Where Do You Find Community?

Last week I wrote that I was suffering from artist block. I am happy to report that I am starting to tinker with mirror and repurposed wine bottles. It’s a slow, gentle start. Nothing too bold or demanding. Sort of quiet, stealthy movements like you might use around a wild animal you don’t want to startle. It’s not what I hoped to be doing, but I am working on having fewer expectations about the process, cutting myself some slack in what has been a very telling time in my life.

I realize that my “artist block” isn’t really a block at all. Nor is my creativity simply dried up and gone. Rather, my creative self is taking a quiet retreat as she rights herself in a world that has been turned crazily upside down since January 1st. She’s feeling it, processing it, and making peace–but with that comes a need for solitude in creativity, a fallow period while she gets her heart right, a bit of dark to trudge through before she can fully appreciate the light again. The creative spark is resting and dreaming again of the days when it cannot be contained. Until then, I wait and play with simple glass and glue in three minute increments as I bounce from task to task.

What I can say is that in the past few months I have come to value community and my friends so much more than I realized was possible. I find myself surrounded by the most amazing people–largely women, a few men–who are creative and funny, musical and quirky, deep-thinking and light-hearted, honest and compassionate, fiercely loyal and wickedly smart, quietly wise and incredibly brave. I have met people who are so truly authentic that they glow. I found this community in my close circle of friends and more recently, in a tribe of women called the Twin Cities Women’s Choir.

I’ve only been a member of the Twin Cities Women’s Choir since February. There are 150 members and I don’t know nearly all of their names. Sometimes it’s just a smile on a familiar face. But singing with them has been such an incredible solace to me on days when I just didn’t have it in me to crawl out of bed in the morning. Wind in my sails and laughter in my heart, no matter what had happened earlier in the day or the week. I looked forward to Wednesday night rehearsals and was quite literally crestfallen when I caught a nasty bug and kept myself home so that I didn’t breathe all over everyone else. There is something joyful about singing for me, but this was truly something else that I wasn’t able to put my finger on until we got closer to the spring concert: Community. Family. Home. Fellowship. Things I didn’t realize I was missing.

Funny that I didn’t know my life had a choir sized hole in it–but it did. Here’s a clip from the concert  earlier this month–one of my favorite songs. (Don’t mind the odd “percussion” with forks and knives in the beginning–people were eating dessert…) I hope you enjoy the clip and I hope that maybe this song will be the balm you need in your life today–right now.

With much love and gratefulness to the Tribe of Women who’ve held me up,

Rachel

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