morgan sobel <email@example.com>
A brief personal history:
My life is moving. My parents became nomadic shortly after discovering California and each other. They traveled up the spine of the west coast, eventually landing on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands to begin their family. Ah, little Nay Nay (that’s my brother). I was to follow eighteen months later. To say that our relationship as siblings has been Cain and Able from the start would be a gross understatement. Were it not for the intensely bonding fact of our annual move to the next rental, we might have canceled each other out altogether (he being a Pices, me a Virgo). Because of this gypsy mythology I’ve always felt “other.” But it is this very sense of dislocation that challenges me to reach out in the here and now, for that is all we have together. My creative abilities overflow whenever I tap into the wellspring of deep human connection. These experiences have slowly but surely brought me closer and closer to my love, which is the world.
My bridge to you, dear reader, is art. The gifts life has bestowed upon me demand that the meditative listening (I cannot help but embody) translate into creation. It is more than a joy for me to make art. It is the air I breathe. For as long as I can remember, my teachers, professors and peers have always pushed me to “find my voice.” I have done so, and I sing. My chosen name for this struggle is the Fool. My reasons are constantly expanding, but it began with the choice that I believe in peace however foolish and antithetical to our modern condition it may appear to be.
As I move through life, I take greater and greater care to acknowledge the circles we walk and the Mercury tour in America serves as both a potent new circle as well as completing an old one. I grew up in the Threefold Community, attending Green Meadow Waldorf School from 3rd to 10th grade and it just so happens that my ten year reunion is in mid October. That is the old. The new began with a broken heart. The end of college. Perhaps the end of my road holding hands, for now.
Music crackles and pulses with my every movement. The jangle of my guitar, the vibration of my voice. Through the swamp air of alcoholic Virginia nights to the uneasy laziness of So Cal bums, the intense delusion stars of Hollywood open mics, the grunge pretentiousness of Seattle jam space renters, music has opened a door to hard lives, dark lives, the broken, the damned, the liquor nights, the liquor lies and the hollowing of the soul. There is great sickness in music. It is a vital human experience. It is stolen by substance abuse, lust, and above all money. It is as the world is. Waldorf is an island hemmed in by this darkness, knowing that it’s most precious gift, the children, will walk out into the night. I have begun the refashioning of my connection to the Waldorf community, teaching art and theater at the Seattle Waldorf High School. Music flows through the many selves I am and have been and it is my joy to share, inspire and teach. And now it has opened the way to you, to cast my lot with a thinking, doing, feeling community, to experience a spiritual tour of America now two years after my decision to hit the road to undertake a personal spiritual journey through California to Seattle and back again. The conversation grows larger
Feelings and experience of…
Thus far, I have only cohabitated with a group of three. And I know that no amount of reading and talking about how fantastic a community would be can prepare me for the reality. Nevertheless it is an environment in which I look forward to participating. The potential to grow, inspire and thrive artistically, spiritually, it is indelibly there and I can’t wait to experience it. In preparation, I have worked hard to let go. Let go of grudges over money and chores and responsibilities unmet by housemates. To learn to simply do what needs doing without the background chatter of he shoulds and she shoulds. And I have begun to see a wondrous thing: a rhythm, a fleeting balance, a possibility of harmonious existence every now and again.
My life has always been colored by anthroposophy, though till recently that relationship has been intentionally subconscious. As a Waldorf experim… er, student, I developed a diligent work ethic and a healthy questioning ability for discerning systems (mechanical, social, meteorological) as the several and the whole at work. This served me immeasurably well when it came to Calculus, Atomic Chemistry, using a computer, and my favorite mathematical/visual world: chaos theory—all subjects that come traditionally late in the Waldorf curriculum, if at all. Through divine circumstance and a healthy curiosity I have photographically uncovered a world of flow forms far apart from the crowns of droplets and the vortices of healing water paths. My study of water is a simultaneous study of chaos and the creation of new forms to follow. I have witnessed water sculpt the bones of us who breathe and struggle. It can be bejeweled and terrible, intensely familiar and alien. Humorous and tragic creatures arise all depending on which pair of subjective eyes experience, look out the window into another world. So, Anthroposophy. Well, what this scientific/spiritual study of motion has yielded is a constant sense of the universe at work infinitely on all levels. This would include myself, meaning that I am infinitely born, living every possible existence in the outward flooding ripple of time. And, as my eyes continually readjust their ability to soak in the earth, I am able to achieve, in photography, ever greater images of what we know that we know and do not, in drawing and illustration what we believe is possible and what is possible, and in oil painting... a collision of all worlds. An ever expanding ripple of creative vision. And now we arrive at the great social challenge and why I study motion, color/light and sound so intently: to reunite spirituality and science. Restore magic, mystery, and love (called placebos in modern culture) to our approach to the natural world. Return practicality, vitality, Nowness to spiritual rites, ceremonies, and daily human interactions. Religion is not some vague network of complexities and theoretical epistemological arguments that need to be translated and fed to the masses. It is how we treat each other. That is our religion.
Other forms of Spiritual study and practice
As much as music is my religion, my connection to humanity at large, yoga! Ah Yoga. I fill my breath into the poses, inhaling and exhaling my soul and physical being closer. Yoga allows me to become an unfurling flower greeting the shining sun. I blossom and the connection to the universe that is me is revealed, as well as the deeper truth that I am you. The flow of breath places me squarely in the living moment where all things are possible and occurring simultaneously. A universe filling in all directions, light knowing only radiation. I know only meditation and as a result it becomes increasingly difficult to relate to my fellows because often the mediums for socialization run stiffly against my own flow. But, as always, it is this conflict, this conversation between what is inner and what is outer that creates. Here as well I seek to let go. Let go of my thoughts; they are merely a swirling cloud that hovers above us all, thoughts which we all can and do have. Once this compunction to participate in language (both mental and auditory) is silent I can participate in my most spiritual undertaking: listening. I am free to grow.
What big questions about life are burning within you?
How do I become a healer in a world that does not want me to heal it?
How do I participate in the change to come and by doing so make the idea of what it means to be alive larger?
How can I continually let go of the fear that says “no?”
What does being true to myself mean for me the many
What skills interests and passions could you bring to the tour?
Collaboration. I am an avid photographer, painter, illustrator, guitar playing songwriter, but all that is rendered meaningless without the spirit of collaboration. When I can play the silence in music and riff off the energy that is given to me, oh, now were talking! If I can question my way into a place of vulnerable living creativity with you, I just might get the chance to help incite a flood of possibility that heretofore lay hidden. What does collaboration mean? Expect the unexpected. SURPRISE! When we share our talents, hybrid our dreams oh my oh my!!! On a more practical level, I have cooked for many a moon now and have a talent for thrifty shopping without sacrificing health or flavor (of course depending on the level of thrift). I have been a carpenter for the past eight years and can certainly aide in any construction projects for Burning Man or otherwise. I am athletic, enjoy getting out and moving around and will gladly take part in/help organize excursions, adventures. Not to mention my hope to take part in group yoga (something I haven’t done for some time now).
What artistic or scientific experience or interests do you have?
In addition to visual and auditory art, I have an undying passion for theater (graduated with a B.S. in Theater from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs N.Y.), which has taken the form of directing and teaching of late. I have had wonderful experience with scenic design, construction, lighting, as well as my greatest strength which is performance. A tangible goal for me this summer is to marry my love of theater to my love of rock and roll and see what transpires. It will be an elemental potency leaping out of the psychedelic spectrum reaching towards the sacred, the spiritual. Depending on the group dynamic on the Mercury tour, I can foresee the creation of a multimedia collaborative performance coming in fits and starts as early as Burning Man arriving at a living process piece to be shared with the School of Spiritual Science as well as the Threefold/Fellowship Communities.