I love where I live for the living. I've been able to craft a very unique life for myself in Columbus, Ohio. My life-long passion for dance and writing continues to find its core here. It's cool.
About four years ago I decided it was time to return to a third passion of mine - cooking and food. Since that time I've ushered Edible Columbus into being as editor and a main contributor to the magazine. It's been fun. And it's softened me up to the practice of growing your own food and farming. My earthy interests are sated, to be sure, whenever I'm working on an issue.
It was also at that time that I decided to dive into yoga. I was longing for a spiritual dialogue and a safe, non-judgemental place to be with my body. I found Yoga on High, one of the most beautiful places in the world, and feel like a lucky duck to be teaching there and a part of the community.
There have been questions the whole way as to what I'm making. A dance? A magazine? A community? An article? A blog post? A yoga class? I've fallen towards and away from the labels these conjure (dancer, choreographer, writer, blogger, teacher, editor, yogi) in search of some identity that might tie me to some community.
Yet the truth of the matter is I'm on my own with this work and creative research. I'm looking at dance as it relates to yoga as it relates to sustainable food and farming as it relates to writing and editing on my own. I've come round the bend of the realization that my community of collaborative dance-makers doesn't live where I do. The people who ignite my imagination and keep my heart happy when choreographing live in other places, for the most part. And while I love food and farming I'm really just a home cook growing basil in her backyard. I don't go hang out on a farm with other farmers pretending to be a farmer. (That would be funny.) Most of the time I'm holed up at my desk writing and researching, a solitary practice I love more often than I abhor. And the word yogi... well, I've never felt it suited me. I do my yoga. That's it.
So what do I do when my community of dance-makers doesn't live where I do? How do I continue to choreograph? And how do the various materials of my choreographic life choreograph me?
These are questions I aim to burn through when I present my solo Spending Time Mending Things at The Seasoned Farmhouse on June 1. I presented this solo a year ago in Chicago at Links Hall in "The Wrecking Project." It was there that choreographer Christy Funsch suggested I throw cooking in the mix. So I plan to do just that. Along with dancing there will be the contemplative movement of cooking and the action of writing. All of these textures - recipes, writings and more - will come together in some kind of handmade program meant to act like a little book.
I've invited people privately as it's a small space and I can't cook for more than 25 people. (If I had the help of someone like my Mom, maybe.) I'm thinking of it like a ritual, a wedding of sorts, designed to marry these worlds of mine and the questions that keep me in these worlds.
It's an experiment I hope to continue each season in some way. The Seasoned Farmhouse is a beautiful spot and I know from my work with Edible Columbus that there is beautiful, homegrown food to be had here in Ohio. If I can bring these earthy aspects together with my writer's mind, dancer's heart and yoga practice, if I can play in the meditation the joining of these elements will surely offer, then I will have good information for what comes next.
Because I don't know where this work and creative research is taking me, toward what or whom or when. And that's how I like it.
"This is the great mystery of the soul: Whenever something is being accomplished, it is also in some way being undone."
~Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul
Photos by Ryan Bourque