Sunday, July 11, 2010

study in pink / study in forgiveness

Photo: Briana Jones

Photo: Briana Jones

I love you.
Please forgive me.
I am sorry.
Thank you.


Maureen 'Momo' Freehill and the Momobutoh Company were asked to participate in Studies in Forgiveness, created by A.K. Mimi Allin. Many artists were going to be participating in this 12 hour long installation along a 4 mile length of Aurora Avenue in Seattle.

Mimi described her vision as:

"Why Forgiveness? Forgiveness, like art, is a process and not an event. As artists, we pave the way for forgiveness. "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it," said Mark Twain and Dag Hammarskjöld said, "Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean." The artist sees, but can also make new."

As participants of the dance, we (Momo, Alex Kewitt, singer Jaie Livingstone, her 5 year old son Thomas and myself) didn't have a rehearsal, and were told just a short time ahead of the dance what the different parts of the score were going to be. This was my first time visiting the troll. What transpired was an improvisational, spontaneous dance / ritual.

Because the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is so much on our minds and energetically in our collective hearts lately, Momo decided that this would be a dance we could fully embrace and embody. How appropriate that the location chosen for us on Aurora Avenue by Mimi was under the Fremont bridge with the Troll (representing our dark sides and our addiction to oil) in the shadows of the bridge AND who is also clasping in one hand a Volkswagen Bug vehicle (another symbol of our addiction to oil).

We began the dance blind-folded in order to tune inward to our experience of connecting to the troll within each of us - specifically, how we are feeling in regards to the situation in the Gulf of Mexico... fear, sadness, anger, whatever our experience was at that moment.

As soon as I connected to the troll (inner shadow) and placed my hands on him, I began to weep... It felt like the troll was pouring it's pain into me...

"What we must do,
I suppose,
is to hope the world keeps its balance;
what we are to do, however,
with our hearts
waiting and watching - truly
I do not know."

Mary Oliver
Photo: Briana Jones
Volkswagen Bug in the trolls hand...

The second part of the dance was accompanied by the beautiful voice of Jaie, and was an opportunity to embody compassion. We took off our blindfolds and danced our inner sweetness with pink peonies and fragrant 'sweet williams' that were handed to us by her son (the future generation)... Until, we were reminded of our addiction to 'sweet crude,' our addiction to oil...

We then embodied that addiction like junkies, looking for their next fix... guzzling the oil into our bodies and beings with reckless abandon... only to succumb to the toxic poison. While in our stages of dying we also became the wildlife that are covered in oil and are suffering from the disaster in the Gulf. This was most moving for me - my eyes were watering profusely, and I could imagine how the wildlife must feel with oil in their eyes and fragile membranes...
Photo: Briana Jones
All below photos: Briana Jones

We were, once again, revived from our hopelessness with the angelic yet powerful voice of Jaie and the offering of flowers by her son (the next generation and all future generations) - an offering of forgiveness for our actions. We joined together and offered a song of love and forgiveness created by Momo (based on Ho' oponopono, as taught originally by Morrnah Simeona), asking the sea and all it's creatures for forgiveness for our actions that contributed to the situation in the Gulf.
Next photos: Briana Jones

I felt so much gratitude to be a part of Momo's vision in this dance study in pink and Mimi's vision of forgiveness along the length of Aurora Avenue... It was deeply moving to embody our collective experience of the tragedy in the Gulf and to embody the power of forgiveness.
Two other members of Momobutoh Company also were a part of our dance today, but danced with their own beauty-filled visions from afar, in spirit and in body - Patricia and Rev.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it may inspire you in some way,

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

1 comment:

  1. I'm so moved by this. This is our collective story, for sure. I feel like I was there with you. And, in many ways we're all in this. Thank you for the dance and the lovely storytelling of this blog.