Sisters Walking into the Lion’s Mouth

Stories about the Dakota Access Pipeline have been troubling my heart for some time now – this story by Victory Lonnquist especially moved me, brought me to tears, touched me on so many levels. Maybe it’s the moon, or my moon – or that water, the earth, women – are so powerful and yet, so repressed that we forget the power.

And of course, what’s happening in North Dakota right now is absolutely horrifying – and a huge civil rights travesty – not to mention an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Here’s Victory’s story:

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Women Praying at the Frontline – photographer unknown

Today I joined Starhawk and other women in a prayerful walk to the front lines. We held each other arm in arm, hundreds of us, bundled in jackets, wearing long skirts to show respect for prayer camp, silent. Absolutely silent.

We walked from Sicangu/Rosebud along 1806 to Oceti Sakowin, to the Seven Fire Council. Faith Spotted Eagle wanted to talk to the native woman leading us. She was concerned about us going to the bridge. There were questions on who gave blessing for this action. I heard Dallas’s name. The men murmured, increasingly agitated. I was concerned. Arvol had just said – no actions without the blessings of the elders. I have deep respect for this protocol.

One of the men started saying we needed to go back. The native woman in lead banged her drum in front of them and motioned us on. We started walking, hundreds of women.

I told the sister I was walking with I was concerned. It didn’t feel right, going forward without the blessings of those elders. I stepped away from the front. She joined me. “What elders? ” she said. “There are many elders. A native elder is leading us. ” This is why we are walking! Because too many times women are stopped, our power oppressed.” I nodded, and fell in with sisters who opened their arms with a smile, and walked ahead, trying to understand and feel all of this out.

strength-card

The Strength tarot card symbolizes inner-strength and determination to overcome obstacles, and self-knowledge and self-discipline, as only when we know ourselves and act in a responsible manner will we be able to deal effectively with challenging situations and overcome our difficulties successfully. Yet this card does not only represent physical strength – moral and emotional strength are included in the meaning. {Tarot del Imaginario – LA FORZA}

We neared the bridge, and I could feel the heaviness of the energy, the warning of danger. “What am I doing here? ” I thought. “I’m walking into the lion’s open mouth! ” Yet I would not leave my sisters.

The last time I was here, I was treating water protectors at night, dropping around me like flies. It was a place of violence and war by the police. Now, it was day. It was quiet. We came softly.

Men met us at the bridge, some stern. Male security guards that had made a line to stop us. Some telling us not to go forward. The native woman at lead banged her drum. Some of the women cried “Men! Do not tell the women what to do! ” Some pushed against the men. Some men were aggressive and dominating. A native elder (female) next to me muttered ” Why are they policing us? We have enough police here. ” Some women yelled “Men! Let us through! Stop blocking us! ” Some men looked helpless yet resisted. One of the men said “We are trying to protect you! “

I became aware that this struggle was the mirror of the world.

The women who are tired of men speaking for us. The women who want to walk peacefully without men telling us where to go or what to do. The men, who think they may be helping us, but are still oppressing us. The men who genuinely wish to help. The men, some of whom are learning themselves how to be. We are all learning how to be.

In the end, the men stopped us. A small group of elders were allowed through, which was good. They prayed there at the front lines with the police. We women sat down, kneeled, silently, as the female elders walked to the razor wire, as police with guns and large militarized vehicles looked on, fingers on triggers. The women looked so small against the large fence and weapons just on the other side.

They held ceremony. They smudged. They went to the river and prayed. Quietly we looked on, sage and copal smoke floating around us, only the sound of our “Mni Wiconi, Water is life” flags billowing in the wind.

When it was over, we walked back, silently. Hundreds of women, arm in arm, returning to camp united, in prayer.

Fear, Love, Gratitude and the Election

Letter I wrote the day after the election. 

Hi,

I don’t know what’s going to happen – and that is a scary feeling. Currently, it feels like all is lost – my spirit feels like it’s trying to jump out of my body – but the pit in my stomach is keeping it tied down. This morning, last night, I was struggling to find coming from a core place of love. I have to try. I have to do it – because coming from a place of fear is too hard.

I acknowledge that I am afraid, I acknowledge that fear makes me feel separate and that feeling of separation is anxiety-inducing, I acknowledge that I am sad. I acknowledge that there is an awful pit in my stomach. I acknowledge that I am deeply disappointed. I acknowledge that I feel incredibly vulnerable.

I also acknowledge that I love my life and I love this planet and I love making art and doing yoga and riding my bike and reading good books and writing stories and making love. I love the mountains and the air. I love the time we have had together so far.
i-am-the-change_chip-thomas-street-art-holly-troy-10-2016

Street Art by Chip Thomas aka Jetsonorama

I acknowledge that I have the right to be here and to live in joy.

I hope that my visit with Leslie tonight will be helpful – making plans to create – creating, is very helpful, has always been helpful.
I prefer that my friends are peaceful and loving. I am grateful that my friends are peaceful and loving. I acknowledge that we are all feeling some form of fear/disappointment/anger.
It’s going to take a little bit of work, and it’s worth it. I want to feel safe and loved and joyful and valued even with all of this insanity – the misogyny, bigotry, sexism, racism, climate change – that our country seems to be ok with. Steps I can take now:
– renew my passport now before Trump takes office (it expires in August 2017)
– remember I am love: check in, check in, check in with myself
– give love
– have gratitude

My friend Merk has a good plan she shared today. I found it helpful.

From Merk:

Friends, I just posted this on my business page and I think it’s worthwhile to share here as well:

Many people are suffering today under the weight of overwhelming negativity. In my own household, I woke to two highly sensitive teens who are taking on emotions that are compounded by others in their sphere.

In a community of compassionate people who seek to make their lives better, I know that there are many people here who feel as if hate and injustice have been given the upper hand, and are searching today for ways to feel better.

I’d like to help you with some techniques to bring your center back to a place of love. Because love is the way through. It is always the way through, as it is the greatest force in the Universe.

1) List as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for. Take some time to feed your brain and your nervous system with positivity. We all have much to be thankful for in this moment and our focus needs to be there. Go back to this list and this activity as often as necessary over the next week, but certainly do it at least once a day.

2) Be generous. Try to give a small gift to someone each day for the next week. It doesn’t need to cost much at all, but go out of your way to help make someone else smile.

3) Write one thank you card each day for a week. Imagine how good the recipient will feel when they receive it as you are writing it.

4) Clean out a drawer, cupboard, closet or room. Clear through things that no longer serve you and are stagnant in your life and release them by donating them to a worthwhile organization. Create flow and usefulness in your space.

5) Meditate. I can’t stress this enough. Find your center and let love and compassion flow through you so that it can be the filter through which you see life around you.

When our focus is on love and compassion, we can see what possibilities and opportunities exist around us. When we see life through fear, we block that ability and halt any progress that we otherwise would have made.

And if you are already feeling great, and not negatively affected by the news in the world, please have compassion over others who are experiencing fear.

Take a moment right now to feel the love that I have for each and every one of you. Accept it into your heart and pass it along.

With gratitude for a community of beautiful souls,
Merk

Touch of Creole

I voted weeks ago. – I’d love to escape into the forest today. A little bird told me it’s ok to get away.

 

A little music and a little peace.

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Bell Blue: Dial-A-Poem ~ A Call for Work

Dear Energetic Readers and Writers,

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Elizabeth Hellstern, creatrix of the Telepoem Booth, and her beloved Bell.

This year I was lucky to be part of an amazing project that started right here in Flagstaff, Arizona. I recorded five poems for Elizabeth Hellstern’s project, The Telepoem Booth, after she put out a call to writers last winter. By spring, the booth was up and running (and one of my poems ended up on NPR!), with people lining up to listen to poetry on a rotary phone. The project is a great success – and the booth will begin traveling to different cities and towns throughout the country. Maybe the booth will come to your town! 

I’m so excited that the Telepoem Booth is seeking to add more work to its catalogue. Be a part of this literary/tactile art project and submit your work today!!

Reposted from Submittable:

The Telepoem Booth, a 1970s phone booth that one can dial-a-poem on the rotary phone, is now accepting submissions for poems and micro-essays to include in the Telepoem Directory. Each piece submitted must be an original piece in MP3 Format and under three minutes. Submissions will be chosen based on their “poetic” merit as well as the quality of the reader’s interpretation, (i.e. “does it translate well as an audio piece for the Telepoem Booth?”) The accepted pieces will be available to dial and listen to in the Flagstaff Telepoem Booth, as well as other Telepoem Booths nationally, including in State College, PA and beyond.

telepoem-booth-at-macys-by-holly-troyThe Telepoem Booth is dedicated to providing representation of voices and perspectives from all humans from all walks and paths. Submitters are encouraged to use sound effects and audio enhancements in their submissions. For an example of a finely produced audio poem located in the Telepoem Booth, please listen to Chris Green’s reading of “Inventing the Dolphin” (featured on Rattle Magazine’s poem of the day), produced by Mark Neumann..

Please submit MP3 audio files only. Deadline to submit is Nov. 30, 2016. Notification of jurors’ decisions will be given by 2017.

There are currently 240 poems in the Flagstaff Telepoem Booth, located at 120 N. Leroux St. Well-known published poets, burgeoning authors, and schoolchildren are included in the Telepoem listings. An average of over 120 poems are dialed every day. More information about the project is available on Facebook or www.TelepoemBooth.com.

**Reposted from Writing the Energetic Body**

 

Stone House, Wine, the Forest, and the Sea

amanda

This is stunning. Fantastical beauty by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack (and friends).

This video is a lush dreamscape. Just watch.

 

I originally saw this video on Pitchfork.

incarnation manifestation – root wisdom

evening-at-forbissen-meadow-holly-troy-2016

Love yourself. Love your body. Love Mama Earth. Love one another. Love. Remain in your body, meet the world in Love.

What do you want to make real? You have the right to be here – what do you want to do with your physical time on the planet?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Collected Quotes on Muladhara Chakra to ponder:

“The Thing To Remember ~ we all chose to incarnate to go through the times ahead together.” ~ Anne Ortelee

“You are one of the ones of the One…” ~ Bill Attride

“I feel like a citizen [—] it’s time to go and come back a drifter.” Jean Michel Basquiat – from The Notebooks

“We are this close — this close! — to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants.” – Bill Moyers

“Young folks today . . .  are placed on a conveyor belt and expected to achieve as quickly as possible, to make big life decisions before they are ready.” – Penny Arcade, New York Times, Penny Arcade is Still a Force in Edinburgh

“In every out thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth.” ~ Rachel Carson

“You are your own forerunner, and the towers you have builded are but the foundation of your giant-self. And that self too shall be a foundation.” ― Khalil Gibran

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” ― Khalil Gibran

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself” Khalil Gibran

Khalil GibranCareful-quote-Malcolm-X“I’ve had a problem feeling real all my life.” – Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

“PLEASE BELIEVE ME. I’M REAL. NO REALLY, IT HAPPENED. IT HURT.” – Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

“I don’t know what belonging means… I can only use my brain and intellectualize. I really wouldn’t able to tell you from the heart what belonging means… My memories of that place are my link to the place — memories of your experience in a place is your link… All people belong to the world. There is no exclusivity in that… The soil from America can differ from the soil in Malaysia, but its soil, it’s still the same. And the color of people’s skin can differ from place to place but it’s still skin. And, in that regard, there is no difference. People must belong to the earth and a traveller must belong to world somehow and the world must belong to her or him somehow. But, you know, then there’s the social level — that’s just the archetypal level, people usually live in the social level.” —Jeff Buckley

“We do not exist in isolation. Our sense of community and compassionate intelligence must be extended to all life-forms, plants animals, rocks, rivers and human beings. This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future.” ~Terry Tempest Williams

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”~ Emma Lazarus

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.”  —Stephen Covey

“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. But when none of this is presented to them, if they’re not shown how food affects the mind and the body, they blindly eat whatever you put in front of them.” ~ Ron Finley

“Poetry is my native land.” ~ Marina Tsvetayeva

“We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere/We have a country of words.” ~ Mamoud Darwish

Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to human difference between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation. ~ Audre Lorde Sister Outsider (1984)

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” ~ Irish proverb

“Our cities with their swollen populations and cliff dwelling high-rise buildings are breeding places for loneliness . . . In a world of wheels, old and comfortable groupings of people have disappeared.” ~ Allan Fromme

“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.” ~ Mother Theresa

“’Should’ is a bad place to live, but boy, do we set up a lot of tents there.” ~ Saul Bass

“One has just to be oneself . . . The moment you accept yourself as you are, all burdens, all mountainous burdens simply disappear. Then life is a sheer joy, a festival of lights.” ~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.” ~ Rumi

“The important thing is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” ~ Charles Dubois

“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.” ~ Anais Nin

“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.” ~ Anais Nin

“Our entire biological system, the brain and the Earth itself, work on the same frequencies.” – Nikola Tesla

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

snowshoeing by mt. humphrey's “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it-the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it-the whole story doesn’t show.” ~ Andrew Wyeth

“If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.” ~ Walt Whitman

 “Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” ~ by Caroline Adams

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” — Henry Miller Tropic of Cancer

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

bryce canyon (c) Holly Troy“Welcome to the world—I’ve been waiting for you!” — John Bradshaw

“Happy Birthday!”

“I CELEBRATE myself,
And what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me
as good belongs to you.” — Walt Whitman

“When I was five years old my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

“Life is a beautiful magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.” ~Charles Chaplin

“STAY IN SHAPE! SOMETIMES A MUSICIAN WAITS FOR A GIG, & WHEN IT COMES, HE’S OUT OF SHAPE & CAN’T MAKE IT.” – Thelonious Monk

“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”  ― Charles BukowskiWomen

“Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is proof.” ~ Alice Walker

what was going on after I said “yes” – through the lens of a half-hour sitcom

Dharma wants to know Greg’s fantasy girl. Greg tells his mother that he doesn’t want to go on the cruise with her. Dharma tracks down Greg’s fantasy girl and she makes a video. Dharma can’t understand why Greg is not thrilled. Dharma talks to her mother about Greg’s fantasy. Dharma’s mother says by shining a light on a man’s libido fantasy, you ruin the fantasy. My fingers are sticky from the popcorn I just ate. Dharma goes to her travel agent and tells her travel agent that she wants Greg to think about her (the travel agent) while Dharma and Greg are having sex. The travel agent can’t believe what she is hearing. I’ll be eating popcorn and pasta for the rest of the week. I hope I can keep my temper with my boss, he makes me crazy. I hope I know where the keys are for the storage space. I must write stories. I could write a story from the point of view of the neighbors who live across the street. They could be watching me watching TV from across the street. The travel agent thinks Dharma is creepy. Dharma tells the travel agent that she is a babe. The travel agent cries and says she wants people to take her seriously. Greg’s family is angry that Greg told the truth. Greg wants his family to be honest about each other. Greg finally tells Dharma he doesn’t need a fantasy girl.

-Found entry from September 24, 2003 – 14th Street, New York City

Coffe Shop 14th Street Holly Troy