RABBIT TRAILS: DISPATCHES FROM THE SHED
Updates, news and blog stories from around the Ted and Company universe.
It has been over two months since I got off the train in Durham, England, and the questions I am being asked, and ask myself, have a theme. Have you enjoyed your time. Are you glad you came. What have you learned. Three simple questions with complicated answers. When I am not on the road performing and Monday morning comes, I am usually energized and happy. The week stretches out before me, full of possibilities and potential. For the self-employed, the task of creating an organized schedule wherein the work necessary to keep a business going is an ongoing challenge. I am not naturally organized and even 42 years living with Sue has only improved my skills to acceptable levels. So I start the week with great optimism, optimism that has waned by the time I hit Thursday afternoon. It is Thursday afternoon when I wonder what I have accomplished.…Read More →
I’ve spent time in different churches these past few Sundays – the cathedral with sung formal liturgies and congregations of the evangelical church of England… congregations with gracious pastors, coffee time and worship music sung from screens on the wall. Good ol’ Chris Tomlin anthems. It’s a good education as to where the Christian church is in this part of the world. My month in Ireland deepened my appreciation for Celtic spirituality – the pragmatic sense of God in all things, the inherent goodness of creation and consequently us, as part of that creation. The mindful residue of that month bumps up against music drenched in the blood of atonement, and a Christianity deeply affected by Augustinian separation of soul, heart and body. I’ve been fascinated by the connections I see between Celtic spirituality, Anabaptist theology and theater. Dara Malloy, a Celtic priest we met on the Aran Islands in Ireland spoke…Read More →
After 9 days alone in my suite, I was joined by the second visiting fellow, Leah Samuelson—art prof from Wheaton College in the Chicago area. Leah is a fellow in conjunction with Wayfarer Trust in Freswick Castle, Scotland. Leah is proving to be a delightful conversation companion and consequently this Meyers Briggs ENFP and Enneagram 7 doesn’t feel quite so out of place. Saturday we even went to the ballet in Newcastle, ‘twas delightful. The ballet was The Three Musketeers, and once again I am astounded what the human body can do. Aside from finally connecting socially, I’ve been sitting with the obvious question – what the hell am I doing here? I think I have an answer – I’m here to explore possibilities of new projects, think deeply about the direction of the company and my art, and discover if there is a new audience over here for my work. On…Read More →
I met with the principle of the school, who was delightful and reassuring in his encouragement, “ The only way to perhaps not achieve the intentions of the fellowship is to not become involved with the school and students.” Well, that should be easy right? I have comfortable room and board, access to the university library, and an open page to write on. What could be better… And these first days were…miserable? No, that’s not quite right. Perhaps—disconcerting. Even though I spend a great deal of time on the road, at 61 this was the first time I’ve been away from home for this long, certainly the longest I’d been away from Sue, having gotten married 2 years out of high school. What I found most disconcerting was the lack of significant conversation and how profound the sense of just how unimportant I was. So maybe the word is humbling.…Read More →
Sue, and the other pilgrims from the second of two pilgrimages to Ireland, boarded planes back home. I wheeled my three suitcases and hefted my back-pack to a different concourse, flying to Manchester, England to begin a 3-month fellowship at St. John’s College at Durham University. Following a somewhat arduous train ride, losing my ticket in a turnstile, and standing for 3 hours with my luggage, I arrived at St John’s at 10:15 pm. The night porter greeted me after I struggled through winding, narrow hallways and staircases, showed me to my room, overlooking the courtyard. I felt a bit like the young lad in round glasses starting a new adventure at Hogwarts. The next morning, I walked through town, over uneven street pavements, cobblestones and pavers, down streets seen in several Harry Potter films, discovering that scenes of the first two films were shot at the Durham Cathedral, just…Read More →
Mixing with saints and scholars, the sea and the sky, is good for the soul. Sending this out to update you on the my whereabouts, and why no one will see me on the road in the US from September to January. Last Saturday, Sue and I, along with Sheryl and Jon Shenk began a month in Ireland, co-leading two 14-day spiritual pilgrimages. We traveled the first week to Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization and residential and retreat centre. On September 28th I’ll fly to Durham, England to begin three months as an artist in residence at St John’s College at Durham University. My responsibilities do not include teaching, rather I’m to be a part of the community, be available for conversations—to spend time thinking talking, dreaming about possible projects and direction. It’s a remarkable gift and I am grateful for the opportunity. From the school,…Read More →