Saturday, June 26, 2010

hands across the sand

Through Your Hands - sung by Joan Baez

You were dreaming on a park bench about a broad highway somewhere
When the music from the carillon seemed to hurl your heart out there
Past the scientific darkness, past the fireflies that float
To an angel bending down to wrap you in her warmest cloak

And you ask "What am I not doing?"
She says, "Your voice cannot command,
In time you will move mountains
And it will come through your hands."

Still you angle for an option, still you argue for your case
Like you wouldn't know a burning bush if it blew up in your face
Yeah, we scheme about the future and we dream about the past
When just a simple reaching out could build a bridge that lasts

And you ask "What am I not doing?"
She says, "Your voice cannot command,
In time you will move mountains
And it will come through your hands."

So whatever your hands find to do you must do with all your heart
There are thoughts enough to blow men's minds and tear great worlds apart
There's a healing touch to find you on that broad highway somewhere
To lift you as high as music running through an angel's hair

Don't ask what you are not doing
'Cause your voice cannot command
And in time we will move mountains
And it will come through your hands...
Today was the day of a worldwide event called "Hands Across the Sand." The intention was for people to come together in solidarity against off-shore drilling and to stand together for future clean energy. I am so inspired and amazed how this event became a world-wide phenomenon in a short amount of time - mainly due to people's connections on FaceBook. I love how the internet can link so many together around the world that normally would not have had a chance to meet.

I was excited about this event happening at Golden Gardens Beach in Seattle organized by The Sierra Club. It felt empowering to be a part of a group on the beach coming together for a common aim. As we arrived, one of the organizers told a story about how when she was volunteering at a bird sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico last year, a pelican came into the center of a group of them who were having lunch. They thought it was just being friendly, but, soon discovered it had a bone stuck in it's tongue and was unable to eat. The group was able to save it by removing the bone, and the pelican, whom they named Peppy, continued to hang out with them for many days after, in seeming appreciation of their kindness.

I remember my last session with my butoh mentor, Momo, where she said that when we share something with others (our words, a story, a poem, music, a dance...) the receiver literally receives that experience - what you have shared now becomes a part of them... that is how I felt with the story of the pelican. It was HER story that became mine because it moved my soul... the pelican, Peppy, now lives within me, too...

This idea feels very profound to me... and such an important reminder that whatever we put out into the world (words, actions and even thoughts) can have a profound affect on all those around us...

At the event today I felt challenged to feel the connection to all the other thousands of participants around the world who were coming together as there was no time set aside for silent reflection (the event was described as having 15 minutes of time to hold hands in silence).

The organizers had us begin to hold hands and our line began close to the parking lot and stretched towards the shore. In-spite of my attempts to encourage the line to keep moving and walk to the beach so we could be a line along the length of the sand, looking out towards the sea, I was unsuccessful. All those present held hands for a few minutes facing the street, the cars and parking lot, which felt very sad to me - it felt that our souls were not connecting in a meaningful way at this event - that it was for a media photo opportunity (which I believe is important but not nourishing to the soul). However, the photos of the events from around the world themselves are very moving to me and bring tears to my eyes...
The sail on the sailboat in the background said "No to Offshore Drilling...." thinking of the future generations...
The parking lot was just to the right in this photo and the road is behind this line... :~(

Our failed attempts at the tail of the line to stretch us out and move us to the beach :~)

On returning home, on our walk to the local beach, I felt drawn to do my own ritual of connection, of joining hands across the sand with intention in a way that had heart and meaning, a time of reflection to feel connected to friends and others who were joining hands across the sand around the world.

My dance began as I was at first feeling the anger and frustration of the situation in the Gulf and the desire to be aggressive and fight all those responsible for the disaster - drawing a line in the sand - taking a stand. And then feeling overwhelmed with the need to embody compassion and love to all the beings that are suffering in the Gulf as a result of this tragedy...

Desiring to stand with those around the world who are imagining the world to wake-up after this disaster - both through the power of our imagination, meditations, prayers AND through our actions... making changes in our world for the highest good of all and for all future generations.

Grateful to the organizers of "Hands Across the Sands" for their vision and ability to create such a successful event attended by so many around the world.

Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu ~ may all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom from suffering for all beings....
Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope it may inspire in some way,
Music: Philip Glass
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

planet ocean breathing us

The dance of the ocean and our breath...

"All That is, like You
Breathes in, breathes out.
The more it releases
The more it takes in...
Be still and breathe...
And recognize the utter holiness
Of each breath, of all things.
This is the challenge of love."

Haven Trevino

In the film below, I love the reminder of our interconnectedness with that which is greater than ourselves... we are the ocean... the ocean is in our veins... every other breath that we take is oxygen from the ocean...

May I try harder... may I try harder to love and cherish our home, Planet Ocean... may I continue to learn to walk more gently upon the Earth...
Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way,
with gratitude, Lee

Visit my butoh mentor's blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

beach, feathers and wings duet

Today's dance practice was with Rev, another butoh student of Momo's. It was great to be able to practice in concert with another at this lovely location that Rev knew of called 'Teddy Bear Cove.'

The day before, Rev had found a beautiful feather, and today on the trail to this beach, he found another (from a blue heron), and so these two feathers became our props for the dance. Rev had worked with Momo recently on the idea of dancing while imagining wings on the soles (souls:~) of the feet and thought this would be a good image for us to hold as we danced with the feathers, the deafening train, the shards of beach glass, the sand, the seaweed, and each other...

From the soles of our feet we also imagined wings sprouting from our elbows, from our knees, from our bellies... Grateful to share this dance of connection at such a beautiful place... with thanks to Rev.

Shadow and Light Source Both

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water? Dont' try to

put out fire by throwing on more fire!
...No matter how fast

you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it's
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes

your shadow. But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is

your candle. Your boundaries are your quest...
You must have shadow and light

source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers

and wings sprout on you, be quieter than
a dove. Don't even open your mouth for even a coo.

- Rumi

Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way...
Music: Satowa
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

insect's view


It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their - if you don't
mind my saying so - their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example - I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch -
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.

Mary Oliver

Today's dance practice was inspired by my butoh mentorship with Momo. She was speaking of the idea as taught by one of butoh's founders, Hijikata Tatsumi, of brining into one's dance the perspective of another being - animate or inanimate, and by doing so, would lead to an appreciation of 'everything.'

While sprawled in the grass ruminating on Hijikata's quote, I was very aware of all the insects that shared this small patch of tall grasses with us - the ants, wood bugs, spit bugs, and a fluorescent yellow backed spider that was casting it's thread of a web into the wind where it would catch on the tops of distant grasses...

I was also reminded of Mary Oliver's poem where she explores the idea that daisies (all plants and grasses, too) have hearts... but where are those hearts? In the blossom, in the uplifted heads of the grasses, or deep within the roots themselves, within the dark soil, and well hidden?

My dance began with a 'head plant' into the grasses in search of the hearts of the grasses which led to an exploration of dancing / seeing from an insect's perspective, in particular the yellow spider throwing it's web into the wind and the sky (like the jet trails above)...

Grateful for all the living beings on our planet ocean...

Thank you for viewing my blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way - perhaps to connect to the natural world from a different perspective in the wilds (or 'urbans') where you live...
Music: Claude Debussy
Filmed by Momo
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

Sunday, June 13, 2010

tree's hearts

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

Mary Oliver - from 'Thirst'

Another stump dance :~) Today's dance practice was inspired by the beautiful rust colored natural monolith - the heart of the ancient still standing tree... feeling connected to the the earth and the cycles and transformations of life through the soul / soles of my feet... remembering that everything becomes everything else, eventually...

Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope you may be inspired in some way to dance and connect with the natural world in your environs...
Music: Andrew Bird
Filmed by Brooke
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

Thursday, June 10, 2010

river run trail

What is the body?
What is love?
What is hidden in our chests?
What else?
Let the Beloved be a hat pulled down firmly on my head...
Someone asks, How does love have hands and feet?
Love is the sprouting-bed for hands and feet!
Don't ask what love can do!
Look at the colors of the world.
The riverwater moving in all the rivers at once...


Today's dance practice was in this incredible river valley near Mazama... I wanted to breathe the beauty into my heart, and allow it to cultivate there... indefinitely...

Grateful for this practice as taught by my mentor, Momo, that enables a feeling of embodiment of the natural word through dance.

Although I have seen many bears while living in rural British Columbia, I have never seen a cinnamon coloured bear such as the cub we saw today - I didn't even know there were 'cinnamon black bears'. Fearful that mama bear might be nearby, I unfortunately wasn't able to film it's beauty... although I found a picture of one - see the link: here :~)

Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope you may feel inspired to dance amongst the beauty of wild things where you are on this incredible planet...
Music: Deuter
Filmed by Brooke
Visit my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill

planet ocean

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Joni Mitchell - "Woodstock"

These lyrics were replaying through my head while on our hike along the 'River Run Trail' in Mazama... Given the situation in the Gulf of Mexico, I have been thinking lately about what I can do as an individual to decrease my personal consumption of gas and petroleum. Because our precious planet is made up of more than 70% water, I have also been thinking how much I want to honor the watery element of our planet (and ourselves which is about 70% water, too) and instead of "Planet Earth" I think "Planet Ocean" makes more sense...
This trail was so incredibly sensuous to the body and soul - the air smelling of wild flowers, pine needles and sap, the moist soil after many days of rain... the sounds of spring birds in the trees and foraging on the earth, and the wind blowing through the leaves of the aspens... the sensation of the sun on the exposed skin, and the touch of the wind blowing through the hair... and the taste of the salmon berries... I was feeling so grateful to be 'back to the garden' in this verdant valley and realizing how important this deep earth connection is to maintain sanity in a life often too full of responsibilities and concerns for the future of our planet... a longing for that which really matters... connecting to the beauty of Planet Ocean....

Meet me in the garden.
Meet me where spirit walks softly
in the cool of the evening.
Meet me in the garden
under the wings of the bird
of many colors.
Meet me
in the garden
of your longing.

Every breath is a pilgrimage...

After finding a Canadian Goose feather by the fast flowing river's edge, I couldn't resist this dance with one of my most favorite dance partners, Spirit Wind... It is amazing how much one feather 'catches' the wind...

"Sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly." Robert Maclean

In my medicine woman mentor's tradition, Canadian Geese represent such endurance in their ability to migrate so many miles each year - masters of the journey and I also love the idea that they symbolize creating a new mythology. I was reminded of the importance of creating a new relationship with Planet Ocean - one in which I stop and reflect more and more the repercussions of my thoughts, words and actions in regards to contributing to her health and balance... Although this was an exchange with earth and wind, I was also feeling very connected to Grandmother Ocean in the wind-blown sea of grasses...

This is a dance prayer for the winged-ones and all living beings that we share our planet with - especially for all those that are suffering due to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico..

Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom from suffering for all beings.

Thank you for viewing this blog... I hope it may inspire in some way,
Music: Claude Debussy
Filmed by Brooke
View my butoh mentor's inspiring blog here: Maureen 'Momo' Freehill