Continuing the 10 Current Learnings Series. What's fueling me:
1. Marching with hundreds of thousands at the Women's March in NYC. The intoxicating joy of that crowded, unified energy of peace and togetherness in Midtown Manhattan last Saturday sticks with me.
2. Remembering amazing actor and exceptionally kind human Kevin Geer, who played Tate in my staged reading of Kilgore at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference 2011, and died days ago from a heart attack. A big loss. A big heart.
3. A 24-Hour trip from NYC to Boise when delays out of Newark caused a missed flight caused two extra flights early the next morning getting my partner and I home just in time to teach. Ending one adventure with another misadventure.
4. A healthy dose of rage for this political moment. I remember Anne Bluethenthal used to ask us what got us up in the morning to work on our art? Rage was the state that most regularly got her up. Anger can be an activating force.
5. Getting back into my regular sleep cycle, work rhythms and yoga classes. Physical and mental health is crucial right now.
6. Remembering a protesting youth's chants from Saturday: "Donald Trump. Smells like a dump!" And one of my fourth grade students writing that his mission in life is to stop Donald Trump. The future is young. The future is female. The future is hope -- if we can listen to the young and loving.
7. Music. Stars. Ancients.
8. Cream Earl Grey. Gunpowder Green. English Breakfast. Lincang Mao Feng.
Leaf Teahouse Boise!
9. The growing number of community organizers, socially engaged artists and politically active artists rising up in Boise right now. Solidarity. Beauty. Humanity.
10. Fired up. Ready to go! Thank you President Obama. Thank you.
Continuing the 10 Current Learnings Series.
10 things keeping me going, inspired, encouraged, hopeful, at ease this week:
1. Watching/listening/sensing rain out a window in a big city away from home.
2. Three hours at Whitney. Faces, profiles, bodies -- exhibited and attending.
3. Watching clouds far below.
4. Plane rides create spaciousness in brain.
5. Planning protest participation in a big city away from home.
6. Digging back into WE by Yevgeny Zamiatin - a fitting dystopian lookout novel.
7. Watching the sunrise out my rearview mirror driving in 4 degree temps to teach.
8. Multilingual conversations overheard in airports, street sides, restaurants.
9. Conversations on future travels at length with dear love. Weeks on the road...?
10. A musician's 50th birthday party, greats artists in a circle, song after song.
Lots of ups and downs in this current moment in time and space. The political, the social, the everything might be looking dark right now. And I have to find ways to keep going, keep centered, keep being and making and walking toward progress. Let's all find ways to keep going today and tomorrow and tomorrow and.
We've got a big beautiful community here full of difference, inclusiveness and hope to embody. Let's stick together and find/make good. With love for all.
Introducing the 10 Current Learnings Series. 10 learnings, curiosities and inquiries from this week:
1. A process blog takes time in the process of making art and writing. In the often weeks when I need more time for making and teaching and living than posting, sharing a few bullet point learnings from the week will help me in my process.
2. Listening to 4th graders share writing gives me bravery injections.
3. Seeing writers of all ages opt out of sharing during an exercise, or even participate in writing, reminds me of the vulnerable courage it takes to say no, too. Backing out is a choice I'm learning to respect more than I used to.
4. Snow days and cancellations help me think about time in space in more abundant ways. And control -- how we have none.
5. Goodbyes to a great POTUS, FLOTUS and 8 years of remarkable leadership, and saying hello to new scandals, bad news and fears surrounding a PEOTUS, remind me of the importance of courage, hope, progress, listening and community in art, in making, in living. How can I be more vigilant?
6. I'm interested in the scientific properties of kindness.
7. It's hard to write (for me) in a cold truck for two hours. But rewarding.
8. What is care-taking in art? How can I find and give more love in every action?
9. It's easier to write (for me) while regularly engaged in yoga, walks, Alexander practice, meditation, and other body and spirit energizing acts. How can I be more present and active and still and vibrant?
10. I used to run away from boredom. But maybe it's becoming more worth seeking after. Instead of busy-ness, and packed schedules, and too much muchness. Allowing for boredom, and seeing what creativity moments can generate. Where are the openings?
After a year's work, I find it helpful to look back and note achievements, losses, important contacts made and steps taken. Because so many of us view 2016 as a year of losses, I'm keeping my missed opportunities in my back pocket and instead sharing some favorite moments and memories in my creative life.
I highly recommend taking a moment to recount successes, losses, connections and steps made at the end of a year. There were a lot of 2016 wins I'd forgotten. Remembering bits of failures motivated me, too, while listing goals for the next two years.
I've gotten in the habit of numbering a big batch of potential goals for my personal, creative and professional life every year. Then I pick three from any category to focus on over the next two years. Smaller lists inspire more results from me than exhaustive ones.
3 Big Goals for the Next Two Years:
As for the New Year's resolution route, I've decided to set the intenion to invite joy into my creative, professional and personal worlds. This used to be an easy quality to inspire in me, when I felt writing and theater saving my life in palpable ways. That energized me with enormous vitality in the creative process.
However, as projects and jobs and responsibilities piled up, overworking habits, panic and grief made it easier to get overwhelmed by whatever I was making than exuberant. And I don't want that kind of life. I'm no longer interested in the tense and heavy approach, clutching at my forehead with falcon claws and grit teeth.
I realize I'm priveleged and lucky to be an artist. I want to spend the next year kneading joy back into my dailyness. By adjusting my schedule, stripping stress away, treating artmaking as a gift, attending to my life with love, kindness and gratitude, I can give more through what I make without wearing out my well. I'm calling on an attitude shift: to ignite joy.
What are you calling on this year?
What are you growing this year?
What are you inviting? Igniting?
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make.