Monday, May 14, 2012

The Heart of the Earth, Awakened Within Us

Last week, my sister started a photo blog. Using her phone camera, she's offering a small snap shot of images from her daily life. Carrie has been a professional art photographer for a little under a decade now. She's done an amazing amount of work in a relatively short period of time, and has already won a major award, had a few photos in the New York Times, and has put together multiple book-length exhibits. I encourage you all to go take a look.

While I am more successful in the writing world, I also have a penchant for photography. One of the reasons I like Carrie's current project is that it's a similar approach to how I work. The cameras I have used have always been of average or even below average quality. I like the challenge of trying to bring an image alive through a limited means. In addition, I am often drawn to what might be considered the un-picture-worthy. Things like broken down buildings. Overgrowth and junk in alleys. Tree stumps.

Today, though, I want to offer you all some photos from the annual May Day festival we had yesterday in Minneapolis. For the past 5 months, I have been part of the core organizing/visioning team for an eco-centric offshoot of Occupy Minneapolis called the Whealthy Human Village. It's a multifaceted project that focuses on eco-centric life practices, food justice, indigenous rights, and healing arts. Underlying all of work, really, is the thread of interconnectedness. And everything we are doing and envisioning is about helping people uncover or recover their connection to each other and the planet.

I led a meditation to begin the day yesterday where we visualized our favorite plants, merged ourselves with them, and then experienced each stage of the life cycle, from seed to death. Afterwards, I did a short check in with the group about their experiences. One participant spoke of how she was surprised at how her emotions changed as the meditation unfolded. How she felt proud and powerful as her plant unfolded into it's mature expression, and also gratitude for having been able to make it so far in life. Another member of the group spoke of the sadness she felt when half of her beloved tree split off and died. A third member of the group spoke of his challenge to keep to one plant. That other "favorite" plants kept coming in, vying for attention.

The whole day was like this. One beautiful experience after another. And so, here are some photos to offer you a snapshot into what we all experienced. May joy permeate your life, even when deep suffering is present.

Our Village ger where we held the meditation, teach-ins, and discussions.

A discussion circle about the Village project, and dreams for the future.

Chi gong class under the late afternoon sun.

The bike lovers that offered simple bicycle repair demos next to the Village ger.

Dragon boat.

This last photo was taken by my mother, during the parade, which I missed. She had quite a festive Mother's Day, hanging out with my sister and nephew at May Day, and visiting me at Village ger.

Happy Monday to you all.

1 comment:

kel bookbird said...

I love these photos and the story too. I love it when hope is so colourful. Yay for the little tent!