Capstone 1: in every direction, a window The morning is introverted and full of stillness. My ambition and drive are sleeping, I neither expand or contract, I am simple with my first coffee. Listening, in my purple slippers and with these six red candles, to the train, the starlings, the panicked robin, the traffic that sounds like wind. Cello is warm and awaits my daily workout upstairs, eight pieces of artwork still lean, a box of old cards from 1994 is there, still unpacked and place-less. Already, the day claims a slow approach, deliberate and sensual. With my ambitions and yearnings still (uncharacteristically) at rest I have a different awareness in this moment of Morning. As though the Moment bows to me, hand extended: a silent, respectful invitation to dance. I accept, on the condition (granted) that I finish the thought that whispers from behind me and a little to the right. Research is like a dance with listening. The idea you begin with shifts as you move through space and time, in constant contact and conversation with the material you study. You and the listening moment, together then apart, in rhythm, sway, skip, twirl, in step. The dance changes your awareness, deepens the question. Reading is also listening, from inside a warm blanket, tucked in with hot tea and soup. Active reading is like this too, save that the soup and tea are like elixirs that demand a body-response: speak, write, note, answer, connect. What is painting, then? What is making music? It feels to me as though painting is about bringing all of these listening moments together with my acquired skill, getting my ego the hell out of the way, and allowing the moment to sing, for as long as it takes. Same with playing. You show up, clean and ready. Then you surrender to the piece. Sounds simple, but it’s not. Read, dig, collect, code, analyze, dance, draw, write, paint, sing, play. Oh ya, also eat, walk, sleep, connect, laugh, practice and hang the paintings. Use the phone with your voice to tell people you love them. I’m going to dance with the rare listening moments, all the way to my Masters capstone performance on April 30. I need a BUNCH of people to come and be an active part of it. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and/or stay tuned to this blog if you are interested. Details to follow.