The Cherokee, like many cultures, have a ritual for spiritual cleansing called "going to water," which involves dipping yourself into a body of water 7 times at sunrise. For a few days I've immersed myself in a different kind of stream, a work retreat with my friend and fellow documentarian Laura Harbert Allen, to create the kind of deep time needed to become fully engaged in an artistic project. Only working on one thing. Only talking about the work on this one thing.
The project I am tending is Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of An American Mill Town a documentary film I am making about the Beacon Blanket Mill in Swannanoa, NC. Laura, an audio producer, is working on a rich multi-media piece that I will describe in a later post. Stay tuned for updates.
Immersing myself in this work over the past few days has been in sharp contrast to the divided attention that my regular life demands. Most days I work on multiple projects, editing video, answering emails, attending meetings, moving swiftly from one thing to the next. I like variety but sometimes the work deserves to be approached like a river at sunrise. A place of renewal, where you dive into the water again and again.