If Your Art Is Not Turning Out As You Hoped, Sing About It!
Years ago, I read a book called The Possible Human by Jean Houston.
That book had a profound effect on me. I felt I had found a mentor, someone who revered and trusted their imagination, and embraced creative energy. “[O]ne of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement,” Jean has “worked intensively in 40 cultures and 100 countries helping to enhance and deepen their own uniqueness while they become part of the global community. Her ability to inspire and invigorate people enables her to readily convey her vision – the finest possible achievement of the individual potential.”
-How the shift in human nature is moving people to discover and use dormant or little-known capacities. -How the breakthroughs in technological connection and new ways of being in community in global society are repatterning human consciousness.
Her 1997 book, A Passion For the Possible (which I was drawn to because of its echoing of that earlier reading experience), continues Dr. Houston’s calling as a midwife for human creative capacity:
Over the past 30 years Jean Houston has dedicated her life to helping people unleash their creative and spiritual potential. As a result she has worked with some of the greatest cultural and spiritual visionaries of our time, such as Margaret Meade and Joseph Campbell. In A Passion for the Possible, written as a complement to the PBS series by the same name, Houston explains what helps people become creative geniuses. The trick is to fully commit to the four levels of self (sensory, psychological, mythic, and spiritual). Acting as a guide to the interior world, Houston once again inspires readers to embody their true potential. ~From Amazon.com
On page 6, she describes a tribe in West Africa that has a unique way of dealing with community issues:
The question~say, improving waste disposal in the village~is presented in a village meeting. Then people dance the problem, sing about it, draw it in the sand, close their eyes and imagine solutions, sleep and dream about it, dance some more, and then suddenly~a solution! And a very good one, too, for people have run the problem through many different modes of knowing and have looked at it from different points of view.
I think I have found the itinerary for my next art workshop, and it’s a very good one, too!