In the late summer, Music from Angel Fire an annual chamber music festival, celebrating its 37th season, brings young musicians, contemporary classical composers, and so much more to Northern New Mexico. Donna, Sande, and I attended two concerts this season and were fortunate to hear young artists from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Juilliard School of Music in New York and the Colburn School in Los Angeles as well as accomplished professionals who love returning to Northern New Mexico each year. This year, Andi Akiho on steel drum and Ian Rosenbaum on marimba, played two pieces from Synesthesia, Purple and Red, composed by Akiho, these compositions brought forth extraordinary sounds, evoking the natural world and all its beauty. Deeply healing, the spirits of every masked attendee in the audience, were lifted.
As we emerge from living in isolation and only seeing friends, family and colleagues on Zoom or FaceTime we experience the genuine joy of in person reconnection, laughter, great food, and far-ranging conversations that engage the mind and heart.
“If the seasons of the year are in harmony then spring brings to life the smallest seeds and the world is filled with greenness…When we are in harmony the hope of a new seed opens each day.” – Debra Kaatz, Characters of Wisdom
I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion…at every level of society - familial, tribal, national and international - the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. — Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” — Abraham Lincoln
“Our heart’s ability to transform all of the information coming from the outside and to give what is needed, is the work of the earth element. In this way the earth has the ability to digest and transport the caring and nourishing thoughts of our heart. This is how our heart can expand itself to the dimensions of the universe.” — Debra Kaatz, Characters of Wisdom
As I read these words, in this month’s offering from Paul and Jude, they struck a powerful chord for me as I grapple with finding the words to address the systems of injustice and systemic racism that have pervaded the US for hundreds of years. I recognize how critical it is that I truly listen to the experiences and powerful voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, experiences that, as a white person, are not my own, and can never be felt at the deep cellular level that is endemic to the black and brown lived experience.
In January, if you asked me about the availability of online classes for Acutonics, I would have directed you to Catherine Birch Storey, who has been running Acutonics Level I, for several years, a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning, which has received very positive feedback from students. Had you been seeking clinic hours, Judy Bernard has created an online approach to offer supervised clinic hours and case studies over Zoom, with good success. A handful of teachers including DahVid Weiss and Carmen Cicotti were working with students to enhance online learning opportunities. As a company, we had explored numerous options, and a range of learning platforms for bringing Acutonics online. Many faculty members played an important role in our discovery process sharing what they learned, exploring how we might improve our online efforts, and what it would take to bring more of our rich curriculum online. But, the reality for myself and Donna was that while we knew that we needed to develop a comprehensive approach for online Acutonics learning, we were moving slowly, taking our time to evaluate many different approaches and options.
The header photo for this newsletter is the birthing labyrinth here at the Mothership in Llano, New Mexico. If you’ve been here for classes you had the opportunity to take part in ceremony where we walk the labyrinth, sound tools in hand, with an intention to birth something new or gain clarity about what we most wish to create. Donna and I walked the labyrinth yesterday to center and sooth ourselves but also to virtually invite in our entire community with the intention of envisioning and creating something new that honors the Earth and all living creatures.
Dancers soar, children jump for joy, swimmer dives into the warm ocean, as dolphins leap in perfect harmony, all of these images evoke a sense of freedom, bodies in motion, free-flowing with a lightness of being, even when hurdling or leaping into the unknown.