James Seligman, the documentation responsible for films on school-based councils since 1986, and our dear friend passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 21, 2017. He had been recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and decided to live his final days in this form with his wife Kathleen and his daughter Julianna on the land he has stewarded and loved in Three Rivers, California.
James was a master at disappearing in full presence. Completely unobtrusive in intimate council ceremonies, James captured verbal and visual expressions of everyone in the circles. He put on film what we call the ‘interactive field,’ the unseen energetic connections between participants, rather than simply showing individuals telling their stories.
James believed in the practice of council in schools and did everything he could to support our work for more than 30 years. He also loved humanity. When he conducted interviews, even with the youngest children, they felt that love, that confidence in their inherent wisdom, and time and again, comfortable in his presence, showed up in their beauty and fullness. In his life and in his art, he embodied the practice of listening (and seeing) from the heart.
Now James has taken his great skill with being simultaneously fully present and fully absent to the next level. Again, he appears to have disappeared, but we trust that he just greatly expanded his presence to contain even more of the Cosmos.
You can see a selection of his films on the Circle Ways website.