One of my earliest yoga teachers – Sharon Gannon – performing a dance (in the video below) at Jivamukti Yoga School on 9th Street and 2nd Avenue.
She writes: “Here I am performing the asana dance “Lily” at the Jivamukti Yoga school at 2nd Ave and 9th street–We would put on a party with a “talent” show twice a year that would include poetry, music, storytelling and dance. I am not sure of the date of this one–I would guess maybe 1991 –If any one knows let me know.” Continue reading “Grace and Gratitude”→
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:
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.
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 stopus. 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.
It’s happening – my work will be on exhibit as part of a group show called Mama Terra with the Matter(s) Collective on May 6 at b.e Yoga in downtown Flagstaff.
How the Matter(s) Collective came about
ArtBox participants were split into two groups and tasked to create pop-up gallery events to take place in May. It quickly became clear that while our art differs in media and style, all the members of my ensemble have a passion for nature. It also happens that our show falls the weekend of Mother’s Day – so – the Mama Terra (Mother Earth) exhibit and the Matter(s) Collective (matter is Latin for mother, it’s a play on the planet as our life source, matter is earthly, and finally – matters are issues, particularly those dealing with the environment) were born.
Details on the Show
On Friday, May 6, the Matter(s) Collective, a group of nine artists will be presenting a multimedia art exhibit, Mama Terra, in celebration of Mother Earth. The exhibit will be held during the First Friday Artwalk at b.e. Yoga Center, 9 N. Leroux St. from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Mama Terra will also commemorate b.e. Yoga Center’s grand opening—enjoy live music, refreshments, and creative play with artist-designed postcards to color and keep or send for Mother’s Day.
Spring is the time to honor Mother – and Mother Earth. The Matter(s) Collective brings together artists from Flagstaff, Winslow, and the Hopilands as they champion Mama Terra! The exhibit will feature book art, botanical illustration, photography, paintings, fiber art, and sculpted metal works that highlight the beauty, inspiration, and solace that we find in the natural world. As participants of the Flagstaff Art’s Council 2016 ArtBox Institute, the Matter(s) Collective explores community, creativity, and how art contributes to the sustainability of ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
I haven’t been out to play so much these last couple of months — I’ve been busy putting together this show and painting in my little studio. I’ll be ready to celebrate by the May 6th First Friday Artwalk (which also happens to be the Taurus New Moon, perfect for new beginnings having to do with art and beauty) – so pop in and say “hello” – I’d love to see you.
My friend Bradley Olsen shared the video. He is a beautiful writer as well as a psychotherapist with a “particular interest in Jungian Analytical Psychology and Mythological Studies“. He wrote: This is what’s missing in our culture right now; genuine, deep, frightening, painful, vulnerable love. Love of others and of self. I’m afraid we’ve mistaken narcissism and inflated egos for genuine love. What a lovely film clip.
Our culture is in a sad state. A boy died at the university where I work yesterday. He was shot and killed by another boy. I wrote this to a friend: At first when I heard the news I went into a spin about how kids are being turned into numbers/consumers who are taught how to be automatons trained to produce and consume in a disconnected world rather than human beings who are [loving] creative critical thinkers – and how maybe that is why there is so much more violence on campuses (and in general in this country).
This disconnect really comes down to love. It is this simple beautiful thing that is taught out of us, starved, beaten, bankrupted, neglected, withheld, smothered, abused, sexualized, homogenized, marginalized, advertised, commercialized, trivialized, sterilized, dehumanized out of us.
We have to stop hiding it. We have to let love out so we can let love back in.
Giving and receiving love is our birthright.
Thanks so much for reading and viewing.
Have a beautiful, peaceful, love-filled day (and life)!
I took this photo a few weeks ago while visiting the spot where I spread my sister’s ashes. I’d been feeling so much grief, so much weariness, so much loss over the last few months. A lot of crying, a lot of cleansing tears.
Finally, I let the space embrace me. The trees, the grasses, the earth, the stones – and my sister’s spirit, too – all there offering support.
If you’ve got no one to hug, hug a tree. Hug the earth. A little love goes a long way.
Tom Thum gets his freak on in the form of a human beatbox, and the results are fabulous! If you want to smile, I suggest checking out the Ted Video below. I fell in love with this kid!
So playful and happy!
Can you imagine what he’d be doing if he wasn’t doing this?
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Photo I took today while out cycling . . .
There were quite a few people out, enjoying the trails. It’s a wonderful place! But, I had the intense need to be alone today, so I bypassed some of the singletrack by riding the road for a bit. Looking down through the aspen, I can see singletrack. When I ride the singletrack, I’m aware of the road occasionally in the background, but I never notice being that close to the road.