Return from the Wilderness

Hello, Beloved Dancers.

I’ve missed you these past few weeks!  I returned on Monday from a ten day Women’s Vision Fast in the Klamath Mountains in southern Oregon.  Some of you may have received a beautiful note from my beloved husband in my absence; celebrating this amazing community and also requesting a little energetic support while I was out in the wilderness (particularly during the 4 nights while I was fasting).  Roy met me in Ashland so we could drive home together and my story could find its own rhythm of unfolding during the 5-hour journey back to the Bay Area (dreamy husband award goes here).  I felt wonderfully supported while I was away.  Many, many thanks to those who held me in your heart during this period.  I felt your love & encouragement.  Deep bow of gratitude!

One of the gifts of this adventure was a new relationship with fear.  Particularly during my solo time, I became aware of how fear felt in my body.  I’d be at my site and then look up, scanning the nearby area. . . and I noticed how I’d always be scanning for predators, for anything that moved amongst the trees, for anything that might bring me harm.  Consequently, I felt tension in my body.  Fear is a good thing when it’s necessary; it helps us stay vigilant, but I was not well served by my fear during the early part of my adventure.  I wanted to enjoy my time in the wilderness, not merely endure it.  And so I shifted the lens I was looking through.  Once I became aware of the felt sense of fear, I shifted to looking through the lens of love.  I gazed into the trees and meadows seeking beauty and readily finding it.  I soon became intoxicated by the gorgeous views my eyes were feasting on.  There was an intimacy with nature that I felt in my bones; a closeness, a oneness.  I fell in love with the trees, the sky, the birds, the squirrels (even the quarreling mountain lions I heard two nights in a row. . . . .as long as they stayed at a safe distance).  I noticed how looking at nature through the lens of love put my body at ease.  Sweet, glorious ease!

I’m giddy anticipating our shared dances tomorrow morning!

It delights me to tell you that our beloved Sylvie will be creating the soundscape for us and taking us on a marvelous journey.

Here’s an old poem from our new Poet Laureate (and the first Native American to hold the honor), Joy Harjo.

I Give You Back - by Joy Harjo

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear. I release you. You are my beloved and hated twin

but now I don’t know you as myself.

I release you  with all the pain I would know at the death of my children.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the soldiers who burned down my home beheaded my children raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.

I give you back to those  who stole the food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you were born, and I was born, with eyes that can never close.

I release you. I release you. I release you.

I am not afraid to be angry I am not afraid to rejoice I am not afraid to be hungry I am not afraid to be full I am not afraid to be black I am not afraid to be white I am not afraid to be hated I am not afraid to be loved To be loved To be loved, fear,

oh, you have choked me but I gave you the leash.

You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.

You have devoured me but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear You are not my shadow any longer. I won’t hold you in my hands,  in my eyes, my ears, my voice, my belly or in my heart, my heart, my heart, my heart, my heart…

Come here, fear, I am alive! and you are so afraid of dying.

Sending so much love,


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