Saturday, March 9, 2013

Showing ShadowPlace

a performance installation
March 3, 10, & 17, 7:00pm.
The Photobooth on Montrose (on the corner of Westheimer and Montrose)

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As I've pointed out before, the line below the title of this blog is "servants to the showing."

What should I say I'm showing in ShadowPlace?

Shadows, yes. Speaking in general religious/spiritual metaphors, light and shadow vie for dominance in our lives and the shadows can be either rather scary or be the byproduct of very hopeful light.

I never intended this piece to be quite as personal as it's become. In the last month, I've had some, shall we say, medical surprises. A fairly serious surgery is in my near future, but that's actually good news when it could have been months of chemotherapy to fight an aggressive type of cancer. Tests and scans and other such pokings on my person over something like three weeks finally got me to a diagnosis that is free of cancer. Hallelujah, thank you, amen.

But in those days of uncertainty, I couldn't help musing, "And here I am making this thing I'm calling ShadowPlace, a meditation on waiting and watching."

Well, I won't go into all the many things---dark, humorous, sad, hopeful, scared---that went through my mind during those musings (and still are on a constant, present, playlist in my brain), but suffice to say, your attention gets mightily focused in those moments. My thoughts were scattered, yes, and I was forgetting things and thank God for friends who picked up after/for me, but my attention focused on things that might otherwise have been lost, ignored as insignificant.

There were small, moving lights that maybe magnified the shadows at times, but also made them beautiful.

And I thought, "this is what I'm showing---the beauty in the ShadowPlace of uncertainty."

I hope that's what I'm doing. I want to be servant to that showing.

I will leave tonight with a quote from a favorite poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. He gives us a musical image that I believe, today at least, is about the same tension I've found in my personal ShadowPlace:

I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death’s note wants to climb over—
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.

I hope you will come join us in the shadows and find beauty in the passing light. 

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