Sanctuaries in the City

Time can easily race by and with a schedule that is constantly on overdrive, I do find it necessary to take a moment to breath and enjoy life. Traveling to a far off distance is the best way to transport myself both physically and mentally, while absorbing an array of inspiration. Allowing the body to slow and the mind to be at ease; the moment when the two reunite with the soul, this can be as invigorating as exploring new land and the culture habituating it.

Meridian Park Hill_DC

Although reality can hit as I try and wrap my mind around the fact that neither the time or the budget for a spectacular excursion is feasible; especially when having to make a cognitive decision to tear away from a sturdy flow of work, it’s nearly impossible. So where do I find my state (or District) of solitude? I find it within my community, of which has the same bright spots as found abroad; especially living in such a culturally saturated city such as Washington, DC.

National Gallery of Art

Whether I’m volunteering, taking a class (an art class is my personal pick), or teaching a class in my field of expertise, these and any community driven activities offer parallel fulfillment as one would find while traveling. Taking or teaching classes allows my mind to transport to a different world; a world where there is the young, the old, the quietly shy and solidly bold; I experience the same when I enter into a new country. Since I mainly teach dance, however sometime I pull out the jewelry supplies and offer a jewelry class, I find that filling a studio with all walks of life is as energizing as a good voyage. Learning about others, where they are from, their background and stories; this small window into other worlds while moving one’s body to music, or tactiley creating verses typing, is not only enjoyable but gives the mind a break and exercises it in a different way. Perspective tends to flood in from all corners of the studio as well; teaching the art of dance or the jewelry fabrication is a reminder as to why I do what I do. I allow myself to be guided just as much as I guide my students, showing them the fundamentals found within my line of work, using nutty analogies, laughing, enjoying the company of others and simply having fun. It’s incredibly refreshing when I observe others not only appreciating these forms of art, but releasing their minds from their daily routines; it is truly, a suture to our souls.

CHAW__ Art Sale


Meridian Park Hill in DC (photographer unknown), National Gallery of ArtCapitol Hill Arts Workshop Art Show, photo by Leslie Mansour


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