I am sitting in a coffee shop, The Urban Café in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. It reminds me of some of my favorite hang outs in Los Angeles or Portland. This place existed before I left for Los Angeles in 2011, but I never came here on a regular basis. Now it has become a safe haven, where I am at my most productive. There is that energy here. The same energy in places like the Hollywood Corner, a little restaurant near the corner of Santa Monica and Highland. I would work there often, I knew the staff by name, they knew what I liked to order. I found community there.
With Conduit Theatre, I strive for community. I want to meet people, connect people to people, create a safe place for people to open their hearts to each other.
It is amazing how the mind works. Yesterday was an incredibly busy day. I felt like I was moving forward. Today was not as productive, and I feel like suddenly there is so much more work to be done. And believe me, there is definitely work to be done.
If I learned anything, it is that there is equally a time to take action, and a time to rest. This is echoed in the Bible, the Tao Teh Ching, and I am certain I could find it in other texts if I searched deep enough.
But outside of the external business of Conduit Theatre, there remains the heart. In all creative work, I like to search for its heart. It's a movement or image which resonates so strongly with me, that no matter how difficult or easy life has become, I can gravitate back to the heart. So I can remember. I can remember why I am doing what I am doing.
At first I thought the heart of Conduit is a mirror. A mirror to self. A mirror to community. To see ourselves as we really are. But a mirror is still an illusion. The image can be distorted and shaped to see something that doesn't exist (although it is still based on something real).
Instead, the heart of Conduit is perhaps a vision of what is beneath the surface. It is what remains after we take away these shells. It's the spirit we sometimes ignore, or hide, or amputate. We sometimes try to destroy the spirit consciously or unconsciously through "too much to do, not enough time to do it."
Conduit Theatre, in its first event, the Word Parlor, tried to slow down life for a moment so we could see beyond the shells we place on ourselves. Maybe we can see flickers of the human spirit. Maybe we can see the great mystery working in each of us. Maybe we can connect by another person's vulnerability. Maybe those connections are the strings which angels dance upon.
As our motto states, May we be conduits to the heart, always.