Co_creation a la LYNDSEY

Superheroes Mount Up!

Now you see me, Now you see Me: A mundane+magical hero doll of Parys made for the "May These Changes Make US Light" Show

Click, click, Click. Real-time emoticons. Glad to be ditching the gadgets for a season.


This December I’ll be biking in costume with a motley crew of humans.  For one month, each of us will molt our mundane routines, don a cape, and practice being our most playfully awake selves.  It’s the Annual Superheroes’ Long Haul for Justice!

This will be my first ride, so I’ll let people who have been explain the nuts and bolts to you better:

Here’s Metta’s journal of her ride as a Mime…. Zipped lips the whole way! Wha!?? Here’s a recent blog article featuring our upcoming ride – from Travelling Two – an amazing blog about international bike touring. And, Here’s a fantastic youtube series with Ethan about how it all got started.

As I pack my bike cart and stitch my costume together, I’m smiling at the chronology of character play that plops me into this moment of embarking. More like loop-de-loops in the sky by an awestruck pilot than a marching-forward timeline, this getting loose has been gradual and full of stops-n-starts. Kids taught me to play again after college, and playing teaches me to live a sweeter kind of honesty day-to-day.


Go ahead, wear your Spandex. I love you when you wear your Spandex.

I remember years ago sitting at the Bread Co on Grand at a table just behind this man dressed in all white lycra, and loving him.  I have no idea his story.  But I filed him right beside the CWE instant-parade-tutu-whistle-fellow under “Thank You, Wonderful”. Is it simply the effect of public Spandex? Something like science-fiction tunics that tune into the essence of their energetic human contents and make the skinsack feel so surreal?

Buddha, Santa, The Opener, Spongebob

Then – right around the time I started learning about archetypes (thanks Ms. Mack for the lend of Sacred Contracts), I notice I start finding and gravitating toward caricature tchotchkes.  And playing in the mirror as much as I did in my 7th grade vain phase – I met my inner Monkey Man, my greatgreatgreat soul grandfather grumblewonder who grunts eloquent theorems with one unfurling eyebrow.

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween as a child?

Evlovevolve gurgled in multiple made-up languages for the first "May These Changes Make Us Light" holiday pageant at the Contemporary Art Museum STL in December 2007.

→ In fall 2007, the night I was returning to STL after a year away, I remember waking up unable to sleep with a strong idea prompting, and scribbling a curriculum down for the CAMP kids about how to be your own superhero.  When I got back the situation in the experimental afterschool was a little intense for a facilitated step-by-step learning process, but I still attempted to help them make their own “hero dolls” – low-fi stuffed animal versions of their most inspirational favorite hero humans. I made one of Ghandi, Sojourner Truth, Frida, Bucky Fuller, and Georgia O’Keefe. And of Marlaisia (above), one of the students.

→ Then I made hero dolls of my friends and collaborators for the winter pageant May These Changes Make Us Light, which developed from asking each other the question, “What is your superpower?” –A great question to ask strangers too – watch serious men get all imaginary, body language melting into openness. In performance contexts, I love to play the Greeter.  In this case I was a EvlovevolvE, with speech like water that could transmit messages from beyond. I welcomed the audience in three languages (English, Spanish, Tongues) and then washed off my mask in a big ceremonial bowl.  In the large foyer at CAMSTL, we welcomed show go-ers into a strange/sacred space filled with shrines and drawings by Lezlie Silverstein and a giant curtain hung with the hero doll miniatures – so all members of the cast were reflected in their fantastical nature.’

→ The next spring Boi Bella and I decided to take it a step further with Circus School Intensive via Circus Harmony. Together with Steesh and Parys flytrap we threw an extravagant five-course fancy meal fundraiser at the Flora mansion where I was generously living for free by trading Atnas’ing.  This “Café Clandestino” supported our tuition, and soon we were dive-rolling, trapeze-hanging, juggling, and face-making at the City Museum.  I remember I wimped out of the final performance, confessing unpreparedness – the teacher for the  clown class aspect of the intensive had been fired at the course start and never replaced.  So the training I’d wanted I hadn’t gotten, but it was a relief-ridden copout: much as I like to goof, the doing it ‘on purpose on stage before an audience’ is where I still freeze. Shy to practice risk. I’m still learning that you don’t have to be funny, you just have to be real.  Ok next time.

Wish I still had those pink pantalones for the ride. Here's our class, holding our fantab instructor Joelle - who now owns her own aerial studio, Bumbershoot. Voila!

Ethan unpacked these at the Possibiity Alliance picnic table last October -- fresh in announcing the first Family Ride collaboration with Superhero Training Academy

On a whim that summer I skipped up to Rothbury Music Festival, interested to see what a ‘green’ festival would look like, and ended up camping with a gentle, compassionate teacher from Michigan named Michael Mallon who is developing an elaborate service curriculum for kids based on the development of their superhero persona. He had created a comic book text book combining character, costume, and sidekick creation with experiments in outreach –  a way for children to playfully engage with service-based social change.  I knew something was brewing when we met, just didn’t know what it was yet . . . Turns out he connected with the with the Possibility Alliance last summer too – and Now, together the Biking Superheroes, they’re concocting the first Family Long Haul for Justice service ride, scheduled for next summer though Iowa!

Next up in the superhero timeline of my life appears Atnas, Santa’s daughter.  A character created by my sisterfriend and longtime collaborator Kelsey LaPoint, Atnas has had three iterations so far – an illustrated poem, a character in a theatrical pageant, and a movie project.

Flying around the world on a giant vacuum cleaner, she embodies the clearing principal – sort of a cosmic cleaning lady that started out as an environmental activist until she experienced how linked inner and outer pollution are.  When invited, she supports the work of processing and getting rid on an emotional and material level.  Like her dad, she does house calls.

I really enjoyed playing her on stage, singing a song I wrote,  live to Dan Huck’s bass:

The stage show rocked the green wig; for the movie I dyed my real hair green. My kindergardeners loved that.

You  / can tune into any frequency
You  /  can bask in the silence freeom sees
Freedom/ Freed Om
You / already know every trick that’s in the book
You / can turn a little key and get off the hook
just breathe…. and wait
ESPERAR! but don’t  hesitate
1-888 Everything we need is here___
Dial up clarity, practice release
Realtime sincerity, let go dis-ease
the gift in you growing NOW: feel it take hold
trust it take care of it
be gentle be bold
Baby  you are perfect as the day you were formed . . .
Your doubts are dismissed, and your sweet faith is reborn

Embodying the character for the movie was challenging as I have zero experience as an actress, and we basically wrote-shot-costumed-edited-screened within a month span.  But I loved inviting the city into the piece as a character, and would have enjoyed spending more time maturing the interaction between animation and live sites.  Dabbling in stop-motion was a huge joy, and goofing off as rappers by the flood wall with Jenny Shriner was pretty unforgettable.  She took the bridge rap in this song I wrote for the screenplay:


I’ll suck up anything you’re ready to release
Upload— Defrag Sort  — Debrief
Flood gates open!   Warm flow of life
The pain  – The soot – The heavy junk
It don’t stick to me!!
I see it and I love it &  I stay drama free
All your conspiracies and worn-out prophecies — Baby, they got you down
What it makes me want to do is get real close to you and >gasp< wipe off your frown
Cos we’re human ——— we’re human / We all (oops!)  make big mistakes
so I’m gon drop my red pen, quit waggin my lil finger and let you change   ——-
======<Jenny RAP:> I’m bringing out the scissors* I’m your sticky red tape cutter * All those musty can’t do thoughts that live up in yo gutter * GOTTA GO / GOTTA GO* Accept it and move on* Accept – I aint’ your mother * Ain’t your daddy ain’t your brother * I aint’ your overactive conscience * Or your bank debt or your lover * Accept it accept it* Accept it and move on* all the voices in your head are what you got to get beyond * Gotta think for yourself – love, you ain’t nobody’s pawn * Awwww, ya’ll… it’s time for new thoughts to spawn! * SPAWN SPAWN * C’mon Choose how you will respond * RESPOND RESPOND * ELEVATE THOSE WITH WHOM YOU CORRESPOND * Correspond-respond!
Say for instance you walk in city hall * Got a dream in your hand / but you feel you hit a wall * All these people shake their heads – Shake their heads with sour faces * Do you mimic their expression just like tracing paper traces? * Looking like a monkey ! looking like a chicken! * Or do you draw your own conclusion uh huh * feel the YES bomb that is tickin’ * BBbbbooom booom YES ……….bboom boom YES =====================
Whatever kind of philosophy you’re touting, whatever kind of doomsday regime your spouting – I just can’t hear you no more
Let’s tear the red tape up,  tell the bouncer ‘sup , and strut  thru that door :
POSSIBILITY ! Possibility ! You know my name . . . .
The fear-doubt bluff is up,  and hit the road  to “not enough”
Let’s play a new game –
(Welcome to infinity . . . . it’s been here / all along )

Scripting within the spaces that are part of my everyday definitely asked the question of how I can embody my superpowers more in my ‘regular life’. ;)

The year that followed the making of the movie has been for me the allowing of the Atnas principle to ‘take over’ my walk —- realizing and releasing those patterns, beliefs, attachments which prevent me from living my flow.

Heeding that intuitive inkling this past August led me to an 80-acre homestead in Northeastern Missouri for a workshop intensive called “Superhero clowning for social engagement”.   The Possibility Alliance is a petroleum-free, radically simple Ghandian collective dedicated to joyful sustainable living – a perfect site for the kind of authentic, intimate, dynamic learning that took place at clown camp.  About twenty+ folks from all over gathered to learn from each other and from a team of amazing clowns from SF who run ClownZero – an organization that brings laughter into hospitals and other crisis situations. Our outdoor classroom was the ground space encircled by the arms of a giant black walnut tree, and what ensued was a great big cracking open.

Body warm-ups prepared us for character play games, and so much of the work revealed for me walls, fears, barriers between my true self and what I allow to come out.  On the surface, the exercises were harmless:  “be an animal at a cocktail party,” or “tell your life story in one minute with no words just sounds and motions”……  In actuality, the process cut deep!  The most potent for me were the Rasa Boxes: a grid comprised on 9 squares that represented 9 emotional states.  The participant is invited to enter and take on the breath and embodiment of the various states – Bliss, Lust, Joy,  Disgust, Rage, Fear, etc….

I headed straight for the familiar Fear/shame but felt dull – nothing – disconnected there. I heeded the tug toward Rage and what erupted in the “I’m never angry” Lyndsey as I allowed it to come was a torrent of deeply-held furiously powerful anger . . . Like a wounded mama lion roar, I tapped into a thread of my being I hadn’t met yet.  Raw anger fumed and caw’ed and snotted out  { at various men in my life I’ve allowed to be my authority instead of myself, } {at wasted time idling in ignoring intuition } {at years of self-hating disguised as religion} { at myself for letting a pattern of obedience at all costs to prevent me from living true} .  .. .   The rest of the week I kept facing and freeing these waves of anger and fear . . . . one day in particular, sobs and memories kept flooding up so I skipped out of the group and dove into the big pond and for what seemed like an hour wrung myself out like a mad spin cycle….. thrash and scream underwater, come up to breathe, repeat.  I emerged so still and clean and empty and sat in the pasture watching the sky and trees, tremendously peaceful. A fly landed on me and I pet it. All day long that day I could pet flies.

The unscripted learning time was just as rich – lunchtime was full of enlightened chatter as people each brought scores of experiences… traveling circuses, international permaculture projects, lots of travel/work at various intentional communities.   Karma yoga at Hollyhock, gardening at Esalen, Hummingbird, seasonal staff at Omega,   One project I learned about that impacted me most will soon result in a movie, WITHIN REACH: Mandy and Ryan bike-packed thousands of miles to visit 100 intentional communities and create a documentary about their travel.

At Superhero naming circle I christened myself The SerendipiTease, naming the power I want to grow in —- creating magic and connection by Choosing to be in the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time.  We hodgepodged together songs and skits, and carried our characters in outreach to a nursing home show, reality-bonking at Kirkwood college, and putting on a community theatre fundraiser.    The experience of affirming one another as we each practiced opening and together tried on new social shapes, supported by the intentional communication needed to process the messy glory that poured forth, cast a vision for what is possible as we commit to accept and love each other into and through the evolution that we hunger for.

Over Thanksgiving, my bro-in-law, a law student who follows Pro Bball player Tweets, hipped me to  some new-to-me small talk.  One word agreement that replaces ‘amen’ … or, I concur:  “Church.” As he spoke that I felt steeples and stained glass moleculize into the moments of truth that surround us as we allow What Is, as we allow the fullness of who we truly are to come through.  It’s this sacred ground of collaboration, this practice of witnessing the magic inherent in each moment that most beckons me on this trek.

“With our powers combined! ”

into the Chapel of sacred mirrors ~

“Where two or more are gathered, there I AM in the midst of them . . . ”


4 Responses to Superheroes Mount Up!

  1. Judy Hopen says:

    …once again, mz. lyndsey…you amaze me!

  2. Pingback: » Archive » Life as a lava lamp

  3. Pingback: » Archive » @ S U P E R H E R O – I N G

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About me
Educated as a painter, learning as a yogi, and playful as a baby monkey: I am a willing human being __ emphasis on the Be. I am traveling-learning, designing projects to feed my inquiries while attracting adventures and connecting with tribes that grace my journey with experiential wisdom in creative healing and joyful sustainability. My passions are catalyzing radically simple + beautiful + fun intentional community, sparking spontaneous collaborative singing and dancing, acroyoga, permaculture, and loving children.