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Thursday, December 31, 2009

DEGENERATION/REGENERATION: LINDA MONTANO SPEAKS WITH LINDA WEINTRAUB

AUGUST, 2004

Performance artist Linda Montano has not waited to die to be reborn. Her rejuvenation is inspired by her father’s illness. Montano is his primary caregiver, monitoring his physical and metaphysical condition as it evolves moment by moment. Her art is a record of his physical decline and their synchronous spiritual awakenings. He is her teacher, but this is an ecological lesson for us all to learn. Linda Montano’s father is 91 years old. He enjoys his meals and wheelchair trips to the village. Three years ago he began painting. Sometimes he creates works of stirring beauty. They are spare, Zen-like, mysterious. It is also true that Linda Montano’s father has lost the ability to speak, walk, feed himself, and dress himself. Seven years ago Montano says she heard voices beseeching her to return home to care for her aging father and prepare them both for the inevitability of death. Five years ago she declared this experience a work of art. I requested an interview with Linda Montano to gather information about this art piece to accompany the section of my book, Avant-Guardians: Ecology and Art at the Cultural Frontier, which deals with degeneration and death. Instead, she revealed a joyful (she used the term ‘ecstatic’) revitalization of her own life and career. She may be his caregiver, but her father has been her teacher. The new wellspring of creativity and soulfulness that he exhibits, Montano believes, stems from his life-long spiritual practice within the Catholic Church, but also from the loss of his discursive faculties. His spirit seems ultimately liberated. The only end-point she discussed during our interview was the ‘death’ of the pioneering role she once played in the art world as one of the originators of performance art in the 1960s. But her art is being revitalize by the teachings she is receiving from her father. Once, Montano says, she felt like art’s left-over, a waste product of a bygone era. Now she is being ‘recycled’. She is transformed. Her work seems, once again,timely, innovative, and compelling.
LINDA WEINTRAUB


LINDA MONTANO’S EDITED COMMENTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

HOW I RECYCLE

Six years ago I began getting messages to return to the small village in New York where I grew up. I heard voices saying, “Go home and care for your dad.” I obeyed in increments. At first I helped dad with shopping and doctor visits and paying his bills. By the third year when Dad had a stroke, I became a total, full-time care giver. At the time, Dad was 89. It took me two more years to name this situation ‘art’. That is when I decided to save it and not delete it. I recycled it from the refuse bin of life where it had no value. Once I called it ‘art’, my dad and I started collaborating and being at home felt divinely designed. Before his stroke he allowed me to video tape his life. He instructed his friends and family about what they should do for the video. He would say, “You can smile, wave, sing, walk.” He enjoyed the camera. I reflected his brilliance and creativity. It brought us incredibly close. It recycled our friendship, a process I think of as art/life ecology.


HOW PERFORMANCE IS BEING RECYLCED AND HOW THE COMPUTER RECYCLES REALITY

Performance art has been imitated by very high energy young artists who understand that they need to challenge the tradition. They have knowingly and unknowingly imitated many of the themes, styles, rituals, and techniques of performance art from history, including futurism and even referring to its cave origins. In doing so, they have deleted the pure and sacred understanding of brain waves, energy, and initiation. They have substituted the gross elements of exclusion, greed, competition, and shallowness as seen in Survivor, Big Brother, Fear Factor, You’re Fired and other reality TV programs. All of these basic, non-compassionate virtues are present in unconscious motivations of early performance artists, but early performance artists ritualized hese motives or denied them. Remember, we were the good saints, poetic, spiritual beings. Now, the younger performance artists added the hidden motivations. They brought the darkness of the human condition to light. This is a good thing. The computer also makes us look at reality differently. It offers the possibility of taking off the blindfolds and seeing everything, everywhere.

HOW ARTISTS CAN SURVIVE BEING DISCARDED:

The artists who were active in the 60s, 70s, and 80s cannot mirror today’s Olympic-styled, risk-taking athletes and technological dare devils. We are no longer useful. We have been discarded. We are the cultural garbage of the art world. This, too, is good. It frees us of the need to stay within the old direction. As garbage, we can either seed a new flowering or we can bitterly pick at our archives and shop for our names on Google.

HOW MY FATHER HELPED ME RECYCLE MYSELF

The younger artists have created a brilliant diving board to the next wave. It’s an incredible personal challenge to artists to find a way to recycle themselves. I had no idea I would find myself in my father’s light. Since 1969 I have been attempting to process light as art, as performance, as sculpture, as installation. Now I feel that everything was a dress rehearsal for making ‘DAD ART'. The rug has been pulled out of my art making process because, for the first time, I am not in control. I am fascinated by having to learn a new role as I’ve had to recycle my art statement from one of controlling time to one of relinquishing time. I have no idea when this performance will change. Time is gone from my art statement. I’m at the mercy of space because I’m committed to make ‘DAD ART’ as long as I receive the message. I am here in obedience to the voices, to this teaching.

Retired artists pray for opportunities to be taught new concepts. That is our ecological gift. I am experiencing the ecstasy of finally marrying art and life.

HOW I MAKE DAD ART

I’m saving all of Dad’s charts about his diet, baths, sleeping patterns, the condition of his teeth, his bowels, his genitals. I add comments from the nurses and tips on transporting him. His miniscule actions are noted. We document the new ways that he is creative. He was never a painter before he had his stroke. Now we sit him at the table and give him a brush and he is happy. He creates Rothko-like paintings. He seems to be channeling. You can see his concentration. It sometimes takes him a half hour to make one beautiful line.

HOW I ONCE MADE CONCEPTUAL ART

Every artist has permission to create a definition of what is art. Some people say only my paintings, sculpture, poems are art. Early in my career, I needed to appropriate everything as art, and find creative ways of parenthesizing certain aspects of my life as art. I did this by saying, “I will wear red this year. I will be blindfolded for a week. I will expose my embarrassment for three hours. I will call my house art.” It is a mind frame. You have to admit your intention and choice to the air, to yourself, your friends, the art community, the world. This game has satisfied me and kept me busy since 1965.

HOW DEATH MAKES ARTISTS OF EVERYONE

Death, after birth, is the greatest mystery. I have no idea what’s going to happen when dad or I stop breathing, but I know I have to practice states of transformation while I’m still living. I use Catholicism to direct me. I know I have to feel and study the technology of the sacred (the title of a Jerome Rothenberg book)so that I become a good student. The reward of spending this much time with my Dad is that I’m having an opportunity to bask in his light which he emits because he has surrendered his discursive mind. My father is Italian and Catholic, yet strangely his quality is Zen-like. He is half way between life and death. The payoff for his surrender is pure beauty. Beauty is a vibrational frequency, a brain wave. It comes and goes. His meds are carefully selected and all lined-up to contribute to his peacefulness. There is no doubt that he is helped by chemistry, but his good character and endurance are also contributing to this end game. Thirty four years of studying with a Catholic spiritual leader taught him how to keep focused. Sunday afternoons he would sit in silence in the church and meditate. He knew where to get his spiritual food. Now he seems to be reaping the benefits of his practice. He has become a living ecstatic.” It’s like a little monastery here. That’s what my art was always supposed to be like. Thanks Dad for being my co-pioneer in developing a new art/life – death.

What will remain after he dies?

Invitations to revisit Beauty.
Gratitude at having this time with him.
SILENCE.

Linda Mary Montano Interview by Mary Lachman

Linda Montano’s work was introduced to me fairly recently, as I expanded my ideas about dance beyond traditional technique and into the realm of performance art. Performance art is simply a conglomeration of all live elements of art. It is the act of breaking down the walls between visual art, dance, theater, voice and sound. The body is the necessary element to the form, and so I immediately found an affinity to the ideas behind performance art.

After reading about Linda, I became more and more fascinated with how I could expand my choreographic eye into areas I had never thought of as dance. Due to Jennie Klein’s generous offer, I was able to attended the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow after interviewing Linda, and was blown away by the many different kinds of physical expression I witnessed. And all of it was coming from outside the “dance world.” Thus, I feel as if my acquaintance with Linda opened a new door into an expanded definition of performance.

Last December I met Linda in New York City on the second floor of a little diner on Time Square. Construction workers sat next to our table and the ceiling had a leak. We tuned that all out and just talked for an hour. The way Linda spoke of spirituality is entirely different from the rhetoric of Bebe Miller. Linda actively practices and identifies as a Roman Catholic artist. Her work is created with doctrine and specific religious topics in mind. She had come to the city to read a letter in front of St. Patrick’s. The letter addressed the issues of the Catholic Church, which found to be misunderstood in the Church. So, when we finished our conversation we proceeded to St. Patrick’s and prayed together in the chapel, kneeling before God.

Interview Transcribed

Linda: Do you mind? I close my eyes when I interview.

Mary: When did you first begin to think of your work being influenced by your spirituality?

Linda: I’d like to begin this with a prayer…Holy Spirit let us collaborate on finding information that will be useful for both of us, and may it support our visions and help not only us, but people who come in contact with this information.

I guess when I left the convent and I went back to college and there was a nun there who was teaching, a wonderful nun. Just free. Back then she was wearing full Habit, but she was teaching sculpture and her attitude was so free and so loving and so helpful and so humorous and she gave me a spiritual key. And the key was to unlock my door of freedom, of creativity. And that door was also related to the door of spirituality because I had placed art on such a high pedestal, of vocation, and attainment, and reverence. It had the same…I knew art could get me to that same level of transcendence that I was getting when I went to church. Because I had seen it happen. I had seen my dad listen to music and transcend, and I could see my mom paint, and my grandmother, who was like a performance artist. I had seen her make art and transcend daily life.

Mary: I agree with you. I see artists transcend daily life through their art, but do others, outside, share in that transcendence?

Linda: I think it is a neurological…In fact you should read Oliver Sack’s book on music. He talks about the brain being wired for not only different sensational responses to reality, but also spiritual response. I think it’s sometimes just habitual wiring patterning. We were not a verbal family. We didn’t talk. We didn’t discuss. We didn’t debate. We didn’t work things out verbally, so I was really moved to my head chakra so to speak. To the Penial and Pituitary, and from the neck down I was pretty disregarded or inert. So maybe what was concocting up there was allowing me to play in that head arena with more joy and with more imagination, creativity, and sensual fluency, because that was my language. So you really want to look at things in terms of neurology and brain, and heart also, but it’s really your upbringing, culture, atmosphere, home life, and things happening inside the home. I mean if you compare the home life in the 40s and 50s, I wonder if you have the same kind of patterning neurologically or chemically. You’re talking about chemistry. Somewhere I was reading, God is G spot. Maybe God is a place of the sacred, but what is “sacred?” What is “transcendence?” What is “transfiguration?” Or spiritual ecstasy or the unitive. What is the unitative way in terms of a spiritual practice? But I felt like I was not only addicted but I was kind of programmed to get to that path via my family upbringing and programming and having gone to church and having being programmed for ecstasy.

Mary: I know you were quite involved in the practice of Eastern religions, so how do you see them in relation to Catholicism? How do you feel they fit together?

Linda: Well, actually, I was teaching sculpture at a Catholic women’s college in Rochester, NY, and a yoga teacher, an old old woman, maybe in her 60’s or 70’s, came in and started Hatha yoga, and through her I met her teacher who became my guru so to speak. He was a wise, smart, compassionate being who had been a medical doctor, a neurosurgeon and a craniologist, who switched allegiance so to speak from the medical practice to yoga because he thought he could heal better if he were immersed in traditional yoga, but he wasn’t traditional at all. He was very charismatic and able to create this community of meditators and Sanskrit scholars and artists. He was absolutely well rounded in his ability to enter us through all the charkas, so to speak. When I met him he was very magnetic. I was magnetized to him. I was also newly married to my husband and I was just really magnetized to yoga and I think what it did for me was it got me past my head and back to the bottom of my body, which had been cut off. And yoga was the beginning of acknowledging that I had feelings, I had language, I had a body. And I actually began performing once I began practicing yoga. In public dancing, in public lying in meditation. So yoga and performance were natural allies. And I think what happened was that I really had a strong calling to be a catholic priest and because that wasn’t an option in Catholicism I was able to segue from the catholic priesthood for women to performance. And as a performance artist became a priest. Meaning, I could help not only my self but others climb to the sacred, or move to the sacred, or ascend to the sacred.

Mary: Like the performance becomes a kind of Mass?

Linda: Yeah, yeah, that’s heretical what were saying right now. But that’s okay, I just want that on record that this is heresy…but yes. I mean that’s pagan and heresy and not something a catholic would say, but yes it’s true.

Mary: Metaphorically.

Linda: Symbolically, metaphorically, oxymorannically, moronishly,

Mary: How did people react to the sacred in your work? When you were creating work around the post-modernist area, did people say “no” to religion, “no” to meaning…

Linda: Well is was in the 70’s and 80’s and late 60’s and it was more about “yes” to eastern religions and “yes” to feminism, and “yes” to drugs, “yes” to experimentation, “yes” to no authority and “yes” to the breaking down of all systems into peace, love, and community. And “yes” to feminism, so women embraced performance…but we all felt that we were creating a movement and not only mentoring the movement, but modeling what was happening politically and culturally and physiologically. I don’t think I answered the question…

Mary: Well, no. I guess I’m wondering how people reacted to your use of eastern religious concepts in your performance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you had been vocal about your devotion to the Catholic church and organized religion at the time, other artists would not have been on the same page at all so to speak, but was it a different story when you associated your work with eastern religion?

Linda: I did something very disloyal. When I was getting my MA in Europe in Florence, Italy, I was still practicing, a fringe catholic. I was unhappy with Catholicism, but I was still internally and subconsciously aligning myself with the titles; sacred art and sacred artist. And then, I went to grad school in Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, and something clicked there, and it was: Linda, artists cannot be Catholic. And I divorced myself. I was not a strong practicing Catholic then, but I decided that I would be a flip-flop artist. I’m not going to be “religious”…I’m not going to be Catholic. Cause, you know, I was making crucifixes in Italy…

Mary: That is a strong current in the art world today as well, the idea that you can’t be religious.

Linda: It’s over now. It’s now, today, currently, very avant garde to be a Catholic artist. To be “practicing religious fundamentals” or whatever. But it is a beginning, it is a beginning trend. So I really felt bad about that. I felt like that was a pattern of disloyalty, that I have to watch that in my self and not do that. I have to really ask; what is right to believe? I have to ask; who am I being disloyal to? Is it myself? Or what crowed am I trying to follow? And you know, why am I doing what I’m doing? And who am I betraying in my choices? So I really betrayed my call to be a catholic artist when I went to graduate school. From then on I laughed at the Church, I laughed at nuns. I made art that was down right sacrilegious. Not a lot of it…you know I did pornography… I was in the healing mode of disregard. Let’s be cynical about it, laugh at it, poo-poo it so to speak. But I did honor the eastern way because it was exotic, it was different, it was not catholic, it didn’t have the sins that I had ascribed to my past religion, and so, I played with the sacred, but via eastern traditions. Then, as I aged a little more, discerning, and knocked around by life I realized, wow, I better start working hard, because I had dropped my youth and the values of my youth, and the security I had found in Catholicism, and especially when I taught full time and I had all these students who were being very wild and wonderful and permissive, but I hadn’t had physical children. I think when people have physical children they change and I hadn’t changed. I was still like “do what you I want! Lets have a bong!” And we were all having a ball, but I got in trouble. And they got in trouble, and then I got in trouble. And I though “gee, I’ve got to rearrange and become accountable in a new way.” And then I took care of my dad and in doing that I was going back in time to my early Catholicism. So now…

Mary: Caring for your father was kind of also a way of taking care of a child figure that you never had. Caring deeply for someone.

Linda: I think so, I think so. Because I was just taking care of “Artist Linda,” who could do whatever she wanted, whatever way she wanted. Anyway…

Mary: I wanted to know how creed and doctrine, and the restrictions that religion places on art effect you.

Linda: Restriction and art? Restriction is like labor pains and art… artist really thrive on pain and suffering and upset and chaos. That’s our food. And for me it has been extremely chaotic and extremely painful. And people are mad at me and angry. Where’s the old Linda?! You’re not supporting us anymore! I have been through great, great pain. It’s almost symbolic. I can’t believe we are talking about this today because today is my graduation. I see priests and confess, and I found a real smart one. They become directors and mentors and smart people who can help. And one said “Use it [Catholicism] for your art,” which I know and it is something that I teach, but today is a real breakthrough for me. I found the venue to take the pain and create with it. To make it my clay, my dance, my poetry, my sculpture, my living sculpture. So, I think the secret is to not get all discombobulated when the caldron of chaos is at boiling point and ready for what’s to be put in it. But it has been a tremendously painful process, and I’m at the point where I can’t go back and be the old me. I mean, I use old also as…there is something that happens with aging and art, and women and art, and aging in general and the spirituality of aging in general. I think what happens is that people get scared because death is looming closer and closer and my age group starts dying. I want to be an intelligent Catholic this time around. Before I was young, I was believing without intelligence. Now I want to be free, but I also want to be obedient and respectful, and I want to be for justice without displaced anger, which makes basically angry people do activism. So I don’t want to be that kind of gnashing, masturbation…[angry sound]…gay rights…[angry sound]…women priests, but I want those subjects in there in a different way. All those things need to be in there. So I feel it is really wonderful to have met you. You are a midwife to me…that is really nice.

Mary: I run into the attitude that you have to be in a tumultuous place in your life, having crazy or awful things happening in order to create your art. But if you create art from some place that’s stable in your life or a place of balance, which a spiritual practice such as yoga or meditation can sometimes offer, your art is somehow less meaningful.

Linda: I think I understand what your getting at, but I’m not going to answered it how you expressed it. How I hear what your saying is that previously there was a belief system built up around art and the artist as the wild, untamed, suffering, crazed, unstable, not calm, not peaceful, not loving individual who was going to drink, smoke, fuck, and not get paid. And that died, that concept died, but it died when artists started making lots of money. I think if you looked at the timeline it went from crazy to wealthy, and I think now the door is opening for the artist to go toward mystic or enlightened, or compassionate, or aware, maybe aware is a more general term for what we are talking about. But those are almost cultural/political positions that follow the concept of art. I think as art became more, the doors opened to what it is to be an artist. We’ve moved from the genius of Michael Angelo with his socks being adhered to his feet, to the art of individual interpretation. It’s really opened the doors. And for you it might be about the practice of balance and compassion. I’ve always been a ricochet kind of artist. The creativity ricochets off what is happening in my daily life, and this particular ricochet event is not always tragic and chaotic, but the cure this time has been rocky. The medicine, the chemotherapy of it has been a bit painful.

Mary: You said there is an event that your art ricochets off of, and so I’m wondering how your spiritual life fits into that?

Linda: Because I am a performance artist I have used my body. That is my medium. I made sculpture, but now this is what I call living sculpture, and my body is my clay, my paint. What I do now, I’m living in my dad’s house, but I make believe almost that in order to heal myself on a daily basis, to work with myself, to keep myself out of chaos and places I’d rather not be visiting, I perform in my house for me and for God. I perform for God until I feel…I use God in quotes. I perform for the Holy Spirit until I feel that the Holy Spirit has visited me. So, I no longer have to use you, or use the audience, or use others, or use the eyes of other, or the voyeur, or the look. I no longer have to use that in order for me to create a change in consciousness that is a higher consciousness. That I can then transmit back to them. You see, it was a game of them to me, me to them. So what I’m doing now is Holy Spirit to me, and me back to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit to me and then me to my environment. And I don’t wait till I have an audience to do that and I don’t wait for a gig to do that, cause I don’t have many gigs these days. I think this speaks to what you were talking about with yoga and the spiritual practice. The practice now becomes when I go to church in the morning I’m doing it, when I’m at church, and when I come home and I turn on the radio and I try to incorporate a kind of …actually I have neurological disease called Dystonia, so I have to perform with my body in mind, not and mind, because of my body discomfort. But now performance is truly daily life.

Mary: what is that?

Linda: Medically I had a stroke in 91, and some people get this misfiring into the dopamine, where the nerve is telling my head to turn to the left. So if I didn’t have this scarf on I’d be looking at the wall. It has different manifestations. I use it, I make art about it, I put it in one of my videos, actually, I’m going to do this comedy act about it. So, things are good, It’s okay to be in a particular kind of jail of prohibition now because I’m working with it. It’s making me do the research to become more intelligent in my external practice so that I can internalize it, and maybe find a way…there are things called mental option and conscious. There are very fundamentalist ways of to be a Catholic and then there are liberal ways of being a Catholic. I am now in the fear, fundamentalist, don’t do anything bad or you’ll go to hell school, but I’m having to train myself so that I can make intelligent decisions about my choices. And that is part of my art practice.

Mary: So there are fundamentalists and then liberals on totally opposite ends of the spectrum?

Linda: Well, there is a kind of radical liberal on the other side of the pendulum from fundamentalists, and then there is conservative in the middle. The fundamentalist say, you can’t do anything, and then with liberals there are women priests, but they get excommunicated from the church. Having come from an Eastern playground of permission, love, and joy and peace and then back into this punitive church is my work right now. And yet, you know it’s almost embarrassment because people say, “what the hell are you doing, you use to be so fun. Come play with me.”

Mary: but for some reason that doesn’t sound like it’s stifling you…

Linda: no, no. it’s just a different call. A different path. And I was getting in trouble being out here. I was having affairs, which was hurting me and them. I need “no, no, no, no.” I needed no, no, no. I needed focus because I wasn’t doing good.

Mary: Maybe fun for other people, but not you.

Linda: Yeah. I needed a change.

Mary: It’s tricky in the art world, there is a lot of “whatever goes” attitudes towards individual choice, behavior, and morality. Often those attitudes translate further into; the more wild or rebellious the artist is, the better the art produced.

Linda: Well that’s the training. You almost go to art school to get that. And I was training people like that, with that mantra.

Mary: It seems like people need to have their view of the world shaken a bit in order to make interesting work. If you never question, explore, experiment, the artist will find it hard to produce anything beyond the mundane. So, the “art school” training is not entirely unfounded. One needs to break out of the mold of conformity and similarity of culture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one must go through rebellious debauchery.

Linda: Exactly. I think it really is, “whatever goes” in order to get to transcendence. And during the process, it’s like we broke that myth, we broke that stereotype of the need for money, security… greed, our upbringing, the fear of death. We got all that worked out, but some people just need to find that through doing things that are bombastically, chaotically, permissive…and that’s what I had to do. Would you say a prayer?

Mary: Yeah. God thank you for this time. This moment to share where we are both at in our artistic processes and our spiritual journeys. How those two things relate, and how that feeds us and lets us grow closer to you, God. Thanks you for this lovely cold day and our time together. Thank you Lord.

I DREAMED I WAS MOTHER TERESA: by LINDA MARY MONTANO

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there lived an old, old old and getting older girl-child who dreamed that she was Mother Teresa. On awakening she asked herself,"How could anybody have the nerve to dream that she is Mother Teresa?" Remember , this is a dream , and it happened because a cute, pink MY LITTLE PONY dream-horse spoke to the girl in her dream and said, "Old old older girl-child, on the third, sixth, ninth and twelth day of the seventh month, you can sit on my back and I will ride you to a special place where you can pretend to be Mother Teresa." The old girl always wanted to be Mother Teresa and said,"This is wonderfull but why me? I'm not nun material, because I like to fight against life." "How do you do fight, you are too old to fight?" said the pink pony.

The old , old one said, I dont fight with my fists anymore because I have no strength, I fight life because:

I worry about my 401K

I watch Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood,Kathe Lee and Hoda,CNN, Cash Cab,The View

I fight life because I eat tons of dairy products


BOO HOO, BOO HOO, BOO HOO: I dont want to fight but:

I keep fighting life because I drive a gas guzzler

I have taken abouut 399 face book quizzes

I cook along with Rachel Ray

I laugh uncontrollably at I LOve Lucy re-runs

I have only one tomatoe plant in my garden

OH BOOOO HOOO pink dream pony, the list goes on and on and on, Im so bad, bad bad.

The pink dream pony was aghast and concerned and said, "You are right old girl, you arent Mother Teresa material." And that made her cellulited legs shake and made her feel worse and she confesssed even more and said, "BoooHoo, Im a lost cause, a facebook junkie, a tv addict and carbon footprint disaster. Im an American-aholic. Help me Help me Help me pinkster! Im asking for help but how can you, a tiny MY LITTLE PONY with a pink tail help me?

(S.D.Change music here to the CD:PAVAROTTI NESSUM DORMA..Volume lowish while talking then really loud when the text finishes...make sure turn the cd off when the song is over..or down as i leave stage....)


The pink pony said,"Close your eyes, feel my every word and in this dream prayer of ST FRANCIS OF ASSISSI, you will change.


LORD MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF YOUR PEACE

WHERE THERE IS HATRED LET ME SEW LOVE

WHERE THERE IS INJURY, PARDON

WHERE THERE IS DOUBT, FAITH

WHERE THERE IS DESPAIR ,HOPE

WHERE THERE IS DARKNESS , LIGHT

WHERE THERE IS SADNESS, JOY

OH DIVINE MASTER:GRANT THAT I MAY NOT SO MUCH SEEK TO BE CONSOLED AS TO CONSOLE

TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS TO UNDERSTAND

TO BE LOVED AS TO LOVE

FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE,

IT IS IN PARDONING THAT WE ARE PARDONED

IT IS IN DYING THAT WE ARE BORN TO ETERNAL LIFE, AMEN


The old old one said,"Oh wow, I have put down my boxing gloves and now I WAKE UP!

I have forgotten about WENDY WILLIAMS , KATIE KOURIC, DAN RATHER, TRAVIS SMILEY AND my retirement fund!

I can NOW feel like MOTHER TERESA! Smile like her!Laugh like her!Cry like her! Help like her!Act like her! And bless like her!


( S.D. CD SOUND UP A LITTLE LOUDER)


And that is the end of the story and beginning of an ecstatic dream about how an old, old older girl child learned how to celebrate life ,celebrate the air and moon and herself and celebrate everyone and still live in this old older olderst dream world of beginning to end.


( S.D.TURN CD REALLY REALLY REALLY LOUD AS I LEAVE OR MAYBE I HAVE LEFT ALREADY, WHO KNOWS)

PERFORMANCE OF EVERYDAY LIFE

With respect for my living art lineage and those who inspired me, I refrain from mentioning the 3878947982 artists' names because this always indicates exclusion and bad feelings. But please know that I participate, as a practicing performance artist, in a still lively and co-collaborated trend, journey, history and google-able phenomena which allows us to offer our personal lives as material/memoir for our art.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 1: MONEY

Live artists often don't have to buy art materials because their post traumatic stresses, unrequited loves, daughters' first birthday parties, eating disorders, tango dancing and chronic illnesses are already there waiting, FREE; waiting for low budget transformation and voice.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 2: TIME

Life/art artists love to mold time, endure in time, play with time, structure time, repeat time, eliminate time, silence time treating it as if it were steel, paint, wood, stone.....

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 3: PERMISSION

Living art gives permission for anything , everyone, everything and everybody to be used as art. This permission of inclusion, headily practiced without boundaries or ethical concerns until the 90's,allowed for a 30-year play land of intelligent limitlessness and ecstatic trance.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 4:PARTICIPATION

We, life/artists, antennenned ourselves and through atmospheric, vibrational frequencies, picked up ideas (1950-1990) already conversantly fertile. Ideas from India, Japan, Asia, from feminism, from the civil rights movement, from the drug culture, from musicians and we rocked our way into a brave new world, alongside these co-rocking practitioners.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 5: MYSTICISM

We, living artists, really believed that we were altering our consciousness by altering our bodies, our faces, our identities, our names, our personas, our genders, our beliefs and our everyday lives. And this felt sacred, non-commodifi-able, and verging on the mystical. Like early believers, freely we shared photo images, ideas, food, gig information, studios, money, and kudos...without thought of litigiousness, verification of copyright, plagiarism issues or bitter intellectual property battling. Our grandfathers walked to school 14 miles shoeless in the snow, as the story goes. We wax poetic as well about our holy and happy early living art years.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 6:TEACHING

Many of us became so conversant with the genre, with the history, with the technology of dissemination (documentation via video , audio), that we accepted the charter and invitation to teach by example, by writing but also in academia where we learned how to muzzle our instincts for wildness so we could ethically direct other artists in progress(students).Guided by experience and tenure denials, some of us were able to carefully monitor our artist friends' enthusiasms and we directed them toward a more guarded/boundaried living art expression.

Why we made/ make an art of everyday life:

NUMBER 7:DEATH

Now, trained to be artists of all of life, some of us segue trembling toward our most dramatic performance, our death. Now, accustomed to recycling our every insult, every illness, every disappointment, every marriage, every divorce, every death of parents, every hot flash, every betrayal, every beauty, every truth. We have every credential needed to make artfully sacred our last, documented, youtubed eternal and soft final breath.

LINDA MARY MONTANO

St Teresa of Avila Linda Mary Montano

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

QUESTIONS FROM LINDA MARY MONTANO TO GODDARD SKYPE WORKSHOP, 2008...

1. What is the result of "paying attention" to another in performance?

2. How doesw it "feel" to receive attention during performance?

3. What to do with the attention once accrued? How share it?

4.Is art a transformative medicine?

5.Is art the only permission we really have?

6.Are there examples of cultures who live as art and dont have to "make" art? How can we do that?

7.The brain and art....authenticity and art....Can Temple Grandin and IN MY LANGUAGE, work by 2 autistic women be seen as models of AUTHENTICITY and how can our work become so natural to us that it has this kind of authenticity....although their work is not "art" they can become mentors of authenticity.

8.Who are current performance artists using the medium aesthetically?

9.The computer is our new best friend and so we spend hours there with "her"(computer) and our human face is the new taboo, the new genital.Is the human body devalued and beoming unnecessary?

10.Is the invisibly computer community preparing us for robotic life and robotic intelligence?

11. What is the effect of the delete button on culture?

12.Time and duration are to perforance art as paint is to a painter.

13.Have reality shows commodified early performance concepts stripping themes of the "sacred" from early work but adding new gifts?What are the current gifts? Lack of fear of competiton and money,and what else??

14.Is performative persona a way to switch from persona drama and trauma and creative schizoprenia?

15.Performance endurance is a homeopathic medicine which prepares for the endurance of life itself which is like an endurance.

16.Why are all the voices on american idol the same? What is authenticity? Is it necessary?Are we capable of it? Do we want it?

17.What is the power of Blessing and touch in our art or life? Is it more necessary because of the internet?

18. What can we teach ourselves to do? Where does this inspiritiion come from? Trauma? Dreams? Researcdh? Need to help others?

19.Neuroscience might be the new art?

20.Are we culturally so "combined" that cultural imperialsim is impossible?? How do you feel when you "borrow" and become a "fusion" artist?Is this generation or the next one more able to fuse cultural symbols so that feeling like an "image thief" will no longer be an issue or option?

21 What is one world art?

22.What is "roots" art?

23.Non-violent communication( google) and truth telling nonviolently, might be an interesting paradigm for peace making. As well as becoming more generic so as not to offend others culturally?

24 WHAT IS TRUTH?

Linda Mary Montano, 2008

For performances, Art/Life Counseling, teaching, videos:
LINDA MARY MONTANO
THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE
9 JOHN STREET
SAUGERTIES NEW YORK, 12477845-246-4482
WWW.LINDAMONTANO.COM ; www.vdb.org
HTTP://LINDAMARYMONTANO.BLOGSPOT.COM

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Performing Oneself or Someone Else /An Interactive Interview Between Linda Mary Montano and Nicolas Dumit Estevez


[Dear Reader: please insert your own questions or responses in all of the blank spaces following an L or an N. After filling in the blanks, you can perform Linda or Nicolas by inviting a friend to read the interview aloud. If you find yourself alone, you can perform both people. Create different voices for L and for N]

L: Linda
N: Nicolas

N: Linda, after attending your performance Mask On/Mask Off, at the Gershwin Hotel in Manhattan I was wondering if we should invite the reader to wear a wig, to tease his/her hair or to do his/her hair in a different style before engaging in this piece?

L: Great idea. Now everyone put on your extensions!!!!!!!!!!!

N: For nearly a lifetime you have been performing so many characters. Can you tell us where they come from?

L: I was a "silent selective mute" as a child. That term I made up ....but I remember staying in silence forever. My family was very quiet and silent, My Italian grandparents didn’t talk much because they didn’t know English or didn’t like America maybe? Not sure. And my other grandparents who did speak English were quiet also. So I watched everything very closely and when TV first came to the house and people were talking, I learned how to talk from all of those characters I imagine. Senor Wenslous...very difficult, very easy. Remember? And then there was the church where I spent hours in silence, very happily, dreaming of how to become a saint.

N: Can you give us some suggestions for allowing hidden aspects of our personas to come to the surface and to take on a physical shape? By this I mean to become a tangible character that can be explored privately or publicly?

L: Everybody does this already. We play around with friends and talk differently, fooling around, using accents and personas with them. I would say, the next time you get in a tough spot, have one of your personas work it out for you. Also see who is in your unconscious, lurking there, and give that persona a voice and task.

N:

L:

N: Why Masks? Mask on and off? Are you implying that we wear masks in our day to day?

L: We are always performing and sometimes a persona will take over and confront or stay too long inside us and the idea of seeing this dance as a mask dance is helpful to me. No mask is a bad mask. Each mask is take-on and take-offable. On our death bed, there is only a death mask.

N: Would you consider leaving a blank L for the reader to fill in or maybe asking him/her a question? You are welcome to choose.

L: What mask do you wear ? How does your spiritual practice help you play with your 902348309248 daily masks?

N: Unfortunately we are running out of space. Is there another place or dimension where the reader can continue this conversation with you? Perhaps electronically or astrally?

L: Of course. I give classes on the phone, I have workshops , I do skype, I have published books: (ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE, 1980; PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80'S, 1997; LETTERS FROM LINDA M. MONTANO; 2005, YOU TOO ARE A PERFORMANCE ARTIST: THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE INTERACTIVE BOOK, (pending) .These books have all of this information in them and then there is my blog (http://lindamarymontano.blogspot.com), which includes my MASKS essay....Or get a wig, a good CD and go for it by yourself but remember TO BE SAFE, BE CAREFULL and never hurt your body or mind or anyone else’s.

N: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add anything else?

L: Sometimes we have to practice being the persona we need to be in order to function more beneficially or we adopt a mask to help us empty the refuse from a subconscious persona who is living in the dark dungeon of our memory. Masks smooth that journey to knowledge..WHO ARE U????

LINDA MARY MONTANO, SAUGERTIES, NY DECEMBER 6, 2009

Photograph: Nicolas Dumit Estevez

MASKS:

PART 1:INTRODUCTION
Thank you Neke Carson for hosting this event and thanks to Veronica Vera for asking Neke to host the event. In this season of gratitude I would like to thank my deceased friends who mentored, inspired and permissioned my being an artist.
1. My parents Mildred and Henry Montano,both artists who modeled that art was a good path.
2. My grandmother, Magdalena Becker Kelly,for her wild wisdom and singing sans false teeth on holidays
3. I thank Mitchell Payne, photograper and light giver.
4. I thank Barbara Lehmann, writer, performance art collaborator.
5. And I thank Dr Aruna Mehta, second mother, teacher and dispenser of blessings.
Although all of them have left this world, their invisible applause is always in my heart.
I invite you to bring to your memory someone who always supported your creativity, thank them and see them applaud and encourage you, even now.

And I thank you, my colleagues for choosing to hire a babysitter,buy a subway ticket, take a bus or taxi, thanks for eating a quick burritto, opting out of your Pilates class and coming here when you could be home wrapped in your leopard SNUGGIE,bathed in the comfort of reflected light: light from your flat screen TV,light from your laptop,light from your open refrigerator, watching re-runs of Wendy Williams, Dr Oz, Conan, Anthony Bourdain,Caesar Millan,Dr Drew's Celebrity Rehab, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Bootcamp, ...You could be watching Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell,you could be watching your avatar float in second life, ...You could be arguing with Whoppie and Joy on The View, crying with Wife Swap,watching Prince sing to Travis Smiley or travel to a near east hotel with Anderson Cooper...I feel bad because I do admit that being face to face is a big sacrifice especially without technological access to control, alt, delete, off, hide and remove buttons, our new friends. Thank you, thank you for giving ME face and endured time.But no, lets digress and clear the air.Why am I so insistent on this? Why do I feel guilt and shame again? You see, I have the patience for only one minute max of Anne Sexton/Peggy Lee and Thomas Merton youtube posts on facebook.But wait, I cant feel guilty because we will do a group ice breaker performance and that will be a blast, and I give you permission to use your Blackberries, you can text,surf your apps, answer your ringing cell phones, you can twitter,iphone,create a new 2nd life persona, network,do facebook, email, take bathroom breaks without asking permission, and after my one hour 4 minute video,(edited by the inimitable Tobe Carey) you can share in the group wig performance. A certain resume boost.

PART 2:THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE FILM MASKS;
Over the last 40 years I have periodically played with persona and gender as an art material, becoming imagined and real people. I call this work, Creative Schizophrenia, that is, I choose to leave my personality for aesthetic purposes and for medical research.Some have no chopice and that is called Life.
In the 70's in the middle of a life trauma I sat in front of a TV camera on a daily basis for a year and talked to it resulting in the film: LEARNING TO TALK(VDB).A medical note: I suggest that this would be a wonderfull cure for other selective mutes with PTSD.The seven women who came out of me at that time seemed competent, verbally secure, but culturally limited, vapid, complicit and secretly competitive.I was in my late 30's.I call them the MASK ON people,
IN the 90"s, as a reaction to menopause, a tenure dilemma and countless other personal tsunamis, I made the film, SEVEN STAGES OF INTOXICATION. The seven women I became acted as if they were marginalized terrorists, abused addicts, dangerous alcoholics and furious narcissists.But actually,I use the alcholic persona as a metaphor for the meditator in spiritual rapture,the meditator Divinely Intoxicated, in unspeakable ecstasy. See Teresa of Avila, St Francis of Assissi. I call them the MASK OFF people.
In the year 2003 I began to see myself as a puppett and I also wanted to become real and not imagined people.Real, like Hillary Clinton, Bob Dylan,,etc. One of the tragedies of this category is that when I asked another real person if I cold be/duplicate her she rejected my offer. Very dishartening and a reason to retreat to SECOND LIFE, I suppose.The real people I have become have real imperfections and private hells that are exposed by TMZ, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, Wolf Blitzer and Oprah. I call them the MASK ON AND OFF people.
2005 THE LAST MASK was put on, the death mask, the last straw. Not so bad when my teacher Dr.RS Mishra talked so easily about death, "You are already Dead." and "Die Daily" via meditation and I add, via our art . Why die daily? To quiet the other masks because he also said, "You have a daily choiceof heaven or hell..." and another great one..."We all have a MOTHER TERESA AND HITLER inside us...." And Lama Tarchin said 20 years ago to me In the Quashas' kitchen while looking at masks on the wall,"Take off your mask." Now I understand what he was saying and I call this fourth mask research performance, THE LAST MASK.

PART 3: WHY THE NUMBER 4?
For the sake of order and structure I am using the number 4 to talk about these 4 masks that we all share. Maybe these following lists can be templated over the concept of mask to see similarites, make associations, compare information. Please imagine a spread sheet and for each category mentioned, there is a correspondence between the mask and the "category".

1.Psychology says there are four levels of consciousness:
unconscious... located in the midbrain...MASK OFF
subconscious.....located in the diencephalon...MASK ON
conscious...all parts of the brain above the midbrain i.e. the diencephalon and cerebral cortex...MASK OFF AND ON
superconscious...all parts of the brain...NO MASK
now we must find a psychiatrist and neurosurgeon to explain this.
2.Hindus say there are definately 4 Chakras but more like 7(use the same MASK analogy as above)
Muladhara
Svadhistana
Manipura
Anahat
associated with the colors Red,Orange,Yellow,Green
Corresponding with
love and affection
security and safety
power and control
compassion
And the 4 chakras are locted in the first 4 glands:
ovaries/testes
pancreas
adrenals
thymus
But we must find a Brahmin to explain this meditation model.
3.Then there is the medical world which says we have four brain waves:
Beta: 3-35 oscillations, normal thinking
Alpha: 8-13 oscillations , rest
Theta: 4-8 oscillations ,children, adults, dreams, strong emotions
Delta: 3-5 oscillations, sleeping newborns
Where is the doctor?
4.And there is:
Hell
Purgatory
Limbo
Heaven...
BAPTISM
COMMUNION
CONFIRMATION
MARRIAGE
Where is the priest?
All I know is that on a minute to minute basis, I move in and out of gehanna then paradise, in and out of terror then spa , in and out of leaving then staying.....A mask dance without end.

PART 4: MY INTENTION IN MAKING THIS FILM:
1.I love structure . Number and form are important focuses and a reliable foundation and grounding that give me pleasure even when there is no content. I could make a film about numbers, structure and concept alone and be very happy.
2.But also, the message of hope is important ...that is, that we all share this condition of going in and out of mental waves but that there is a way out. And so the film,MASKS, has an instructional value and my nun self likes that especially when I translate and see addictions as misguided ecstasy and really spirituality gone amuck.
3.The tape is a study in time because there is really boring footage from the 70s in this film. Then,time was long and cheap and it is so hard to endure it now . We get to see how our attention has changed in the last 30 years.More instruction.
4. My intention is always to point to death in my work, either formally MITCHELLS DEATH or as metaphor, LYING DEAD CHICKEN LIVE ANGEL, where I lay on a CHICKEN BED for 3 hours...resting? preparing? motionless? meditating?
5. My last intention is to look at secrets as art....my own secrets, secrets I've seen or heard about, political secrets, cosmic secrets...They have to get out and get unwound from our organs our brains our minds and once we Hiermonyous Bosch them out, we feel better,the viewer feels better,purified and cleansed. Art is so generous and we artists are chosen to do this job for all. Art lets us spew the dark out,laugh with and at it and Mother Art then transforms the puke so it is no longer small t-truth. Mother stirs and cooks it, feeding our hunger and turns our stuff into big T-Truth .Mounting this TRUTH, we ride BEAUTY GOLD into the sky.

PART 5 DISCLAIMER:
1. In the final wig performance after the video:please use no blood , no urine, no semen, no phlem,no fire, no knives, no sputum, no physical harm to self or others, no bombs, no guns ,no tazer guns.See my archive for how I incorporated a similar list of no's when I taught performance at UT Austin.Now raise your hand and sign an invisible release form that says you will not sue me, send a lawyer after me, hold me accountable on any level for anything you see, hear, do or wear tonight.(sign the air)
2.I ask your pardon and absolution for using accents so freely in my film. I grew up in a family where my Italian grandparents spoke very little english and what they did speak , they did so with a very thick accent which I found fascinating and I use the accent now with all due respect and with honor for all immigrants facing language issues and cultural isolation.
3.WARNING: There are references to alcoholism, profanity, urine therapy, abuse, medical interventions in this tape so:
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
4. I_________________________________________DO NOT HOLD LINDA MARY MONTANO ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY THING.DATE.___________________________________.

LINDA MARY MONTANO
NOVEMBER 21, 2009
FEAST DAY OF THE PRESENTATION OF MOTHER MARY IN THE TEMPLE
SAUGERTIES NEW YORK:TRANSFIGURATION HOUSE

THE COLLECTED WORDS AND ADVICE OF DR. ARUNA MEHTA

by Linda M. Montano

1. Always do the truth and tell the truth.

2 . No hurry, no worry.

3. Watch and wait.

4. Keep mum.

5. Smile. I had to teach myself to smile.

6. Life is life.

7.There is a little bit of bad and little bit of good in everyone.

8. Scorn the past, watch the present, dream the future.

9. Get up early and watch the sunrise.

10. Serve others.

11. Be positive and say(to your sick daddy), how can I help you?

12. Keep your spiritual life private.

13. Don't tell others,"I do this sadhana, I do that meditation", otherwise you get more ego.

14. Serve(your daddy) and others as if they are God.

15. Food is God.

16. Food is love.

17. The spiritual life is the highest life.

18. When you are suffering you are burning old karma.

19. In friendship, keep an open heart and tell what is on your mind.

20. When any problem comes, be quiet 5-10 minutes, then your mind will tell you what to do.

21. Every atman is the same, just like your atman.

22. Behave kindly, sweetly,politely.

23. Don't hurt anybody, don't hit anybody.

24. Nobody is bad but circumstances make people upset and angry so they talk bad or act bad toothers. But don't mind that. Think about the atman.

25. When you shop, buy the right color, the right size, pay the right price.

26. An ant has an atman, grass has an atman, bee has an atman,humans have an atman. The atman is the same , so don't hurt or kill. This is called sundrasti.

27. An angry person does not think what is good,what is bad.If angry you think I will do double trouble to you. But this is not good. After two days you will see the truth of the situation and feel better.

28. Help everyone. Treat them like you are helping God.

29. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! You never know what will happen tomorrow.

30. Life is short so have a smile face.

31. Have trust. Let go of worry.

32. Say to yourself, a good day is coming. Today I will pray for a good
day.

33. It is good to do everything with love.

34. If you are angry, find ways to stop the mind immediately. Enjoy something else.Watch yourmind. Stop the bad thoughts and do something good.Don't think the bad thing.

35. Human beings have intelligence.They have knowledge of good and bad.So this human life is important.

36. Do many good works. Other living beings, like rocks, cannot do this. We should not waste a second.

37. We do not know how much time we have. A day, a week, a month, a year, two years. So don't worry.

38. Life is to enjoy.

39. When you have upset, take it off your mind or tell someone, or else inside it is moving more and more.

40. Time is money. Don't lose one minute.

41. When someone is sick, be positive, give consolation. Don't act sick also.

42. When we are suffering it is from our past karmas.So suffer and burn the karmas.

43. When people eat the food I make, I am happy. And if there is not enough food for me, that is OK, because I am full from happiness.

44. Write down all of your doctor visits, times, money spent and information. Keep that with you at all times. Be organized.

45. Let's go!

46. Change your mind.

47. Do one thing at a time.When I cook, I concentrate only on cooking.

48. Do everything slowly. Don't hurry!

49. When people say negative things, don't mind it.

50. Do japa-mala so you can have a happy life.That way bad karma can go away and you can have peace.

51. We don't know how long we live, but we do our spiritual life, and this knowledge always comes with you next birth.

52. Now, all I do is mala(japa-prayers), to make happy everybody in the world.

53. LOVE is HAPPINESS!!

A MODERN FAIRY TALE

Once upon a time, in a small mountain village, there lived a person who was older and yet was still dreaming of life and flowers and flying birds and clean rivers and fresh vegetables and sunny days and moon lit nights.

One day this person who we will call Aunt Ganna, woke up in her sunny bedroom and she had a very sore neck....In fact she could not control her neck because it moved her whole face and head to the left and so when she wanted to look straight ahead, her head looked over her shoulder to the other side.

Aunt Ganna said to the sun, "Oh sun, you shine on me all the time. I promise, I am not turning my head away from your beauty, I am not turning from your warmth, or your light.Do you believe me?"

The sun responded, "I know Aunt Ganna, you always like me and I dont feel abandoned because you dont face me. I still like you."

Aunt Ganna was so happy and smiled and laughed and said ha ha ha ho ho ho hee hee hee.

The next day she woke up and her head still turned and she went outside that night and looked up at a beautifull full moon and a sky filled with stars and said, "Oh moon and stars, please know I still like you and I am still your friend and I look to the side when I see you because I just do that. Not on purpose, it just happens.It doesnt mean that I dont like you all. You are so bright and pretty and light my life and your stars twinkle and shine like a beautifull shining light show. Please know I like all of you."

The moon responded, "Aunt Ganna, we know you are our friend and we always shine on everyone so dont worry."

And then Aunt Ganna sat down to eat and she picked up her spoon filled with yogurt and granola, a delicious breakfast, and when she brought her spoon to her mouth, her head turned without her permission and the spoon of breakfast food landed right on her right cheek! What a mess it was but Aunt Ganna laughed ha ha ha ho ho ho hee hee hee and said, "Wow this is an interesting situation. All kinds of things are happening to me and I am learning how to find the whole thing entertaining and fun." And then she laughed again ha ha ha ho ho ho hee hee hee.

A small garden creature then said to her, "Aunt Ganna we know you are happy for our food and happy that we feed you and we are not disturbed when you place food on your cheek instead of your inside your mouth, so dont worry."

That night, Aunt Ganna went to sleep at 7o'clock as she usually did so that she could dream as long as possible, and when she was asleep, a dream message came to her. First she saw a beautifull , tiny little flying angel girl and this angel wore wonderfull flowing clothes and the angel was about 2 inches tall. The angel was spreading angel dust all over Aunt Ganna and whispered in her ear, " Aunt Ganna, you have passed the test. I am your smile teacher, your good mood guardian and I see that you are smiling with the sun and the moon and with the garden beings and that you are accepting everything with a laugh and having a good time. I am proud of you and now want to give you your reward. Here is a jar of angel dust, that is for you to remind yourself to smile inside your heart. Does that make you happy?"

Aunt Ganna was very very happy and told the smile angel that she appreciated the gift and from that time and forever, Aunt Ganna smiled the SMILE OF GRATITUDE and lived happily ever after.
The beginning and not the end.

ROMAN CATHOLIC PERFORMANCE ARTIST MANIFESTO:AN EMAIL SENT TO POPE BENEDICT





+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ROMAN CATHOLIC PERFORMANCE ARTIST MANIFESTO:AN EMAIL SENT TO POPE BENEDICT

Dear Pope Benedict:
It is with a heart filled with contradictions and paradox that I address this letter to you. It is a letter of public admission of my position as a Catholic Performance Artist. The title is almost a contestable oxymoron. How can they both co-exist....the vocation to be a performance artist and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church?This is mystery.

I was raised strict/conservative Roman Catholic in a village in upstate NY in the 40's,50's and even entered a convent leaving as a novice after 2 years. It is important and imperative that I mention here that the order of nuns was Maryknoll;probably the most forward thinking, liberal , human/activist yet Christo-centered and ecumenical religious order ever founded. And as an aside, it is also interesting to note that Maryknoll priest-activist Father Roy Bourgeoise, is currently facing possible excommunication from you for having attended a ceremony of priesthood for a Catholic woman, who is called to that vocation and recieved the sacrament of Holy Orders outside the traditional Church.

After the convent I left the church and practiced eastern theologies; finding answers, comfort ansd spiritually usefull techniques in their mystical/conmtemplative practices.
And at that time, as an artist, I was able to personally/aesthetically respond creatively to anything I considered unfair/unjust/unwise/inhuman, by making art that was religiously irreverant but comically convincing of my secular position.

Everything changed when I began a full-time university teaching job and my students cloned my thinking/permission; becoming as wild, free and spontaneous as I was. But I smelled trouble because there were instances when literally fire/blood/their traumas became the raw material for their art---material that I never feared for myself but when my art-children became conversant with possible danger,I ran for cover and accountability and teachings;back to the church. First the Newman center, then counseling with a Catholic therapist-priest, daily Mass and gradually I turned 360 degrees around, no longer the feminist, no longer laughing at the Church's stumblings and sins with irony and pain, no more spoofing its moral un-accountability, no longer undressing my body,mind or spirit in public and calling any of it ART.

Why am I here today? I come to the steps of your Church, Pope Benedict, with trembling. I have returned home full time : home to Holy Mass,and the Sacraments but I return as a new Catholic, not knowing how to compassionately address my concerns as a Roman Catholic Performance Artist. Here are a few things on my mind:

1. BIRTH CONTROL:
I personally believe that using birth control should be a free choice for all Catholics. Sexual intimacy is sacred and life-giving when practiced consensually and is an expression of love with or without birth-control.
The Church believes in sexual abstinence before marriage and in birth control after marriage;deamanding that Catholics use only the rhythm method, a method impossible for those unable to learn the subtitles of when to have sex, taking temperatures to see when it is safe, etc. And what about those couples who have compromised health issues:(AIDS/HIV/STD'S).Are we asking them to not wear condoms and literally kill each other when they make love?
The paradox: I see my belief and your values as equally applaudable and correct but yours as impractical and unreasonable for "real" people .

2. PRE-MARITAL SEX:
Pope Benedict: I beleive that pre-marital sex and pre-marital habitation are natural and necessary pre-requisites for a future happy relationship and sensible way to become acquainted.
The Church teaches that abstinence before marriage is the law.
The paradox: I see both values as wonderfull. I am aware of the beauty of obedient and sexual waiting ;waiting and then allowing the Power of the Sacrament of Marriage to become the sacred cement to keep 2 people loyal and committed to each other. What an ideal!
But I also value my belief that having sexual relationships outside of marriage can be very sacred as well.

3.GAY/LESBIAN LOVE:
Pope Benedcit, love is love and when 2 men or 2 women love each other, and even want to express that love in marriage, it is in my estimation natual and correct.
The Church believes that M/F marriage is the law and that law has been traditonally practiced so long and is biblically documented as theologically correct.
The Paradox: I see the beauty of my belief and I see the beauty of the Church's teaching.

4. MASTURBATION:
Pope Benedict, as a Roman Catholc Performance Artist, I believe that the Church's teaching on masturbation is equally distrubing. Healers, feminists,medical professionals and radical thinkers agree that using masturbation as prayer and self-care, both chemically adjusts the body for health and spirtually elevates the soul.
The Church believes that masturbation is immature self-abuse, yes that is the word you use to describe masturbaiton! It is catechetically listed as a mortal sin, and that equals hell!
The Paradox: This conflict of beliefs leaves me mute and chained.

5.THE CLERGY:
Pope Benedict, as a Roman Catholic Performance Artist, I beleive that the Church's position on the clergy is totally unreasonable and debatable for many reasons. First, there are vocationally called holy/ready/willing women eager to become priests, deaconesses, bishops and Popes.The fact that the hierarchy holds tight reigns on the office of the male priesthood and celibate clergy, another contentious issue, is obviously not practical, wise and is blantantly unfair. Where is the justice here, Pope Benedict? Do you want to continue to see more churches closed and your people without leadership and priestly ministry? We women are waiting for an invitation. Call us.
The Church believes that only non-gay males can hold the office of priesthood.
The Paradox: I remain silent and prayerfull and only hopefull that rules from Rome change in my lifetime and as a Performance Artist, I vow never again to address this issue with cynicism as I have done in the past. Now,bruised by age and doubt, I take the position of aesthetic/poetic, private admission of my own pain at MY inability to be more public about this outrageous injustice against women amd men who can not enter the priesthood if admittedly gay and must remain celibate once there.

6.DYING:
The end of a Catholic's life, like the end of anyone's life, is a totally mysterious journey, unique to the traveller.I believe that it should be as natural and when appropriate, unassisted by medical interventions as possible.Otherwise, family and caregivers are fraught with even more sorrow, remorse, shame,and protracted grief if hydration/tube feeding is not clearly explained. Who can/should/would/will do this teaching?
The Church is so very strict and cryptic about care at the endgame that the family is often confused. Why even the most astute and practiced moral theologians would find it difficult to make correct judgments at the bedside of some of the dying Catholics I have observed attempting to leave their bodies.
Pope Benedict:Help us. Don't tell us we are sinning or killing our loved ones unnecessarily because we opted for no more interventions.I beg you to create conventions;conferences where translators of the Church's teachings on death and dying can talk with us;symposiums with eschatologists/ethicists/moral theologians who can not only re-think/translate the Cathechism's interpretations of this issue but help all of us struggling to make holy, discerned decisions about tubes/plugs/water and then when the decisions are once made,help us forgive ourselves for what we have decided for we will be faced with the horror of loss and guilt at possibly having made a mistaken choice.Be with us, Church, don't judge us!
The Paradox:Dying Eskimo elders supposedly used to leave their community and walk onto a chunk of floating ice, to courageoulsy choose death.How foreign and un-Roman Catholic that sounds and , OH , how right!

I end this manifesto with a prayer:
HOLY SPIRIT, guide my brain and thinking. Help me to respect the needs and values of this Church that I have re-joined.The Church that allows my soul to sing. The Church which feeds my hunger for spiritual ecstasy. The Catholic Church which sacramentally forgives my egregious mistakes, sins , omissions. But most important of all, the Church of the Real EUCHARISTIC PRESENCE!! These aspects of the Church are my life and hope. They help me overlook all of the issues I raised in the body of this letter.
HOLY SPIRIT: Help me! I see this Church and it's hierarchy as a reluctant and isolated great, great great grandfather. Venerable yes, hearing? Not sure. Seeing the need for compromise and other Truths? I wonder.
HOLY SPIRIT, I ask for a spirit of rigorous yet prayerfull respect for my own individaul sacred conscience and my "fundamental option" to obey my halting ,yet seen as correct beliefs, based on what I think are my right and pure intentions .
HOLY SPIRIT, in a spirit of research and study and dialogue and obedience, I remain a student of Real Presence cloaked under the mantle of Mary's kindness.

AND NOW, BEOFRE I END THIS LETTER, I MUST TELL YOU POPE BENEDICT: I AM NOT DOING ANY OF THE ABOVE; I AM NOT "SINNING" IN THOSE WAYS. I AM NOT MASTURBATING,I AM NOT CO-HABITATING,I AM NOT PRACTICING LESBIANISM, I AM NOT BECOMING A WOMAN-PRIEST,I AM GOING TO GET THE CHURCH'S ADVICE WHEN I AM ON MY DEATH BED REGARDING HYDRATION,I AM NOT USING BIRTH CONTROL BECAUSE I AM NOT HAVING SEX/AM NOT MARRIED AND IT IS A MOOT POINT BECAUSE I WILL BE 68 IN JANUARY 2010, NO LONGER IN NEED OF BIRTH CONTROL. WHAT AM I SAYING IN THIS LETTER? I AM ONLY EXPRESSING MY THINKING. IT IS ONLY NATURAL THAT I WISH YOUR THINKING WERE LIKE MINE AND THAT THE CHURCH'S WAY WAS MY WAY.BUT IT IS NOT. POPE BENEDICT.I OBEY. I AM ONLY WANTING CHANGE. BUT BE ALERTED THAT I AM LOYAL TO THE CHURCH'S BELEIFS.WHY THIS LOYALTY? I DO IT AS A PENANCE AND AS A WAY OF REPERATION FOR ALL OF THE MISTAKES OF MY PAST.BUT AGAIN, BEFORE I LEAVE, KNOW THAT I AM A FOUND SHEEP, LOST AND RETURNED, PRACTICING MY CATHOLICISM YOUR WAY.I AM NOT LIBERAL, I AM NOT A FEMINIST, I AM A STRICT CONSERVATIVE. I FOLLOW THE LETTER OF THE LAW BECAUSE FOLLOWING MY LAW LED TO TROUBLE FOR ME AND OTHERS. IF YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES I WILL APPLAUD AND BE HAPPY BUT IN THE MEANTIME, I SAY FIAT TO THE WORD OF THE CHRUCH , AS IT IS.

If you would like to discuss any of this with me, my email is lindamontano@hotmail.com, or if you would like to view my work, www.lindamontano.com, or call me to Rome and we can meet, face-to-face.
In Art/Life/Laughter/Tabor-Light,

Linda Mary Montano, Roman Catholic Performance Artist

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(the following poem is optional reading)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AN ARTIST TABORS HOME, by Linda Mary Montano, Roman Catholic Performance Artist

Now
my wounds, too egotistically putrid to share
are clutched close, neuroticized by time
dinasoured into fossil-eggs
sandblasted/etched/anorexiced
semi abstractly and so secretly
that they can only be admired in the gallery
of my own hungry mind.

Now
my wounds, loosened, colonic-ed
catapulted, ripped terminally
from DNA strands: poisoned, stiff-necked , sour
with the toxic waste of shame
placed on pedestals of pride
are self-viewed as one of a kind-mine

Now
my wounds , vomited, recycled,
birthed, breeched and torn
surgically from bloody scabs
are terroristically knifed into flesh
scarred with slime, a hostile brine

Now
my wounds are soft-coaxed
and angelically mid-wifed to infant dribble
nursing forth, arteried by transparent tubes
an operation of resuscitation, a visitation
performed at horizontal/vertical intersections
during autumn-like, golden light-nights
red to red
my wound to wed the ORIGINAL FIVE WOUNDS
until

Now
emptied, released,deprived of fight,
DIVINE FLIGHT
lovingly Tabors me home

Now

SHINE SHINE SHINE

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
September 21, 2008
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


September 21, 2008

Photographs: Nicolas Dumit Estevez. LINDA MARY MONTANO: reading THE CATHOLIC PERFORMANCE ARTIST MANIFESTO text, which was performed in front of St Patrick's Cathedral, by LINDA MARY MONTANO, Winter 2008, can be found/read at LINDA MARY MONTANO'S ARCHIVE. Present sites: THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE, 185 ABEEL ST , KINGSTON NY 12401 (VISITATION HOUSE),THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE, 9 JOHN ST, SAUGERTIES NY 12477 (TRANSFIGURATION HOUSE)..... pending sale to an Art Institution.

TEACHING

THE THREE P'S: PERMISSION TO PERFORM , NOT PUNISH

A class that gives 100% PERMISSION for the participants to mentor my PERFORMANCES/films/writings but to also examine current laws addressing copyright/intellectual property/estate planning/legal accountability so as not to be PUNISHED by the art-legal system. Or, it is better to know than to be PUNISHED!!!!


Currently we are experiencing a climate of free use/open door internet unlimited PERMISSION(for awhile??) and concurrently are sometimes the recepient of litigious threats from high powered lawyers for making "publishing sins" or legal blunders/misconceptions in our art practice.(Name yours here___________________________________________________.)

This class will examine:

1. CALENDAR

2. COPYRIGHT & view MONTANO'S website.

3.IRS DEDUCTIONS & MONTANO'S WEBSITE, participants' class performances based on Montano's influences and one other influence.

4. COPYRIGHT LAWS & a film by Montano; participants' class performances.

5. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & film by Montano; participants' class performances.

6. PUBLIC DOMAIN& MONTANOS BOOK: ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE; participants' class performances.

7. INFRINGEMENT & film by Montano ; participants' class performances.

8. CONTRACTS & BOOK BY MONTANO: PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80'S ;participants' class performances.

9. INTERNET PROTECTION & film by Montano: class peresentations of INTERVIEWS OF A LAWYER OR ARTIST BY PARTICIPANTS.

10 DUPLICATING PEOPLE & film by Montano: continue class presentations of INTERVIEWS WITH A LAWYER OR ARTIST.

11.SALE OF ART; &book by Montano LETTERS FROM LINDA M MONTANO; participants' class performances.

12.SOURCE MATERIAL &film by Montano: class performances based on Montano's book.

13. CONSIGNMENT & final projects

14 Final projects, summary, ending.

(Presentations of performances can be by physical actions/video/dvd/cd/internet etc)

REFERENCES:

WEB INFO ON PERFORMANCE ARTISTS

MOTANOS BOOKS:

ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE

PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80'S

LETTERS FROM LINDA M MONTANO

art law references ON INTERNET

ART LAW CONVERSATIONS by ELIZABETH T RUSSELL

lindamontano@hotmail.com

845 246 4482

TEACHING

PERFORMANCE ART/THE BRAIN/YOUR LIFE

LINDA MARY MONTANO with guest: DOCTOR NETTLETON PAYNE, M.D.

IMPETUS FOR THIS FOCUS:

Exact science has allowed for a clearer knowledge of what was once considered serendipitous myth, especially when defining creativity. Previously, terms like: depression, anorexia, bipolar, PTS , schizophrenia, OCD, alcoholism, sexual addiction, and neuroses were seen as reasons for artistic genius. But now ,because of better measuring devices; an advanced and computerized understanding of the chemistry and functioning of the brain; greater funding for brain research(because of a war); an aging population that demands more services; and a quickening of curiosity due to the recession and ecologic impetuses, we are invited to consider biologic causes of creativity which reference the scientific and some of the terms used are: temporal lobe,parietal cortex, hypergraphia, the Geschwind syndrone, aphasia,transcranial magnetic stimulation and the amygdala.

Our new trust in science helps explain why we create and the brain is relegated to the status of co-muse. But knowledge is not only power but sometimes surprise and upset. For example,will the new information that Blake's ecstacies might have been temporal lobe seizures, take away our breath and our fundamentalist faith or not! And how does this information effect our past beliefs and the future history of performance art?
Some other questions we will consider:

a.If art was once seen to have originated from divine inspiration but science suggests that it is the "fault" of the hippocampus,then perchance the brain itself is divine. Why not?

b.Are artists willing to concede that their practice is brain driven? What will that do to art?

c. Is art ascending toward mind/super brain? Will art be free of human intervention in the future?

d.Are artists becoming more comfortable and actually needing to include medical/biologic reasons for their genius as well as the muse's inspiration?

e.Are artists de=throned and not seen as willfully creative but more the puppett of their chemistry?

f. Can performance artists be categorized "medically" by the nature of their work: i.e. hypergraphia causes the desire to write...
frontal -lobe epilepsy causes Blake-like ecstatic visions..so instead of being an artist, one could be a hypergraphiaist?


THE CLASS:

PART 1:

We will study 1st generation (1960-1980) performance artists and their legacy as performance art pioneers, asking how their work contributed to an understanding of the issues of their times and how their creative practices helped re-define the brain and it's functions. Marina Abromovic;Tom Marioni;Paul McCarthy;Spaulding Grey;The Waitresses;Act-up;Annie Sprinkle;Franko-B;Bonnie Sherk; etc. Each week will feature a different artist and their work will inspire in-class performances.

PART 2:

We will become acquainted with medical experts/authors/internet sites researching current breakthroughs in brain functions:
stroke,autism,musicophilia,rightbrain teaching,tourettes,meditation,brain injury and compensations,dimentia etc.

A. Doctor Nettleton Payne, M.D. a neurosurgeon who taught at Emory University, will be invited to present a lecture on the brain and creativity. He will be available in person, skype or cell phone for Q&A half way through the semester. And he will attend the last class presentation of performances so he can witness the interface the class has made between creativity, the brain and their life.


PART 3:

Each class, the participants will demonstrate a positive/safe/intelligent/intuitive understanding of the value of re-contextualizing their everyday life as A WORK OF ART in a way that uses the brain as co-collaborator.This will be in some tangible form:performance,paper,DVD,CD.


PART 4: CLASSES:


CLASS 1: PRESENTATION OF THE CALENDAR FOR THE CLASSES

CLASS 2: PREPARATION; AUTISM; MARINA ABROMIVIC(artist); CLASS PERFORMANCES/PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 3: DR . NETTLETON PAYNE, MD, IN PERSON LECTURE: THE BRAIN AND CREATIVITY

CLASS 4: PREPARATION; TEMPLE GRANDIN(AUTISM); TOM MARIONI(artist);CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 5: PREPARATION; OLIVER SACKS(MUSICOPHILIA); SPAULDING GREY(artist); CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 6: PREPERATION; KRISNAMURTI ,THE BRAIN; LINDA MARY MONTANO(artist); CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 7:PREPERATION; EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE(BRAIN);PAUL MCCARTHY(artist); CLASS PRESENTATION

CLASS 8: PREPERATION; PRESENTATIONS OF INTERVIEWS WITH ARTISTS OR BRAIN EXPERTS

CLASS 9: PREPERATION: DAVID LYNCH:CONSCIOUSNESS,CREATIVITY AND THE BRAIN; GORILLA GIRLS(artist);CLASS PRESENTATION

CLASS 10: PREPERATION: SUPER BRAIN 1-8;FRANKO-B(artist), CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 11: PREPERATION: MUSIC THERAPY AND APHASIA; SUZANNE LACY(artist); CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 12: PREPERATION: ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN; ANNIE SPRINKLE(artist); CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 13:PREPERATION: CLASS PRESENTATIONS

CLASS 14: CLASS PRESENTATIONS, FINALS.

(Where "artist" is indicated, the artist will be studied and will not be present in the class, except for Montano.)

("Preperation" indicates that different physical exercises, sound exercises and theatre exercises will be practiced each class so that an atmosphere of trust and intuitive safety can be experienced.)

("Class presentations " indicates all aspects of class presentations made by participants including papers, dvds ,etc.)

REFERENCES:

BLACK SMOKE Margarite De Wys

MUSICOPHILIA Oliver Sacks

THE MIDNIGHT DISEASE, Alice Flaherty

ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN: Internet

THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF, Norman Doidge

THE LIFEIST/ARTIST CARE 4 LIFEIST/ARTIST CLUB

THE LIFEIST/ARTIST CARE 4 LIFEIST/ARTIST CLUB

LAC4LAC

MISSION STATEMENT:

Founded September 15,2007, LAC4LAC is a club for Artists/Lifeists who FREELY CARE for themselves and others in beneficial ways.

HOW TO JOIN: Each year, send your name and how you FREELY CARED:i.e.

Jane Green: 2007, library user
Jane Green: 2008, nature lover
jane Green: 2009, speech tutor & bicycle user

You will be written into:

THE BOOK OF CARE

an ongoing document of your participation in LAC4LAC.

WHERE TO SEND YOUR NAME: Email your information to: lindamontano@hotmail.com.

FEES: No fees, no costs.

SOME EXAMPLES OF CARE:

ACTIVISTS
ADOPTERS
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY USERS
ARCHIVISTS
ART POVERA-ISTS
BARTERERS
BICYCLE USERS
BIG SISTERS/BIG BROTHERS
BODHISATVAAS
CARBON OFFSETTERS
CAR POOLERS
CAREGIVERS
COMPANION GIVERS
COMMUNICATORS
COMPOSTERS
CONFESSORS
CONSERVERS
CREATORS
DEEP BREATHERS
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
DO IT YOURSELFERS
DONATORS
DUMPSTER DIVERS
ECO FRIENDLY PRACTICTIONERS
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHERS
FARMERS
FARMERS MARKET SHOPPERS
FORAGERS
FORGIVERS
FOOD PANTRY WORKERS
GARDENERS
GIVERS
GOOD NEIGHBORS
GREEN PRACTITONERS
HAND HOLDERS
HEALERS
HERMITS
HOSPICE MUSIC THERAPISTS
HYBRID CAR USERS
INTENTIONILISTS
JUNK RESTORERS
KARMA YOGIS
LIBRARY USERS
LOW MAINTENACE PRACTITIONERS
LOW IMPACTORS
MEDIATORS
MEDICAL/TECHNICAL ADVISORS
MEDITATIORS
MENTORS
NATURE LOVERS
NON-BUYERS
NON-COLLECTORS
NON-POSSESORS
NON-WASTERS
ORGAN/BODY DONORS
PEACE MAKERS
PEACE ACTIVISTS
PHILANTROPISTS
PHONE COUNSELLORS
PROBLEM SOLVERS
READERS TO CHILDREN/ELDERS
RECYCLERS
RENEWERS
RESTORERS
REUSERS
SEARCHERS
SHARERS
SMALL SPACE DWELLERS
SOLAR PANEL USERS
TREE PLANTERS
TUTORS
UTOPIAN DREAMERS
UNPLUGGERS
USED CLOTHING/OBJECT DISTRIBUTORS
VISITORS TO THE SICK/LONELY
VOLUNTEERS
WALKERS
WATER SAVERS
WATER SAVERS
WATER SAVERS

MARY

DEAR NICOLAS AND ALYSHIA,

 I AM ANSWERING THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MARY AND TRAVEL AND IMAGES AND PILGRIIMAGES AND CATHOLICISM AND THE VERY INTENSE AND ALMOST NEW INTEREST IN HER POWER THESE DAYS.

I GREW UP VERY STRICT AND ORTHODOX ROMAN CATHOLIC AND ALWAYS HAD A DEVOTION TO MARY AND THANK GOD THAT IT WAS ENCOURAGED BY THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL I ATTENDED.

MY MIDDLE NAME IS MARY AND AT CONFIRMATION I WAS ABLE TO CHOOSE ANOTHER NAME AND I CHOSE BERNADETTE BUT MY DAD SAID, YOU HAVE THE NAME MARY AND THAT WILL BE YOUR CONFIRMATION NAME..HE SAID,"MARY IS ENOUGH."    I NOW SEE THE WISDOM OF HIS WORDS.

SO THAT IS MY JOURNEY, TO REALIZE THAT SHE IS ENOUGH AND IT HAS TAKEN ME SOME 50 YEARS TO REALLY GET THAT.

SO HERE I AM NOW, A RETURNED ROMAN CATHOLIC WITH A VERY INTENSE DESIRE TO KNOW HER, HAVING DONE MY B.A. ART SCULPTURE SHOW TITLED:

THE MYSTERY OF THE VISITATION, MARY AND ELIZABETH BOTH EMBRACING, BOTH PREGNANT.

LITTLE DID I KNOW
 THAT MARY WOULD LEAD ME TO PILGRIMAGES TO HER "SITES" OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS,

THAT SHE WOULD LITERALLY "APPEAR" TO ME AS A GUIDE AND AS "ME",

THAT SHE WOULD TALK TO ME AND TELL ME AS I SAT IN A CHURCH IN FRONT OF HER STATUE IN MEDGEGORGE THAT,"I WILL BE YOUR MOTHER WHEN MRS MEHTA(MY SECOND MOTHER) DIES."

 AND THAT I WOULD GO TO ONE AUCTION IN MY LIFE AND THERE AT THE AUCTION, I WOULD SEE A CARVED STATUE OF HER THAT WAS MAGNIFICENT AND... LONG STORY.... BUT WENT TO THE MAN WHO BID FOR HER(I DIDNT HAVE THE SKILL TO DO IT ALTHOUGH WAITED 3 HOURS SO I COULD) AND THAT NEXT DAY HER "PRICE" WENT FORM 400$ TO 1250$ AND I TRADED MY MOTHER'S TEACHER'S PAINTINGS FOR HER AND SHE WAS CARRIED THROUGH THE STREETS OF SAUGERTIES NY TO MY PARENTS' HOME WHERE I NOW LIVE AND SHE LIVES IN THE "CHAPEL" I HAVE MADE...
HER GLASS EYES AVOID ME WHEN I HAVE DISPLEASED MY "VOWS "OR FAILED TO KEEP THE 10 COMMANDMNETS.


WHAT A MOTHER, WHAT A TEACHER , WHAT A FRIEND MARY IS.

MAY SHE BE HONORED AND RESPECTED BY ALL,

LINDA MARY MONTANO