Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of the great anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson is a linguist, anthropologist, scholar and a vital thinker about life in 2015. She explores life as an improvisational art at every age. Her book Composing a Life continues to offer its readers an invitation to become:
“artists of their own lives…working with what comes to hand through accident or talent to compose and recompose a pattern in time that expresses who they are and what they believe in…creating and recreating themselves.”
Today she continues to work, learn, teach, write, love, observe, participate, and thrive. Here are some of her October, 2015 ideas for you:
“Life is an improvisation, an improvisatory art.”
“We now live with constant change, we’re on a stage without a script.”
“…people think improvisation means you don’t practice, but I have a cousin who is a jazz flutist And I know that jazz musicians practice improvisation by the hour.”
It seems synchronistic that as I prepare for my Improv Class where I am challenged to be fully present without a script that Dr. Bateson’s current work came through my computer via my Bluetooth into my ears while on the treadmill.
It is my wish that we pay attention to the rigorous practice of being fully present in our lives, and welcome the opportunity to love, yes, of course; to work, yes, creative work offers great meaning, but also to play.
“Human beings remain childlike. They’re open to new learning, and even very deep learning that changes your personality really. Right through the life cycle human beings remain playful.”
I’m not suggesting we become anarchists (unless, of course, you want to). I wishing all of us to reignite the “sense of wonder” we had when we were kids in the homes we make for ourselves today as adult men and women.
From the interview:
K. Tippitt: Talk to me about what the word “homemaking” holds for you.
"Well, creating an environment in which learning is possible. To me, the starting place is the sense of wonder. Other human beings are amazing and beautiful.”