Water is the most versatile of all elements. It isn’t afraid to burn in fire or fade into the sky, it doesn’t hesitate to shatter against sharp rocks in rainfall or drown into the dark shroud of the earth. It exists beyond all beginnings and ends. On the surface nothing will shift, but deep in underground silence, water will hide and with soft fingers coax a new channel for itself, until stone gives in and slowly settles around the secret space.
Death is water’s close companion, and neither of them can be separated from us, for we are made of the versatility of water and the closeness of death. Water doesn’t belong to us, we belong to water: when it has passed through our fingers and pores and bodies, nothing separates us from earth.
Synchronicity is the perception of seemingly unrelated events as meaningful, a recognition of the human ability to weave together that which is not obvious. One of the things I love most about the synchronistic approach to life is that it allows creativity to remain fluid. When an opportunity presents itself in one arena, a synchronistic thinker can shift attention to provide space for growth. Being able to move from writing to singing and performing, from music to poetry, from visual to auditory realms is exhilarating. It keeps things fresh and reinforces the feeling that all creative efforts come from the same place, an interior space somewhere in the subconscious where dreams begin. Sometimes the most unlikely ideas lead us into places we have hardly dared to imagine, while the most bankable idea may only lead us back to where we started.
Cigarette girls from Carmen at Houston Grand Opera, fashion concept based on the work of photographer Ruven Afanador. I’m the one in the middle.
For the past five months I’ve been busy performing and singing. This included working hard and having a great time at Houston Grand Opera as we presented three very diverse works: The Passenger, Carmen, and Die Fledermaus, as well as singing with the new H-town Music Cooperative, whichpresents fantastic intimate chamber music concerts in homes around Houston. I’m also currently filling in with a lovely community ensemble, Opera Leggera of Kingwood, which has been getting my dance chops up and going. When I started synkroniciti,I was prepared to let the musical performance component of my creative journey wind down. As I began writing, much to my amazement, the singing and performing jobs came in with a vengeance. Is it possible that synkroniciti has had something to do with that? It certainly has not hurt, despite the prevailing educational wisdom of today that encourages young people to narrow their interests and give 100% effort to the specialization of their choice. Why not keep your interests broad and acknowledge that creativity is a support system for life?
That being said, one can pursue several different things concurrently, but not simultaneously. The flurry of performing I experienced this spring had a surprising effect on synkroniciti. As I wrote less and much more selectively, the number of followers increased steadily. The themes and quotes became the backbone of the blog as well as nurturing my own sanity and keeping windows open onto different pastures. The guilt I felt over not writing as much faded as I realized that it wasn’t effective to drown myself or my readers with the sheer volume of my posts. Running from one cool piece of art to another like a kid in a candy store had begun to produce a stomach ache and severe difficulty in focusing. This miraculously vanished when lack of time stopped me from trying to buy everything in the store.
What will the long term impact of this experience be? Synkroniciti will continue to explore a weekly or biweekly theme through daily quotes. We will feature up to three creative people or genres per week that are somehow connected to this theme, with the occasional philosophical post on creativity and aesthetics. The newest feature on the blog, which I am positively ecstatic about, will be the weekly unveiling of an original piece or set of pieces produced by synkroniciti. These will be postedat the end of each week and archived on a brand new page of the website. At first these pieces will be my own work, but in the future I hope to feature projects made by collaborative teams working with synkroniciti. The first of these posts will go up tomorrow and features my recent pencil drawings, titled Metamorphic Fairies. I can’t wait to share them with you!
Our slogan is explore, create, share. When I selected those words, I had no idea how appropriate they would become to describe the beginning of our journey. I’m overcome with emotion to realize that the past year and a half(!) has been a period of intense exploration. Now we begin the creative period in earnest, looking forward to the day when we can more fully share our vision with others. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t been creative yet, that we are done exploring, or that we are not yet ready to share. Growth never happens in a straight line, but sometimes we are lucky enough to see it spiral out into the world around us. Thank you for being a part of that process!
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they’re born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren’t content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that served no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.