Writing in Merida
Our favourite breakfast place
Our last day in Mexico. I'm sitting at the airport in Cancun, waiting for a flight to Oregon. We spent most of our time in Merida, a beautiful and artistic city in Yukatan, east of Mexico City. Every day the citizens are celebrating something, either a parade, a concert, a play, music or dance. The streets vibrated with action and we were always curious about what each day would bring.
Leah Mercer, my co-director of The Nest Ensemble, and I took ourselves to the other side of the world in order to write. Normally we live on each side of the Australia, Leah in Perth, and me in either Brisbane or Sydney and we have to plan creative adventures so that our work gets done. Initially our plans were to work on our latest production, This Silent Thing, the first draft of this being performed in July this year at Hayman Theatre in Perth. But other things took priority as they sometimes do.
We decided that we wanted to redefine what The Nest Ensemble does. So far, over the fifteen years we have been in operation, we have created a dozen award winning seasons of work, performing in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide with showings in New Mexico, Chicago and Ohio. Now it's time to expand, so we have decided to join forces and collaborate on journal articles and begin our first handbook together, a book focusing on best practice for artists, and how to turn up as the best versions of ourselves, despite the limitations that may surround us.
The two weeks in Mexico were stunning. Not only was our AirBnB an inspirational place to work (expansive and beautifully designed, the location was splendid. We were a few blocks from the centre of the town, where everything happened.
When we arrived at the airport this morning (dragging ourselves out of the house by 4.30am to board a bus to Cancun), we sat over tea and talked about what we valued over the two weeks. We both thought that there was enormous importance in planning time to create, outside of our regular workloads. A special time, where we were guided by The Nest Ensemble's Rituals of Practice.
Each day we checked in, what we call Bridge-In, where we scored ourselves between 1 and 10, followed by what we were wanting out of the day. We talked for about half an hour, meticulously designing the day, knowing full well that all plans change, but you have to have one in order to change it.
We wrote, collaged, walked, cooked, ate, swam and learned to love Margueritas! We ended up designing and writing one article, drafting another, planned and executed two workshops (one at the conference we presented at: Taos Institute's 25th Anniversary Conference in Cancun, and one at Kanankil Institute in Merida, a training institution for collaborative therapists.
Outside our Merida 'home'
And now we are onto to our next adventure,Leah one side of USA and me the other, but still developing Rituals of Practice. This next adventure involves Dr. Jean Houston, one of the most powerful women I have ever had the privilege to meet. Who some call "America's Living Treasure". A soiree.
I'll write more in a few weeks.