This has been a big year for me --- I feel like I am in a big turning point. I received a promotion at work that has given me space and permission to re-dream, re-purpose, reflect and remember what I value and how I want to move forward in this life. This fellowship too, has given me space, and validation, in a way that allows me to go back inside, ask myself again
:: what do you want? ::
I am learning my rhythm, my negotiation with time. I prefer to work slowly, and for a quite a while now, largely. My projects have been on an always-bigger trajectory, and I credit/blame the tenure track for that. I can honestly say that I always make the work I want, but I always also have an awareness of "impact" "reputation" "profile"
:: i have been quiet :: slow :: gentle :: patient :: listening ::
I love these times of going back inside. Of listening to find the beginning of the next impulse. The idea comes from somewhere, and if you slow down, sometimes you can feel it begin. These moments of gentle shaping are deeply satisfying to me, trying to hear feelings and direction and desire rather than trying to find the words or see the picture. Practicing the patience needed to drop down past the clutter and the static on the surface.
I'm excited about small long projects. I'm excited about not trying to make a piece. I'm excited to go back into process.
(As I say this, I have a big project opening on Saturday, with a new piece I have made, and I just wrote a grant with some beautiful artists for another really big project, with lots of people and ideas and disciplines. I am coming to terms with the fact that I place value on accomplishing things that seem impossible - hence the really large projects. I love bringing people together, making connections across disciplines, cultures, and geographies, but even as that goes on, I am looking for something that is just for me. Well, for me and my friend Kimberly....)
That is the answer to the question, what do I want? I want something that is just for me, but I don't want it to be just me. I want at least one other person in the room, literally or metaphorically or whatever other kind of way, but I don't want many, if any, more than that. I want there to be space between moments, but I also want to be relational to something, someone, some idea. I want to respond, as well as generate, and this is much easier when someone else is in the process - I love how ideas shift around ideas, how a thought can create a ripple around which an idea can bend. I do not want to be adrift in a sea of my own, familiar impulses.
My friend Kimberly is a poet in Austin. Her writing is rich and visceral; it doesn't enter through my brain, it punches a hole in my gut, seeps in through my skin, lands in my bones. We had the start of a process together a few years ago, as part of a larger process. She came to rehearsal and wrote and wrote and wrote, and at the end of three weeks gifted me with gorgeous writing filled with her process and my process, images and form that reflected back the shape of the air in the studio.
Jaye Sheldon invited me to be a part of Poetry, Stories, and Motion during Story Days, and I had the opportunity to meet and work (very quickly!) with Gloria Muñoz for a short performance. Gloria's work is also deep and devastating, and it led me back to the quiet time with Kimberly, and a process interrupted. (I am so grateful to have met Gloria --- and look forward to more)
Anyway, Kimberly and I are starting on something new. Something that has no shape yet.
:: how do you make the thing that you don't know how to make? ::
:: how do you know the thing that you do not know? ::
She has sent me floods of writing, and I am going into the studio with them to discover a physical structure that responds to the words. With no end goal. We are planning to meet in a studio Austin in January, we will share what we have, and we will begin to map the shape of the space between us. Beyond that, I have no idea....