Recently I designed and led an end-of-the-year ceremony for the faculty & staff of the Louise S. McGehee School here in New Orleans. The ceremony centered around Yoga-inspired practices (movement, meditation, breath-work, music, art, singing & ritual) focusing on Renewal & Release. This theme was informed by many things, including the dualistic qualities of water – flowing/stagnant, creative/destructive, nurturing/overpowering, etc. Through the process of planning for this ceremony I also began to consider the many ways that water qualities show up in my life and work. My career path is much like a river- sometimes rushing, sometime easeful, but always flowing towards some unseen destination, trusting the unseen slope of land leading it to the sea (akin to what John O’Donohue describes in his poem In Praise of Water) I’ve poured my heart & mind into so many paths/interests/skills along the way- documentary & video art production, performance (dance, video), teaching (art, Yoga, Early Childhood Ed.), non-profit administration, visual art, digital media- and they may seem disjointed and “floundering” when viewed on paper or viewed from the outside…but when considered as tributaries these elements form a powerful, intentional river.
Something that keeps all of these elements connected is holding an image of my inner child in mind – doing this helps me to recall and act upon what brought joy then and what brings joy now. My interest in creating, sharing stories, learning alongside people of all ages, building experiences and experimenting is just as strong now as it was when I was a young child. This connection to joyful sources strengthens my confidence in the unique process of creating a river of experience and action. It encourages me to invite others to take part in my river- be it through watching it go by, wading through it, rafting down it, boating across it or merging paths.
What informs your river of work? What is your inner child telling you…and are you listening?