Monday, May 28, 2007

Dancing or Drumming?

This weekend was a big shift for me. For the last 5 or so years, I have volunteered and participated in a Women's Drumming Weekend. I have taken drumming workshops many times with Ubaka Hill. She is a fabulous drummer, inspirational teacher, and a bright and beautiful spirit. Here's where I'll try to make a long story short. Last year, I began to feel a shift. . .I was not incredibly excited to perform at Artsfest as a drummer in the Women's Drumsong Orchestra with Ubaka. When the time came to get up on stage with her and the other women, I did, and I had a great time. However, I felt similar this year. I did not take the workshops at all; as a matter of a fact, I didn't even bring my drum to the workshop space! I was busy helping out in several workshops throughout the weekend, so that was ok for me anyway. But when it came time to get ready to go downtown for the performance, I put on some fun bellydance garb. I'm so glad I did. . .Ubaka normally has several women from the community come and play, sing and dance while she is drumming one song. . .this year, she invited me from up on stage to come and dance! I was so nervous. . .I am normally one of the people in the crowd watching and taking pictures. This year, I was dancing with Laura V. (who is amazing, by the way!), and a couple hundred people were watching us and doing their own picture-taking! It was amazing!
I had the opportunity to thank Ubaka afterwards. . .I have been working with owning and sharing with the world some of my gifts. . .she called me out gracefully and compassionately, and made witness with all those people that I am a dancer. A spiritually connected dancer. Now I have to wear that as mine, and utilize it out in the world someplace. Somehow, Ubaka became the catalyst for this transition. I am forever grateful, and forever aware of that gift that she gave me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May Day Moments

Wow. . .it's been a while since I have posted. Oops!

I had a pretty amazing weekend at the Spoutwood Fairie Festival over the weekend of May 4, 5, & 6th. I had the opportunity to be a part of the festival and it's production this year. I have been attending the festival for 10 years now, and have worn many hats: vendor, volunteer, helper, attendee. This year I was in charge of making sure that parades were fun and festive, and were successful! I made lots of flags, banners, spinning ribbon poles and signs.

I have always been good at making children smile and have fun, and I got to do a lot of that during the festival. However, I have not always been confident when it comes to entertaining adults. Only one of the parades was for the children. . .two of the parades each day were for adults too! I had no choice to interact with the adults the same way that I did with the children, because it was a mixed group of people. I learned that I do okay with grown-ups too!

I also had an amazing experience at the Gathering of Tribes ceremony on Sunday at the Festival. I normally try to keep my spirituality close to me, and not be too demonstrative. I am uncomfortable with the concept of priestess. However, when Andrew Steed called in the four directions during the ceremony, amazing things happened. I felt compelled to raise my hands high in the air, holding the edges of my cloak as he addressed each direction. When he thanked Air. .. the wind kicked up. When he thanked Sun. . .the sun came out from behind the clouds. I felt connected, and almost "glamoured" with the Goddess. While I was experience this, I was vaguely aware of a photographer with a REALLY big lens snapping my picture several times. It turns out that he was a photograper for the New York Times. I've been checking The Times for an article on the festival, but haven't seen it yet! Anyway, I had this feeling for the rest of the day, and ever since, that because there were MANY witnesses to this transformation of self, that I have to own what happened, and do something about keeping that role in my life. I don't know just how that may manifest yet. . .but I am willing to see what new chapter may bring.

I actually had the opportunity to meet and get to know (a little bit, anyway!) Linda Ravenscroft, a fantasy illustrator from Great Britain. She is such a lovely woman! On Sunday, one of my Fantasy Illustration students from the Home School Resource Exchange came to see me at the festival and I introduced him to her. She even posed for photograph with Cassidy and I! I am looking forward to seeing her again next year!

Chris (my husband) participated in volunteering this year too. He drove his step-mother's golf cart around, helping people out all weekend. It was wonderful to see him helping people like that, and enjoying it so much. That's definitely the way he is! Chris made a bunch of new friends, and it was really cool to see him fitting in there of his own accord. Life doesn't always work out that way, so I have to say we are very blessed with that.

I am looking forward to next year. . .we both want to be as involved (if not more. . .!) as we were this year!


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