Last night I hosted my first ever immersive art event, in honour of Baba Yaga.
It was wild. A large room transformed into a magical realm full of art, story, & music. The Seeker’s Forest full of flower petals, poetry, eggs, metal, wood, & paper all wound together to create a place of enchantment. The Creature Museum, full of bones, feathers, portraits, and fabric creations to celebrate the primal instinct ~ the animal wisdom. The lair of Koschei the Deathless ~ a wonder with coloured glitter on black, treasure chests, sea shells, water, gold and jewels. Through this dream, fairytale creatures walked. The witch of the woods, the firebird, the lovers Marya Morevna & Koschei himself. Visitors were led through these realms and then escorted to the attic to meet Baba Yaga, a wickedly quirky old chrone who told fortunes and handed out her own brand of advice.
Afterwards, I felt happy and sad, energized and hollow. I felt like I’d poured so much of myself out into this world we created that lasted for a mere four hours and woke up empty but with so much more space carved out in me for future things.
I’ve learned so much the last few months. The first being – I can create. I can create the whimsical, craft the strange. I can make something with my hands that reflects what I see in my dreams.
The second is that there were many changes that needed to happen in my relationships with others. As the event drew closer and closer together, I fought with friends and lovers. I needed some that weren't around and had to step back from others that wanted what I couldn't give. The energy I poured into this thing had the effect of lessening my store of patience in other areas. Instead of trying to be caring and sweet, I let myself get mad, argue, set boundaries, drop things that just didn’t work, make mistakes, & see what happened. I had this really big, really amazing, dream-come-true thing happening and not only did it give me something beautiful to focus on, it also forced me to look at where I was letting others take what I needed to flourish and shine brightly. When I simply didn’t have the energy to give any more, shit hit the fan and it was messy. I learned who was generous or patient with me and who couldn’t see past their own mirrors. In true Baba Yaga style, I eventually just stopped caring what others thought of me and followed my own heart. That was also messy!
It wasn’t about creative control – there were whole parts of the event where I didn’t agree with other’s interpretations but that was more than okay. It was fabulous! Through the gift of their wisdom, I got to see Baba Yaga and her realms through other’s eyes as well as my own.
For me, it came down to how we worked together when the pressure was on. How did we handle stress? Improvisation? Communication? Disagreements? How did we shuffle around responsibilities when life stuff came up? How deep did we dig and how did we compromise as resources got tighter?
I survived, we survived, and I know much more about what energies I need to thrive & how to see what is truly the give and take of relationships built on love.
Number three is one of the most resonant, awe-inspiring truth I’ve had for a while. As I sat with our Baba in her attic holding a card that said “wealth” she laughed and I felt something stirring in me. I was meant to do this. There are many kinds of wealth and through this event, I found one that I have in abundance.
I found a way to make it happen. I found a way to bring this dream to life. Through stress, broken promises, heartaches, disappointments, and the strange kind of loneliness that comes from not being able to share a vision.
And I was blessed and felt humbled by those blessings. Others gave the event the gifts of their time, their energy, their advice and lessons, their inspiration, materials, their love, and their support. It came together so beautifully because of so many people who gave what they could.
When I woke up this morning, I was bone tired – aching, sore, empty of creative ideas… until I glanced at something and smiling, I thought of what I would do next time. A little flicker of fire in the heart. Because while other things made me feel tired, drained, frustrated, and sad – this event kept me going. Even though it was arguable the creature putting so much pressure on everything else, it felt like the anchor holding me together.