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Rhythm / Devotion of Emma Ledgerwood

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Rhythm / Devotion is a series of interviews intended to illuminate the connection to ritual & rhythm in our daily lives. This series explores the intimacy of routine, the magic of the ordinary, & how these small acts of devotion set the stage for larger workings in the world ~


What is your name & where are you in the world?

Emma Ledgerwood

New Orleans, LA


How do you define yourself & your work?

Excitable doer, lover of people and ideas. An artist, designer, musician, & friend.


Will you walk us through what a day in your life looks like? Begin with how you greet the morning & guide us until you close off the day in the eve ~

I wake up in the morning to my cat meowing for breakfast and my dog curled up in bed next to me. I take 5-10 minutes to kiss my dog and tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is. Then I greet my cat and feed him, rubbing his butt while he eats. I throw on some clothes and take my dog to my neighbor Tom’s house who lives across the street. I walk in and make myself a cup of chicory roast iced coffee with cream and Tom meets me on his large front porch where we sit for a minimum of 30 minutes. We chit chat and wave to all the neighbors that go by.


Then I leave to take my dog on her walk and when I get home I get dressed and sometimes make something to eat, sometimes I don't. Depending on my mood and workload I will either start working in my baby blue diner booth in the front room of my house or I'll get in my car or on my scooter and drive myself over to the studio. If I’m home I usually move slowly, cook up some lunch, watch a lil tv, and clean. If I go to my studio I put my music on and I focus, sometimes not eating, falling deeper and deeper into a little design hole.


When my day is over I come and kiss my dog for about 5-10 minutes and tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is. Then if it's not too hot I take her for a walk. In New Orleans the week days are when all the events are, weekends are slow and for resting. So often on Mondays-Thursdays I’ll have dinner and then around 9:30 leave my house to go to an event. On a chill night I'll make dinner and watch a movie. Then every night no matter how late I draw myself a bath and I sit in it and let the day wash off of me. Then I tuck myself into bed with both my dog and cat at my side.



You are an art director, designer, & musician ~ how do you prepare yourself &/or your space to enter into these practices?

I feel like I could be ready at any moment no matter what, it's really just waiting for inspiration to strike. It turns on immediately for me and often once it starts I cant stop till it's completed.


If it's design work that isn't so exciting, I often just look to create an easy and inspiring space, having good smells, good lighting, good sounds.



What do you do/not do if you are feeling stuck around your work?

I’ve found that letting my brain be free in off times is really important to me. I used to feel really guilty about how much tv and movies I watched but I've realized it's really just the one space where my brain does not need to keep inventing or creating. Everything is right there for you to absorb.


Sometimes reading is hard for me after a long day of doing art and working on designs. My brain is just too tired to invent the “red haired girl, who's scrawny, wearing a black shirt with a rip in the left sleeve,” I’m ready to just see her as someone else saw it and be inspired by that.


I also love to take long drives on country roads and listening to music, avoiding technology, and just allowing myself to feel the wind and see the world.



Do you have a movement practice?

Playing the drums has become a really special movement practice for me. As well as dancing. In New Orleans there's a big country music scene and everyone does 2-step dancing. It's been a huge breakthrough to become confident on the dance floor and has really allowed me to connect with my body.


Shortly after learning to dance, I started playing the drums in a punk band. I sing when I play so it truly becomes this out of body experience. You are giving every single part of yourself and it takes a lot of strength and control. It's completely changed my body and has become such a special way to exert all my pent up energy.



What does structure mean to you, or what is your philosophy around ritual/routine?

I think structure is just those little things that help you stay standing on the hardest days. Truly like a brace on the back. Especially in a city like New Orleans that is so vibrant and unpredictable. The community is strong and there is always something going on. It's hard not to walk out your door and not run into a friend and lose track of time.


Ritual and routine keep me grounded on days that are impossible to plan. I always wake up with enough time to sit on my neighbor's porch and just look out and chat about nothing. Even a small thing like that keeps me locked in to myself.



What are you listening to, reading, or watching these days?

Honestly right now I feel like my brain is swirling with so many ideas that everything else just feels like background noise. I’ve been watching the “Prehistoric” docu-series in bed before I fall asleep so I'm learning about dinosaurs! Recently, I watched another doc about the ice age. Pretty interesting stuff I haven't really thought about since I was a kid!



Any last words of wisdom?

My two favorite sayings:

“Give me the death that I need”

“Wherever you go there you are”



How can we find your work?



Thank you so much, Emma, for your inspiring work in this world & for sharing your rhythm devotion with us ~


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I connect the essence of Roselle & Snow as a companion to Emma Ledgerwood, her rhythm/devotion, & her work in the world.


I made my Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) essence in Raleigh, NC under the final full moon of 2021 from a single blooming hibiscus roselle on a snowy winter night.


This gentle, delicate, sweet essence is a reminder of possibility—of possibility even in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances. Roselle essence is a subtle reminder to pay attention to the small acts & gestures in our worlds. It suggests to us that these are truly the threads that make up the material of life & love in our lives—that the fullness of life is not just the big, loud, blaring moments, or the moments of drama, but what happens in between. The ones that link our days together, the ones that bring nuance to our lives, that embroider our lives even & especially when we aren’t looking.


Roselle reminds us to look, to celebrate the tiny moments of joy, surprise, & connection in our worlds. It slows us down enough to appreciate them, to be in awe of them, & to begin to take notice of their existence everywhere, of these moments that are constantly blooming if we choose to witness them.


This essence also invites us into balancing opposing forces in our lives, into allowing these seemingly conflicting elements to work together, each playing to their strengths & supporting the other in relationship. Roselle helps us to celebrate harmony, thus it can help us to bring a deep sense of wholeness & completeness to parts of ourselves that feel at odds.


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Find a bottle of Roselle essence for yourself or a loved one here ~

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