rose, and all of a sudden, I had a life again. I was somebody.
How interesting that Belle’s parents did their ritual Labyrinth on the fourth Saturday of every month, and I met their daughter at the first Friday Art walk. This is so much like ‘The Wicker Man’ where the children are brought into circles – with candles! Was Belle going to run for office?
When you tell your children they are being enriched with special powers, they are going to want a Big Pay Day………..SOMEDAY! This is why we have so many evangelicals skipping after Donald – the Pagan Pied Piper of Rome! Don lives like Nero the Roman Pig raised by wolves, and is titled ‘The Beast’. N0.666 invented the Theatre of Cruelty.
From the start my daughter made it clear she had nothing to learn from me; for her mother taught her everything she needs to know. I saw a dark cloud coming from over the horizon that I knew would not go away, any time soon.
Now I see who Belle is, and my daughter! They are ‘The Un-finished Child’.
The Descent of Inanna
For the audience who makes a story. For those who came to the performance of the play made from these poems more than one—who told me they would do so until they had their favorite words memorized. For Catherine who never feared to go anywhere into feeling, who asked for the voice of Ereshkigal. And then had the spirit and force to gather us all into this amazing theater production. For Jeff who introduced me to Catherine “just to see what would happen”. For all the amazing actors and actresses whose gestures became my words.
There is no greater gift for a poet than to see her words embodied by such a brilliant group of men and women as Eugene Chamber Theater.
Our whole community suffered the untimely death of Catherine Vandertuin, its founder and director. Catherine, we miss you. But you are still present to us in the work you elicited from us—you are still present in these words.
The Story Behind the Play
The inspiration for these pieces came from working with the actors and director of Eugene Chamber Theater. They improvised the story of the Descent of Inanna, and then provided encouragement, insight, and feedback for the words that I wrote after being inspired by their work. I owe an immense debt to Catherine Vandertuin, Eugene Chamber Theater’s late producer and director (see “Slant” article that follows). She was the archetypal woman gatherer in her role in both this theater piece and this group as she undertook the daunting task of producing a theater piece out of the poetry that came to me in our collaboration. I have been deeply touched by the spirit, talent, perception, and dedication of DJ Adams as Old Woman, as , Nancy Hopps as Inanna (who has taken new directions with her talent) , Richard Leebrick as Dumuzi, Katina Poxino as Ereshkigal , Barratt Walton (also a talented director and playwright) as Ninsubah, Corey Woods as an early Dumuzi, and Tim Guetterman and Jason Hines as Inanna’s sons. I know of no greater gift than to work with such brilliant performers and whole-spirited human beings. I would not have written these words but for their generosity, courage, imagination, and intelligence.
Extraordinary thanks are also owing Jeff Defty, who not only wrote an exquisite musical score for the Eugene Chamber Theater production to accompany my words– but who originally introduced me to Catherine Vandertuin with the prospect of our collaboration.
You, the reader, are one more element to community in these poems: in the old traditions, the listening of the audience makes a story. In Eugene Chamber Theater’s 22 productions of the Descent of Inanna, audience presence, sharing, and feedback provided further inspiration for all of our work. It is because of so many audience requests for these words that I am publishing them here—as small recompense for the great gift that this whole process has been to me.
I have included here the pieces that audience members requested most often. The following poems were used in the Eugene Chamber theater’s first year production of Descent of Inanna: “Old Woman Dreams of the Wind”(I and II), “Inanna Burns Dumuzi Through Four Lifetimes”, 2
“The Call of Ereshkigal”, “Inanna’s Farewell”, “The Old Woman at the Gate”, “The Descent of Inanna”, “Woman on the Cross”, and “Chorus”. “The Voices of the Angels of Darkness” was added in the second season of production. I owe Richard Leebrick special thanks for helping me to arrange the drafts of “Dumuzi Speaks to the Silence Inanna Leaves Behind” into the piece here—which he also powerfully acted in the second season of production.
The story of the collaboration process of Eugene Chamber Theater’s production of the Descent of Inanna is detailed in Tim Guetterman’s video documentary, The Descent of Inanna: the Tale and the Telling, which he produced and directed with help from Katina Poxino. This documentary project aired on the Oregon affiliate of PBS and won the “Best of Oregon” award at the Da Vinci Film Festival.
Anthroposophists, having studied Steiner, usually know what various Anthroposophical symbols denote. Many parents and some teachers at Waldorf schools do not know. They should make the effort to learn. Here, for instance, is a statement Steiner made about the spiral as a symbol. Note that he was discussing a religious holiday, Christmas. The Anthroposophical meaning of the spiral symbol in the observance of Christmas (and the period leading to it: Michaelmas and Advent) involves astrology, Atlantis, and the Aryans. This is just one instance of the pagan occultism that lurks behind the symbolic ceremonies enacted in Waldorf schools.
“Earthly events are determined by what occurs in spiritual realms. Take the sign of Cancer, for example. Its true significance is not always known, but this sign, which consists of two intertwining spirals, when rightly understood points to the dawn of a new age. Whenever an important event occurs in the world, whenever one stage of evolution is superseded by another thereby bringing something new into the world, two such spiral movements intertwine. One spiral of the sign of Cancer indicates the end of the Atlantean culture; the other, the beginning of the Aryan culture. Our ancestors thus perceived in the heavens the outward sign for the rise of the new Aryan culture. At a later time the sun entered the sign of Gemini, the Twins. This is the sign of good and evil, the sign that governed Persian thinking. Then the sun entered Taurus. Here we have the third post-Atlantean period with its veneration of the Bull in the Egyptian Apis cult, the Babylonian cult of the Bull and its sacrifice, and the Mithraic cult of ancient Persia. Man brought the sacrifice of the Bull down to earth from the heavens where it was inscribed.” — Rudolf Steiner, SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (Anthroposophic Press, 1967), lecture 1, “The Birth of the Light”, GA 90f. [For more on this, see “Advent Spiral at Waldorf” at Open Waldorf.]
Having people walk through a spiral, receiving light, means having them enact the spiritual journey toward spiritual enlightenment. This is a deeply religious, mystical, and astrological ceremony. “As the seven planets [of astrology] group themselves within, and pass through the twelve signs [of the Zodiac], so if man is to live into cosmic space he must pass through seven times twelve, or rather seven times eleven stages, to attain spirituality. The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac may be pictured as forming a spiritual periphery in the centre of which is man himself. Now man does not reach the spiritual realm spread around him simply by advancing from a centre outwards; he must expand in spiral form; he must advance, as it were, in seven spiral movements. Each time he completes one spiral turn he has passed through all the twelve signs; he has in this way to pass through seven times twelve points. Man gradually expands in spiral form through the cosmos — this is naturally only an image for what man experiences — and in circling thus, on the seventh journey through the twelve signs, spirituality is reached.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co.,1946), lecture 5, GA 123.
Notice how in his readings of Biblical passages, Steiner brings in pagan concepts that have little or nothing to do with the actual contents of the Bible. Adherents of mainstream faiths should be even more troubled than secularists to learn of pagan Anthroposophical doctrines and their application to Waldorf schooling. [For more on spirals, see “spiral” and “spiral walk“ in THE BRIEF WALDORF / STEINER ENCYCLOPEDIA.]
|Eugene lost one of its most creative artists last week. Cancer stole Catherine Vandertuin from us when she was far too young. In her too-short time here, Vandertuin, the founder and artistic director of Eugene Chamber Theatre, applied enormous energy, creativity and collaboration to the innovative theater/music productions of Dust and Dreams, Antigone, The Descent of Innana and Ice Cure, the last adapted from an original manuscript. She also collaborated in various puppet and mask theater productions. Her vision was to create multi-disciplinary works that explored themes of balance and wholeness. Catherine brought Javanese gamelan music to Eugene in 1992 with the founding of Gamelan Nuju Laras, well known for accompanying labyrinth walks created by her partner, Jeff Burch. Although her theater work and family obligations eventually forced her to give up the gamelan, Catherine’s contribution continues in Nuju Laras’s successor, Gamelan Sari Pandhawa, and the 90-piece Javanese gamelan Gamelan Kyai Tunjung Mulya, whose construction she commissioned and supervised. Gamelan Kyai Tunjung Mulya was ultimately donated to the UO where it is used to teach UO students and other community members. Through her teaching at LCC, collaborations with other community artists, and irrepressibly creative spirit, Catherine made Eugene a much more artistically vital place, and her legacy will live on in the audiences she touched and the artists she taught and inspired.|
The Pacific Rim Gamelan Mariposa Tulip
The Pacific Rim Gamelan is an Indonesian orchestra, comprised of metal xylophones, drums, and gongs, which plays a rhythmic and colorful music of bell-like textures and deep gong resonances. Western audiences have flocked to hear gamelan music and have found it to be entrancing and captivating in its dynamic rhythmic energy. The ensemble, directed by University of Oregon Professor Robert Kyr, is an orchestra comprised of twenty musicians who perform on the beautifully crafted instruments of this Balinese gamelan, formally named “Gamelan Suranadi Indra Putra,” which is literally translated as “Gamelan Holy Springs: Ascent of The God of Rain.” Each member of the Pacific Rim Gamelan is both a composer and performer–hence, the repertoire of the ensemble is composed and performed by its members. In the Pacific Rim Gamelan, the musical cultures of Indonesia and North America are joined in the creation of a new music, which is cross-cultural and is composed by the community, which performs it.
Gamelan broadly describes musical ensembles from Southeast Asia usually comprised of percussion instruments dominated by magnificent bronze gongs and metallophones mounted on intricately carved wooden frames. Nuju Laras plays traditional music from the royal courts and villages of Central Java and also new compositions by both Indonesian and international composers. Nuju Laras’ gamelan instruments include a forged bronze set from Central Java. Nuju Laras is a group of thirteen players learning both traditional and contemporary international gamelan music from Daniel W. Schmidt, an instructor of Central Javanese gamelan music and founder of the Berkeley Gamelan in California. Nuju Laras is a community gamelan players group and a performing arts ensemble of Eugene Chamber Theatre. Founded in 1990 and directed by Catherine Vandertuin, her emphasis is to offer unusual opportunities for participants to study and perform music and theatre influenced by Asian forms.
The Medea” on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Medea, who betrayed her father and brother for the love of Jason is, in .turn, betrayed by h i m . Over-‘ whelmed by her thumbs (a Greek word implying a mixture of violent emotion and guilt) Medea destroys her husband and children. Directed by D a r l e n e Hansen, the classic Greek tragedy, will be staged w i t h traditional c h o r u s , and choreographed .by chorus leader Catherine Vandertuin.
Steiner wrote four mystery plays between 1909 and 1913: The Portal of Initiation, The Souls’ Probation, The Guardian of the Threshold and The Soul’s Awakening, modeled on the esoteric dramas of Edouard Schuré, Maurice Maeterlinck, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Steiner’s plays continue to be performed by anthroposophical groups in various countries, most notably (in the original German) in Dornach, Switzerland and (in English translation) in Spring Valley, New York and in Stroud and Stourbridge in the U.K.
In collaboration with Marie von Sivers, Steiner also founded a new approach to acting, storytelling, and the recitation of poetry. His last public lecture course, given in 1924, was on speech and drama. Anthroposophic speech trainings generally last four years and offer an accredited diploma. Topics include: differentiating the styles of epic, lyric, dramatic poetry, the language of gesture, and speech; variously known as creative speech or speech formation (Sprachgestaltung). Graduates receive the Goetheanum diploma which allows them the option to pursue a training in Anthroposophical Therapeutic Speech.
Antonin Artaud was a member of the surrealist movement in Paris in the 1920s, and was well known as an actor, playwright, and essayist of avant-garde theatre. Much of the avant-garde theatre developed in France from 1914-1939 can be seen as a revolt against tradition. Deeply affected by the events of World War I, the artists of the movement felt increasing skepticism of the existing societal structures that had allowed for global warfare.
While Artaud would eventually break away from surrealism, the movement helped to shape his later theories on the Theatre of Cruelty. Led by André Breton, surrealist theatre reflected a belief that the unconscious mind is a source of artistic truth. In his manifesto on surrealism, Breton writes, “pure psychic automatism, by which is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real process of thought. Thought’s dictation, in absence of all control exercised by the reason and outside all esthetic or moral preoccupation.”
In 1926, in association with surrealist playwright Roger Vitrac, Artaud founded the Theatre Alfred Jarry, which only produced non-realistic drama. The theatre lasted only two years. After his work in surrealist theatre, Artaud went on to develop his theories on the Theatre of Cruelty after he was inspired by a Balinese dance troupe performance that he viewed at the Paris Colonial Exhibit in 1931. The performance conventions of Balinese dance were different than any Artaud had previously experienced, and he was struck by the intense physicality of the dancers. Artaud went on to publish his major work on the Theatre of Cruelty, The Theatre and Its Double, seven years later in 1938.
What Are the Consequences for the Students in Our Care?
“We should ask ourselves…what were the characteristics, the particular qualities of [students’] souls before birth when they were guided by the Hierarchies on the way down to embodiment? … If we deepen this line of thought, we shall take into account [students’] spiritual origins as they manifested themselves in previous incarnations … [W]e should without jumping to quick conclusions also consider to which spiritual streams the students belonged … Rudolf Steiner [said] we should consider what we do in education as a continuation of the work of the Hierarchies … [T]he Christ Being working through the Hierarchies can accompany us in our everyday task … Christ in our time is truly reappearing … [I]t is for each one of us to strive towards this reality and find like-minded colleagues [i.e., other Anthroposophical Waldorf teachers] … Rudolf Steiner [said] ‘Anthroposophy seeks in every detail to be a striving towards the permeation of the Christ Impulse in the world.” [pp. 84-88].
To wrap this up, let’s return to the first quotation I offered from THE ESOTERIC BACKGROUND OF WALDORF EDUCATION. It specifies the ultimate religious purpose of Waldorf schooling and it tells how this purpose shapes the curriculum. Waldorf teachers should enact the Christ Impulse, receiving guidance from different godly sources when teaching at different grade levels:
◊ “Rudolf Steiner dealt with the Christ Impulse in pedagogy even before the founding of the first Waldorf school in 1919 … I have made an attempt to bring many of these indications together and especially to follow the ‘golden thread’ of teaching out of the background of the Father (and Mother) forces in the early grades, of the Son forces in the middle grades, and through the Holy Spirit in the high school.” [p. xii]
The references here to Father and Mother have to do with the various complementary sides of spiritual power and wisdom. See, e.g., “God” and “Goddess“. When Anthroposophists speak of the Son and Holy Spirit, they are attempting to link their faith with
“What is the difference between a Waldorf teacher and one who works in the pedagogical world at large? … [T]he Waldorf teacher discovers his or her own profound need to embark on the meditative path … [L]et me quote a verse given by Rudolf Steiner:
In the beginning was Christ,
And Christ was with the Gods,
And a God was Christ.
Deep in each human soul
The Being of Christ indwells.
In my soul too He dwells
And He will lead me
To the true meaning of my life.” [pp. 2-3]
Waldorf teachers seek this meaning, this is their meditative path, and this is the path they hope to steer children toward. (Note, by the way, that in Steiner’s verse Christ is not the Son of God or a member of the Triune God. Christ is a god, one of many.)
◊ “Steiner…called upon the founding circle of twelve teachers [at the first Waldorf school] always to remember that their karma had placed them in that situation and that they would have to reckon with the reality of the spiritual world. He advised them that in the evening, before proceeding with the meditation they had chosen, the should beseech Angels, Archangels, and Archai.
On January 25, 2016 I spoke before Eugene’s Mayor and suggested a Labyrinth Walk at Ken Kesey Square