Last weekend I helped my artist friend Jason Schuler by attending to audience members one at a time. They entered "The Graveyard" and they buried an object in a pile of dirt. The installation was part of untitledconsciousness.com - a performance art piece about human consciousness.
My text was, "This is your chance to think of something you have been holding on to and are ready to bury. Pick a piece of hardware here, wrap it in string there, cut the cord with these scissors and bury it." I learned from each burial. Afterwards I wrote him how it related to my work as a therapist in New York:
How to help people bury things:
1. Let them know you are there
2. Get out of their way
3. Let myself bury it with them
4. Let them know how well they did
5. Thank them
6. Show them the way out
In both exits - from therapy and from the graveyard - it is the smiles that remind me why I do this and teach me how to move forward in my own life.