Who are we? Where are we? Have we fallen down the rabbit hole? Our world cries out with fires and floods … our families struggle with finding protocols that allow both connection and safety, we embrace the gifts of summer while bracing for transitions to indoor realities this fall. Can we go ahead with our retreat? Workshop? Funeral? Party? So many questions!
Meanwhile, I take a moment to give thanks for the amazing gifts of summer. Every August since I was born I have I spent time on the shores of Lake Michigan with my extended family, at the place where my mother and father met as teenagers and found their summer romance. This year, in the safety of each other’s company, I got to dive into the story of Alice in Wonderland with six of my grandnieces & nephews. Betsey’s Corner House Summer Camp! I was in heaven creating with my kidlings … as ever since I was their age I have found the joy of creating performances for family, reflecting back the gifts and challenges, hardships and humor of this thing called life.
The art of video provides great opportunity for site-specific performance with all ages. Eleven-year-old Alice faces the challenges of quarantine, the white rabbit lures her down the rabbit hole, she finds curious connections with Mr. Mouse, the Caterpillar, Mad Hatter, Mock Turtle, and has her own encounter with the Queen of Hearts and infamous Jabberwock! (See photo above … that’s me whiffling through the tulgey wood!)
We can get stuck in the rabbit holes of depression, conspiracy, racism, fear … and we can also take up the challenges of facing our shadow selves in the underworld in order to bring forth new creative possibilities. I’ve found that getting lost in the creative process can be a wonderful antidote to the suffering of our world, and can help us find resources to go forth and make a difference!
Meanwhile, my beloved church, St. Patrick’s here in Seattle is facing a likely closure/ merger with another parish, and so we seek the creative path that Spirit is calling forth. Facing the Jabberwocks of patriarchy and clericalism, and not being controlled by voices that cry out “Off with her head!” bring forth new dreams of creative community in the midst of loss.
Let’s do our best to call upon the humor of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee to keep us laughing on the way! Meet me at the bottom of this email if you’d like to see our actual production of Alice in Wonderland!
I am excited to share our latest summer production! (Some of you have been following our family videos for the past few years …) As Alice says, things keep getting “curiouser and curiouser!” This year’s offering features our biggest cast of all … six kids & assorted aunts, great aunts & uncles too! The entire piece is 35 minutes long, so feel free to just catch glimpses … or to wholeheartedly dance down this rabbit hole with us for some whimsy and delight! May we all return to our lives with wisdom and courage born of deep dives.
Love and blessings, friends!
Betsey Beckman, MM