Friday, August 13, 2010

In the kingdom of heaven

The first day of camp is winding down; the kids are all off playing, and I’m staying in a beautiful lodge that smells of woodsmoke; this is a sign that nestles into the stones that surround the fireplace;  it seems to be the theme of this place...

I had a lovely day; taught 2 classes by myself (songwriting and gypsy crafts) and 2 classes with Kirsten, the wonderful young woman who shares my lodgings with me (nature crafts and fimo goddess-making). I’m slowly getting the hang of the camp schedule and the camp way of being, which seems to be loose and appreciative, allowing the kids to explore and discover within fairly simple boundaries.

I came in, as usual, with some shoulds, but in this case I wasn’t quite sure what the shoulds should be! Should I be teaching, a disciplinarian, entertaining, accommodating? What exactly was my role? Should the kids like me, have something to show from their time with me?

In the end, I decided (because Kirsten is an excellent model) that the improv discipline of saying yes was pretty much all I needed to do… well, maybe, “Yes, AND…” By the end of the day I was managing not to ask too many questions of my daughter/boss (who I could see was itching to spend some time with her fellow staff unsupervised by mom) and figured out pretty much where I had to be when. So it’s all good.

I even found time to read some more in Patricia Ryan Madson’s improv book this morning. Time for two chapters, in fact, since I couldn’t figure out at first how to make the shower work, and had to wait for one of my roomies to wake up and show me. The chapter I most enjoyed was called “be average” and was about giving up on perfection. What really made the chapter great was that she understood how striving for originality becomes a striving for perfection; that we artistic types can get really tangled up when we are so desperately determined to “think outside the box.”

Striving for an original idea,” says Madson, “takes us away from our everyday intelligence, and can actually block access to the creative process…Do what is natural, what is easy, what is apparent to you. Your unique view will be a revelation to someone else.”

I like that – it ties in beautifully with what I’m learning in school: it is enough to be me. I don’t need to be flashy or original – I already am, in my own unique way, and that is all I need to be.  That's the message the camp seems to give its kids.

It’s true for you, too.

What would it feel like to live out of that space all the time?

I’m thinking maybe that’s what the kingdom of heaven would really look like.


Louise Gallagher said...

I am and that is enough. I do enough. Give enough. I am enough.

Lovely ideas this morning Diane.

The camp sounds heavenly!



Maureen said...

Glad you checked in and are having a great time.

What is "fimo goddess-making"?

Have a wonderful weekend.