Thursday, February 25, 2016

on biorhythms, black mountain college and climate change

I looked at a biorhythm calculator online. I did this because I notice some days I just cannot write or function well and I want an answer as to why this might be. Why I can't be perfectly focused every day. Which is stupid, now that I'm writing it.

Biorhythms supposedly track your intellectual, physical and emotional energies from the moment of your birth.

And lo and behold, ye olde biorhythms are dipping low, all from -50 to -99. Relieved but still restless and unable to focus - and having already been on too many walks outside in the sleet I decide to check the biorhythms of everyone I know.

Eric is in the basement building a new seed-starting shelf. He's expressed that nothing is going right in this project.
So yeah,  I check his rhythms.

I yell down through the laundry shoot: Yep, you're fucked today!

February. The latent period where everything is standing too still before the landslide of spring. Before lambing, before seedlings and the frenetic energy I want always.

Also, I don't understand GoogleDocs.

I've been reading about Black Mountain College, the alternative art project/school that rose out of the ashes of the Bauhaus and the Great Depression and attracted some of the great modernist artists in their youth; DeKooning, Albers, Twombly, John Cage, Merce Cunningham. It's intoxicating to read about the interdisciplinary, holistic, open way that the college approached the creative learning process. 

Anni Albers said the following which resonates with me:

"Wholeness is not a Utopian dream. It is something that we once possessed and now seem largely to have lost, or to say it less pessimistically, seem to have lost were it not for our inner sense of direction which still reminds us that something is wrong here because we know of something that is right.”

Anni and Joseph Albers fled nazi Germany to come teach art at Black Mountain; and this quote is colored with that haunting fact…

But the sentiment of rebelling against institutionalized learning and reinventing how the creative process is drawn out and shared  could not be more relevant today.

I see a lot of people flailing for authentic connection and looking for an opportunity to revisit the uncensored, runaway creativity that we knew as children but are often taught to put away in order to chase successful adult lives. 

I had a visit with Stacy and John from Broadturn Farm last week. They are some of the smartest people I know, and what they do at the farm with education, mentorship and community is really inspiring to me.

(Other business people I look up to are Alice Waters and Andrew Tarlow & Kate Huling -- all businesses grounded in community with THE MOST thoughtful attention to process and quality…  ) 

Anyway, after dinner talking with John about how people can make real environmental impact, things got a bit dark; in a way someone clever might zoom out to look realistically at the history of the planet, and consider it's future. John talked about connectivity. That the way to make a difference now is to really strive for  person to person connection. I'm not sure I understood fully what he meant by this - like when you go see an oracle in a cave you may walk out bewildered and feeling sort of dumb - but with some sentiment that resonates over you. The path you take out of the forest is just slightly different than the path you took in.

Simply put; I wake up every morning and I'm like what can I do different, how can I do more? A few weeks ago I got to my desk and saw the news; it was all about the hottest year on record and donald trump. And I thought what the hell am I going to do today??

I was supposed to be writing my second post on the wedding industry, and I will. And these things are, can be related. There's more here to write, but I have to run out the door to the city today to teach our Hellebore Class on Sunday and work on some Saipua stuff in the flesh…I am very excited for PLANTLAB! next weekend and if you get our newsletter you've started to see some of that programming leak out…Will share full details soon, mark your calendar - it opens in our new space on Friday night March 4th and continues through Sunday the 6th.


Elizabeth Legere said...

I think simply talking about these ideas, getting them out there in the open for people to contemplate and research IS doing something. Not enough people think or talk about where this world is headed and we have to make some moves, soon! What you are doing is just the beginning but we have to start somewhere and we should all join in anyway possible. We all do our best, but we need to do better. Thank you for starting the conversation. Let's keep talking!

Elizabeth Legere said...

Simply starting a conversation about these ideas IS doing something. Not enough people talk about these issues and we need to start, yesterday. Talking about it is just the beginning but we need to start somewhere, and this is a great way to do that. We all do our best, but we certainly need to do better. Thank you for starting the conversation, let's keep talking!

Emily said...

My fist awareness of Black Mountain College was through the writings/teachings of M.C.Richards, someone who has continually inspired/re-inspired the way I (try to) approach creative process and community. Seeing her in action cemented her words for me- there's a great documentary (this may be old news) called "The Fire Within", this post reminds me of her, and the thoughts that I think when I hear her voice. I agree with John about connectivity, it feels like the Last Unicorn in this crazy world of discord...thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

I also became aware of Black Mountain College thru the writings of M.C. Richards.
Her book called " Centering " saved my sanity more than a few times when I felt overwhelmed by the fast pace of modern day living.

Perhaps you could host a lecture series at your fabulous barn on the inner vision and mission of Black Mountain College ?


Mister Mister said...

There is a small coterie of folks in NC trying now to bring Black Mountain College back from the to speak. They have a great shot at actually doing it, I think. Would love to connect you if you aren't already. Lemme know.