- What have you been doing (as practice)?
Right now, I’m sitting in the church waiting for dawn. It’s still pretty dark, but the 3 circular skylights are a satisfying grey. I have a mug of cocoa – it’s the big, light brown, rounded mug (I don’t think anyone unwrapped it during my presentation). Since I woke up, I’ve been wrestling to: integrate new information from Tuesday’s therapy session; work out how to take the Spanish project forward after the Skype last night & find a good response to these questions. All three feel like essentially the same process & that process is supported by this cocoa (dawn) space.
- Who else has done similar kinds of practices?
Anyone who’s ever sat down with “a nice cup of tea” to do some emotional processing. People who’ve tried to set up or live in spiritual communities, or anarchic communities. Jung and other shamen who’ve tried to explore the deep psyche.
- What texts seem influential or relevant to this practice?
Right now, I’m really excited to be reading “The Feast of the Sorcerer: Practices of Consciousness & Power by Bruce Kapferer.
[Just went downstairs to fetch it, so I could get the title right & my dawn alarm was ringing – dawn was officially 7 minutes ago: it’s still very dark here though]
I found it browsing the key texts section after Monday’s session “with an interest in developmental psychology, anxiety, meditation, shared meaning, therapy, relaxation . . .” (quote from my notebook)
Another text I really resonated with was “The Production of Space” by Henri Lefebrve, but it wasn’t the one I borrowed.
[took my socks off & rolled around on a silver gym ball for a bit under the skylights, it’s getting appreciably lighter]
- What do you plan on doing for your dpar project?
I’m often most excited about surprising people . . . but on the other hand, I’m fairly confident these ideas will change completely: so I freely share my current ones
– there’s a beautiful tree (cedar?) by the lake, just outside the dance department. I imagine everyone finding their place in the branches of that tree.
– I like the idea of inviting people to join me at Putney Bridge (or Barnes) station at dawn & walk silently for an hour
– somehow it’s possible for my studio presentation to invite people into a space where there’s a strong & conscious resonance between what draws their attention in the room and what’s most present for them emotionally (as in a Gestalt session). This last idea feels the most impossible – and is therefore the most creatively stimulating.
- Why is it important? (How might it matter? So what?)
Responding to Paul last night on the main blog, I was thinking about how confident someone would need to be in their art practice to want to do such unstructured MFAs. It made me remember the simplicity of my motivation to do this MA: to draw on the resources of “the university” to better understand what’s been so revelatory for me in Contact Improvisation. Then I made the further link between Contact & my earlier practice of Quaker worship. I realised that there’s actually a strong continuity between how I’m “practicing” now and the original impulse to try & live into the core Quaker theological insight that everyone has access to some kind of inner guidance & that this is necessarily prior to any external authorities in terms of text or tradition or trusted others.
Errr . . .
- What plans have you made for documenting or producing ‘additional materials’ for the project?
[just had another roll around on the ball – mainly eyes shut this time, it’s getting pretty light now. I guess the hour after dawn alarm will ring soon. My back felt much better – probably cos I’m pretty happy with how I’ve answered these questions]
My only documentation so far, has been “the notebook of little sit”: a battered, softcover, A4 ledger, which I’ve got very fond of – but I’ve now reached the last page. Initially I tried to record: when I sit & have a cocoa; which mug; what I’m reading; quotes that strike me & the weather + any other thoughts that come to mind. Since Spain, I’ve been trying to have this dawn cocoa in the church. If I make it, I still record which mug & what song comes into my head (none this morning), if I don’t make it, I try to record what else I was doing at dawn instead. I guess I’ll need to find a new notebook now: that may lead to some shift in how I document. I’m also enjoying starting to participate more in the blogs.
[hour after dawn alarm just went off]
Will stop here. Really looking forward to reading what others have been doing!