Becoming an Art Form

Our quarterly ThresholdArts Studio is under way. I am sitting on a comfy couch surrounded by colleagues—some new to the Studio, others well versed. The Studio is a space for us to come with challenges at significant times in our lives. We have all come to realize that these challenges are thresholds; how we respond influences how life unfolds on the other side. We are here to support one another.

Our intimate group is listening to a young woman who has been grappling with how to conduct a crucial conversation with her business partner, a conversation that has the potential to change her future. She has described the issue, the tension in their relationship, and begins practicing different ways to converse. Her partner is not in the room; we are running a simulated conversation for their future encounter. The rest of us listen, taking note of what we each see as potential breakthroughs or subtle shifts possible for an optimal outcome between them. We each find a moment to contribute our unique perspective, until our shared understanding of the issue has evolved into a multifaceted jewel.

This particular simulation inspired me to consider the ThresholdArts process through the composition of a fugue. This type of music writing is a precise compositional form. The architectural design is balanced and symmetrical while creating a jewel in its own way. A theme, called a subject, is introduced. This is like when the young woman presents her issue and begins her simulation. Once the subject has been stated, that same subject enters again but in another voice, in another melodic range. The effect is a duet using the same theme. Thus begins the inquiry in the Studio context. A third voice appears, iterating the same subject in yet another range. It now becomes a trio. Every time the subject is restated, another dimension appears. The multifaceted jewel results from the integrity of the three voices that become the piece of music.

Over and over again in these ThresholdArts Studio sessions, I witness the integrity of each person’s voice as it contributes to the understanding of the issue at hand. By the end of a day’s workout, we have become an art form. It is a breathtaking experience!

I believe our future rests on such collectives—on our capacity to reveal the many dimensions of possibility and perspective in what otherwise appear as obstacles in our path. The outcome is an extraordinary testimony to collaboration at its best.

Registration is open for the next ThresholdArts Studio on Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Register here.

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