When I lay all seven Touchstones out, side-by-side, Circle is smack-dab in the center. In an ideal world, we would be able to have our shit figured out before we sit in Circle, and yet we wake up there, messy, in media res.
I honestly don't know what I'd do without the friendship of these women, who have comforted me, left me wheezing from laughter, and educated me on the proper way to insert a zipper into a dress.
When DeAnna's infectious laugh reaches my ears, I am instantly at home. DeAnna and I share so many obsessions for unusual things like skeletons, getting up in the pre-dawn light, having a spreadsheet for everything, and communing with our psoas muscles.
I call Heidi "Tradition's Translator" because she is always investigating the overlaps and intersections between all of her different communities and cultures. Heidi teaches salsa, belly dance, and the canon of ballet, jazz, and tab to adorable kids she calls "her dance nuggets."
If I take each Touchstone as a stepping stone, one proceeding easily to the next, Desire leads to Presence, where I finally stand still long enough to hear what stories my being craves to write. Presence, then, gives way to Balance, where I seek a compromise between all the possibilities this moment holds.
The guidelines of a Circle are spoken and unspoken, practical and esoteric, commonsense and altogether mysterious. I count myself lucky that so many of the women invited into the Enrichment Project arrived with a background in circling.
Baraka's work in the world, her counseling practices that emphasize the power of the Circle, have crystallized much of The Enrichment Project. She has authored several books on creativity and leads a year-long investigation into creativity called Birthing Ourselves into Being.
Whenever our Sister Circle gathers, we are often treated to handmade necklaces by Jaidra DuRant to mark the occasion. Jaidra uses semi-precious stones, intricate copper wire wrapping, hand-stamped and glazed clay pieces, and leather to create warm, earthy, one-of-a-kind pieces.
When Amanda pins you with her piercing dark eyes, there's simply no looking away. If Amanda had a fragrance, a friend reveals, it would be clove, jasmine, and cedar wood: Amanda's energy does seem to waft out around her, wooded and deep.
"But I'm just not creative!" It shocks me now, every time I hear it uttered. It shocked me when it used to come out of my own mouth.