Welcome to 2017, y’all. We made it another year around the sun. Wait no, calendar…
Either way, there is something about new beginnings that seems to give everyone a sense of hope. Maybe its the relief that something has ended, or the anticipation that we’ll do better the next time around. Or maybe its the mysterious feeling that, somehow, this year will be THE year. Yet, the concept of time itself is a complete mental and social construct, one that we’ve made for ourselves and one that we continue to reinforce. But no matter how much we fight these boundaries by crying out, “Time is an illusion!” or “We are all one!” let’s just be fiercely honest for a moment and admit it: we love boundaries.
Boundaries are the vessels that hold us together. They us a sense of structure, certainty, and safety. And thus, we have a tendency to cling to that which maintains the feeling of being in control, and we assign boundaries to every aspect of our lives. We label things good or bad, right or wrong, healthy or not healthy, success or failure. In terms of our physical survival, this affinity for explicit boundaries serves us well. For example, don’t walk out into a busy street – this is the wrong thing to do if you don’t want to get hit by a car. Do eat food when you are hungry – this is the right thing to do if you want to remain living.
The world is in constant motion, which means we are always moving in and out of balance. We are continuously measuring and adjusting the boundaries that define our existence. But beyond our basic physical needs, how do these boundaries serve us? How do they, if at all, help us to sustain an enjoyable experience of this short, yet precious, life?
Boundaries. Borders. Division. Separation. Walls. Barrier.
When you hear these words, what images and feelings come to mind? Do they connote certain memories or associations? Do they feel positive or negative? Right now, these hot button words are creating a lot of tension in countless social movements. Some people want to build a wall, a very long wall. Others want to break down barriers and celebrate diversity. Some people want to reinforce borders, while others want to open them freely. Yet, no matter your opinion, there is always going to be someone else on the other side, equally as passionate and certain that they, too, are “right.”
So what do we do?
We walk the line. We dance along the boundaries that divide us. We learn how to listen so that we can see from a different perspective, no matter how out outrageous we think it might be. We embrace the borders within our own hearts, and we love ourselves for it. Then, we move forward. We create something that reimagines and redefines the gray areas between what is healthy and not healthy, normal and abnormal, personal and universal. And while walking the line, we discover an immense joy in the spectrum of our experiences, and can navigate the ever-shifting boundaries that surround us.
Welcome to the GROOVE 01.17 collection… the very first of our monthly series!
GROOVE is reimagining creative intelligence with art, ideas, and exercises. As an active community of artists and thinkers, we’d love for you to join us! We hope you enjoy this month’s collection.
Maria Borghoff, GROOVE curator
If you want to learn more about GROOVE or how to become a contributor, contact us here.