the story of environment

Sometimes words aren't enough. They end up stimulating the brain, the very thing you are trying to turn off. The body talks in so many ways. Absorbing from various forms. As a result of its multi lingual nature, one must listen. See what language it is speaking on that particular day. 

After a weekend of mind, I put myself into a new setting. Sounds Like My Life happened in a DTLA warehouse on Sunday night. The rooms were covered in throw rugs and oversized pillows. Tall white candles surrounded the perimeter, while lights hung without order on the walls. Ambient noise came from the speakers, as sound bowls and a gong waited to be played. The tea room took on the essence of a floral fairy paradise- woven tapestries and an assortment of hanging flowers setting the mood. 

As soon as I entered the space, something in me shifted. Maybe it was the music, or the energy of those who were there before me. But I was finally able to leave the confines of my head. Embracing a new realm of freedom. The sounds made me feel floaty, unfamiliar faces drawing me in with curiosity. We found ourselves lying on the floor. Eyes closed, allowing the musicians to heal through their instruments. Tuning into the moment, inviting the environment to enter us. 

Recently I finished up a class with Lidia Yuknavitch. As usual, she came up with alternative ways to approach writing. Leading us from our single story to something bigger. Weaving the collective's voice with our own. Allowing sentences, images and sensations to flow from the body. Using sound to influence the way we choose words. 

The final assignment was called environmental subjectivity. We were instructed to allow environment to shape our story. I chose New York, the place that raised me. Explaining how she taught me how to love. How her intensity is mine, and too much for some. I didn't think much of it after turning it in. Until Sunday happened and I realized the power of a fresh landscape. 

Post tea and poetry, I sat with a new friend on the floor. We spoke about how challenging the times have been. How we feel pushed and provoked into new levels of transformation. There was sweetness and a spark in her eyes. Even against the harshness of change, she remained soft. A man came towards us, asking if we would dance in front of the lights. Playing puppets through form. We agreed and the three of us became one. Something that looked like Kali against the wall. Six arms, one body. Using the sounds to guide us through shape. 

The night ended and we went in search of a late night meal. We walked through the streets, a sense of NYC home coming over me. I left with the awareness that there is so much more available to us than we think. That simply by getting out of our comfort zone, we can change. That art has the power to heal. People, too. I reflected on the creative life, undoing the chains that keep us stuck. Usually chains that we have put upon ourselves. The knowledge of the body. How important it is to step into non verbal communication from time to time. The portal that is sound. And the simplicity of presence. Its power to shift a single moment, which then shifts all of the moments that follow. 

Love,

Kenna

ps- a new camera is coming from Japan. I have been waiting on her for what feels like months. After having my good cam + lenses stolen at LAX, it has been all iPhone as of late. Excited to work more with visuals and integrate that into this space! 

pps- A link to Lidia's classes! She does both in person workshops in Portland, as well as a 6-week online course. I've done both. She is magic, so I prefer in person! 

Cover photo: unknown

StorytellKenna Conway