Together, we have achieved a great deal. We both earned our Ph.D. degrees by the age of 29. We have traveled and lived abroad. We have published books and essays on various topics and have held university teaching positions. Our backgrounds in the performing arts and literature have brought us into contact with international artists and thinkers, many of whom we count as our greatest friends and teachers.
None of our achievements, however, prepared us for the death of our son in June 2014. Finlay Emilio died of unknown causes at the end of 20+ hours of labor, and his departure from this world broke us into millions of jagged pieces.
Finlay's death devastated us, clarified what mattered most to us, and opened us up in ways we could not have previously imagined. Our slow process of healing has encouraged new ways of thinking, feeling, learning, and growing. We recognized, as Rumi says, that light enters through the wound. We soon realized, however, that no pre-existing job matched our unique blend of abilities and life experiences. Instead of trying to fit ourselves into a place that didn't feel quite right for us, we decided to make a place crafted with creativity and care.
We moved to Asheville in May 2016, 3 months before we welcomed our second son, Phalen Sage, into our arms. Grieving for one son while caring for his brother and adjusting to life in a new city created new challenges and new opportunities to learn and to heal.
Inviting Abundance is a space where we continue to grow and thrive as we work with others who want to cultivate a purposeful and creative life attuned to the complexity of the world and their own hearts. There is great abundance in grieving, in embracing significant life changes, and in continuing your education. To access this abundance, you need to invite it in. We want to help you craft your invitation.
- Joanne Zerdy & Will Daddario
Outgoing and contemplative. Assertive and compassionate. Exuberant and disciplined. I think of myself as the fusion of opposites and as a synthesizer of disparate worlds. For the last decade, I have worked mostly within academia and fields peripheral to higher education. A scholar of performance, theatre history, and philosophy, I have helped to create an international organization of artists and intellectuals, published widely, presented at numerous international conferences, and cultivated a rigorous pedagogical practice. More recently, due in large part to the death of my father and my son, I have turned my attention more directly to poetry, esoteric philosophy, and the work of grieving. Receiving the Reiki Master attunement in September 2017 marks a milestone of my intuitive growth and enriches my study of the less-traditional fields of knowledge creation (in the academic sense) such as Tarot, Crystallology, and Ally Retrieval. My goal in this journey is to live openly within all domains simultaneously so as to reveal the finely woven connections that unite the many parts of our world.
As a child, I felt a pull toward teaching and reading. From this, there emerged a deep love of learning that guided my formal education as I studied English Literature and Theatre in Pittsburgh, London, Edinburgh, & Minneapolis. A deep appreciation for travel unfurled as I moved from one program to the next, visiting nearby cities (in the US) and countries (in Europe). When visiting new places, I invariably found myself seeking out botanical gardens, nature sanctuaries, and parks. My transition away from academia -- where I was most recently writing about the environmental performances of Scottish arts group, NVA -- has been an organic process. Instead of researching organizations that help restore and strengthen social and environmental eco-systems, I now undertake this important work as a creative grief worker, educational consultant, and budding herbalist. I completed Reiki I training in 2015, earned my Permaculture Design Certification in 2016, and recently completed a (55-hr) training to facilitate Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss workshops. Additionally, I completed a 1000-hr Herbal Immersion program (focused on Herbal Medicine) in 2019. This work is deeply informed by my greatest teachers, my sons, Finlay Emilio & Phalen Sage.
"I learn by going where I have to go."
-Theodore Roethke, "The Waking"