Between now and National Tap Dance Day, I will take part in no fewer than 7 different projects (Graffiti Night Church, Still Point Duo with Max ZT, Canales Project, Tap Dance Freedom, Limbs, Tap Legacy™, and a new research project) in which I will take on numerous roles – from performer to director, teacher to pastor. Many times I look at my schedule and think that something is wrong. I find myself thinking (maybe because others have told me), “No human should be working this much.” Sometimes I go through my week and feel like I get shot out the other end, not remembering what happened, and not feeling like anything was actually accomplished. That’s not good. In those moments I find myself being reminded of the reason I said yes to all of this in the first place.
In every good work there is the fulfillment of an aspect of love.
The special collaborations with Max ZT and the members of Limbs (Yuka C. Honda, Susie Ibarra, and Kazu Kumagai) are an expression of the intimacy and unity that is found in love. The music that we make comes from a willingness to be vulnerable and exposed, expressive and known.
The performances alongside other artists in the Canales Project puts my artistic gifts to the specific purpose of social justice. We want to envision a world in which there is no such thing as “the other.” While idealistic, isn’t that one of the reasons artists are here? That is to imagine the world as it could be? Such is the hope that is found in love.
Tap Dance Freedom and Tap Legacy are similar, not only in their focus on tap dance, but also in their hope to provide the tools needed for anyone to thoughtfully and deeply engage with the craft. While Tap Dance Freedom is specifically about teaching the craftwork, Tap Legacy provides the historical context for that teaching to make sense. This is the provision and multigenerational thinking that is found in love.
Research projects of the academic sort are relatively new to me, and the one I’m currently involved with is not published yet, so I can’t say much about it (other than it has been really exciting!). To enter into research, is to search for truth. This search may be predicated by the belief that there is a truth to be searched for. Truth is the foundation of love.
Love can be a funny word. It’s simple. But in it’s simplicity all the nuances, the different aspects and kinds of love, can get lost or confusing in communication. The past two years have been a journey as I have been called to a place where I must clearly and explicitly express the revelation of love I’ve been given. This revelation is the foundation on top of which all other work must stand (if it is going to stand at all). For me, it is the revelation of God through Jesus Christ. It is in Christ that I have found the beginning (and end) of love. And it is at Graffiti Night Church that I have found a home to explore this revelation with others. It is the community of love.
And then you rest.
So you see, it’s hard to say no to work that is fueled and filled with love. Then again love knows that there is a time and a season for all things. So if I ever feel like I’m reaching the end of my line (which happens more often than I’d like to admit), that’s my cue to sit, be still, give thanks and praise, and rest in love.