Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Memories of Joann

I only knew Joann for a couple of years, which in many ways seemed like a lifetime. In my eyes Joann was a rare lady. She had great wisdom; humility and strength of character; caring and compassion; she knew how, when, where to push always with love and respect, always honouring our process.

Come Alive, April 04 was when I met Joann. Sitting in her chair, watching over us as we began our journey. I will never forget Joann holding one of the participants, soothing her, singing to her like a mother.

After one of the breaks, I was walking back to Heron and there was Joann beside me asking me how I was. I told her I felt drunk and nauseous and that I somehow knew this was ok. Joann smiled and said yes nauseous was good.

In July of 05, I attended Phase 1. Once again Joann was sitting in her chair, watching us and seeing what only she could be see. I don't think she every forgot someone's process.

On the way to the lodge one day Joann walked behind me humming. For quite a few steps I walked and smiled as I was filled with warmth listening to her. I told Joann how I was warming my heart with her humming. She told me her story of her journey to humming. Today, when I catch myself humming I think of Joann.

On our work day we discovered it was Joann's birthday and a group of us decided we would celebrate Joann. One of the photos giving honour to this celebration is displayed prominently in my home. I walk by it several times a day and am reminded of the fun we had AND lessons learned, openings, awarenesses, crashes, breakthroughs and shifts I have had during and in the months after Phase1. Often I will look at the photo when I am searching for answers.

During the last day of Phase 1 when the leaders and interns sit in the centre of the circle talking about us, Joann's words of me were one of the brightest light bulbs I have every experienced. No one had ever hinted, indicated or shared with me (to my awareness) feedback on my quiet voice being controlling. I was stunned.

This past year I was at The Haven a lot and sometimes Joann would be there and sometimes her spirit was there. I find it very interesting that each time I go to The Haven the first place I look is where Joann sat. I miss seeing her back support on the bench.

At Reflections this year when I was in the costume room I felt Joann. She had told me for her work day she had to organize it (although it was at Heron then). I saw the outfits from our Phase 1 experience and her birthday celebration. This year I was in the play, and I know the people in the back heard my lines, and I bet Joann did too!

When I was creating my Haven Workshop Vision Board this year, I said I was taking Joann's three workshops. I know her spirit will be there too!


Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. Cecil Beaton


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