Everyday occurrences are hard to track. Yesterday we forgot to write down how many eggs we’d collected. Saturday merged with Friday, and we couldn’t retrace our steps, so we logged “3” with a question mark. However, two events this weekend were quite memorable.
Friday night we saw “Brain Storm” at the Carriage House in Providence. It is the latest piece from the innovative dance theatre group, Everett Dance Company. Their work blends dance, video, music and theatre, tackling fascinating subjects. Two of my favorite past shows are “The Science Project,” which explored the boundaries between art and science, and “Body of Work,” a look at—and tribute to—workers in America. “Brain Storm” is the result of several years research and development. The company worked with scientists and people living with brain injuries—and the result is a mesmerizing hour-long piece. One vignette tells the story of a brain researcher who discovers she is having a stroke, and describes the feelings and sensations she experienced as it was occurring. It vividly brought to mind my mother’s stroke. As in any great performance, “Brain Storm” touched my heart and challenged my mind.
Yesterday I faced a personal challenge. I gave a workshop on resumes and interviewing skills at Youth Pride in Providence, an organization that works with LGBTQQ youth providing social, emotional and educational support. I had read an article about them in the Providence Journal, and I wanted to work with young people, so I volunteered with a vague idea of how I might help. This turned into a workshop I prepared for as thoroughly as I could, and grew more nervous about as the day drew near.
As with most events, eagerly anticipated or feared, this one came with little fanfare. Four kids were there—two 11th graders and two high school seniors. I don’t think any of them had specifically planned to attend—they just happened to be in the building. But they were polite, asked great questions, and shared their experiences. I may have learned more than they did, because I left thinking about how to make a future workshop more adaptable to different needs (and ages). I also left thinking about one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”