Tuesday, June 20, 2017

(Soma)tic MANIFESTO


Every single human being is creative. 
If our creativity is an organ we need to start thinking of it as a vital one. 
When we commit ourselves to nurturing our artistic capacities we improve our ability to more deeply discern the world around us and make the constructive decisions needed in order to thrive in this world.
When I conduct (Soma)tic workshops, especially in the university setting, there is often at least one student who admits to feeling like they are wasting their time learning poetry or art while the world falls apart. 
One of my most important goals is to address this whenever it comes up.
I start by agreeing that our ecosystems are failing under our human comforts and excessive lust for power and money for Things, lots of Things. 
Then I make clear just how impactful being creative can be for the future health and happiness of our species and other animals, birds, insects and plants. 
When Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” he was asking us to understand how bringing new ideas we create for the world is always more important than stagnating under templates of previous paradigms.
What I have also discovered while teaching (Soma)tic rituals for over a decade is that when people find themselves stuck, no longer able to write, paint, dance, these rituals build a bridge back to that essential, more daring and innovative part of themselves.
It is absolutely necessary, right now, at this very moment, to embrace our creativity.
No matter who you are, having a daily creative practice can expand your ability to better form the important questions we need to be asking ourselves about how to best change the destructive direction we are all headed.
If you used to paint, paint again.
If you used to write poems, start writing again.
The potential magic of this world requires our participation.
I’m not a motivational speaker; I’m a poet.
I’m not an optimist; I simply believe in the possibilities of our collective genius.

(This manifesto was printed as a poster for my July, 2017 residency for Poets House in Madison Square Park!!  MANY THANKS to Stephen Motika and everyone at Poets House and everyone at the park!!  It's an incredible week!!)