Crista Dahl

Crista is the mother of the partner, of the sister, of a friend, whom I bumped in to on one of my trips to Vancouver, Canada. I was shocked to learn that when she was young, through complete serendipity, she knew well my friend Fred Beckey. There must be a deep reason for this completely implausible connection, but I have yet to find it.

Crista's thinks differently. She's intensely visual, nonlinear, and inductive. In her art, her learning, and her teaching she focuses on the relationship between one's body and the world. When speaking she constantly changes tenses, topics, and points of view like a hurried teenager, except that her story always returns to the purpose of her life.

Crista has succeeded in practicing her art in spite of being a frequently impovershed single Mom. She succeeded in teaching drug adicts and prostitutes to a unmatched degree, and she is one of the few people to speak directly about the prospect of her own death. There's a genius here, but it's slippery: she doesn't hit you with quotable sound bytes, instead you have to reflect on her experience verbally, visually, and viscerally.

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :

"You should really pay attention to all of you. That’s one of the difficult things with the educational system I think for some people. I’ve run into some people who are well educated, who have all of that, and have no relationship to their body at all…

"A lot of my life is controlling myself. Dealing with the brain, I really like my brain. I love my brain because it’s so interesting! But it’s a concept a minute type of thing, and it doesn’t seem to slow down. Well no, it doesn’t slow down…

"So the learning thing has always been by experience. Cooking, sewing, anytime I’ve had a chance to learn something I will learn it. I would rather do dishes than cook. I like to eat, but I don’t like to cook. I collect recipes for my friend Franz and he cooks, and I clean up. I just want to eat because food is good. Food and drink is a good thing to do in life. Yeah, good food and talk with friends are probably my favorite things to do. I like that…

"The biggest regret I have is that I’m going to die! I have a limited amount of time … I would hope I would be able to communicate some of these things that I’ve done in a better way, and if I do that, that would be nice, it would be really nice. The energy that I have wouldn’t be so wasted, as it probably is now…

"My skills don’t have anything to do with tilling the soil, or making a bow and arrow, it has to do with if you’re going to learn about this world we live in, this is a possible tool. That’s the level I would put my immortality at. If I could add to that: this global thing."


Crista Dahl: Life Rhythm, A Retrospective
Video Out Distribution Website
Summerhill School: Wikipedia , Summerhill's Web Site

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