5 x seeker

I had the great fortune of staying at the Yasodhara Ashram for a month as a karma yogi in their young adult program. It was a beautiful transition between seasons, and deepening thirsty roots that had been forgotten. During my time there I got take a closer look at the motivating forces in my life, and really hone in on how I would like to focus these energies in my next chapter. Entering this community enriched my personal practice deeply, and reignited a deep desire within me to ~know~ more. I'm currently reading Ram Das's book Be Here Now and he talks about the searching feeling of each of us looking into each other's eyes "do you know?" And the ultimate satisfaction of finding someone who Knows. It was encouraging to be in a community of such earnest seekers. I've spent the last couple weeks transitioning back, and here are a few of the things I have been considering as I do. Enjoy ~

  1. Oprah Winfrey talks to Thich Nhat Hanh an 20 min excerpt via Super Soul Sunday
  2. Kardinsky on the Spiritual Element of Art & The Artist's Three Responsibilities via Brain Pickings
  3. Something About Mary via Ascent Magazine
  4. Marias: Faith in Womanhood on Netflix
  5. Music by Sheenah Ko

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5x infinite game

Lazy Sunday pondering the infinite. Happy Leo new moon 💕

1. Cradle to Cradle Design via Ted
2. Chance The Rapper on Tiny Desk Series via NPR
3.What happens when a pastor goes poly? Via the insightful Anne Barker
4. The Yarn Film now on Netflix
5. Karma action & results

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OVERHEAR by Out of the Box Theatre

The next, and probably last, performance piece I am working on this year is Overhear by Out of the Box Theatre. Torien Cafferata approached me with the opportunity to be a part of this uniquely intimate experience & I couldn’t resist.

If you are interested in learning more you can check the Facebook event here.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those planning on attending, but this has been an extremely emotionally demanding piece for me to create. This is the last project on my plate before beginning my fruits & flowers phase. I’m excited to see how it will be received, and to hopefully understand a little more about catharsis role in art & healing from this project.

If you can make it out I would love to hear your experience receiving the piece, and I look forward to sharing my experience creating it after. 

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New Snapchat Performance & Patreon

Hello friends,

I am creating a new snapchat performance tonight at 7:00 pm cst you can tune in live or it will be available for 24 hrs on my story as usual.

snapchat code

add me: bethijay91


I am creating this piece based on 10 random snippets of text from books, old journals, song lyrics, and images that I found lying around my house. Interestingly some clear themes arose out of these totally random snippets about the nature of truth, sadness and disconnect from the external world, and what we hide from ourselves. It’s going to be another raw, real intimate performance that I can’t wait to share with you for this brief moment of time.

If you enjoy my blog and snapchat performances you might consider becoming a Patreon of my work.

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Dear Devotion: a process of discovery

The idea for Dear Devotion first came to me sitting in the doorway at the top of the stairs in the hallway that separated this tiny French bistro from my ballet studio. I was probably about thirteen, and I was waiting to be picked up again. My parents were often late to get me if they were fighting which happened a lot lately. So I would bring books to read, but mostly I would write. This one day particularly riddled with angst I wrote a poem called Dear Devotion. I’ve always been highly critical of my work so I knew that objectively the poem wasn’t very good, verging on overtly sentimental and forced tragique, but the idea at the heart of it was fire.

I journaled about it for days, and weeks, and months turning that idea over, never quite satisfied with my conclusions, but I felt like I was starting to unravel a riddle far greater than I was. The poem was simple stanzas that repeat about a woman falling in love, getting married, making a home, and burying a man who can not, or will not, love her. She devotes her life and love to him but it’s never enough, and in the end bitterly rebukes him for all they have lost as he lays dying.

It was around this time that I was introduced to Taming of the Shrew and A Doll’s House. I was struck by how these women resembled the woman of my poem, of my mother, and of what I imagined for myself. Still a young girl I lacked the experience to contend with their noble struggles but I felt a natural affinity for them all the same. Kate’s longing and green sickness, and Nora’s determined naïveté. Somewhere over time these became woven into my tragic aesthetic and I knew I would write a play about them, but I needed a third to round out the comparison, all good things come in three. I read lots looking for the third thinking she would be a more contemporary heroine when I accidentally stumbled across Antigone at university at around age 17. Her fierce loyalty would round out Dear Devotion, and in my mind the three women became inseparable.

I have devoted much of my time since then to what I would call my research to develop this piece. From learning to write grants to training my body to collecting a million snippets and pins of design ideas to coming to a better understanding of my own history and relationship to these women and my femininity I have grown into the piece for over a decade now. The piece becoming more of itself as I have become more of mine.

Last night I presented what I will call my first public exploration of that work at a house party in the Sound & Silence HQ that I put together that very afternoon with the support of my dedicated friend and conspirator Tristan Hills. I took a thousand and one raw ideas I’ve been harvesting for years and wrought them into a shape that resembles the direction the piece is taking.

First we shaved my head, a cleansing as much as an aesthetic task. Then I rolled around in his backyard and marked the beats and transitions that I wanted to play with. After that we retired to the basement where Tristan showed me how to use Audacity to record the rough underscore for the piece in what felt to me like a record breaking time. The record breaking part definitely had to do with Tristan’s ability to intuit my needs as I abstractly explained what I wanted each part to sound like, and he let me muck around recording guttural screams and a hundred tracks of snippets of things that we didn’t end up using, while also fixing audio quirks that I didn’t know were issues, then at the last minute he lay down a beautiful guitar track in one take that cinched the whole thing together. It is no small estimation to say I could not have delivered the performance I did without him. The final step was to prepare the fake blood and paint my face doll white. The performance went off without a hitch, not to say perfectly, but beautifully imperfect and raw.

I can feel it in my bones that this piece is ready to be delivered into the world, and this small step is the first contraction. Just as this has been a long gestation period I intend wrestle with this at great length, but the time is finally right to commit my body to the pains of labour uncovering the gems that have been compounding thus. If ever I were to have a thesis project in my unschooled life this would be it. I look forward to sharing more discoveries as they arise. For now you can listen to the track we recorded for the performance below.

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