Give It [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

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Janus is a Roman god with two faces. He looks to the future and peers into the past. He is the god of beginnings and endings, transitions, doorways, and passages. He is the god of gateways, the liminal spaces, the between.

Janus must certainly be the god that we dance with on this island, a community defined by divisions, married to its conflicts but also, at least rhetorically, desiring peace.

Kerri and I are the stewards of a performing arts center that is, as Julian Dawson said, punching above its weight. It is the symbol of division in the community, the epicenter of discord, the rope in a very ugly tug-of-war. All of the fault lines run through it. Yet, as Janus would remind us, it then must also hold the path to unity, the potential for common ground.

All in the community want the doors to be wide open; none want the responsibility that comes with access. They want the center, the art, to serve them. They do not yet comprehend that any alive and vital art space is, in fact, the opposite: a place of service to others. Arts spaces and the artists the enliven them are keepers of the commons, the stewards of the stories that unite.

In another life I ran an educational theatre company. It boomed into life the day that the artists, the students, grocked that art was in fact a gift given to others, something they brought to people, not something (like attention or fame or a spotlight) that they got from people.

This island, this center, will someday boom into life. They will discover that the rope in the tug of war goes slack when they walk toward each other. Pulling in opposition exhausts everyone. They will come alive when they cease asking, “What do we get?” and start asking, “What do we bring?”

 

read Kerri’s blog post about EDGES

 

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Expand Your Bubble [on Merely A Thought Monday]

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Everyone has their insurmountable mountain to climb. Everyone has their fear to face. Everyone bumps against the edges of their comfort zone. Everyone.

And, the beauty of this life is that the insurmountable mountain is different for everyone. What seems easy to you might be impossibly scary to me. You show me it is possible. I show you it can be done. We inspire another look at what’s possible.

In the film, FREE SOLO, Alex Honnold says that, for him, fear is not something to be conquered. Comfort is something to be expanded. And, comfort is expanded through exploration and practice. Through experiences and reaching. Testing and discovery. Trying again and again until what once looked like a monster becomes known. It’s remarkably practical. It is what education is supposed to be.

How we ask the question determines the paths we see or don’t see. It’s all in the language we use. “Facing a fear” is oh, so, warrior-esque. We are inundated with “going to battle” metaphors. Defeating a part of myself in a battle against myself seems…contrary to the bigger picture. Win by losing. Division as the only available route? Armor, armor everywhere.

There is wisdom in putting down the swordplay. There is hope in choosing cooperation instead of conflict. Instead of picking a fight, instead of perpetuating the power of the fear, how much better might it be to turn and look. Really look. Study. To reach and test. To take a step. To try and fall down so that you might try again with a little bit more experience. Study. Open to possibilities.

It’s a pattern. Focusing on the obstacle, fighting the fear, is learned. It’s a great strategy for keeping yourself afraid and encased in armor. Other patterns are available and far more productive. It’s possible to climb like Alex: study your mountain, learn the terrain, practice the difficult moves over and over, internalize safety, and one day, when you are ready, when you have a relationship with something other than fear, climb your once insurmountable mountain.

 

read Kerri’s blog post on COMFORT ZONES

 

 

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Root In Love [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

from studio melange, a quiet suggestion for the start of the new week.

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For me, this Chicken Nugget falls into the category of what-more-needs-to-be-said. And then I hear the chorus of voices blaring from my past work-life that would call this Nugget idealistic pie-in-the-sky blather.  “We live in a dog-eat-dog world!” they cry. “It’s survival of the fittest!” To that chorus I need to say more. Dog-eat-dog is a belief system, not an inevitability.  Survival of the fittest is a harsh lens and there are, in fact, other lenses available. It’s possible to learn the distinction between human nature and acculturation. Through a different lens all of life is cooperative.

The noise of our airwaves, the chatter of our day is most certainly rooted in fear. It may not seem like a choice but the fear-root is an unnatural selection. People have to work hard to hate. Sadly, I admit, division sells, so the hard work of fear is routinely justified and rabidly defended.

Human nature rises through the noise and becomes visible when disaster strikes. Love is what we see when the hurricanes hit, when the forest fires rage. People running into fire to help. People risking their lives to save others because, in those moments, the truth is out: there is no separation. The political blather drops away. The moralistic chiming rings hollow. It is human nature to reach, not reject. To help, not to hurt.

It’s obvious and all around us if we take off the fear lens and look. Root in love. What-more-needs-to-be-said.

ROOT IN LOVE gifts & reminders

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read kerri’s blog post about ROOT IN LOVE

www.kerrianddavid.com

root in love ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

root in love designs and products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood