Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Invitation


It doesn't interest me what you do for a living I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreams for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes --without cautioning us to be careful be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes."

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer Canadian Teacher and Author
© 1995 by Oriah House, From "Dreams Of Desire"

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My Meditation Experience

I met meditation, as I understand it today, on a cold hard wooden floor—warmed only by my body and the partnering bodies that shared the environment; I was in the “corpse position” as I laid with herbs on my eyes and to my surprise was calmed and clear minded as meditation met me. Since that time I have indulged in the essence of this calmness that has often made me want to stay in it forever. So I delved deeper, my first time approaching this time of “pause” more intentionally was my first semester at Spelman College in my Black Presence in American Dance herstory class with Dr. Veta Goler as we took time to pause before beginning every class. I began to yearn for that moment of clarity midday, midweek. So, I delve further and experienced meditative yoga and sitting meditation the following year with the help of the same professor. Finally, I reached the point of prioritizing a class Dr. Goler offered, focused on personal development in the meditative practice—Contemplative Practices and the Arts—and although feeling a bit pressured, I have grown incredibly in my understanding of contemplative mindfulness.

Beauty in things Unforeseen

Beauty in things Unforeseen
A busy road becomes... well it just be...comes as people come and go.

Viewing a Play... Contemplatively...

The Miss Evers’ Boys production was one of great passion in creativity while delivering imperative information. The most serious scientific experimentation, in terms of ethical injustice, is explained through the vibrant, melodious, living breathing human beings to embody the numbers we are so used to being informed upon. To put a face, a story, a life, “aspirations” lol to just four of those brothers affected by this unfortunate happening is amazing, auspicious and breathtaking. Contemplative practices were evident throughout the theatre production. As I reflect upon the beautiful emotions present, varying from tearful sadness and compassion to tear-wrenching laughter and passionate joy, I was made aware of the contemplative messages sent consciously throughout the production.

Creativity in Contemplation

This creative project has revealed much to me. I allowed myself to be moved in a direction towards a song spoke depth to me and would express the awareness I have received from meditation and, mindfulness, contemplative practices and the arts. The song Pearls, that I first heard sung by Sade, most dynamically affected me when I heard it on India.Arie’s new album. I immediately jumped with excitement on the familiarity to a song that so deeply brings awareness to materialism, globalism and the oneness we must possess to care of how our brothers and sisters are affected. It made me realize the importance and history of this known concept of Pearls and the beauty of the song. I grew in my exploration and contemplation upon the song; I found a more global version by Angelique Kidjo featuring Josh Groban And Carlos Santana that I appreciated, yet stuck with the India Arie piece to build my creativity with, as it most purposely spoke measures to me.
I meditated and contemplated on the design of my body’s movements to immolate the message of this great story. I appreciated how my body could move and the work in progress aspect of how it would grow in its ability to express the pearls’ story. This practice has revealed how the body’s authentic movement can move you dearly. I allowed myself to be led in every movement, I extracted from myself and asked myself to give voice to my own truth, world awareness and artistic beauty.
Finally, I decided to name the project, Our Pearls, in that it describes where and how our world’s pearls come from those who hurt as well as how we ourselves are the true pearls. The sense that We are pearls was revealed to me from the fact that we are more valuable than any material thing or force that causes others to be exploited—we are better than that—we are the pearls. This concept of lifting our personal selves up as the invaluable pearls was further displayed to me by the last India Arie song that has touched me greatly as I’ve blossomed in this experience…Beautiful Flower.
For this I have offered the lyrics of Pearls and a Flower to every student so that they may be mindful of it and blossom in their own right by the Pearl experience and write of it when they are moved. I hope to share my art and inspire new art in this manner as we blossom in our understanding of our pearls.

Pearls lyricsThere is a woman in SomaliaScraping for pearls by the roadsideThere is a force stronger than natureKeeps her will aliveThat is how she lives her lifeShe is dying to surviveI don't know what she's made ofI would like to be that braveShe cries to the heavens aboveThere's a stone in my heartShe lives a life she didn't chooseAnd it hurts like brand new shoesYes, it hurts like brand new shoesAnd it hurts like brand new shoesThere is a woman in RwandaThe sun shows her no mercyThe same sky we lay underBurns her to the boneLong as afternoon shadowsIt's gonna take her to get homeEach grain carefully wrapped upPearls for her little girlHallelujah, HallelujahShe cries to the heavens aboveThere's a stone in my heartShe lives a life she didn't chooseAnd it hurts like brand new shoesYes, it hurts like brand new shoesAnd it hurts like brand new shoesThere is a woman in SomaliaThere is a woman in RwandaThere is a woman in SudanThere is a woman in the CongoAnd she hurts like brand new shoesHallelujah, HallelujahOhhhHallelujah, Hallelujah(African words sung)Hallelujah, HallelujahHallelujah, HallelujahHallelujah, Hallelujah

Artist: India ArieSong: Beautiful Flower
This is a song for every girl who's Ever been through something she thought she couldn't make it throughI sing these words because I was that girl tooWanting something better than thisBut who do I turn to
Now we're moving from the darkness into the lightThis is the defining moment of our lives
'Cause you're beautiful like a flowerMore valuable than a diamondYou are powerful like a fireYou can heal the world with your mind
There is nothing in the world that you cannot doWhen you believe in you, who are beautifulYeah, you, who are brilliantYeah, you, who are powerfulYeah, you, who are resilient

She looks to The Skies Above

She looks to The Skies Above
There is a stone in my heart, and it hurts

Brand New Shoes

Brand New Shoes
And it hurts like Brand new shoes...when the feeling of shoes is so new to you... to one.