Wound up in my own webs, the weaving of a new cooperative culture of compassion out of the old competitive culture of oppression, piecing together tattered textiles of identity and origin, of nature and place, of tradition and tragedy, history and herstory and the new story and unravelling threads of the old story. Stitching up diversity and common ground, bridges and foundations, systems and processes, language and comprehension, what we think we know and what we know without thinking.
I keep hearing the little girl inside me, crying out with frustration – I’m just a girl! And the woman I work to just, be, roaring fiercely – I’m a divine being! And all the other voices, those of my body that demand for needs to be met, food, water, warmth, affection, needing to be seen, heard, felt. Those of my mind to be clear, able to focus on that which matters so I can do good work with this gift of a physical body; hands fluttering and wringing, reaching out for something with which to creatively express what is coming forth from the great spirit that moves through me and also speaks directly into my heart with the voices that cannot be heard anywhere else and must instead ask us to speak and create for them.
And the voices of the people – the elders whose bodies are failing them, whose hands tremble and knees refuse to carry them any further. The children who look to us, wide eyed mirrors ready to repeat what we tell them as truth. The abused, the oppressed, the deceived and betrayed, calling out for hope and love and comfort, seeking a reason to get up and keep going toward that awesome life they keep hearing other people have yet the tortured memories playing in their minds and bodies make their presence a stone cage filled with howling demons of the past, while the future is a faint spark off in the distance, on the other side of… something.
Of what? What is The Thing that will allow us all to truly see each other as ourselves, right here in the now, capable of choosing to be well, do good works, live harmoniously as peaceful parts of this whole planet? When will humanity STOP causing harm unto itself, fouling our bodies and minds and the earth and waters, the very air we all share? When will the past horrors be a distant relic that we all swear to NOT repeat, of which the stories are no longer even told, for the present is where we play together on fields of kindness and compassion that are even? How will the tables be leveled so those who take a seat know they will be respected and honored as a singular point of perspective equally valued and nurtured, reaching peaceful resolutions to the conflicts that arise from our continual state of change and re-evolution?
Today, I have far more questions than answers.
And I have far more Things that call to be done, than energy to do them.
Today, I go to the county courthouse and track down the papers that have been filed regarding the continual transfers of money and deed and promise and payment, title and trust, to take further steps toward the revelation of the mysteries of property ownership in this land. Sacred Stewardship is our ultimate responsibility; which comes with the human right to create sanctuary, to find shelter, to make home sweet home.
I, Danielle, she who signed her name upon the papers and committed to the contractual obligations that our government, corporations, and bankers demand in order for me to ‘own’ a bit of land, build a home, have a place to raise my children and rest our heads on this piece of land on Panther Creek, must do this work. I am grateful for those who are coming forth with bits of the code, with skills and experiences to aid in this important work that shows up as a daunting monster under my bed.
Today, I clean up a bit more the myriad small messes of those who live in and pass through this home sweet home, myself included, as the matter and detritus of consumption continue to pile up around us, inherent in the meeting of those needs for food, water, warmth, comfort. Restoring and making pretty the altars of traditions, the shrines of hearth, health, congregation and celebration that demand care and maintenance. Clearing shelves and closets, freshening guest facilities, and ever-reorganizing the inventory of a land-based community with many comings and goings.
I, Danielle, who bought the materials, received the gifts, tracked in the dirt of my haste from one thing to another, welcomed in the tired and hungry creatures to also rest their heads, warm their bodies, deposit their waste knowing I consciously do so for the greater mission, for the education, unschooling, decolonizing of our consciousness that comes in many forms and needs nourishment as well as a place to take root. I’ve founded this Our Sacred Acres project to cultivate healthy and respectful human response-abilities in myself and others. Growing a strong and sweet life takes a LOT of manure, and there’s plenty to recycle and/or compost! I am grateful to all who’ve given prayers, money, presents, energy, skills, services, tools, and a shoulder when needed.
Today, I prepare the plans and agreements necessary for bringing people together for the sharing of our stories and experience, asking for food donations, asking people to show up in a certain place at a specified time to perform a particular task that, when all of us do our bit together, provides joyful sustenance and clarity of evocative thought and collective action. Volunteering my own skills, energy, resources and asking those I love to do the same with me in order to create the set and setting for human connection and inspiration to light fires of faith in the hearts of those who come seeking personal growth and transformative shared experience.
I, Danielle, who insanely volunteered, on top of all other things, to coordinate the food concessions for the Women of Wisdom Conference coming up in just two weeks! Having done so out of a heartful desire to see the WOW Foundation continue its work of empowering the voices of women, and out of gratitude for the mentoring sisters who helped me on my own path toward finding this voice of mine years ago.
Today, I engage in the conversations that trigger such deep work for myself in order to be an example unto myself and all who care to see, hear, interact with the process of undoing racism, oppression, cruelty and subjugation that is wound through the foundations and infrastructures of that which we call ‘civilization’. I listen to the presentations of prejudice, the dissecting of words and actions committed thoughtlessly by so many who are clueless as to how they are furthering the pain and suffering of so many others.
Today, I speak my own attempts at demonstrating comprehension of what is being shared at great personal expense to even have to relive that suffering in order to help me ‘get it’, and I trip over my own failings and nurse the bruises patiently, so I can get up and fall down all over again, repeatedly, yet knowing it is the most important thing I can do with the gifts, abilities, privileges and passion with which I’ve been blessed. I sit at the feet of elders and receive their lessons, in great humility and also keen awareness that with hearing them, comes the responsibility to do the work, to integrate the learnings into my own being, that the stories I may soon enough come to tell as an elder myself, will guide and protect those that ask to receive them from me.
I, Danielle, do this work as a self-appointed change agent, and with the support and encouragement of many communities with whom I associate, as a catalyst and ambassador working to increase the awareness within myself and thus in the world I see reflected back at me in the mirrors with which I surround myself. I choose to collaborate on re-launching The Evolver Network with OSA as a Portal Spore and hosting the Decolonize Consciousness discussion group.. I choose to be active in the circles within circles of production and pre-production and post-production and post-preproduction calls, work sessions, council meetings, set up, facilitation and hosting of DreamDance monthly rituals and events, I choose to participate in Tribal Convergence annual gatherings for cultivating land-based relation to and restoration of sacred ways, and I choose to keep connecting people, places, and projects through Project Nuevo Mundo's permaculture education practices in South America.. and to bring Earthgym training of the Hoh Rainforest into my own daily practice, to stay grounded through all this heady and spiritual exploration.
Today, I wonder if I've taken on more than I can sustain.. I question whether all these threads of connection are woven strong enough for me to dance upon in my bare soles .. and loose enough to be repatterned whenever a defect is found, a hypothesis proven wrong, a knot come undone.
I, Danielle, will only focus on one of these things at a time, for taken together like this the weight of the visions that I see becomes too much to bear. However, taken one at a time, each of these is a joyful task that I can step into with my sisters and brothers who are doing this work right beside me from all over the world. We will sing to find our voices, and learn the songs that help us work in harmony with each other, and the trees and the wind will dance and blow as we float in the flow of what I know is come to be… peace in all hearts, love for all beings, trust in the process, compassion for unbecoming, and unity, in becoming.