A quick hello before I leave tomorrow on my adventure to Kansas City where the folks at Arts Enterprise are hosting their annual summit. My Drawing Down the Vision cohort Adam and I will be sharing a bit of our research, process and current thinking about how keeping an active sketch journal is one avenue to clearer thinking and a more pointed communication with oneself. It’s exciting and relevant stuff in this day and age where things move so fast that deeper thinking is difficult to fit in.
I must admit to being a tad nervous about the public speaking notion of this engagement. Even teaching a small class is something for which I muster a decent amount of courage on a regular basis. The butterflies (I like to think of them as internal cheerleaders) never really subside. But when I am teaching what I love, which is this process of self-illumination via the sketchbook, I am able to transcend the nerves enough to get comfortable. I am banking on this phenomenon at the summit. To me, public speaking embodies the very essence of vulnerability. Awhile back I came across a TED video by ‘researcher-storyteller’, Brene’ Brown about the power of vulnerability. I have kept this video in mind as we have prepared for this weekend, knowing that if I speak from the heart, and be myself, what we know and the work we do will shine. I am excited to participate in the summit this weekend and to meet others in all of the interesting fields looking to bring more creativity to their work!
Meanwhile, on the home front, I have begun looking into getting some chickens. We live in an area blessed with tons of green space and our yard alone has an acre of land. I know plenty of people in other areas of the city who keep chickens in their yards and would like to get a few going here. I like the idea of gathering eggs and frankly, chickens are just funny animals to have around. The only problem is, in spite of our local village’s original objective that the area keep its ‘rural atmosphere’, chickens are, at this point, prohibited. So I began to do a little digging around by stopping at the Village Hall and getting the name of who to contact to get this ball rolling. Although we have lived here a few years, I have only just begun to get acquainted with the government of the little Village we call home. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know the mayor’s name when I started this endeavor! But I do now (thanks to a friend active in local food politics) and she seems at least open to modernizing Village Law to include the keeping of chickens. The Village Manager checked with the Village Solicitor who suggested that the code be amended for all, versus the notion of our getting a one time variance. There are simply too many hoops to jump through and the code language is distinctly anti-chicken. And so I dip my toes into local law to see about getting some backyard chickens. Politics and Law are not what I would call my forte, but animals of all shapes and sizes are. It is a constant goal of mine to inject soul into my surroundings via the way I live and the work I do. Have you ever really looked at a chicken? They have a good bit of soul. I’ll keep you posted on how this all works out. Chances are, I’ll be choking back the public speaking nerves again at some point at a Village Council meeting to get chicken related by-laws changed.