Since 2012 I searched for a name for my work. This has not been an easy task, and close friends have patiently let me rant about the pros and cons of my ‘latest’ ideas (thank you!). These include Simply Dance (2012), Temple21 (2014), Dance | Research | Facilitation (2015), The Clearing (2016), Ayohwell or Centre for the Art of Living (both in 2017 – Ayohwell being a poetic rendering of AoL – Art of Living), EveryWhen and StoryDance & Ritual (both in 2019).
Earlier this year I considered Shift ‘n Thrive and even The Wackademy (for all things wonderful and wacky) – until native-English speaking friends thankfully cautioned me against it. For a few of those ideas I designed business cards and leaflets, for others I went as far as setting up websites and social media accounts.
Although some stuck around for a while, neither of them felt deeply and truly right. Either I thought it would alienate people who weren’t interested in the topic, or it felt I could bring only one part of my interests and practices. What they had in common however was offering space for the soul.
Especially with social media’s demands of maintaining a consistent and (hopefully!) refreshing presence, after a time I would get confused, because x wasn’t the best place to post y, and surely people who were interested in z wouldn’t want to read that other stuff anyway. Even though I would continue to enthusiastically create and deliver workshops and other content without a banner, this lack of ‘umbrella’ frustrated me. I felt stunted, like a young tree who can’t quite develop in all directions. This way there seemed to be no place for my soul in the work either. That didn’t sound like a sustainable, long-term direction for my craft.
Some people suggest using Eline Kieft as ‘brand’ name, and many entrepreneurs indeed make this choice successfully. However, my dream has always been that my work could in time become a platform for collaboration, where others could also bring their talents, gifts and passions – even though my enterprise would, of course, be inspired and driven by my life experiences and interests (I do have a personal website as well if you’re interested).
In a relatively recent conversation with my dad Henk Kieft (on 8.4.2020), the image of a Clover came up. We saw the leaves of the clover as an expression of different areas that my work bridges: the senses, the affect, the intellect and spirit.
The notion of Trail swiftly followed, as a metaphor for the soul’s journey through life, including exploration, path-finding, leaving and returning, and recognising different landscapes on our way.
Since that conversation, creativity has fountained in unknown ways: amazing encounters in nature, enhanced response in my (lucid) dream practice, reflections and creating art to support the integration of my golden shadow. For the first time ever with regard to business-musings, I experience a calm rootedness, of feeling ‘settled’ within the name. For the first time, I sense that there is place for all of me within Clover Trail, which is, of course the only way this can work.
The title of this blog post is derived from Shakespeare. Juliet asks ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet’, to which Romeo answers ‘Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized’ (Shakespeare, 1597). Earlier on, I mentioned soul as consequent thread that time and again appears in the weaving of my work. Perhaps that is what allows me to be newly baptised. Newly baptised with confidence for the Trail ahead, the Trail that illustrates many years of search and is, simultaneously, only another beginning.
Shakespeare, W. (1597) ‘Romeo and Juliet’, [Play: Act 2, Scene 2].