How the book came to be
Dancing in the Dark is a poem that came to me as a deep giving. I have whittled and honed it, memorised and spoken it. I worked with my great friend Ray to introduce music to it. We spent four long nights in the midwinter of 2016, in a candlelit backgarden temple, huddled around a calor gas heater, listening to how this work wished to present itself. We had a strong sense that we were not alone, most especially when it came to the speaking of these lines:
The sound and music so generously crafted by Ray has remained as an echo layer in the poem. The poem asked then for imagery, and I have used my own work to bring a new discernment to the words. It is rough and raw, and beautiful.
Dancing in the Dark
The poem is a journey. It is an invitation to move beyond the safe known boundaries of our small, rigidly orchestrated worlds, into the absolute terror of the unknown. It invites us to ask the dangerous question, what if?
What if the world is more interdimensional than we have made it? What if there is more out there than meets the eye? What if I summon up the courage and curiosity to look through the telescope, as Galileo did, and find out that the established monoculture is not the truth? What if I jump? What if I land in the dark waters of tangled weeds and unknown presences? What if I face my darkest fears? This book is about now. We have little time left to answer these questions. We may be pushed if we will not jump. How much better to let go, of our own free will.
We may just end up dancing!
Here is the suggestion that we try another way.
Let’s stop defying the dark. Let’s go right out into it and see what it has to offer.
And it is terrifying. We stop pretending. We stop controlling. We stop thinking we have all the answers, that everything is okay. We realise that at some point we let go. And it’s dark. And there is no landscape. And no landmarks. And we’re falling. And we don’t know who is out there. Or where we will land. Or if we lose all that we love.
We just don’t know.
Perhaps we should not have jumped.
Amazingly we land. We find there is some familiarity, some comfort, some knowing. The landscape is foreign, fluid, but we are not alone.
We begin to take heart, to play again, and explore.
It isn’t so bad after all.
In fact, there is great beauty in it.
And so we begin to feel the tug of the Unknown. It pulls at our feet and we do not resist. How can we? Whether we resist or not, the pull of the Dark Unknown is inevitable.
New audio and images from the book
In this short audio clip, I share a reading of some of the text from Dancing in the Dark - followed by some further images from the book.
What people have been saying about the book
Singer and musician Ruth Blake says of Jennifer Leach: "an artist not limited by one particular form, but exceptionally gifted with several. It's hard to find words to express the depth of the respect I have for her and her work." And of Dancing in the Dark, Ruth says: "This next work promises to be in her characteristic vein of temporally relevant, intellectually enquiring, and emotionally deep-diving, plucking at the heart through symbol and storytelling and a simply magical way with both words and images. It would make a stunning gift or rich addition to your own life."
Artist, enterprise educator and social entrepreneur Anna B Sexton says "The amazing, truthtelling, creative polymath that is Jennifer Leach has done it again... Her new Dancing in the Dark book via Kickstarter. I've pledged to help her exceed her original target."
How to get your copy of Dancing in the Dark
A pledge of £10 or more brings you a copy of the book, while a pledge of £25 or more brings a signed copy of the book and a high-quality A5 giclée print of one these 6 images from the book:
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges:
The book design is finished and we are ready to publish, so the only conceivable risk - once we meet our pledge target - is an unanticipated delay at the printers. If that happens, we will alert project backers on estimated date changes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)