Caution

photo by: Tayler Goodwin, The Project: BECOMING Box, available at www.christal brown.com.shop

Here we are. Standing at the precipice, we can see that the cliff is steep. Fog below clouds our vision of what truly lies in the canyon, though we know it is treacherous. Some cling to the safety at the top while others peer down, trying to decipher for the rest of us what we may face during our descent. Still others run toward the abyss, seemingly unaware that there is danger beyond the edge.

Christal Brown lives and works in Vermont and spoke to us in May. At the time, she was navigating lock down as a performer and mother and more. Artists, she says, often have a skewed sense of time, causing them to think toward the future. During the enforced pause to her performative endeavors, she was allowed time to catch up and synthesize some of her thoughts. She had also just become a life coach, something she said would fit well with her other roles as educator and more. In 2017, Brown started a blog on Facebook where she could offer her thoughts on how she synthesizes life through dance, being a mother, teaching and her other creative pursuits. The blog continued and grew, reaching a wider audience. It was this outreach that drove her to pursue her life coach certification. To hear more about her multi-faceted life, including her role as an Associate Professor of Dance at Middlebury College as well as details about Project Becoming, a community engagement endeavor that can be completed by any woman who has five weeks to invest in herself, listen to the complete interview.

Andrea Lawlor also spoke to us in May at the height of the first wave lock down. A self-described “really slow writer,” Lawlor spent 15 years working on her first and only book. When we spoke to her she was working on a series of what are called position papers, shorter written poetic works in which she discusses her position on various topics and imagines a world in which the position she holds has come to pass. She began this project before the pandemic hit but found that her thinking shifted significantly when March arrived and forced her to consider what a post-crisis world might look like. To hear more about these works, including live readings from a few of them, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Now is the time to decide just how you choose to approach the cliff’s edge.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Christal Brown was listening to lectures about brain hacks and more on CuriosityStream when we spoke to her in May. Andrea Lawlor is the author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal.

Deadlines

The Forge Fellowship is intended for “artists, creators, makers, entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, and idea-havers like you.” Currently accepting applications for the 2021 cycle, the fellowship offers the chance to learn and grow your practice and art career. For details, visit the website. Deadline for applications is November 23.

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