I suppose I arrived at the HCIM meeting wondering if I had any real place there anymore since leaving Hearts & Minds.
On the first day as I walked into the conference, I braced myself. I edited my response each time I was asked ‘what happened?’ - reframing, attempting to apply logic and wisdom and insight when really all I felt was heartbreak. After I heard Laura Van Dolron, our stand-up philosopher speak, I went to the bathroom and cried - big, fat, hot tears that just kept coming.
And then I emerged into a warm hug, and laughter, and sweetness and later some very excellent dancing.
Over the next 2 days, I felt validated, and held and connected. I was so touched by people taking me aside to remind me of why I am here, and what I have to offer. And I was able to contribute - my first experience moderating a panel, and I loved every second of it.
When I got home I opened bell hooks: All about love (2000) and read this passage:
“Communities sustain life - not nuclear families or the couple, and certainly not the rugged individualist. There is no better place to learn the art of loving than in community…M.Scott Peck defines community as the coming together of a group of individuals ‘who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, who have developed some significant commitment to ‘rejoice together, mourn together’ and to ‘delight in each other, and make other’s conditions our own’”
And I thought YES! Yes, this is us. And this is my community.
Once again, the clown has healed me and I am overflowing with gratitude, and I'm writing again.
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and maybe some of my thoughts will trigger some thoughts of your own and I hope that helps.