The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a 10-day celebration in my home town; known for great food, art works from around the country and music from local and internationally acclaimed musicians. Jazz, rhythm and blues, zydeco, gospel. Whatever the music, it always includes unscripted improvisation. There is something uniquely amazing about improvisation, even when sitting (or dancing) among thousands of people.
Not only does improvisation enrich an experience of music, but also theater, preparing a meal, discovering a solution to a project we’ve taken on, etc. Improvisation inspires us to broaden our imagination. With study and practice, it invariably enhances the original idea! Some of us, however, rely so heavily on carefully scripted notes that we miss out on the joy of freely choosing ‘yes’ and participating in a new creation.
Women religious are engaged in many conversations these days, about the witness of our vowed commitments now and into the future. What would happen if we dialogued from a place of curiosity and creativity, utilizing techniques similar to those found in improvisation? How might our conversations be different? How would your life and our Sinsinawa Dominican community be enriched if we did this improvisation-thing together?
Tanya Williams, OP
St. Louis Park, Minnesota