Co-Creation, my Dramatherapy business, is at the point of Locking-Through. The intention has been building for years and actually is manifesting now- In Nov., my Office/Playspace in Studio 1 of the Art Sanctuary in Louisville, KY will open! In it, I will co-create voyages of Wellness and Expression with individuals and groups. Together we will build connections on land towards sharing Expressive and Healing Arts Cruises on the River. The journey has been like going through the Ohio River’s locks and dams…
On the Rivers there are locks and dams.
This is where the infamous undertows are, and sometimes people are fishing by the doors
To go THROUGH them, sailors refer to the Cruising Guide or chart, call the lockmaster on their radio or cell phone, and say “Lockmaster, this is the -type of vessel/name of vessel- requesting permission to lock through.”
Every dam/lock is different. It seems every lock-master requires accent or regulation adjustments such as ‘All Hands on Deck Wear a Lifejacket,, Wait for other vessels, Switch to port or starboard”…
Crew-member work FAST to get the fenders and lines ready in a classic dance of HURRY UP and WAIT
Gigantic metal doors slowly CREAK open
WAIT for the confirmation sometimes verbal or WATCH for the light to turn green
GO into the dam/lock SLOWLY. Sometimes at the last minute rapidly CHANGE fenders, lines and steerage sides
Continue into the dam/lock slowly
STUDY the tie-up-things…every one seems to be a different shape, height, etc. PRACTICE my lasso moves to the side…alongside the horns…
THROW the line around the horns, HOPE they stick, if not throw again and then HURRy to cleat it/Make it Fast…
Now the Lockmaster IS in control.
FEEL the vessel go up or down as it rides on this massive elevator, listen to the creaks-groans-is this the song of whales?- then HEAR the waterfalls as the doors close
SEE the birds, sky, spiders, fish, mussels, mud, algae
SMELL the waters and Ohio River mud
Going through the dam/locks is a perfect metaphor for my Dramatherapy career as well as life. At some point I decided to build bridges to connect everyone I was connecting with in different geographical locations, then I realized it’s possible to sail under the bridges, and now I know that sometimes the water is just not Navigable. At these points we need structures and community that can HELP us LOCK THROUGH…
It’s difficult to know what’s on the other side until we go through….
In between the dam/lock doors there is a special kind of STILLNESS. All there is to be done is WAIT
It is dangerous to untie too early, WATCH as one door closes, SEE the waters coming through the horizontal cracks, LISTEN to the groans, creaks and squeaks all around…
TRUST that the lines are properly tied. HOPE that the fenders are sturdy, STUDY the placement of the fenders- can they be in a better place next time?
LEARN that it’s all in control
I feel anxious yet peaceful knowing the Lockmaster is in control… Eventually the doors forward of the bow start to open.
At this point, on a week-long cruise, I sat with terror, upon recognizing the possible inadequacy of the flattening plastic and small fraction of fiberglass that was all that was between me and a multiple-story-high wall. To compensate, I demanded better fenders for next cruise. The ones we have now look like huge beach balls. Some vessels use fending boards, recycled tires, and ones made of lines.
The siren has sounded
The doors are OPENING
Quickly UNTIE the lines/Make it LOOSE
PUSH off the walls, with a paper towel or boat hook
Eyes on the Bow WATCH for hazards
GO WATCH in this new journey level – What’s Ahead? What’s Around? How DEEP are we?
Now WE can SEE the way.
Tara Buckler, M.A.