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Ethical Quandaries

Dreaming the World

It is cold; really cold. The new pattern seems to be we receive our deep cold weather in March, rather than January and February. We could use some snow as the bare ground is subject to thawing which is tough on the garden. We also need more snow to get us through the summer as summers have become quite dry. A storm is forecast to come up the coast in a couple of days and bring some snow. The past two winters these storms have mostly missed us, depositing their moisture on the coast. Southern New England is in year five of  drought and can use the moisture. But then, so can we.

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Showing Up

I arrived back from another fruitful collaboration in India at the beginning of February.  I  focused the work and time with two Playback Theatre troupes in Bangalore (the Actors Collective and Yours Truly theatre companies),  attend and support the Indian Art Therapy Association Symposium on Using Art Therapy with Children and as well offer an introductory training of Expressive Arts Therapy to Master level clinical psychology students at Christ University. It was a full 3 weeks for sure.  Each time I go to India, I learn something new both about myself and about the work, and of course about India. One of the things that I learned about myself was actually that I know what I’m doing and I was able to structure the trainings from that place rather than ” What do I do? How do I do it? Do I really know how?”The  trainings felt different and energetically flowed in an organic way.

Since being home, I have thrown myself back into work, and local,  community politics.Admittedly, I find that I do not have the energy or bandwidth that I once had, and so am being far more judicious about what I actively work on, and spending more time at home,with family and in the studio. I do what I can with the energy I have. I show up where I can and now try to not make decisions to others that I cannot keep.

I now am getting good at making phone calls to my representatives in Washington. I sign a lot of petitions. I raise a ruckus on social media. I try to attend things in person, and find that my in person protest /social action work needs to be balanced with my in person work as a therapist. There is so much to be done and so very much needed.

This morning, as I voted for change  and watched in dismay at the national news of how everything I hold dear is getting gutted, I had a vivid memory come to me from grade school. School was always a deep challenge for me. Thanks to the Special Education Bill S91(that my mother was on the team to develop), I was able to mainstream at the local school. However, I stuttered, I lisped, I walked funny, and I couldn’t write very well. I left class each day to be in the “special needs ” class which clearly earmarked me, often in not a friendly way.  I was not considered the brightest bulb, and  I remember how incredibly painful it was to simply show up.

Anyway,   In 4rth grade during gym class one day, we were running laps and getting timed. These were probably 1/4-1/2 mile lengths.  The teacher divided us up in pairs. I was paired last with a young woman, named Susan who struggled with her weight. Clearly we were paired for a reason, and I’m sure that we were thought to be the slowest of everyone. I’m not sure that the teacher thought either of us would be able to finish.

One thing I could do, and do well was run. And that day, I ran as hard and fast as I could even though I knew it meant leaving Susan way behind. I felt bad about that in a way as I didn’t want to show off. But I needed to show up. I had finished those three laps by the time Susan was beginning her second.

I remember people teasing us as we began. I remember people cheering as I, then she finished. I went up to Susan after and slapped hands. I wanted her to know I saw her. That she had finished even though it had been hard. That she showed up. We didn’t talk.

I’m not sure much really changed after that day.I still got bullied, and in fact left that school the next year. But I think for me, it was an important day in which we showed people, to question assumptions. That regardless of appearance or intellect, we had skills that were there waiting to be seen. We showed up.

 

Raptor

Dreaming the World

Snowy_woodsA stormy sky morning, following a night of sleet, snow, and freezing rain. Now the temperature has risen above freezing so the trip to the office should be passable.

Mornings come much earlier now. We’ve gained more than 90 minutes of morning daylight since the solstice. Soon sap will begin rising in the maple trees and sugaring season will be upon us.

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Advent

Michael reflects on the coming of Advent.

Dreaming the World

Village_SunsetToday dawned cloudy and dank, and has proven to be one of those classic raw November days that grace northern New England. There is the hint of snow to come, although the weather service promises there will be none today.

Early this morning Jennie and I went out to The Parkway, one of our favorite diners, for breakfast. The diner is classic in style and menu, serving remarkably delicious food that is locally sourced whenever possible. Yum!

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Make No Bones About It

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I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations, ask you to understand an Indigenous perspective on what has happened in America, what we call “Turtle Island.” My words seek to unite the global community through a message from our sacred ceremonies to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator.

We have been warned from ancient prophecies of these times we live in today, but have also been given a very important message about a solution to turn these terrible times.

To understand the depth of this message you must recognize the importance of Sacred Sites and realize the interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.

I have been learning about these important issues since the age of 12 when I received the Sacred White Buffalo Calf…

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Dreaming the World

DawnA rainy morning following a wet night, the moisture most welcome in this dry summer. It rained much of yesterday as well, the soft female rain alternating with a pelting male rain, soaking deep into the thirsty ground. For the first time in a while we donned long sleeve shirts against the damp and chill.

In this misty, damp weather, the clouds have settled low over the lake, an almost fog in which I find myself thinking about M. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, the now seminal 1960’s  Native American novel about healing and war. Momaday’s work holds a special place in may heart, having in many ways led me home. He reminds us that we form a sense of self through connection with community, story, and nature, and that healing comes as we reconnect with them.

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