Re: Rangoli: creation and dissolution

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Posted by Maureen on August 11, 2002 at 16:20:45:

In reply to: Rangoli: creation and dissolution posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 9, 2002 at 11:36:43:

OK...I have tried to let these comments go:

There's no way for me to
claim responsibility for the inner experiences all those people had
... (and I'd be an *ssh*le to be so presumptuous)!

BUT..while you would be presumptuous to claim responsibility for the
inner experience of the people there...Just as it would be
presumptous for the person preparing and coordinating and planning
the feast and presentation for the table they set (with help) and
others sit down to partake from could not be so presumptuous as to
claim responsibility for or even to know truly how the feast is
experienced by each person partaking of the food and drink...That
person who "herded the cats" so that the feast could take place and
who coordinated and lead the setting of the table and preparation of
the feast and planning of the food and perhaps even shopping for the
food and researching the recipes and wines and setting the correct
ambiance etc. can take some responsibility and credit for their role
in creating the event. Notwithstanding any problems that may have
come up in the doing, there is a larger piece that about your ability
to make that event happen and therefore the opportunity for the
process...whatever it may have take place for the people
there. The process will be what ever it is for each person depending
on their digestive system. But that they were at a feast...well
prepared, well stocked, well coordinated, well planned and well
presented is less about them and more about the person with the
skills to prepare, stock, coordinate, plan, present and a lot of
other things I have not mentioned that I know goes into this or such
events taking place.

Perhaps it is just herding cats. Perhaps some cat herders are just
more gifted than others. Perhaps the cat herding skill is very
common and perhaps it is very rare indeed. But the ability to herd
cats is indeed a gift...common or not!!!

But that is not the point. My point is that getting the cats to
engage in and partake of a feast as oppose to eating glass or mice or
rolling around in catnip is where the true gift and Art resides. The
cats may have been perfectly happy with the mice and catnip and
terribly injured by eating the glass. But the "what" of what they
were invited to do and did is far more than the completion of a
series of tasks. As each cat herded physicalized the specifically
researched, selected and coordinated tasks that made up the whole,
the body sent messages to the brain in ways that the cat self learns
from differently...In ways that connects them with the piece
itself...the supplies...the pieces of the pieces...the pieces of the
whole. But most importantly to themselves as part of the
connectedness. There is an inevitability to that. The cat herder
starts the process. The process is completed within each cat. So,
no, the cat herder is not "responsible" for the inner experience
created by engaging in the process that is unique to each cat. Just
responsible for the beginning...just responsible for offering up the
possibility/opportunity...without which there could have been no
unique experience to be had by each cat.

This is the sort of cat herding experience that I would love to see
take place everyday in prisons...mental hospitals...schools...on
every street in every community each day. Some sort of cat herding
takes place in these places every day...mostly coerced...and mostly
leading to disconnects. To know "to"...and to know "how" to put
something like Rangoli in prisons, mental hospitals, schools, on
streets as an everyday part of life and allow the process to be the
process and the experience to be the experience would indeed be a Art...brilliance. That is my point. To put art forms and
experiences in lives and allow the art to do what art does
subversively and in ways that are not readily observable and
measurable to cats and other living things that engage in the
process, is a gift to the living things individually and to the
communities of which they are a part and to the world in which they
live and the universe in which we all exist. And it doesn't matter
one twit how it is received by the cats. It is not mental or
emotional. The effect of the art on the being involved in the
experience becomes lodged in the fiber of the being as surely as a
traumatic experience becomes lodged in the muscular/skeletal system.

It is a great gift to create an experience which is capable of
creating connectedness in a world where people experience so many
events that invite the disconnect.

Of course, this is what I see in what you have done. You do not have
to accept it. But if you can...allow the possibility of my view to
linger with you for awhile. Then dismiss it. There is very little
time to linger over the last piece of work. There is more work to be
done....always more to be done...:-)



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