The Sandbox Blog
This is where I share studio notes and thoughts from behind the scenes here at Creative Sandbox Solutions™ HQ. I’m all about process here, and I’m transparent about mine, so you can learn from both my wins and my mistakes.
If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy — drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.
“I could never do what you do,” Rachel said. “But I really wish I could!”
We were chatting at a potluck on Saturday afternoon, after Rosh Hashanah services where I had been one of several song leaders, leading rounds from the elevated stage (or bimah) in the gym that was serving as our temporary sanctuary.*
In addition to leading rounds, the rabbi had recruited me to lead — and teach — a lively, new, call-and-response version of a traditional prayer.
I seem to have made quite an impact, because a number of people complimented me after services.
Rachel, though, went beyond just complimenting me.
“I wanted to apologize,” started the note.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about you since yesterday, and I’m sorry for missing chords and getting lost when accompanying you on the bandstand.”
I was stunned.
My accompanist was apologizing?!
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, when I made my living as a professional calligrapher and artist, I did quite a bit of itinerant teaching.
My favorite part of teaching calligraphy (or anything, really) was figuring out how to explain a concept in a way that would make sense for that particular student.
I used a lot of metaphors and analogies.
My favorite example of this was whenever I taught the technique of pen manipulation.
I won’t lie, coming back to work after a week at music camp is not easy.
Even for someone like me, who actually loves my job!
But getting to focus 100% on making music for a week for the pure joy of it?
”I can’t get people to reply to my emails,” Priyanka told her manager, Kara. “I put so much effort into them, and I get crickets in response!”
She wasn’t the only one on the team having this problem, either.
When Kara and I met to discuss how I could help her team of researchers have more impact and influence across the organization, this email issue was one of several specific items that came up, all related to communication.
It’s a common issue, actually, and not isolated to researchers.
“This isn’t resonating for me,” Deborah said.
We were part way through an exercise I’d devised specifically for this group — a team of devoted staff members at a mid-size nonprofit organization.
After two years of working 100% remotely, half the team had never met in-person, and the whole team had never been in the same room together.
The Executive Director had done a stellar job building community virtually, but decided it was time to bring everyone together for a day of in-person bonding.
“How will we know your work has made a difference?”
It’s a great question I get asked by clients periodically.
And here’s a secret: if they don’t ask the question first, I ask it for them.
Because it’s important to me to be able to show the impact of the work I do.
Don’t you love sleeping in your own bed again after being on a trip? I sure do!
It’s great to be back home, after four days in St. Louis, for a business retreat (if you’re ever there, be sure to check out the amazing Union Station Hotel lobby, and catch the hourly light show. Stellar!)…
…followed by a long-overdue visit with my wonderful in-laws in Alabama.
(Am I the only person on the planet who actually likes my in-laws? Oh, wait, my husband likes his in-laws, too. 😄 I feel like we hit the jackpot, because I wasn’t nearly as lucky with my first marriage. But that’s another story…)
“The bus leaves at 7:00 AM,” she said.
“I’ll be there!” I beamed back, but internally I was grimacing.
The gears were spinning, calculating how early that meant I was going to have to wake up.
To be clear, I’m normally awake by 6:30, but to be out the door by then is a different story.
It’s Passover again, the time of year when Jews around the world gather around dinner tables to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
The Passover Seder is rich with meaning, from the matzoh (bread baked in such haste that there was no time for it to rise), to the salt water we dip our greens into to represent the tears of the Israelite slaves, to the charoset (chopped nuts and dried fruit) that represents the mortar the slaves used to build with.
As we ponder how our ancestors had to make tough decisions before fleeing for their lives, one of the questions often asked at a Seder table is:
“What are you leaving behind, and what are you bringing with you?”