Wow, it is already day two, and I feel like the time is just flying by! Last night I mixed and mingled in the Castle with the 1st and 2nd year Cohorts for the Masters of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication. What an inspiring place to study. I can’t get over how I feel hear. Is this a dream. I feel like magic is oozing from the very earth that I walk on and infecting my mind with a new level of knowing… a new level of doing. The is EXACTLY where I am meant to be!
Today we met a phenomenal woman named Hilary Leighton, WHAT an INSPIRATION! I want to quote every word that comes out of her mouth! She oozes the Mastered Art of Environmental Communication! She guided us through an artistic experience… A “Thunder Storm” as she calls it, and what a brilliant experience! I am definitely going to be using this with my students! “My life is worthy of witness.” She says as she starts us into an experiential journey of art to my past. The place in nature that, for as far back as I can remember, is a place of inspiration. That place was a small rickety bridge that crossed a large ditch, where the frogs grew up and lived. That place where I feel: Free, Open, Space, Timelessness, Green, Shade, Sun, Snakes, Trees, Mommy, Barefeet, Frogs, Smells, Nature, Sister, Bridge. As I crouch down, while precariously balancing on the rickety old bridge, I see a large green frog staring up at me with it’s watery round eyes. I find myself sitting like him. Knees fully bent, squatting, and trying to understand his world. What would it be like to be a frog? Maybe I was once, in another life time. Maybe this is where I come from. The most exciting part of this exercise of the “Thunderstorm” was when Hilary told us to then circle words, in no particular order, for no particular reason, without thinking… just circle a handful of them. And then write them out in sequence. This is what I had circled: I down, large green frog, find myself squatting to his, what to maybe another. Words for thought eh? What an inspiration! This facilitation of Hilary’s opened a whole can for me this entire day, and this is what came of it: When I let my life speak, it says… “Be me! Let go of every judgement, fear and perception and listen to my calling. The repetitive calling to share my stories, my experiences. Draw my thoughts, my emotions. Dance my joy and my fears. Sing my sorrows and my inner child. I am free and in my freedom I can tell the world about what I know. Because in the end “what other people think of me is none of my business.” Respect and be respected. Inspire and be inspired. Surround myself with people who are themselves inspired, aware and want what they want. My life says be in nature. Walk the talk and then just walk. Be the me I wish to be. Share and then receive, Receive and then share. Listen and then truly hear. Hear the rhythms and then listen once again. I am the vessel in which nature invites inquiry, and expression of it’s soul through my sole. I walk my talk! ~ Jamie Black *And through Hilary’s Thunderstorm process, I circled a handful of words, at random, and this is what it created: “Every calling my dance, sorrow’s child? Free. End what people and be surround aware. Be nature. Be wish. Hear rhythm – once – vessel – nature – walk – talk. “ WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN 😀 “I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly myself.” ~ Hilary Leighton Hilary let me borrow this book, it is called “Dancing the Data.” By Carl Bagley and Mary Beth Cancienne, and BOY does it speak to what I do! Mary Beth says “For me the act of choreographing the performance brought me into research. In effect the experience moved me from a standpoint outside the data-set to a stand point within it.” She talks of interpretive context and a self-reflexive practice on page 9. And of intertextual forms of (re)presentation. “The criteria to be applied to any form of work should e guided by the features of the work itself.” (Eisner 1999, p. 34) Welcome to Body, Mind, Nature Mastery Jamie Black!! And now there is more to it. Body Dance: Enfleshing soulful inquiry through improvisation. Aka: Performative Inquiry. p. 20: “In my work I integrate the art of autobiographical narrative and dance, to develop a series of performances that become narratives of the body. Central to this is the art of improvisation, which I use with my students as a studio for research, creating a paradigm for theorizing with the body. Parker Palmer said “we teach who we are” (1998), p.2), and the arts in inquiry allow us to access the crevices of our souls and bring the fullness of our humanity to the process of being, living, knowing and teaching… thinking on the feet. AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAAAA! SOLE ADVENTURE! “The SoLe can Sing!” YES! When we walked to the beautiful gardens in silence, what I was brought to the most was the sound of everyone’s footsteps. I heard the squeaking of one’s shoes, and the sound of another walking on gravel. I heard the similarity in stride and the musical rhythm that lingered between each person. I also heard the one odd set of footsteps that had no particular rhythm, and yet still fit with the rest. Our sole in the silence of walking makes the sound of our soul. That sound is rhythmic, is magic! I can already see the performance… I know where it is, I know what time it is, I see the people’s faces, and the people who are working with me in this fabulous production of the SoLe. Ahhh… now I can sleep!