The Road of Meeting
A Pilgrimage, 2,500 miles in North Carolina, April 1993
When you are on a quest, you do things from a deep instinctive place. Then, after a while, sometimes a long time, as you put together various bits like feedback, road companions, synchronicities… you spin a thread of understanding besides observing a theme or two.
The South Eastern Center of Contemporary Art, SECCA/Winston-Salem, inviting me to participate in their theme exhibition“Destruction/ Reclamation: Art & The Environment in the 90ies,” assumed I would deal with what had absorbed me during The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande and sent me boxes of information on North Carolinian water issues. After six years (by then) of mostly solitary work in the river, I was yearning to be with people. By going around North Carolina and listening to environmentalists, I wanted to show that environmentalists and artists, doing their specific work for the earth, have much more in common than society let us believe. I call my-kind-of-weaving-through-listening: waving.
Somewhere in the eastern mountains, I came upon the Rural Southern Voice for Peace. “RSVP does Listening Projects,” said the brochure,“ and trains others to do them. Trained listeners go door to door asking community members heartful questions about controversial public issues.” In retrospect, encountering the rural grassroots group was a major thread confirming for me the premise beyond my work, i.e.that we come to greater understanding by listening to each other from the deepest feeling place possible. Because the best listeners are best at learning how to listen, this has spurred my interest in learning more about listening from many different angles. (See DeepListening ™ in links)