4/04/2008

Gift of Collaboration

Came home late tonight after working all day, taking the family out for dinner and catching the First Friday Concert by Swil Kanim.

Swil is a musician, storyteller, and philosopher who's name is Richard Marshall but who /is/ Swil Kanim – Works for the People.

I've seen Swil perform off an on for years, ever since seeing him in the Business of Fancydancing and finding out he played not only locally, but monthly at a local coffeeshop. He plays for free and liberates his CDs for free, and folks donate what they can, when they can to help he and his wife keep being who they are – artists and ardent supporters of human beings.

I always learn something from Swil, even if the set pieces are the similar. I learn about how to be a better artist, be a more excellent person, live with failure, and live with passion. Tonight, I learned about the importance of collaboration between artists, how we need to encourage each other to honor our gifts, support each other, give each other a safe place to be the artists we are. I also offered my own gift to him, offered my experience as a writer to get one of his stories made into a children's picture book. It might be in the works already, but it was important for me to connect and offer what I had after he had given so much of who he was to me and to others.

That's the medicine of Swil Kanim, the ability to create connections, heart to heart and keep that going, performance after performance. To witness to gift giving and gift receiving, and call our attention to it so we can all be grateful together.

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