I like long conversations over coffee. Deep intense conversations about life, art, stories. The magical moments become times of soaking up life and courage.
I think presence matters. The stage reminds me of this. There is power being in the presence of a story unfolding in front of you.
When someone is vulnerable and shares their story I am reminded of presence. Of the precious gift of being in the space where their stories become embodied and lived and breathed.
When I pause and consider the kind of art I want to create - I think about what I'm soaking in. What is feeding me. What is in my presence and how does it feed my work. Because what I'm soaking in seeps into my work.
"The Heart of Shahrazad" is a project I feel passionate about. I'm grateful to be pouring my energies into a piece that I believe in. A piece filled with some wonderful creatives. A piece that brings light to poison.
But when we step into poison it gets on us. When I soak in trauma, pain, suffering I feel the poison. The eating away. The ways that I feel weary and heavy. Because violence is heavy. Violence destroys.
I can go to conferences and be fed - hear dynamic speakers who are doing amazing things in the world. I can read books and listen to lectures and be encouraged and inspired. But there is something magical about being in the presence of people. Of sharing food and art. Of sitting with a group of artists and hearing them share their work, their struggles, their lives.
Last night I sat with a group of artists. Not one is a celebrity. Not one is a wealthy artist. Yet, this group poured into my life. They spoke beauty. They shared their work. They shared their lives. They sat with me in the struggle.
Today I'm still soaking in the words, work, and lives of these artists. And I'm full of beautiful words and art. I'm humbled by the gift of seeing their process and work. And sitting in the beautiful vulnerability they shared heals my wounds.
Maybe we won't move mountains in our lifetimes. But those ripples. Those small streams. This. This fills my life. These moments, however small, have ripples of impact on me. The gift of these artists presence and time and hearts.
And no amount of fame or money can purchase that.
I can only say thanks. Thanks for presence. For sitting with me and sharing your work.
Thanks for believing in my dreams. Thanks for helping me believe in my work. Thanks for walking with me in the joys and sorrows of life.
I've listened to this song on repeat. The reminder that there are those in our lives who can help the world Glow. Those who help us let go of sorrow and light a fire in the darkness, whose very presence is a story of beauty I can soak in. And as I soak in their presence I find the courage to tell my own story and dream of what could be.