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.
At Burning Man in 2017, I found myself reading tarot cards as a part of Circus Combustus. Our camp sat next to the Esplanade, the main inner road that rings the temporary city in the middle of Nevada's Black Rock Desert.
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.
The practice of burning bay leaves dates back to Greek times, to the best of my research, and it's believed to be one of the herbs burned for the Oracle at Delphi as she entered trances for temple visitors. Doug and I visited Delphi on our honeymoon in 2003, and so this scent is now indelibly overlaid with image of the olive trees that dot Delphi's landscape.
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.
What is Presence? Presence is a folded-over stretch in the middle of your day when you realize your hamstrings are tight. Presence is taking the goddamned time to floss.