Grackle & Sun

Archive for the tag “art”

Morning Meditation

I was feeding the horses one morning when I saw this stump in the ground.  I went kicking around the stump and found that someone had, at some point, tossed several big rocks around it—probably when it was still a tree leaning over the paddock fence. Now they were half buried in the dirt and covered by tall grass. I began to dig them out.

What is it that makes a person meddle with things? What is it that gives us the desire to put our hands on nature, rearranging, ordering, moving and creating? I’ve long been captivated by the simplicity of balancing rocks, warmed by the familiarity of the form and message of inuksuks, and indelibly inspired by the art of Andy Goldsworthy. I am fascinated by art made from the most natural of materials. And so I lifted each rock and began to balance them on one another on the surface of the wood.

I was clumsy at first. Impatient. I stacked, the rocks fell. But after a bit, my hands understood the weight and heft of them. They began to call out their placement. Unmistakably.

The rocks speak. That is what my gut tells me, how I understand my interaction with this form and matter. Matter and spirit.  My cynicism argues, is it really the rock communicating its balance point? Or is it my small mind powering down and allowing intuition to hum into action, to pay closer attention to physical details? Is it my brain finally shutting up that lets me listen, to concentrate on a deeper level? Or is this a rare moment of experiencing the connectedness of all existence? Yes. Yes to all those things. That is my answer.

As I stack the stones, I move beyond my animistic awareness to the complexity of what is actually happening in front of me, what I am participating in:  balance. I move carefully, minding my breath, my posture. I am balance to create balance to have balance returned to me. That is the gift of stacking the stones: the act of balancing the external form creates balance within.

This exercise was so satisfying as I worked at it, that I told myself I would do it everyday as I waited for the horses to finish eating. I would explore all the different ways those same rocks could be balanced. But then after the last rock was placed, I stood back and thought instead that maybe I would not do this every day. That I would only balance the rocks when they fell down. In part, this was out of curiosity to see just how stable my structure was. To see if the balance achieved was precarious or sound.

And in truth, I liked the stack and didn’t want to take it down. Now, a month and a half later, it is still standing. Through the snow, rain, thunder storms, strong wind, and with horses galloping by.  They remain balanced as though some force stronger than physics holds them in place. Not that I think that, physics is enough for me, I am just amazed that I got them to stand for any length of time. So now I contemplate taking the rocks down, or going out to the field one morning and finding them on the ground. The magic dissolved. The lesson transformed. Now instead of balance, I contemplate impermanence. :)

 

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C’mon Internet, We Can Do It!

The only thing better than knowing that 150 kids have the chance at participating in an amazing arts program is knowing that YOU helped make it possible!

We have only 5 days left—until October 28th—to raise the last $4200 for the METROYOUTH SHAKESPEARE Kickstarter campaign!    If we don’t hit our goal, we lose the funding.  I don’t want to see St. Louis lose this program.  It impacts too many students to let it slip away.  I’ve got lots of dyeing goodness and workouts to share with you guys, but I’m not posting until the fundraiser is over.  No dyeing.  That should tell you all how important this is to me and my students.

What is $4200 if we all chip in?

If you could have participated in a program that would raise your confidence as a high school student, that would allow you to express your creativity, wouldn’t you have thought that was worth $20?  If you make a donation to this Kickstarter campaign, you are giving 150 students an incredible opportunity to grow as people, to express their creativity, to study with professionals, and ultimately to change their lives for the better—which is what art does.   Theater, storytelling, performance—this is a fundamental part of who we are, of what moves us.  METROYOUTH SHAKESPEARE gives the students the chance to be the performers, to be the storytellers, to be the movers.  To be powerful through empowerment.

YOU CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Each one of you can help make this a reality for all of these students.  Please, please–whatever you can give, I promise it will help.  Kickstarter has a donation button for $1.  Even if we raise this one dollar at a time, that’s cool.  As long as we raise it.  5 days, people.  That’s all we’ve got.  Will you help make this happen?

Please forward the link to ALL THE PEOPLES!  Share this post and the one before it.  Thank you, Internet Friends.

Best regards,

dre

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