It has been a busy month since my last newsletter. On September 19-21, I went to Atlanta, Georgia to attend my high school reunion. It celebrated our 40th year of graduation! One of the highlights was being the guest preacher at the Sunday worship service. The extra special highlight of that was that it was at the church my dad use to pastor. My mother and one of my two sisters were there along with their families. To say that it was a rich experience would not do it justice. I was actually very emotional as I stood before my high school classmates, and had to gather myself before continuing. We had a marvelous 3 days together, and now that we are all nearing 60 years of age, we have decided to do these reunions every five years instead of every 10!
October 3rd was the 2nd anniversary of Tap Into Transformation. Jeannine and I have presented 24 of them now, and we are full steam ahead for year number 3 of our once a month community event. We used the theme of JOY for our celebration and danced to an African influenced tune inspired by Jeannine that Gary Grundei and myself created and I arranged. It is a song that highlights the marimba, which means “singing wood.”
The second half of the evening saw us having an in-depth conversation about the things that bring us joy in our personal lives. We then used crayons to express that joy on paper. Below is a picture of our group joy. It was very interesting to hear the interpretations of what the different colors meant or why the different shapes and lines. Joy may reside in each of us differently, and art is one way to “see” what something “feels like inside.”
What does your joy look like?
Jeannine was invited to present a series of lectures on St. Hildegard of Bingen at the Messiah Community Church in Denver.
She presented her exhibition, which ran from Oct. 4 through Oct. 9. She was the preacher for the Sunday worship and gave a lecture after the service and then again on Tuesday. I joined Jeannine in the worship service by interpreting Genesis 1:1-5 through tap dance. Then, we tap danced to Psalm 91 after her sermon. It is a tune Jeannine composed and I arranged. We have presented this “dance prayer” several times now, and it continues to be a powerful way to visualize an already powerful sacred text. If you want to see something of this powerful presentation, click on the following links. For a look at the tail end of Jeannine’s talk and to see our Psalm 91 dance, click here. To see a portion of one of Jeannine’s lectures, click here.
I am excited to announce a new website and project, THE JOY COLLABORATIVE.
Jeannine and I, along with Gary Grundei, have collaborated on a joint venture to bring the innate joy heard in African sounds to our own musical world. After more than two years of studying African music and culture and taking in the real life politics and history that makes Africa such a dynamic continent, we are hoping to share some of Africa’s joy. So follow this link http://thejoycollaborative.com/#listen/ to hear the first of our nine creations that will be featured there. It will take you to the website and you will need to click on “listen” in the menu. I did this on purpose so you would scroll through the web site first. (Yes, a shameless attempt to get you to actually read what this is all about.)
Finally, as the fall colors dance in the winds of the change of seasons I will leave you with this reminder…
May you have Power For Life, Now!