On attending an Art Response to Japanese Internment:

cranes on branch
The dancing, the poems carried the message,
In our muscles, our bones.

letters from the interned.
A connection –
tenuous but important
to those left behind.

A thousand tiny red origami cranes
moving with the hands of the dancers,
forming shapes,
a heart.

The presence of people
black, brown, white
so warm and right.
All one

Japanese Internment.
Immigrant Detention.
Incarceration of minor drug offenders.
Genocide of Jews, of Armenians,
Indigenous Peoples,
Africans on slave ships.

The pain of separation
one group from the rest
is a ripping pain,
our Selves
No longer whole.

For the oppressed side
their very lives threatened.

The oppressors
numb themselves
to the pain
eating them
from the inside out,
killing them, too,
soul dead.

We cannot be whole without all of us present.
When I left the Art Response I carried with me a desire to never again be in a gathering without everyone there, every race, religion, culture, age, gender.

All the living and non-living things in the Universe are One Being emerging from one singularity. All pain belongs to all of us. When we hide ourselves from the ugliness of the pain we have caused, deny the pain, it becomes a disease eating us from the inside.

We are oblivious to it and it will destroy us all.

Never again.  Never again.  NEVER AGAIN!


Moments That Hum

The Starling… cocked his head on one side and gazed at [the new baby] Annabel, with his round bright eye. “I hope,” he remarked politely, “you are not too tired after your journey.”…

“Where has she come from – out of an egg?” cheeped the Fledgling….

Annabel moved her hands inside the blanket. “I am earth and air and fire and water,” she said softly. “I come from the Dark where all things have their beginning… I come from the sea and its tides… I come from the sky and its stars, I come from the sun and its brightness… Slowly I moved at first, … always sleeping and dreaming. I remembered all I had been and I thought of all I shall be. And when I had dreamed my dream I awoke and came swiftly… I heard the stars singing as I came…”
(Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back, 140-142)

When writing my book, Dancing the Deep Hum, One woman’s ideas about how to live in a dancing, singing universe! I came up with eleven principles that I thought were important to hold to in living my life.

The first is, “To keep a listening ear open for the moments that hum.” (The whole list can be found at Deep_Hum_Dancers)

As children we come across “deep hum moments” quite easily.  We don’t have the words to define them, but we know they’re special.  Why did my childhood friend and I set up an altar on a rock at the top of a little hill in the nearby woods?  We both went to church, albeit different churches, so we understood that altars were to be built at places where we felt – something.  (In Dancing the Deep Hum I say, “something so still and so deep in pitch you couldn’t hear it.” p. 7)  We recognized it as a place to listen.

As adults we can become so embroiled in our daily lives that often the places and moments that “hum” go flying by without our noticing them.  We often feel we need to get away somewhere in the wilderness to find these moments, and surely that works!  But these moments are all around us if we keep our eyes and ears, and our kinesthetic selves, open to them.

How about smiling and saying hello to a homeless man as we walk down the street.  The “humming” moment comes when he looks up, smiles back, and says, “Have a blessed day.”  Or noticing the squirrel crossing the street in front of you, a prize “find” stuffed in his mouth.  The wagging tail of a little dog who’s glad to see you.

I often find deep hum moments on facebook!

The daily, almost hourly messages, from a friend who’s mother is dying, telling her feelings, her anguish, her love, and connecting to all of us who are listening.  And the caring responses.

A beautiful sunset picture posted by a friend.

The delight expressed by a musician who is having such a good time sharing his music.

Another friend’s plea for rain.

The heated political discussion about health care.

Why are these deep hum moments?  I think that the important factor in each deep hum moment is “connection”.   We are connecting with something or someone.  All those somethings and someones are part of the universe, and so are we!

To be open to the moments of connection, to keep ourselves from withdrawing back behind whatever barriers we build to protect ourselves from the pain that sometimes comes with connection, that is real joy!  That is the experience of the “deep hum moment”.