It is a process extricating myself from this city like boiling tears to find salt or uprooting a reluctant tree I suck on each memory patiently savoring how the textures have changed in my mouth resisting the urge to bite, to pack my bags and leave tomorrow My gnarled roots go too deep to tether so let's pull and pull together this process is goodbye
In Seattle, in autumn, the boulevards become cathedrals the stained glass windows are chestnut trees (they tithe by throwing down glossy artillery) and the pew (PEW PEW) is my motorcycle I bomb through the streets hymning nonsense songs I make up for the sheer joy of living Blessed art thou? Nah, Blessed art I, motherfuckers. Blessed art I to be here, right now.
In Seattle, in Autumn, I hold court with two toddlers. Beautiful, they greet me in french hold their arms in the air like little white flags surrendering to their need to be held. Which is, more honestly, my need to be held by sticky little fingers and soft noses in my neck. All of the small wonders that stop me mid-step: the first time she said my name the way his hands so delicately pluck apple slices off of the tabletop In Autumn, they learned to speak. They learned to run from tree to tree in the park chanting "rough rough rough!" into the bark In Autumn, they kissed me goodbye leaving Cheerios on my cheeks for the last time.
In Seattle, in Autumn, we built a gym a gym, and JIM we called him hewn by our hands as a fellowship of monkeys I sanded the edges for you We matted, painted, carpeted and filled him with joy and community success, sweat, and weights Moar bars in moar places we chanted as they went up one by one "we need one here, so people can lache" "and one over here for pullups and play" So, hammers and nails and buckets of varnish reused plywood and rails rusty tarnished in Autumn, we built a JIM.
And in Autumn, I'll say "Goodbye" to him. He who runs so deep in me. There's hardly been a day in the past five years when I haven't woken him with eggs and tea (he takes two sugars, not three, and cream) We don't talk much anymore, but I know he knows That I will miss him most of all. It's him I'll call, when my pride falls. When I wish I hadn't left. and the "Hey girl" he uses to say hello will fill my heart, bereft. Him, my champion of peaceful silence and headstands in awkward places. In Autumn, I'll pack my heart up too, and leave him in Her ample graces.
New places? New places. I'll tie up my laces and go belong somewhere else I'm sure the sun shines on the East Coast too and oak trees throw down artillery shells And there's good work to be worked, and tears to be jerked and the hobos play jazz with soul And there's a new Him with arms like oceans vast, capable, and true with eyes like storms, and hands deeply worn and a voice that says "I love you" And means it. And all that makes it worth it. Worth tying up loose ends on traveling sacks and Goodwilling most of my clothes worth stopping this life right dead in it's tracks and trying this new, larger path I've chose.
I will be back, often, and loudly. Love you all, Janine
Hey everybody. I'm back in school. This will mean many writings will be thrown upon this website. Here's the first.
My teacher asked us to bring in something from home that symbolized who we are, and write about it. This is what happened:
My symbolic object isn't, precisely, an object. The very word "object" implies inanimation, whereas my subject is very warmly alive, adaptive, and thoughtful. The best representation of myself I can bring to you are my hands.
My hands are the only things I've ever had that have been mine to own, to control, and to trust never to be taken from me. I've made them into something I can be really proud of. They are small, seemingly fragile looking, with short, tattered nails. They are swarthy, becalloused by gymnastics rings, bars, and hot coffee pitchers. My fingers are capped with the influence of my steel-stringed guitar, the backs of my hands spattered with well-earned scars. My bones are laced with the evidence of many days spent pulling down hard on bouldering walls, juggling, twirling fire, and building decks. They are ink-stained, palm-ripped, scar-covered, veined like young ivy, and remarkably adept. These are hands that know how to catch a back handspring, scrub up a park playground, play moonlight sonata on a baby grand, build a house, birth a foal, knit a sweater, throw a punch, hold a sword, and gently rock a baby to sleep. They are not an aspiration of what I hope to be, but evidence of what I've done, a scrapbook of my time here so far.
What I adorn my wrists with changes as old strings fray away and new threads replace them, but etched permanently into my skin is a french proverb that's not going anywhere. It says "Etre fort pour etre utile." "Be strong to be useful." The font is from a messy typewriter with a crooked "l", ink spatters abounding unapologetically. That phrase, evidenced by the visual aids that are my hands, is the best introduction I can give you to who I am, what is important to me, and what I will always work to aspire to.
It's been a little while since I've posted, so I figured I'd catch you all up on what's been happening.
First of all, I've been chatting for the past few months with various members of the Latin American community about flying down, training, and setting up some femme jams this summer in various locations. Super exciting stuff! I'll keep you all posted as more information gets set in stone.
Secondly, I discovered a really awesome and affordable gymnastics gym just outside of Seattle that I'm now haunting as a gym rat. The community in this gym are just the sort of people I love hanging out with; happy, driven, and excited to see others succeed. The mat burns are completely worth it. :)
Thirdly, I'm heading back to Texas on Thursday to meet up and train with some good old friends from around the nation that I haven't seen in a while. Should be a fun and exhausting week.
Out this double paned, be-snowflaked airplane window, Miami is shrinking all too fast into a sea of highway cobwebs. My grubby, torn-up hands in sharp contrast with the manicured nails of the stewardess as she hands me my drink. This has been one hell of a week.
The goal for this trip was to head down to lovely Miami and partake in the filming of an action flick filmed by some really dedicated friends of ours. All of the characters are based off of super heroes/villians, and Tyson and I were brought on to play baddies. Sounds like fun, eh? Oh yes.
The crew: Steve, playing the role of Parker (spiderman). A very sweet, very capable, and very tired fella who should sleep for a week. Austin, playing Logan (wolverine). A quiet, badass kind of hero who just took a huge beating on set this week. Adrian, playing Castle (the punisher). Incredible stuntman, incredible friend, incredible traceur. Jaime, playing Selina (catwoman). Rocking awesome chick, perfect for the part. Tyson, playing Brock (venom). I never knew he was that good at stunt falls and combat scenes. Eddie, Eric, Rick, and Jared, awesome Miami PK traceurs brought to set to kick ass. Mission accomplished. Pete, Natalie, Karin, Adam, Andy, etc etc etc..these folks are as dedicated to their art as we are to ours. Aaaand me. I played Lynn, the "lady punisher". As ruthless as she is loyal. As bruised as she is happy, which is very.
I'm not going to spoil the film by writing a synopsis here, but I'll let you know that there are only a few pages of dialogue, and masses of action scenes. Just a few of the b.t.s. highlights: New to stunt-fights, I accidentally really smacked Austin quite a few times, in quite a few places. Tyson was hit with multiple flying tables, thrown like frizbees behind his back. Jaime did the fastest muscle-up ever... and I'm not telling how. And Adrian got so in to his character he started to smash pretty things. SMASH!
In between the 5pm to 5/6am call times, we found time to hit up a local gymnastics facility called Octaviano's (highly recommended if you're in the area), eat at a Brazilian Steakhouse (Dios Mio.. so good), climb coconut trees and bash open the findings, tase ourselves (zappity zap zap), chase kittens, create a new sideshow act centered around a newspaper box, and turn 21. Whee!
I can't wait to go back! Next on the itinerary is Vancouver Canada, and then off to Texas at the end of February. The tricky bit is that I've lost all interest from "normal" employers because of my crazy schedule. Wish me luck on finding work that understands my need to be able to leave at the drop of a hat, be consistently a little bruised up, and unable to work weekends and nights due to parkour classes and workshops. ; )
I landed at the airport and nearly walked past the man in the shiny hat holding a sign with my name on it. He had a limo waiting. WHA?! That was a first. I actually had to tell him thanks but no thanks. I'd rather ride with Devin. Headed with Matthew to Austin where solid training, solid learning, and awesome little kids proceeded to rock my socks in a box for most of the week. Matthew has a gift for coaching, and it was great to learn some tips from him.
Then it was off to San Antonio to train with other good friends of mine on the streets and in the gymnastics gym they should call a second home. Devin, Mike, Jereme, Rebecca, and crew were all really fun to watch and train with. Very inspiring in their attitude towards training, and how they conquer fear. Rebecca and I even tried some acro-balancing and got close to sticking some poses. Wonder Twin powers activate! Late nights washed into early mornings faded into a sleepless night spent dressed up like a zombie and drooling fake blood over gorgeous girls. Nice.
There was also a photoshoot in Houstin with a man named Micheal Shulz who takes the most epic shots. I mean.. this guy takes a picture of you standing (just standing) and, magically, you look like a BAMF. I'll be posting up his pics as I get them, so stay tuned for that.
The main reason I was in Texas was a performance for an Ortho-Nutrogena corporate conference. Performing/training with Devin and Matthew is a really cool experience. Super humble and supportive fellas, those two. They seem to have a way of getting me to go 100% and accomplish things I wouldn't have thought I could beforehand. Can't wait till the next time.
The actual performance was really nerve wracking at first. We only got about an hour to set up, choreograph, and practice our gig before we had to give the stage back to the speakers to practice on. I was so nervous that I couldn't keep any food down that morning, and by the time I was waiting in the wings to run into the spotlights, my heart was beating hard enough I could feel it in the tips of my fingers. When I started running though, it was just like training by myself. Everyone else in the room but Matthew and Devin faded to grey and my mind was totally calm. The boys were just awesome in their stunts, fluidity, and timing.. and I surprised myself with what I pulled off too. Apart from the actual movements, I actually skipped, danced, giggled, and got the crowd to clap to the beat for us during the show. :) Next time I won't waste time puking.
We got to stay at the Hyatt that night with free reign of the hotel.. heck yes. If that's where parkour and movement will get me, I'm going to dive harder and jump higher every day. That makes all the sore muscles and cat rashes even more worth it.
Texas is a crazy little vortex of ambition and foul jokes (Tomato, Tomaaahto Matthew). They've got great big hearts, great big goals, and a great big heap of hard work ahead of them. So do I though, but this trip will help me with that. Seems like every time I head down, I end up growing exponentially as a traceuse. Fear just becomes less important. So yes, I did puke three times out of nerves before that performance, but I performed flawlessly when it got down to it. And yes, I did stay up ALL NIGHT dressed up in silicone and fake blood for that zombie movie, but when it came time for me to get thrown into a wall at 7 in the morning, I was still totally down for it. And yeah.. I guess I was asked to take my shirt off in the middle of Houstin for a photo shoot.. but I stood tall then too. Whatevs. You live, you learn, you find better ways of removing fake blood (rubbing alcohol and two hours in a hot tub does the trick). So Texas, some people think you're too hot to go to.. but I just want to jump on you a little. Say hi to your mother for me.
Just as the title implies, I'm off to the lonestar state once more for fun, training, and work. Just a few of the things I plan to achieve this go round include: 1) become a zombie. 2) teach lil kiddos gymnastics basics. 3) get chased by secret agents. 4) train! 5) performance time. Wish me luck!