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Meredith Monk Interview and a Kayak Paddle around Lake Whatcom


I have begun a new ritual.  A weekend kayak around the perimeter of the first basin of Lake Whatcom.  An hour long tour of my local landscape which also grants me the quiet uninterrupted time to listen to onbeing, meditate and jot a few notes in reflection of the program.  Today I heard the rhythmic sound of my paddle gracing the water intermingled with the wisdom and musicality of Meridith’s voice and words, and they spoke to me on many levels. 

I’m a visual artist influenced by poetry.  I consider my work contemplative and of a nature that offers viewers space to breathe.  I loved how Meridith defined her work as “uncovering what we can’t label”. I think that is the truest definition of many art forms:  poetry, music, painting.  Maybe I was familiar with Meridith’s name through her association with Ann Hamilton–but I was really unfamiliar with her work.  So it came as a bit of a surprise all the synchronicity I felt with the intentions of her work and with her spiritual philosophies.

My current practice has me thinking along the lines of tethered to the sky, how spirituality looks up.  And in reading and writing about this idea and the dual concept of gravity last week, I came across this poem from Ellery Akers titled Advice from an Angel.  Here is an excerpt that speaks to the looking down referenced by Meridith when speaking to Krista about ascension as well as her sharing of her artistic practice. 

I know it’s in your nature to want air, ozone. To float: to be free. But stick with what you know: you’d be surprised at the effect of sheer blundering and doggedness. To evaporate is nothing: to sprint, to travel. It’s weight that divides the known and unknown worlds. It’s your boots that impress us, your squads of boulders,

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