It has been a while since I did an entry in this series of rope rigger/artist impressions, and as I collect links for post-book-release, I came across Murphy Blue’s website, and was called to write one about him. This one departs slightly from the other two about Zamil and Mark Dv8, but who cares… this is my series after all.
a swirling blur
delicious rope in hand
their intimate secret
I can not remember when I met Murphy. This is for the best, as it embeds in my body the feeling that I have always had him in my life.
Last week at Dark Odyssey, he sat at the front of the Pavillion, lush living green in the background, a suspension frame framing his body. This is the natural form of his shape, surrounded by an opportunity to fly. Flying does not require a wooden structure, a tree branch, a temple arch, a piece of public art. Flying comes in a look of the eyes, a hand outstretched, a moment of love.
He speaks in prose and poetry. A laugh echoes through the crowd as he puts on hilarious music and moves to it, showing that the rope is about connection, not about the Lion King playing in the background. Oh I Just Can’t Wait To Be King. The story continues in words, in his experience with rope, with the why of our individual journeys. In channeling the Lover, how it pours out through his pores, our pores.
Wrapping her up in his arms, she falls inward as the jute wraps around her body. Clutching tight, it moves around her, he moves around her with strong and loving arms. These are strong and loving arms that I have seen pour our their passion and pain time and time again. Take in the pain of others, breathe it into memory, into art. He breathes in art, and empties himself, fills himself anew. Sometimes – not as fully as might be healthy in the long run.
Murphy Blue is a beautiful man. A powerhouse of energy, his mocha-rich skin glistens as he moves with dreadlocks flying around him. As his name infers, he is often adorned or using some color of blue. Blue rope, blue hakima, blue shirt, blue suspension ring, blue logo on his tee-shirt. His blue transformers shirt brings a smile, but the flipsides of the lover and the nerd resonate with each other and fill in the dance.
At his home, the pretenses fall away, not that the passionate dancer of flying lines has any smidge of falsities. He is petting his tiny black and white kitten, surrounded by manga and video games, piles of rope and more rope, and some rope for good measure. He drills, makes rope part of his body and spirit. Let ropes be part of spirit, a web woven between lovers and friends. We are all a web of energy after all. His home is part of a larger tribe of land, and without his family, a portrait of Murphy Blue is not complete. He is lover, partner, friend, co-parent, poly-tribe ally. He will take you in and dust you off. He will tell you it will be alright over a plate of greasy burgers before going out into the night to make art in the night with a veil of threat in the air.
After all, he has known New York City for a lifetime. He knows its secrets, its loves and pains. He can see the New York you need to meet, and with a few skeins of line tucked into his cargo pants, he will take you out into the darkness and show you what you need to meet. The shaman emerges who shows the back alleyways and parks closed after dark. He paints magic with you, using rope as a medium to make it happen.
Magic is a second tongue for this creature of shadow and flowing flesh. Magic to show children a better way to live. Magic to close his eyes and see you coming. Magic to heal… and sometimes to hurt those who danced too close to the flame. The flame never intended the moth to keep coming closer, even after beckoning it into the light. But I have seen it more than once.
I have seen him empty himself until he collapsed, and held out my hand. He won’t take too many hands, even though his own is so often outstretched. We are sitting on benches out at the firepit and breathing deep. The web opens up, and we see beyond the stars. We meet again in a hotel ballroom downstairs amongst the priests and warriors with him showing me another side, standing tall with hands grounded down, rock solid. He can be rock solid after all, for all it can seem that he flits about with a child-like passion. Child-like passion is a gift as well, for those who will embrace it.
At The Floating World, he drilled the days away. That is what he called it – drilling. He asks for a body, and he tries a new tie. Than another. Than another. It is a flow of experimentation. He laughs that it is for science sometimes, but other times says it is a way to meditate. To connect with the world. I sit and watch him, and find myself inspired. It makes me want to drill, like I used to. To let the ropes dance out of me, and into the world. Let me be blindfolded and inspired. I let myself later be blindfolded and inspired. He inspires.
I watch him curl up with his Pack, his crew of women who holds him safe and makes him look good. Diamond, eyes glistening in silent, watchful protection. Kytten, playful and secretly predatory. Wyldcat, co-rigger and artist blossoming. He can stand on his own, but stands better with them – or whomever he trusts as his crew in any given moment. He is a pack animal. His skin glistens as he moves in grace and an underlying sleek feralness. He is a pack animal.
He wraps her up in his arms, and the ropes slowly slide across her skin. As the music plays, her body is pushed down by his slick movement, then a long pause before he binds her deeper. She dives deeper, and his eyes fall into her. We melt away. Later he says it was a 7, that he wouldn’t want to go as deep as he could when he has to come back to the class when the music is over. The music his cue. The music his dance. My mind dances back to a smile on his face as Diamond dances for him and they sway together.
Later, he pulls up a seat in the dining hall and laughs. Another side of his blue gem-stone heart turning for the world to see. Teacher, student, street-punk, breathless beauty. Dancer, lover, family, friend. Another side turns, and you never know which one you will see. This is the beauty of Murphy Blue.
under the frame
magic unfolds in private
for the world to see