Alchemy and the Arts of Grief: The Creative Pathway Through Sorrow, Rage and Loss
"If you bring forth what is inside of you, what is inside of you will save you. If you do not bring forth what is inside of you, what is inside of you will destroy you" - The Gospel of Thomas, circa 50-70 AD
A four part series that explores the alchemical transformation of the darkest of human emotions through the lives and works of great composers, artists and poets and shared rituals to kindle the light within.
Available as live stream zoom seminar or downloaded videotape recording
Available on a sliding scale donation for four classes: General Admission: $100.00 Reduced Tuition for those in financial difficulty: $50.00 Scholarship Donors: $150.00 (for those of you wanting to underwrite someone in deep need) Full scholarships are available for those in dire distress by application (see below)
Session One: From Grief to Grace Monday, November 30 10:30 am - Noon PST Both Antonin Dvorak and William Adolphe Bouguereau had several children die in their infancy, yet were able to go one to live fulfilled and creative lives. We explore their works that simultaneously honored the profound sorrow of their grief and yet offered the deepest tenderness as tribute to their lost children- and celebrate how both were able to find new worlds of love and joy.
Session Two: The Gamut of Grief and the Ghost of Regret: Rodin and Camille Claudel MOnday, December 7, 10:30 am -Noon We will explore the human responses to loss through the work of Elizabeth Kubler Ross's and see how powerfully the stages of anger, denial, fear, bargaining and acceptance were anticipated by Rodin's haunting sculpture The Burghers of Calais - a work which he created with his muse, Camille Claudel. Their tortured relationship and her eventual breakdown haunted the famous sculptor until his dying breath, and one of his last acts was a deep gesture of atonement. We will end with a ritual of forgiveness and remembrance for you to share.
From Rage to Resolve: Beethoven and Artemesia Gentileschi Monday, December 14, 10:30 am - Noon Ludwig van Beethoven had survived a childhood of physical abuse to become the most celebrated piano virtuous of his day-- and then tragedy struck again. Faced with perpetual physical agony, emotional turmoil and loneliness and his growing deafness, Beethoven seriously contemplated suicide. Instead he resolved to write a different kind of music: music that poured the darkest emotions of his heart into sounds he would one day not even be able to hear. The result was the Fifth Symphony, a musical cry of terror and ferocious rage in which "Fate" ( symbolized) by the famous opening four note motif) is met with the ferocity of the personal will to persevere and triumph against all odds. We will discover how Beethoven's "psycho-biography in sound" both saved his own life and changed the world. As a companion to Beethoven, we will see how Artemisia Gentileschi found courage and resolve in the face of her own tragedy by painting herself as heroines who had come before: Judith, St Catherine and Mary Magdalene.
From Dark Night to New Light Monday, December 21, 10:30 am - Noon
On the darkest day of the year, Grief ritualist, hospice counselor and lifepath coach Taylor Lampson will introduce us to psychotherapist Francis Weller's The Wild Edge of Sorrow , a revolutionary book that helps us chart the territory of collective grief through community rituals Visionary digital artist Thomas Dodd 's photographic work of lamentation and remembrance will be featured and then we will collectively dream ways to engage our own creativity to find the inner light and create online community during this difficult - and potentially deeply lonely--holiday season.