On Falling

Poet Anne Carson reading Falling at Mount Tremper Arts on August 2

She stands on the wood floor and connects the dots between a father and a helmet and falling (in war, in dance, in love).

And she reminds me how important falling is to the process of making art, how close leaping and falling are.

When we create, we leap between two seemingly unrelated words. From nothing to something. We bring our experience and skills but we don’t know exactly where or how we will land. Trying to know gets in the way.

In creating a contemporary arts center, my husband and I are learning how to support the leaps and the falls. We grow big enough to hold it all, strengthening those human muscles of excitement and fear and joy and embarrassment and…

We learn to stay present. We can’t wall off what is new or scary or different. We breathe with the process and the results, the experiences of the artists and the audience members. There is no protection. And that is how we know we're alive.

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