Friday, April 19, 2013

Team Building Exercises ~ Kristen McHenry


•    The Great Egg Drop

For creating a sense of yolk and afterbirth. For bonding over fragility. To remind them of soft falls and metaphors in pink. A protective instinct, all attention focused on the mystery of one tiny incubator, hastily constructed. To unite them in the thrill of the death-leap, a moment really happening, impact and ritual survey of carnage. They will say we did our best with what little we were given. They will mourn their failed experiment, but only theoretically, theatrically. That night they will dream of floating in polystyrene, they will remember they were once protected. They will awaken, and rise to dress in the dark.

•    Balloon Activities 

Promotes gentleness in dealings, also reaching slowly so as to not stir the air. They will learn expansion in increments of breath, they will stretch their ribs and prod and smile. There will be powder blue and yellow, and the fervid among them will lose inhibitions and dab at their eyes, remembering The Red Balloon. It will seem there should be birthday cake and they will laugh at this. It will end with each of one trailing a balloon tied to their wrist. Even the grimmest will for become for a moment lax and knowable again.

•    Picture Perfect

The pictures are randomly ordered and handed out. The group tries to create a unified story from the set of sequential pictures. No one will agree on the final tale and for a duration their world will become exhaustingly absurd, so that when they view out the window a balloon flattened on a tree branch, a dead egg stretched on the walkway, it will seem normal, just the way of things. Still they will try; keep up chatter, focus, earnest explanations. Still they will rearrange the pictographs, in the re-ordering, another mystery, and the effective use of the therapy tool, "projection". 

Kristen McHenry is a resident of Seattle, Washington and is a poet by night, and supervisor of volunteers for an urban hospital by day. Among other publications, her work has been seen in Bare Root Review, Numinous, Tiferet, Sybil's Garage, Big Pulp, and the anthology, “Many Trails to the Summit” published by Rose Alley Press. She was a top five finalist in the 2009 national poetry competition “Project Verse”. Her chapbook “The Goatfish Alphabet” was runner-up in qarrtsiluni's 2009 chapbook contest, and was published by Naissance Press in 2010. Her second chapbook, “Triplicity: Poems in Threes” was published by Indigo Ink Press is 2011.

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