This post is from the Gypsy Mama Travels series and is part of the co-created Dance, Community & Social Connection Research Project.
"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place...
...And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14, NIV
Jan 12th, 2019 ~ Just North of Alberqueque
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
As I arrive at my overnight stay with the hosts just North of Alberqueque, my heart is full of excitement and possibilities - having had a review of my threads up until this moment. Threads that are feeding into something bigger than myself, bigger than I could have ever dreamed of. I see and FEEL just how very far I have come, how much I have changed from this scared, voiceless little girl to a mostly bold, confident and powerful woman.
I still have a hard time accepting the fullness of this new woman I have become, that I am - sometimes. To accept that I am a change maker, a rebel with a cause. Yet one with so much awareness, compassion and forward thinking as to take carefully calculated steps.
So careful and calculated that most of the time - I don't even know what the heck I am stepping into. Not really. I mean I know what my threads are...I know my intentions. But most of the time I don't know until I am in the midst of those intentions usually what is really unfolding around me and how I am really allowing myself to be led. Some would say "used" by God, the Universe. But I don't resonate with "being used"...
If I did fully know, I would most likely turn around and high tail it back to no-where Kansas on my bicycle-dream-house ;-P.
The thing is, as I look at my threads, those deeply seeded impulses that have guided and led me to where I am - and when I match them up to the framework created with Movement Medicine dance...well I can see perhaps where this is leading.
For me, what is behind Movement Medicine starts with this:
I have NEVER UNDERSTOOD injustice nor the desire of some to overpower others, especially when it comes to using force and brutality, rape and murder.
Sure I have had glimpses, moments where I have had so much anger and hatred towards certain entities or situations, to certain genders even...yet it is a rare occasion in my life where I would feel any of that explosive anger towards anything or any one particular person.
Thankfully, when those pipin' red hot emotions finally did surface in my life (for yes, most of my life they had been repressed), I had avenues to direct that anger in a healthy way...so as to not continue the loop, throwing my anger back onto any one person. My avenue was mostly Dance, but I also had/have other means.
NEITHER RIGHT NOR LEFT
The thing is, I don't come from a liberal or progressive background. Quite the opposite. I was raised in the Heart of America, with a grandfather and most likely even a father that were involved directly in bigotry, hatred and indoctrination of the next generations. I cannot even begin to write about what I and other possibly white babies experience so as to indoctrinate us...just know that this was and most likely still is alive in some places.
Yet, I thankfully had limited time around those two - and had school to teach me of a different way. And a "sticktuitiveness" nature that allowed me, at least when it came to the dignity of any human, to stick to my core belief that injustice and bigotry were not of my world.
Later, when I lived with my guardians, I was raised as a proud American, celebrating the 4th for all we had, supportive of the troops and all they stood for. Yes, and even as a Republican.
Not all Republicans are black and white, you see. Not all are intolerant bigots and hate mongerers, not even mildly.
Even in their drunken stoopers, even beyond Pam's abuse of me ~ they still had hearts of compassion for allowing people to be who they were, whatever that meant. Pro-choice. Lesbian. Gay. Homosexual. Democrat. Catholic. Jewish. In fact, these were the deep philosophical conversations that I will always remember I had with this woman.
Another example for me: I can remember the impact of walking out of Schindler's List that first time. Not just for the jews, or for Schindler when he realized he could have done more - but for the Nazi's as well.
Or seeing Denzel Washington in Glory. Or reading anything about the dark times in our collective history. I am not only the type that cries at Hallmark commercials. Tears of confusion and sadness have always come quickly to me when I see any injustice or intolerance, and are always infused with a desire to do something to wake people up.
Even later, during my 16 years in the Christian Church - I always, always, always felt at odds at labeling anyone as a sinner or less than simply because they weren't like me - and truly distraught that they might not be going to heaven even though they were good, honest, kind and compassionate. How could a loving God make such laws and decrees on His people - since we were all His people?
I remember asking a dear friend after I removed myself from the dogma of the Church if I had EVER made her feel that way -judged, less than, damned that she wasn't going to heaven. I was relieved when she said she had never felt anything but love and compassion from me.
Towards the end of my time as a Christian, I even felt at odds with my American pride and support of war - waking up to the fact that this is just a barbaric way of "settling disputes". There is nothing that comes from war and needless bloodshed that will ever "settle" anything. It is an animalistic way to see who is bigger, tougher and more stubborn. Yet somehow those that tout that war is sometimes necessary to preserve our way of life in one breath - almost always claim that we are not animals in the next.
Things that make you go hmmm...and taking in a breath of compassion for that line of belief too.
But I digress.
The point being here - my heart and soul cannot stand, and have never understood injustice or hatred or intolerance towards others. On any side. Even as far down as this: while so much of the world is hating on Trump and his administration, and while I disagree with so much of what I see from him - I cannot and will not stand for or with even the movement of negative energy coming against him.
I mean - where does the tit for tat end
when the side that preaches tolerance is so quick
to show intolerance to anyone that is not just like them?
All this out there - all it does is make me want to be like the Two Witnesses in the end times (yes, this is a Revelation reference, haha) standing in the city center of Jerusalem and preaching:
"THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY!
PLEASE HEAR US AND KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY. IT IS NOT JUST
THE RIGHT NOR THE LEFT...BUT AN ENTIRELY
STOP REPEATING THESE OLD OLD PATTERNS OF SEPARATION,
SLINGING THE INSULTS BACK AND FORTH - AND COME OVER HERE.
REST YOUR SOULS. RIGHT YOUR HEART.
OPEN YOUR SOUL TO A NEW WAY, MY SISTERS & BROTHERS."
CLEARING THE STAGE
As I peruse the menu, the couple makes suggestions on what is typical New Mexican food - food that feels, well familiar to me as a Californian after 20 years, and a South Texan for years before that.
It seems to be the sauce made from red or green peppers that makes it "New Mexican". You can even get "Christmas" - a blend of red & green. But being one of a mild tongue - I opt for the sauce on the side.
After we order, I am ready to jump into a conversation with this couple about their experience - well her experience working for the government...and of course about her take on what is going on with this shutdown.
I have to share that as the conversation unfolds, I am a bit disappointed to discover what her job is. While it sounds like a cool job for her - I am a bit dismayed that this is a job on the taxpayer payroll to be bluntly honest. I kept trying to understand the benefit of her job - but all I could figure out was it was really for the benefit of someone(s) in the government parks position - and once every four years or so for the President.
To me, it was just another example of a government being too big for its britches - and not putting money to where it really mattered. Especially in light of the current state of slavery that seems to be ensuring as this government shutdown continues to ensure.
What I mean by that - "current state of slavery" is this:
How in the WORLD are TSA and Federal Agents and the like being mandated to work....without pay?!
That is slavery.
Something I thought we had abolished back in the 1860s.
Yet here we are in 2019 some 4 weeks into this shutdown and people are working without pay.
For the government of all institutions.
Does anyone else see the ludicrousy in this?
Something HAS to shift. This, this big of a government that is highly inefficient? It simply CANNOT last that much longer.
I start to mention this to the couple, and my reasons for having pulled out of the political system...and this is something we all can agree on.
Both sides are the same.
Two sides of the same coin.
Out to serve themselves and those elites in the parties.
Not out to serve the common good anymore.
As the conversation continues, I share with the couple that is why I am passionate about my work with Movement Medicine. Not that I believe I have the answers, or the one right answer (because I don't believe in absolute truths and one right way to anything anymore) - but I do believe I have a piece of the puzzle.
I share this theory with the couple here - and they both get the gist and agree with me...as so many other people seem to do when I share my thoughts and theory.
THE BEST KIND OF POLITICAL ACTIVISM
You know, I used to believe that I wasn't an activist of any kind. Sure I got involved in the Tea Party movement for a hot Texas Moment - but it was short lived. In general, politics and political activism grew distasteful in my mouth these past 8 years - feeling it was way too much time and effort with too few choices.
As I sit here finishing up dinner though, I realize, as I have more and more, that I am an activist.
Not of the modern kind. Not of the kind that most would like me to be.
I don't take sides. I don't cause rifts. I don't spout conspiracy theries.
For Jesus said, "Let Ceasar have what is Ceasar's"...and I just so happen to believe him.
No, I am more of the ancient kind of activist actually.
My flavor of activism is dance.
Dance first and foremost for myself - because I have to put the oxygen mask on me first.
Dance for my children - born of me and born of others.
Dance for my community - both in California...and across the world.
Dance for all, for all is Dance.
More to come on how Dance is a new flavor of #activism....
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