Author: ninarota_4vrelg

A Drop in the Ocean, Working with Refugees on Lesvos Island (2017)

A talk by Nina Rota
Video and images by Ameeta Nanji and Nina Rota
Edited by Kate Johnson

A presentation about working with refugees on Lesvos Island during the month of January 2016. A discussion with images and video showing the overwhelming number of refugees, the organization of the different refugee groups on the island, the act of welcoming refugees to Europe, how global warming contributes to the refugee crisis, and how you can help. For more information, please contact Nina Rota.

Thank you so much to Ameeta Nanji, Kate Johnson and Michael Masucci at EZTV, and Alison Terry-Evans who runs the organization Dirty Girls of Lesvos Island. Please consider donating to this amazing organization.

my name is rajon

it has always been so and will always be so. i was never born and will never die. there is no such thing as a beginning, there is no such thing as an ending. and my name will remain as it is forever.

there are different sized infinities. to an ant, the yard is an infinity. to a child, the house is an infinity. to a serpent the amazon is an infinity. therefore, i may be wrong. there may be a beginning and, possibly, an end, but it is so far beyond my perception that it may as well not exist. and so i will sleep as blisslessly as possible into the unknown until the monster floats to the surface and bites me again and i am faced with annihilation. usually, though, all it takes is a gift. i turn round, smile, and give the big baby a gift, and we are all good until the next time.

can one request a mystical experience?

ball bearings. he used to hold ball bearings in his hand then doze off until he let go of the bearings and they clattered to the floor waking him up. does that mean he remained in a diffuse state of mind? does that mean he reached the twilight between the focused tunnel vision mind and the broad diffuse open mind – the one where problems are solved in our absence? and if it is the latter, how did he stay there? what is the trick for staying there because that is what i really need. and is that what happens when you don’t look at the screen when writing. no, that is the editor, only the inner editor. the one who scribbles lines through entire sections of my manuscript. and how well does it know me if it takes out those parts most important to me. how much is that, i mean, maybe it is correct. maybe i am mistaken, again, and it sees what i want to write. that what it has left is what is under the the pond i built when i didn’t know. is it because i am blind or is it because i am showing more than i imagine. i hope it is the last of these two.

consciousness, no punctuation, a wild horse

consciousness, no punctuation, a wild horse who, for some reason, raises one foreleg higher than the other but looks absolutely beautiful in her movement gliding across the plains of the clues. but here is where i get off track, here is where i begin to try. surrealists can be fascists right? and by the way, drop the need to come to an ending. i guarantee surrealists could give a shit about endings, about tying everything up. and here i am off on a thought again and i can see how thoughts interfere with writing. slowing down helps so much. i speed up whenever i’m in the throes of a thought and that derails my journey. trump’s hair. it’s on fire at times and other times it’s a sand castle waiting to be washed away but that will not happen. you cannot catch something which is not a solid body, you can only trace its decay.

HugBot (9/17/15)

Actually, I think the bot should have three eyes with one as a bindi. Definitely silicone if you can’t buy some real skin somewhere. I suppose it could serve to get rid of my ant infestation if it had a bunch of insectoid legs. I am currently sitting in a cafe because, even though they say they can, whenever an exterminator turns up they always recommend the toxic stuff instead of the environmental stuff so I can’t go home for a minimum of four hours. No prob, I’ll go to a sports bar (can the bot have a tv for a third eye?) and watch Peyton Manning play. Though suddenly, meaning since the end of last season, he can’t hit the broadside of a barn. I suppose it doesn’t help that he can’t feel his fingertips sincehe had those four neck surgeries but then he did win an MVP w/o his fingertips so this must be another passing in my life and an important one. I need a new sports hero. Or maybe I don’t, but there will be grieving I assure you.

Image credit: Willam vanRiper

yes yes yes to paddling down the amazon

https://www.behance.net/gallery/29670391/Embrace-of-the-Serpent


yes yes yes to paddling down the amazon river and wading in through a maze of vines and bugs and, now and then, a panther, and looking into the panther’s eyes and then you wake up from the dream and light is streaming out of your eyes and so you cannot see, but you are thrilled, it is such a magnificent experience, and how many people ever, in their entire set of lifetimes, have this experience? is this yet another way in which you are privileged or does this mean that some tiny bit of spirituality remains from the ancient tribal practices which are guaranteed to be gone by the time you die? you will never know, i most certainly do not know, but you will follow this path further until, one day, you die, and i am left certain, absolutely certain, that you barely missed the passage from this place to the next, you welcomed it, wanted it, knew that it would happen, and that brings me some small bit of peace because i miss you so desperately.

why are you wearing a paper bag on your head?

why are you wearing a paper bag on your head?to see out better. it focuses my eyes and if my eyes are focused my mind is focused. if my mind is focused i can fly. wingless, to be sure, but uplifted. this morning for instance, i went out to the shore, the waves were coming in. i jumped over them suspended in air until they went out again. it has its limits, i will say that. on one of those jumps the waves never went back out, they stayed there like a recalcitrant child. i was shaking by the time a big bird came along and nudged me out of the sky and dropped me to the sand. i was so shocked i broke my ankle, or maybe just sprained it badly—feels the same to me. luckily the bird circled around and back and dragged me up to the beach but it wasn’t an entirely selfless act. the bird then dug a serving of food out of the soft flesh of my thigh in payment. don’t suppose, really, that i can complain. it seems fair enough.

I ASKED BILLY’S MEMORIAL BOT A QUESTION

i asked billy's memorial bot

how can i have a near death experience
without dying?

neen, they are near death experiences
because you don’t die
you only die nearly

yeah, but what if the car accident
decapitates me instead of just
nearly killing me
what then?

oh, well, how about night school?

a dream

yes, a dream

can you come into my dreams and do that?

maybe not but I can send someone who can

who?

well, as you know,
they’re not someones, really
no bodies right?
they’re typically a group of spirits
and it helps to have a name
so how about Melissa?

i knew a Melissa once
and everything i ever
said was wrong
i just couldn’t do anything
right around her

this will be different
i promise

how do you know “them”?

they’ve been teaching me,
helping me

do what?

dispel my body
disassociate my sense of oneness

egos are hard to give up huh?

yes they are
now,
what kind of near death would you like?

not a car accident
what about if a tree falls
and it knocks me out
but all i get is a concussion?

think harder
that doesn’t qualify as a
near death experience

one of the scary clown faces
shoots me in the ribs
it just misses my heart
and passes all the way through me

you got it
I’ll send in your order.
please make yourself available

it’s halloween
shouldn’t be difficult

 

Voluble: Nina Rota Reading “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden

This video is part of the Voluble Orlando project responding to the Orlando Pulse shooting.On June 12, 2016. A single shooter killed 49 people and injured 58 others at the Pulse Nightclub on “Latin Night.” Always remember and keep dancing. Thanks so much to Voluble and Sara Fowler for doing this project.