#DIYLent #poetry #light #prayer

“Stories from the Living”
A series of one-to-one conversations
18 February to 4 April 2021

In this year of quarantine, I observed a DIY Lent. I thought it would be wonderful to get together (via Zoom of course) with one or two different friends each week. Both of us bring a poem, or piece of poetic prose, or art, or music to share and reflect on.

It was also a chance to catch up with old friends and get to know new friends better 🙂

It was a beautiful, nourishing, joyful, real thing, and I wanted to share the idea with the world. So I posted our ‘playlist’ as it emerged. You can find it on my prayer and spiritual life blog.

Lockdown was eased enough by June to be able to meet my conversation partner S for lunch. Our conversation touched on giving back to the world, inner work, art and teaching, rootedness in place, and much more.

I had decided not to offer my Medical Humanities unit to the 4th year Exeter Medical School students in 2021/22, and explained that one of my reasons was that I hadn’t been making any art in the last year. S immediately jumped on this and contradicted me. For her, my Lent practice had been art. In fact, she insisted it was an artwork, in that I had created something beautiful here through bringing people together. Even though it was just the two of us in our Zoom conversation, she felt part of a wider community of the friends I had invited to share poetry, painting, photography and music. By extension, we also shared a community with the creators of the works we shared. It was deeply meaningful to her, and she was grateful to have been invited and able to be part of it.

So given that I haven’t made or been part of any other performance recently, I decided to categorise this as performance.