improv opens futures

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Andy Goldsworthy

“The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing. The same royal consciousness that makes it possible to implement anything and everything is the one that shrinks the imagination because the imagination is a danger. Thus every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of the imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing futures alternative to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one.” – Walter Brueggemann from the ‘Prophetic Imagination, p 40)

We can see this in our nation today and even sharper focus in America’s prison system. Facilities called “reformatories”, or “penitentiaries” are misnomers as they are designed for punishment and not rehabilitation. Continue reading “improv opens futures”

Living Curiously and Courageously

As I’m starting this blog, I’m realizing that there is SO much that I want to share about the joy and potential of improv to transform, it’s impact on life. Many see improv as about trying to be funny; that’s “it’s basically stand up comedy right”, or it’s being totally uninhibited “and I could never do that”. So if that’s you I ask you to just step into a place of wonder and curiosity. Because it’s not about trying to be funny, it’s about remembering how to play again (and that’s not just frivolous fun, but a much needed skill). It’s about being open to discovery and collaboration.And it’s about vulnerability. It’s about stepping into the unknown and learning to be comfortable with that.  Continue reading “Living Curiously and Courageously”

The Power of YES

The Power of YES

[The following story is a seed from which this Reincorporation improv project has grown.]

After emptying my pockets of my wallet, keys, phone, I went with the deputy through two heavy red metal doors to the jail’s multipurpose room where we meet. I’m part of a jail chaplaincy team from Tierra Nueva. I unstacked the blue plastic chairs and placed them in a circle. There’s a loud CLICK as the door is unlocked by the deputy on the other side. After shaking hands and welcoming the first pod of men we sit down in the blue plastic chairs and I opened our time with a prayer.

“When have you been told NO?” I asked them.

“This morning when the judge told me my release date is getting postponed.” one man piped up. Others gave their experiences too.

“And When have you been told YES?”

Continue reading “The Power of YES”