‘Curating my world’ – A Piece for Autumn by Kerry-Ann Stanton

I worked hard to write something before last summer. And all I managed was, in my words; ‘A loose assemblage of self-indulgent drivel that would not reveal coherence to me’. So, I couldn’t and didn’t submit any writing for publishing.

However, as life is wont to do, especially encouraged by lots of rest, things have settled somewhat and I have been able to have a laugh at the ferocity and despondency of my notes for the summer writing.

This is some of what I wrote!

It is odd to write for the Summer edition when buffeted by ongoing wild weather and inner turmoil. This rather than the beneficence of calm sunny days and a sense of ease and equilibrium.

I am experiencing the angst of another year coming to an end, the unknown of next year and the missing of adult children living on the other side of the world.

My current preoccupations include: the stupidity of humanity, the unpredictability of nature and coming up 60 years old.

And I could make a good case for much of this remaining the same. This summer has been incredibly windy, much of humanity is still behaving in ways I find stupid and my transition toward sixty continues.

Part of my process, once I decided not to submit any writing, was to ‘stick to gratitude and those things that I was proud of in my year’. Gratitude is a wonderful tool in my life, always revealing and calming. Turns out I had a lot to be grateful for and a reasonable explanation as to why I might be so tired!

Some of the highlights are worth sharing because they are people and experiences that nourish and support me.
• All the dance in my life; my Open Floor practice and community, plus my Feisty Feet * senior dancers. Feisty Feet (a NZDC initiative) is a joyous creative dance class for seniors where we focus on the fun of dancing rather than too much correct left and right!
• Honouring my husbands’ 60, 65th & 65th’s!!!
• Staying steadfast and focused in the face of provocation
• Presenting on ‘Magic Moments in Funerals’
• Living into making ‘good decisions’
• Teaching such a panorama of celebrants through my work with The Celebrant School
• Surviving and even enjoying a 45-km timber trail bike ride, crawling up and hurtling down
• Co-facilitating Titirangi Death Café amidst laughter, tears and generous contemplation **
• Relaxing at family and friends’ gatherings, precious oases of time
• Seeing my city through the eyes of a 15 year and witnessing her excitement and enthusiasm
So, what allows and encourages, me to write this time?

Juliet Batten points to Lammas (02 February: equidistant between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox) as a time for both harvest in English tradition and ‘lean times’ in Maori prior to harvesting the kumara. I am aware of the tension of both within myself. The harvest of rest after working very hard and the ‘lean times’ economically of less work. Yet there is the harvest of skills acquired and ideas trialled that I can take into the future. Plus, I have the time for the reflections and planning necessary to bring my creative ideas to fruition and to ‘curate my world’ as I enter my 61st year.

‘Curate my world’ was gifted to me to me as a line from an art magazine while working on my 2017 Vision Board. I love the idea of curating my world where ‘curating’ allows for creative planning and organising, where I make the choices of what to winnow out, and what elements to allow in.

Curating my world suggests that I can have fresh dreams or fresh opportunities to gather up loose threads, qualify old dreams in or out, revised, revitalised and ready for action; ready to open to others and share. Curating implies taking charge. For me this creates a sense of freedom, not drifting needlessly, rather applying the same level of discipline and delivery to my own life and business that I have done for so many years for others.

One loose thread in my life is my yearning to travel more, and to travel in a way where I am immersed in dance, music and the special nature of each place. And that I get to share these experiences with others, perhaps by organising and guiding, by ‘curating’ dance tours.

An example for me is an eight-day trip to Spain I made with my daughter in 2015. I was in Europe to visit both my adult children and meet their partners in Paris and Berlin respectively. Why Spain? Because we wanted a meaningful adventure and new experience for us both. Given my interest in dance we chose southwest Spain as the home of Flamenco. This focus meant we didn’t try to do it all AND we still ate deliciously, walked and cycled our way through cities and nature and so on. We came home with the strum of guitars, the ache of flamenco voice, the clip and pound of flamenco heels ringing in our ears and many moving images of drama, stillness, luscious hips and frenetic energy.

So, I am interested to hear from any of you who might have a similar yearning.
Who else is interested in travel that presents opportunities to be dance audience, possibly do some dance, to be immersed in music, movement and the sacred?
Or asked another way what is your fantasy for travel and experience?
I am researching interest in possible tours for 2018 and onward.
Write to me on kerryann@inspirita.co.nz or give me a call on 0274745003.
Wild speculative conversations are most welcome!

Arohanui Kerry-Ann