Wednesday, February 10, 2010

with glowing hearts


It was easy to get swept up in the hype of the upcoming Olympics today as the torch relay was coming to my childhood neighborhood with a special torch presentation at the local shopping plaza. Having lived for many years in Whistler and having been a competitive cross country ski racer also has me feeling connected to the experience of the athletes. As does the fact my ancestor, great uncle Frank Stack, was a speed skater in three Olympics and won a bronze medal in 1932 in Lake Placid.

I have never seen Canadians be so outwardly patriotic and as most residents do not have permanent flag posts in their yards (as many citizens do in the US), Canadian flags were everywhere - hanging from trees, fences, streetlights, car antennas, and eaves of houses. It was so interesting to me how I responded to the visual image of our flag - like hearing a piece of music whose rhythm sweeps you onto your feet and moves you into dancing from somewhere deep inside... here, the pulse of people's excitement that swept me to be a part of this community's dance...
Today, I attended the local celebration of the torch relay and was moved to tears witnessing the crowds of people coming together to celebrate this historic event in our backyard. Music blaring, children and babies dancing freely as everyone cheered on the torch bearer.

I haven't seen this much patriotism openly displayed by so many people since 911 and I thought about what it means to be patriotic.

I feel proud to be Canadian for the history of how so many people from around the world were welcomed into the country with the resulting diversity of cultures living together and there are so many benefits to the majority of it's citizens with the healthcare system, for example... but mostly I think it is because my 'birth-roots' feel deeply embedded in the bedrock of the natural beauty - from the ocean shores to the highest peaks - so much wild beauty in a land whose total population is equivalent to the state of California.

Today's dance practice was a dance of life, of feeling the rhythm of the shared excitement by so many residents of welcoming the world to such a beautiful city that took thousands of people onto the streets in our neighborhoods to be a part of history. It was a chance to connect with others, including my elderly father... in the dance of flag waving...
I have lived in the US for many years and feel out of touch with Canada's politics lately. However, last month while visiting my Dad, I saw a publication from the Wilderness Committee regarding Canada and it's policies ( or lack of ) regarding the environment which shocked me... that last year 13 million salmon were expected to return to their spawning ground in the Fraser River - but only 1.3 million did (a 90% drop from the year before), that there is no endangered species legislation in B.C. where there is the highest diversity and most threatened species in all of Canada, the continuing disrespectful treatment of the indigenous peoples, and the development of Alberta's tar sands (extremely rich in oil but is environmentally devastating)...
Today, I celebrate the coming together of our community, to celebrate the world's athletes in a way that honors all that is good, true and beautiful in being human... the beauty of nations coming together in peace...

Oh Canada, I am proud to be a Canadian... and, I am also feeling ashamed to be a citizen of a country that continues to be disrespectful to it's most valuable asset - it's diverse natural beauty and species... including ourselves and our survival...

May we all have the courage to know that as individuals we can make a difference and may we remember our roots to the mother we all share in a patriotic way - our mama earth... may all our thoughts and actions contribute to the preservation of our earth not only for ourselves, but for all earth's children and for all future generations...

Thank you for reading / viewing this rather lengthy blog today - I hope it may have inspired you in some way to celebrate our earth...
"Oh Canada,
Our home and native land...
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The true north strong and free...
Oh Canada,
Glorious and free..."
Canadian Anthem

There is a video in the black space below :~)
video
Visit my butoh mentor's beautiful blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

1 comment:

  1. ah yes lee, thank you for your articulation of the space IN BETWEEN. you are dancing and living the polarities and many complex and intertwined feelings of being a human citizen....i feel your passion and struggle!! it is so real and personal--just as butoh is at its best. And, what fun and how lovely to see you with your dad..did you just park boldly in the middle of the street to get those shots with him?!
    ps..it took me all of 3 min to read this..not too long..no worries or need to apologize.

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