“At this point, we have all of the information we need to create a change; it isn’t a matter of facts. It’s a matter of longing…” —adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
I’ve been dipping back into adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy, which is a profoundly pleasurable and joyful book about moving into right relationship with each other and the planet through microcosmic, intentionally adaptive actions sourced from organic patterning found in nature. Her words on longing, quoted above, really articulate its emotional cadence as counterposed with more factual attempts to shift consciousness. What, she asks, might happen if we leaned into longing, even on a small scale?
As we settle into mid-autumn, the sun is setting earlier and earlier here in Maine, where the sky now starts to turn pink around 3:30pm. I’ve been turning to my writing practice to guide me through this shift. Moving more deeply into fall, I wondered how we might make peace with the encroaching dark. In asking this and other questions, I decided to make a zine.
Wayfinding: Tending States of Liminality and Transition is a free zine workbook that features questions you can explore on your own regarding how best to sink into this time of year, and furthermore, how to navigate transitions and in-between phases of time with gentle attention and grace. It’s also a great way to find out more about what it feels like to work with me before signing up for a larger offering (more about that below!). This workbook marks my first attempt at articulating the early stages of my creative process, a process that has been a major part of my path towards connecting with my own longing as well as a sense of enchantment that is sometimes difficult to find, let alone sustain, in this world.
My process feels especially suited to this time of changing seasons, and is also supplemented by a broad conceptualization of creativity. You don’t necessarily have to be a writer or artist to be creative, although I think more people are writers or artists than may realize it. For me, creativity is the ability to see and make new worlds, even very, very small ones. Even worlds the size of your inner self. Worlds that press quietly (or maybe not so quietly!) against the interior of your skull.
The creative process is the act of bringing those worlds into being. And the ways you work on materializing those worlds is just as significant as the very existence of the worlds themselves. As I’ve written about before, process needs room to flower, to be abundant over the course of its shaping into product. Process is a practice of turning again and again towards longing.
If you’re looking to go into more depth around this concept, supported by a container grounded in Jewish ancestral wisdom, today I’m opening registration for my first class! Called Alchemize Longing, its content will be available starting December 5 through January 5, 2022. The class includes one zoom call at 2pm EST on Wednesday, December 15, that can be attended live or watched as a recording.
Alchemize Longing is designed to support your connection to creativity and a sense of possibility at the darkest time of year. Rooted in the Jewish month of Tevet, which begins on December 5, we will explore the teachings of the season as they relate to the creative process, leaning into the elemental attributes of water and fire, the traditional tarot and astrological correspondences for December, the wisdom of Jewish conceptualizations of depth and time, and more. All are welcome, Jewish and non-Jewish. While informed in part by Jewish traditions, the material in this course can be useful to a broad range of people.
This offering is priced at $36, and is a cozy container where you will not be overwhelmed by too much material during a time of year that can be busy for many folks. You can go at your own pace, moving through the content over the span of a weekend, a week, or even a month, as you prefer. The live call on December 15 will serve as a space to connect and integrate, and while you can feel free to have engaged with the content before then and come with reflections and questions, you are also free to just come as you are.
"Nothing is required of me more than being, and creating," writes adrienne maree brown. I hope that this season of darkening brings you exactly what you most need.