Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ending on High Tides

Joint Lab 6/23/15 by Robyn Awend
Water has been our source of inspiration for the past year. It has quenched our thirst for knowledge, satiated personal and artistic growth, and created fluid connections with others.

Tuesday was our last Lab of the season. We gathered in our large group of nearly 30 and began with a nigun (song) about water, as we often do.  Rabbi Davis introduced Proverb 27:19: “As in water the face to the face, so the heart of man to the man.” We analyzed the Hebrew and English versions, discussing what this could mean. The group responded, “Water takes the shape of its vessel, as does the heart.” “Water is the connecting link to all things, as the heart connects us to one another.” “We can see our self in water's reflection, as we can reflect love onto our self.”For further discussion, Rabbi Davis & Meryll went on to share several thoughts from various sources about its meaning (from King James, JPS, A. Bible, ISV, etc.).

He then raised the question, “How does your artwork reflect who you are?” It was silent for a while as contemplation set i. Slowly, we went around and shared our thoughts –for some it was about our personal work serving as a direct reflection of who we are…..or the essence of the individual….or a product of where we are and where we want to be.

The follow up question was raised, “Has your experience with the Lab allowed you to connect with another person in the Lab in a significant way?” Two people sitting next to each other immediately hugged, two others caught eyes and smiled, and another raised her hand and shared about her connection to community.

We were then invited to stand together in silence. We were guided to flow like water, and at the sound of the bell, stopping and facing the person next to us while exchanging a moment of silence, together.  This lasted several rounds, there were hugs exchanged, smiles shared and even tears shed. We then gathered hands and danced and sang shuv-tey-mayim.
After a short break Liba and Yoni introduced us to a collaborative initiative that each of us would contribute to –a water symphony.  Juxtaposed to our recent exercise in silence, we now gathered around a series of tables to create sounds with interesting vessels filled with water (wine glasses, tubs, containers, etc.) and a slew of sound making gadgets (bath toys, sponges, straws, ladles, etc.).  We were each asked to choose one gadget and one vessel with which to create a sound. In complete silence, one by one, we began to create our individual water sounds, adding to the collaborative symphony.  As Liba tapped our shoulders, it was our turn to stop and just listen as the symphony faded to one last sound of water being squeeze from a sponge into a large pan. Yoni recorded this symphony, along with everyone else who had a recording device. We were exhilarated to be part of this two+ minutes of art in the making. Click here to hear our result.

The last exercise of the day was to create and record a unique breath, different than the person before you. We went around in a circle and shared our breath, some calm, others rapid, a few mysterious….

We closed the Lab by offering any last comments or shared thoughts. The room was overflowing with gratitude and a feeling of completeness.

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