Aug 25, 2010

community art making

Well my trees are 'dressed' in Wakefield. My first public art installation. It's very simple but I like it. And bottom line, given all the other things that have been going on, I'm pleased that I didn't bail.

Process wise I followed true to form. Had lots of idea's, narrowed it down to a basic concept and then went about 'listening' for potential materials that would fit/work with it. Sometime the materials themselves led the in the robin's nests...and the picture frames.

Emergence works for me but I don't think it necessarily was helpful to the larger process. What to write for the bio piece that had to be in weeks ago? What to have on my process story board when the last bit of it is still in process?

Ironically the piece is about community, a reflection on what community means for me - when I feel a part of it and when I don't. Lots of lessons here, and metaphors for my own way of being in this world. The main one continues to be about finding that balance between independence and community. Maybe this is the year that I find a way to live that comfortably.

For info on the Wakefield multi-arts festival happening this week check out

Aug 12, 2010

excavating our identity

I've heard people say your life passes before your eyes when you believe you are about to die. I haven't got any first hand experience on that front but I can say it does the same (at a much slower pace) when you move homes too.

Besides the grunt work of moving furniture and the self flagellation that comes with seeing just what fell behind the bureau...there's the fumbling excavation through books, boxes and the far corners of basements and closets. Amid the junk and dust bunnies are photos, mementos, scraps of paper with ideas and dreams, and ugly clothes that I used to love. Each piece holds a story about who I was and my response subsequently tells me a bit about who I believe I have become.

Not quite sure what I think or feel about it all just yet. Too physically and emotionally tired right now. Maybe in a week or two.

One thing I can say though, is that I sure have remained consistent - consistent with my strengths as well as my limitations. Consistent with my difficulty in letting go of some things. And consistent with what I believe will make me happy:  a community of friends, time in nature, art making, facilitating and partaking in meaningful conversations and actions, writing, a place in the country, feeling like I'm making a difference .... 

Yup, there may be more challenges than usual at the moment, and I may have to follow some different paths along the way, but my roots (values) and my fruits (dreams/wishes/goals) seem to remain largely the same. I am who I am. 

Aug 4, 2010

the stories we tell - part II

Once we have a certain idea or judgment about someone or's hard not to find evidence that concurs with our thinking.  ("She's so inconsiderate...just listen to how loud that music is!"  "He's so generous with his time, look how late he stays to help Sam with his work.")

On the flip side we also tend to ignore or miss any evidence that would dispute our theory. It takes a pretty self aware and confident person to acknowledge that the way they're seeing may be faulty, missing information, or simply different from another person's point of view...and that that this other view is just as valid as their own.

And all of this is true even with those stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. We find evidence to prove how we think about ourselves - positive or not. Our self talk, our self stories can run from "You're brilliant!" to "You're such a dunce!".

Take a moment to consider how you listen to, interpret, and make meaning when you notice your story about yourself. Does your interpretation change depending on context, mood, hunger, fatigue etc? My experience is it does. This is why checking out our assumptions includes the ones we make about ourselves and the current situation.

I know for me it helps to check out my story (of me or of others) with a witness...a friend, a colleague or a coach. It helps me stay honest with myself ...and keeps me from going around in circles. Often it reveals some new angles or approaches to moving through or building on the story that I hadn't previously noticed.

How is the story you're telling yourself about you helping you live your ideal life today?