Our Sacred Acres - Home of the Office Mystic and other Misfits

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Grateful today for the privilege to be in service to community.

(YES - I am owning that WORD, Privilege, here in this appropriate context)

Paul Che Oke Ten Wagner brought ceremony, song, and storytelling
to the circle as a member of this Salish Sea conference's design team. He
is also 1 of the 3 Salmon Delegates going to the UN Climate Conference.
I gratefully accepted a most kind invitation to support the Salish Sea Bioneers annual conference this past weekend. In appreciation of this opportunity, I now share the learnings of this experience, the teachings of those who expressed their powerful perspectives, back to you, dear reader, beloved family and members of the communities with whom I dance.

It was truly an honor, a blessing, and yes, a privilege of mine, to be in service to and in the company of the very people with whom I would choose to share a story circle (and so, I did).  I felt full to overflowing with every emotion that can move through a human, as I worked with the volunteers, hosts, and participants from all across our region (and Wisconsin ;) ) to co-create an experience of depth and meaningful engagement. Before heading off, I heard from so many who wished they could go, blessed my journey, asked that I hold their stories and spirits in my heart and carry them into the sacred circle with me. And so I did that too.

Being in service is a privilege. The privileges bestowed upon me in these times, this lifetime, these places, this timespace, I do not take them lightly or for granted. I work all the time, for all time, to not only understand where they come from but also to wield them well! To work with what I am given including every lesson and the pain that often comes with their teachings, for the just representation of all community. I listen, and listen, then listen some more -- allowing nature, spirituality, truth.. to be heard in my heart. To inquire deeply within me then even deeper, without me, that I may speak with the voices of so many who can't be here to speak for themselves woven into the harmony of words singing straight through my heart..

So in Gratitude!!  
I wield this power of privilege..  through the power of the pen.. and begin to unpack and share my perspective on the Salish Sea Bioneers Conference 2016.

These are the voices I choose to hear, the people with experiences and wisdom that are actively contributing to the creation of a more just and equitable world for all beings. That are dropping masks, refusing to dip their perspectives in honey before sharing them, and getting, really REAL, y'all.

Some with whom I have had the joy of working already, some whom I've admired and appreciated from afar til now, and so many more beautiful new friends and storytellers as well opened hearts, minds, hands and guts to one another.

Let me begin by saying.. Every topic that is so personally relevant under the microscope of my own family life and my work in communities at this time, was revealed in the larger conference context to be presently emergent as well.  

Zarna Joshi of Rising Tide Seattle, Earthship Seattle,
and ShellNo Action Council delivers a keynote address
that brought race, culture, and privilege center stage.
Brilliant speakers, esteemed peers, enthusiastic students who were often the greatest teachers.. we didn’t just touch on subjects, we seriously danced with them.  

And maybeee, stepped on some toes or took an elbow..  yet with such grace and power do we grow for the experience, yah?  

I am so incredibly grateful for every single of one of the attendees making the choices to be so emergently present together, being real, naming what’s in the room, then working through it.  

This is social permaculture. And even though there's a lot of sitting.. these are workshops - we came here to work, on ourselves, on behalf of our communities and the planet. Instead of gardens or structures, during this time together we gathered the materials for strong people, knocked down a few walls, built ourselves out with a little more space to grow, and in the process, lifted each other up.

Here are some of my highlights in this first post, people I'm looking forward to staying connected to, deepening relations with, and supporting their projects through collaboratory initiatives:

Lillian Hewko reached in and grabbed my heart, bringing
tears to my eyes with her presentation on incarcerated parents.

Heather Elder is back from the 1100 mile bicycle journey she completed this year with her team on 'The Road to Athabasca".  Heather also produces collective art projects for direct actions and facilitated our shedding snake mural!
I'm not even sure where to begin with expressing my appreciation and adoration of Michael Maine. He brings an artistic elegance into the room, then compassionate kindness flows from his heart and everything you see becomes more beautiful.
Naim Ferguson and his sweet daughter..  so happy this event is transgenerational (inter/multi/polygenerational, too!)
Something told me to check in with Naim, find out what he's dreaming up..  its..  ROWing.  Canoe Voyages..  oh my.
Cristina Orbe, musician, artist, songwriter, facilitator, and co-founder of FEEST.. wonderful woman weaving wanders..
I met Vicki Robin at Imagine Orcas Island this year and was thrilled to reconnect through Bioneers..  looking forward
to putting together a local food challenge project to map out the farmers and food sources for our communities!
Antonio joins the Cascadian delegation in Paris for the Climate Talks..  another RAD alignment:
The Ragtags Against Doom --  Love Love Love this!!  
So much ..  muchness .. in this Salish Sea.  Represented at our Bioneers Conference by real people .. living, breathing, feeling, raw and emotional, powerful people taking action with their life's breath to pray, to speak out, to share.  
We have come so far, and still have far to go.  
How far?  Two feet. ;)
How long until we get 'there'? 
Well, we are already 'here' ..  so let's add that 't' .. 
and be here, Together.
When? Why, Now, of Course.  

As people we come with adjectives, words and descriptors that were given to us and that we accepted and then ascribed meaning to based on our limited view of experience and access to information.

Women, Men, Children..  these are labels.
White, Black, Red, Colored..  these are labels.

We Change..   by expanding our view.. by welcoming in new perspectives.
Diverse Perspectives.

I am so humbled, so grateful..   so honored and privileged..

To have shared this experience with this beautifully diverse community of people
at this incredible institute of learning and stewardship.

And to share it with you.

These two...  Zarna Joshi and Antonio Zamora... well, the picture says more than I ever can.  Look what WE are doing
in Cascadia!!  I have so much to reflect upon from this weekend with these powerful humans at the forefront of change.
So many of these people are already woven together in projects - we've made our tapestry stronger for the experience we shared here this weekend, and will continue to connect and support one another's work here in the region, and globally as well..  many more stories to come.. collaborations to collectivize ..  and OH!!

Hylo!!   Taking the work online of course, since we can't always be together in the forest or at other events throughout our region..  connect with me here..  let's do AWESOME together.  Join one of the communities I'm organizing there by entering the applicable code:  "osa" for Our Sacred Acres, "salishsea" for Salish Sea Bioneers, or "dreamdance" to join the DreamGeneration movement!

I want to end with gratitude to Alex Garland for his photojournalism of the event, which has allowed me to easefully tell you all a lot with just a few pictures, words, and links.

And also to acknowledge and thank the peoples of the place where we gathered..  thank you to the Lower Skagit nations, thank you to the ancestors and thank you again to Paul Che Oke Ten Wagner for sharing the light, the stories, the wisdom of these lands and peoples with all of us who came together for this time, this work, this purpose.

click here to hear Paul tell the Mermaid story at Water Sines Symposium 2013

All things come from the earth and the sky.  
And so too will we return..  
May all our days here be cleansed in light,
And our dreams be sweet in the night.

Go to the water..  

1 comment:

Naim Ferguson said...

So nice to meet you Danielle. Thanks for the recap and the mention. I just posted the site, we are live on 11.11 ;)