At the end of March I was invited to lead a breakout session at the 2nd Annual – Virginia Collegiate Recovery Conference. I talked for about 20 minutes about my practice and then informed the group that they were all going to become conceptual artists for the day. We broke up into groups of two and had one on one conversations over ice water.
There was no set topic, but since we were at a recovery conference many of our conversation revolved around addiction, sobriety, recovery and loss. Participants were asked in advance to bring in a token object of significance that would fit in a jelly jar.
Ginny Atwood brought the dog tag from her brother Chris Atwood’s Pug, Manly. Chris died of a heroin overdose in 2013 and Ginny founded the Chris Atwood Foundation in his honor. As someone in recovery and grateful for the life that I am privileged to lead, I take inspiration from the work of Ginny, her family and the Chris Atwood Foundation.
The Chris Atwood Foundation works to provide recovery support and resources to people and families affected by addiction; to change the conversation and policies about addiction from ones of stigma to support; and to prevent the disease from taking hold of future generations.
I don’t know what Jonathan and Ginny talked about over ice water, but Free Ice Water is not really about listening in on conversations, its about making a space for meaningful one on one conversations to happen.