“What if we were living our art in the service of skillful lives?” – Wendy Morris
“How can you have an existence that is simple and spacious and outrageously useful?” -Erik Takeshita
“Skepticism means you really care.” – Bill Cleveland
Two months ago…
During nap time, I sit in the dark surrounded by tiny little humans dozing away, and on a small device in the palm of my hand, I read about James Turrell, social entrepreneurship, feminism, gentrification, innovation, crowd sourcing, placemaking, crowd sourced placemaking, private-public partnerships, appropriation, social sculpture, sustainability, the “realest” tweets, vulnerability, baby boomers, millenials, thin privilege, Cindy Sherman, Theaster Gates, the many uses of chalkboard paint, rape culture, revolution on the other side of the world…and my heart beats hard, longing for action. And I sit still and listen to the children breathe in their peaceful slumber. Drinking in the darkness.
Drinking in the darkness. I didn’t get that phrase from teaching preschool. I heard it repeated ten, maybe eleven times, over the span of four and a half months, in improvised warm up exercises led by Wendy Morris at each convening of the Spring 2013 Creative Community Leadership Institute. Rub your hands together, she said. We let the rhythm spread to our shoulders, back, hips, whole body, two dozen souls inside flesh humming along. Stop. Put your hands, warmed from the friction, over your eyes. Drinking in the darkness.
I meant to write more about the Institute a while ago. Somehow the first paragraph above brought me back to that circle. It was originally just going to be a little Facebook status update. I wasn’t even thinking about CCLI. Yet suddenly that phrase came back to me, thinking about the darkened classroom where I hold a whispered vigil every afternoon, writing notes to parents and mixing tempera paint and catching up on an overwhelming backlog of “relevant” and “important” articles I’ve saved on my phone.
Skip ahead to October…