Our Joy (CHI)

The following post is by our endlessly delightful joyous friend, Joy Nieda, about her experience at November Project and what it means to her.

photo by Ola Orlikowska

How did I get here and what am I doing? 

I read an article in WIRED magazine about November Project, and it struck me as something that I would like.  I found info on Facebook, went to a workout, and have been hooked ever since.  I felt welcomed, understood, and supported, in a most genuine way. For me, the workout activity was difficult, but enormously fun. I did not at all feel “out of place” as a senior citizen.

I found an unusually strong camraderie amongst participants.  Maybe part of it is that there is no money exchanged in the core situation: like cooking and sex, perhaps the experience is deeper in situations where the main motivation is not to earn money. Although we are all so different as individuals, I think we have a profound commonality in our shared love of movement, running around, and physical play.

“Creative work defines itself; therefore confront the work.” –John Cage

For me, it is all about process: seeking, study, practice, process, all striving toward trying to do something better.  But what is that something?

“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” –Vincent Van Gogh

The goals may be sometimes clear but more often inchoate, but the push toward accomplishment and realization is undeniable.  My artistic ambition and accomplishment is inexorable tied to my physicality.  It is my body that is the vehicle for embodiment of traditions, ideas, spiritual practices. Ultimately, it is my body that is the vehicle for learning, processesing, and expression. In my yoga practice for example, the prayer that precedes daily physical practice posits that through the physical practice, my body will invoke the immortal spiritual power of the ancient tradition.  Similarly, my practice of the Afro-brazilian artform of capoeira angola, calls to the dieties to be pleased by the music and movement of the practicioners, and to then come down to share their power.  There is a secret river that runs below all of our percieved physical reality and once discovered, the drive to tap into that flow is relentless.

“Thems that feels it knows it.” –Bob Marley

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