How does a person break free of the past? How does a place change its patterns? How do our actions travel through time? If life itself is the medium, what are the tools for working with life?
Such are the questions explored through In Fragments — a six-year ritual journey initiated in 2015, just before the death of my mother.
After her passing, I found myself grappling with the complicated inheritance of our ancestral family home in the small town of Shelburne, Vermont. A place of material abundance and great natural beauty, High Acres Farm also harbored a difficult history of alcoholism, divorce, depression, infighting, trauma, and secret abuse, stretching back in our lineage for generations. Haunted by its patterns of suffering, yet inspired by its future potential, I performed a series of twenty-one “rituals” to prepare our land (and myself) for the best possible future.
In Fragments offers an example of what I call “Life Art” — art that works with an actual life situation, using whatever people, places, tools, materials, stories, and dilemmas are endemic to a particular frame of experience. Through their intense specificity, these radical rituals provide an open template for others to adapt — inviting us all to be active co-creators with life.