Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Soul Project - Conclusion

In April of 2009, I participated in Brooke Manning's Soul Project.  I first met Brooke when Broadview Espresso (aka my 2nd home) opened. She was one of BE's first baristas who sadly only worked there for a few months.

When I came across her a year later online, I was intrigued by a project she had embarked upon.

On her blog, Brooke wrote:

I am collecting souls. I am looking for individuals that are willing to give me their soul for one year. Don't worry. You will still exist. Think about what a soul actually means. Your soul may come to me in anything. It must be contained in some sort of package. You can stuff it into a jar, you can give it to me in a locket, you can mail it to me in an envelope, you can bake it in a pie and I will consume it if you wish. I am open to you. I am willing to cater to your needs. If you are a friend, then great. If you are a stranger to me, wonderful. I do not need to know you at all to get to know your soul.

I decided to share my "soul" with her in the form of about a dozen small zip-locked packets of sand that I had carried home from the Ganges River (near Rishikesh) after my first trip to India in 2005.   Given that my nature is to be a helper, I wanted to offer this sand, known for it's healing properties, as part of what I'm all about.

My soul needs to be nurtured and fed, so I asked Brooke to share my "soul" (packets of "magic sand") with others and have them offer me something in exchange. Something that might serve to exchange positive energy from another to me. I provided her with empty packets in which to enclose these items she would collect for me.

I originally wrote about my April 2009 submission here and Brooke's description and post-project reflections are here.

So back in June (2010), I was so happy to learn about my soul's adventures over the last year.

Brooke had sent me a nice package of things to tell me about my soul. She include a picture of my soul showing me where it lived for the past year.
See the packets of sand on the far right hand side of the picture?

What I was most anxious about, though, was to learn about what my soul had attracted, what I had received in return for sharing those emblems of my spirit.

I got back 12 packets of people's belongings including:

  1. A beautiful jeweled gold sparkly button with "her jacket, street, halifax, Sept '09" written on the packet.
  2. A plastic opaque oyster coloured bead with "plaid coat man, March '10" written on the packet.
  3. A white green-tipped feather with "aime, October '09" written on the packet.
  4. A small pale green flowery post-it note enscribed with "AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE" and "Andrea, July '09" written on the packet.
  5. A small strip of cardboard with the word "BITS" written on it and "Nov 11, 2009" written on the packet.
  6. A single black and red stripped stud earring with no backing and "April 26, 2009" written on the packet.
  7. My original packet of "Magic Sand" containing the ripped corner of a piece of cardboard reading "Frag...." (probably "fragile" before it was ripped) with "Ryan blended, May 10 '09" written on the packet.
  8. One STM ticket (with french writing and a picture of a bus on it....a bus ticket?) and "Montreal, August 2009" written on the packet.
  9. Another of my original packets of sand containing a small ripped envelope (the kind with the red and blue diagonal stripes around the border that remind me of international postal envelopes) with nothing but my original writing on the packet.
  10. A dried and crumbling reddish-brown leaf with "Brendan, pressed between a book" written on the packet.
  11. A small white rectangular magnet with 'yes' written in red on it and "Jan 2, 2010, on her" written on the packet.
  12. A 2 inch piece of ivory thread with "Feb 14, 2010, he gave it to me from his shoe" written on the packet.

What a variety of offerings! Some were likely meaningful to their previous owners, and some possibly were not at all important to them. Either way, what's most important to me was the spirit of participation and symbol of the offering.  There's that connectedness thing that comes up for me over and over again. Pretty cool.

I also appreciated the lovely hand written note from Brooke in which she told me...

"We have ended our time together, as souls contained, and I want to thank you for your most cherished gift....For a long while I contemplated where I could take you...where your multiple vessels would love to exist....I kept two vessels for myself. One will forever exist pinned to my bedroom wall and one travels with me when I leave the house. I intend to do this as long as the physical objects exist and then, forever after. I traded pieces of your soul for objects which existed on a person that day. I asked said person to put their soul into their object and then place it in the empty bags you provided. I only gave them pieces of you if their intentions were in love. I selected people according to the feeling they gave me. Most were strangers, some were very dear. ...Now you belong to the world within strangers and they belong to you. With love, respect, kindness and forever trust, Brooke"

This project reminded me how much I have to offer and how much I can benefit from being open to receiving.

Thanks Brooke.

(Find out about Brooke and her lastest unique project - the tape project - here)

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1 comment:

  1. i love your project. my friend voula told me about it... xo veronica

    you know about FOUND magazine of course... right ?