Thursday, September 12, 2019

Returning HOME for the first time

In the beginning of each rehearsal, we sit in a circle and "check in". We discuss where we are in this moment, what we're bringing into the studio, and how thinking about HOME has influenced us during our time apart.

Two of the dancers are undergraduate students at Widener University and have been embarking on this journey as part of the Widener University Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities program. 

Early in the process, Erin and Kyleigh had recently returned to their childhood homes after their first year away from college. When we came together, Erin reflected:

"Whether this is based on my age (and growing up) or another factor, since returning home from school, I've found myself considering a wider meaning of "home." Coming from a small town within the Lehigh Valley, when asked, I identified Allentown as my general home. Now, I believe I have expanded to include all of the Lehigh Valley and down to Delaware County as my home. I've found myself more likely to travel and explore this newly defined home, and in the process of this travel, I've spent less time in both my physical (structural) home and Allentown in general. I notice that in this expansion, I feel as though I am able to learn and experience more through new places and events."

Dancers performing JCWK's work in the Lehigh Valley

Friday, August 30, 2019

Is your body your HOME?

Included below is a reflection by Dance Artist Sarena on BODY as HOME.

"What does it mean to call my body home?

To have the complete sensation of feeling all parts of myself
As one singular organism
Orchestrated to a single harmony
Vibrating with all passions that make me feel alive

It is about reversing the chatter
That scorns my bodyweight, and my personality

By remembering what is beneath and between all those self-conscious stories
A remembering of my consciousness itself

That some force animated me to share my persona with this world
That every day when I open my eyes 
I can make choices
To see light and beauty in everyone and everything that I touch

It is a deep feeling of safety
An indeterminable trust

What does it mean to call my body home?
It Is to know that I am never alone
That I am in all ways

All one"

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Reflection in Poetry

Below is a poem created by Dance Artist Sarena in reflection of the HOMEbody process.

Home isn’t a place
It’s a feeling that swells inside of us 
When we’ve stopped living in longing.

When we switch the story from needing more
To having enough exactly as we are right now
And with this, a settling arrives,
The body begins to stop running marathons for the mind.
The body is granted the time and space to heal itself.
The heart beat slows
And you feel the soft rush of complacency
A tender sensation, like being caressed by someone you love.

To have a home, to be home
Are such separate entities
To be home, to feel home
Are worlds apart.
Who makes the walls that separate us from coming home?
My mind, my stories, my window, my world view, 
My thought patterns, my fears, my future projections
There are millions of ways to build walls
But the body won’t thank you
The soul won’t thank you
The spirit will long to be free from the cage you’ve built

Do we have the power
Right now. In this moment
To break down the walls and and speak a new story.
With this next breath.
“Inhale, I have arrived.
Exhale, I am home (thich nhat hanh).”




Tuesday, August 20, 2019

HOME in lanuguage

Virtual high fives and hugs and appreciation for your thoughts, words and reflections on HOME!

In a Facebook discussion, Michael Lancaster suggested that he and several other authors use my post, Defining HOME, as a writing prompt on PLACE and HOME.

See the comments on Defining HOME for some of Michael's written reflections.

In a group chat, Michael shared:
"Reflecting on Home, friend Becky Patterson who wrote The Ranch that Was Us, author Becky Patterson offered this poem as a touchstone for home"





As a researcher in this process, I've been gathering articles, stories, and artistic reflections that other folks (artists, writers, musicians, bloggers, news organizations, dancers, athletes, yogis...) have shared about home. I'll continue to share that research here.

I'm so grateful to Michael, Scott, and Jenner for embarking on this creative challenge as we all sort out what HOME has meant and what it develops into as time passes.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Comments...

Hi, Dear Readers!

For some silly reason, I can't respond to your comments, so I'll be posting here with a link to your original comments and the post. ::fist shake::

From Michael's Comments on HOMEostasis:

Hi, Michael! Thanks for writing and reading! Yes... so many thoughts, ideas, studies, and research circling around. I find it interesting that you mention hunter/gather groups because they don't identify with a place, rather a state of being. In looking at home, we're wondering asking this question of ourselves, especially because our current world/ career/ life trends tend to be pretty mobile, or at least fluid. I look forward to continued conversations! ~JCWK

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Discovering HOME

What does HOME mean to you?

Is it a place?

Is it a feeling?

Is is a person or people?

Could we experience HOME in our body? What does that look like? What does that mean?

Is HOME the earth? Our community? A building? A spiritual experience? and/or something else?

What are some of the positive connotations of HOME?

What are some negative connotations of HOME?

What does it mean and what does it take to address both these positive and negative aspects?

What makes HOME joyful?

What makes HOME a challenge?

What does it mean/ look like/ feel like to move away from and return to a HOME?

............. How do you, dear Reader, respond to these questions? What movements does your body make as you reflect? Please feel free to include your thoughts in the comments!

.........

Over the past four months, I've been deep into the research process of these questions with four other dance artists. In addition, we've been asking:

How do we, as dancers, experience HOME in our bodies?

How do we, as people who work with other bodies as educators and healers, hear and observe how other people manifest HOME in their bodies - or not?

What can we learn about looking at how we define HOME? What can we learn from the ways we are drawn to or repelled by certain notions of HOME? How does digging into and sharing our stories about HOME provide more information about us and the way we interact with the world?

How does this process and our ideas about HOME change as we gain more information during this research?

What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for our results!

And, if you'd like to see the performance live, you can get tickets here. 

......

As part of our conversations during our studio research, we often come back to the idea that the body is a microcosm of the universe. In this case, our body is our physical home in the greater home of our communities, environments, world, and cosmos.

Included below is are some visual reflections that Sarena, one of the dance artists, found and shared.

Original source unknown

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The WOW happening NOW

Happy 4th of July!

Today is always bittersweet.

Today, I celebrate my anniversary.

Today, the country celebrates her independence.

Today, we as citizens of the United States, celebrate our freedoms to disagree, challenge, and question without persecution. (or do we...?)

......

Today, I read stories about children and adults put into challenging situations because of their hopes and dreams for a better life.

Today, I watch demonstrations of material power.

Today, I remember an embodied collective of joy and love.

......

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is modeled after the famed Mr. Rodger's show. In one particular episode, Daniel is reminded (and reminds those watching) to "Enjoy the WOW that's happening NOW."

We watched that episode today.

And as I watch my wedding video - and the news feeds, I can't help but hear Daniel's, and Ms. Tiger's voices ringing in my head, singing, "Enjoy the WOW that's happening NOW!".

The NOW of the moment of my wedding.

The NOW of the folks who are in my wedding video but are no longer physically present.

The NOW of the possibilities of many years ago and the NOW that exists in this moment (both personally and nationally).

The WOW of memories that have been captured in this video. And the WOW of the memories that I can only hold in my heart.

......

In 2016 I began the process of exploring Grief in LEFT BEHIND.

I don't think that I'll ever understand this phenomenon, no matter how many different ways I embody and experience it. But, in this post, I feel it's important to acknowledge that there's a WOW in reflecting on the NOW.

The WOW is painful and heartbreaking and capable of collapsing the human form. And yet, that WOW withstands the impossible pain of loss and grief.

The WOW is in the resilience of the human form to keep moving in face of the unbearable.

Enjoy the WOW that's happening NOW.

Damn...!

.... Happy 4th.

Thank you to those who have served (including our/ your families) and those who continue to serve, in whatever form that manifests.

and...in the words of Daniel Tiger, "Ugga mugga....!"