Look Out, January


(Why am I naming days?)
1/5/15, Day 14,525 (Mercena Day 143): Planning Phone Calls & The Nature of Consensus

I was way less successful this week than I’d hoped at keeping up with this blog and the attached set of daily practices. However, this was in large part because this week was a deep week: At NET, TCG and Flux, major conversations and epiphanies were happening all over, and I needed to sleep in the few free hours I had to make sure I was at my best.

It began on Monday with a significant NET-related phone call that brought me far closer to understanding what’s most urgent as we move forward in 2015.  I can’t say more about that yet, but in many ways, this week fundamentally changed my relationship to NET in ways that are both daunting and thrilling.

I also joined a phone call for Flux’s partnership with New Sanctuary’s Accompaniment Program, where we strategized about our Tuesday accompaniment of an immigrant friend to the ICE office at JFK. Because of the sensitivity of this work, I can’t say much more about it, but will hopefully write more for the FluxBlog.

TCG also held our next Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Workgroup meeting. This Workgroup is designed to make recommendations about internal TCG EDI procedures, and represents a unique cross-departmental collaboration that is creating a new way of working at TCG, one that more closely resembles the equitable, consensus-based decision-making process of Flux. It’s thrilling when all three major organization pieces of my life are not only individually satisfying, but feel like connected parts of an emergent whole!

1/6/15, Day 14,526 (Mercena Day 144): The JFK Accompaniment 

I traveled early in the morning to the ICE office in JFK to support an immigrant friend as part of Flux’s partnership with New Sanctuary’s Accompaniment Program. It was a powerful experience that I’m planning on writing about over on the FluxBlog.

I made it back to TCG in time to participate in an exciting EDI-team call about the Institute. We discussed the 2015 arc for our peer theatres, and how that journey would intersect with the other tools we’re developing, such as REPRESENT. We’re getting a lot closer to a soft launch of REPRESENT, and shared it with the full staff this week for feedback. I can’t wait to share this new tool more broadly!

The day ended with a Flux meeting where we approved new action plans for FluxForward and a new program to be announced soon. We also processed Creative Partner Becky Byers’ move to join CP Will Lowry in South Carolina, but rather than this being a break from Flux, we’re figuring out new structures to keep working together. 2015 is going to be a big year for Flux in so many ways…and perhaps most exciting of all, Mercena slept well at the meeting, and all the way home on the subway so that her sleep schedule was not interrupted. This bodes well for our upcoming rehearsal process.

1/7/15, Day 14,527 (Mercena Day 145): Good-Byers For Now & The Flux Epiphany

During the day, two key Conference meetings moved big pieces forward in our planning process. At night, Heather and I said goodbye (for now) to Becky and Will at our old Astoria haunt, DiWine. (Thank you, Aunt Marnie, for baby-sitting Mercena!)

This was also the day I had a major breakthrough in terms of Flux’s evolving vision. We’ve been working on crafting a vision for several years, hacking away at the Retreat and then nibbling at the edges during the craze of the rest of the year. But the new program we’re moving forward (can’t say more yet) suddenly feel into place as the missing puzzle piece, connecting a series of ideas that felt messy into a clean, compelling whole. It was all right there, but just needed that final piece for us to the shape…though of course, because we’re an ensemble, I now need to convince the other Creative Partners that this is indeed that right assemblage of pieces.

1/8/15, Day 14,528 (Mercena Day 146): Wait, This is the First Week of January?

And then, lo, on the fourth day, he crashed. After another Conference/EDI-focused day at TCG, I came home and crashed completely. It’s a little daunting just how busy and intense this first week back at work has been, but looking over my schedule for the year, I think this is going to be the norm. Deep breath in, deep breath out.

1/9/15, Day 14,529 (Mercena Day 147): 21 Weeks With Mercena

Waking up in the morning, I’m usually able to manage at least a few minutes with Mercena before I leave, and sometimes a whole hour. My favorite part of that hour is when, after changing her out of her sleeper, I carry her skin-to-skin next to my heart around the house. We look out the window and talk about the day. So many things in life fall right when we touch with love, and are touched in return. There is a particular kind of stress we carry when we go too long without that kind of touch. I can feel the difference when Flux isn’t meeting in-person regularly, and we’re not able to hug each other and breathe the same air. We need that time; more than anything, that love holds us together.

At twenty-one weeks, she is an amazingly alive baby. I got home just in time to rock her and sing a lullaby, and she lit up with happiness to see me, and fell asleep gently…though of course, she didn’t stay asleep gently. She continues to wake up several times throughout the night, a phase we’re not entirely sure how to break.

This day also involved a great Audience (R)Evolution meeting where we discussed (among many other things) the implicit ethics in all audience engagement/community development decisions, and that we may have reached a tipping point where more and more practitioners recognize that an ethical approach is an essential step that strengthens the work.

I also facilitated a NET board phone meeting where we discussed an emerging strategic plan and voted on a new slate of board members. It was my first time facilitating a NET board meeting, and I was nervous, because my fellow board members are a rather stunningly accomplished group of people, but I think it went well. More on all of this soon.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 176 out of 227 days (After Earth)
Spanish: 148 out of 227 days
Music: 75 out of 133 days
Yoga: 9 out of 17 days
No alcohol: 7 out of 9 days

What small things did I do the past five days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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