Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
by ClareShale Mountain Star
Do you know what you want to be for Halloween this year? As I was going through possible ideas – “Fairy”, “Elf”, “Princess Leia” – I suddenly realized that I was missing out on this great opportunity to embody something super-transformational. Halloween is a precious moment in time when adults of all walks of life get together, have parties and look each other in the face dressed as pirates, vampires, bottles of mustard and all other forms of silliness. How awesome is that!?
Halloween is the way our culture celebrates the often unseen and overlooked corners of our collective psyche. It is how we pull what is hidden out into the light so it can be acknowledged, laughed at and released before the dark of winter really does descend…all around…for months…and months (read: Chicago winter).
I wondered…what was deep inside me waiting to be embodied? Would dressing as a Fairy be the most transformational and beneficial thing I could do this year? This is, after all, my opportunity to delve deeply into my soul and air out the dankness in the cellar of my spirit – right?
I decided right then and there to go on a shamanic journey in to my own heart, soul and whole self with the intention of finding out what would be my most beneficial Halloween costume. Let me just say, what I discovered was quite surprising and felt really great. I can’t wait to embody “Ezekiel the Chimpanzee Goddess” this year. Wow – I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to pull it off, but I know there will be fake hair and face paint involved…also something sparkly.
Because I want to support you in finding the Halloween costume of your own soul, I recorded the journey for you here!… http://audioboo.fm/boos/520260-halloween-costume-journey It’s totally free and under five minutes in length. If you do the journey I’d love to hear how it goes for you and what you discover, so feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week has been all about noticing that the things that have held me back and taken a long time to be released in the past are now just non-issues. It (finally) feels like simply having the intention and a connection to the earth beneath my feet is enough to create any state of mind I choose.
Interestingly, the art I’ve been surrounding myself with over these last few days has been all about the transformational period of human history that occurred during the 1930’s. In particular, the turning point that occurred in the hearts of Americans — when they realized that their lives were impossibly difficult and it was time to stand up and do something about it. This time was a time for organizing, striking, and demanding fair wages and safe working conditions.
Astra and I attended a showing at Victory Gardens of “Voices of the People’s History” a cinematic production inspired by the work of Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States, one of the best selling history books of all time. This show spans 500 years of American History. The general story is about how regular, “ordinary” people stood up throughout those years and demanded what they wanted from those “in charge.” It’s a story about the persistence and vision of the masses. This of course includes an in-depth look at the depression era social climate. The film presented a very moving reading by Danny Glover of the Langston Hughes poem “Ballad of Roosevelt”, followed by the song “Dear Mr. President” by the artist Pink. A brilliant juxtaposition.
Two days later we were back at the same theater watching “Waiting for Lefty;” a play by Clifford Odets which weaves together multiple stories from situations taking place during the depression. It’s a layered piece that peels off, one by one, veils of societal restraint; going from frustration to desperation, to despondence to anger and finally circling into inspired commitment to action. Our client Jeremy Glickstein gave a fantastic performance; I don’t want to give away anything about his role though, as it was such a great surprise! 🙂
At one point our favorite female character implores the group to “Tear down the slaughterhouses of our old lives!” I can so relate to the need to do that in my own life at times; and it totally relates to my personal theme for the week of completely letting go of whats not working. I know I’m going to remember that quote for a while. After the show we had the opportunity to chat with actor Warren Levon (“Agate”), who gave the final rousing monologue – an incredibly moving performance that brought tears to my eyes. Here’s a pic of Warren, Astra and Jeremy:
The aspect of this era that stands out for me as a shining gem is that moment when we realize: “Something must change and I need to be the one to change it.” It’s when our hearts can no longer bear the burdens and the heavy cloaks of others that have been heaped on us, and we realize that those burdens and cloaks were never ours in the first place. It’s when we give those ideas about life back to their original owners (parents, teachers, employers, etc) and allow ourselves to say: “Now I create my life as my own!”
Here is a link to that Langston Hughes poem read by Danny Glover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HADGKw_wa5E&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL2FC920682755327E
Ballad of Roosevelt
Cold winds blow
And didn’t have no
Place to go
Pa said, I’m tired
O’waitin’ on Roosevelt,
Damn tired o‘ waitin’ on Roosevelt
by ClareShale Mountain Star – Abundant Heart’s Roving Shamanic Reporter
Oh wow – this past Monday night was the best! Astra and I have been so excited to check out Victory Gardens Theater, where our awesome client Jeremy Glickstein will be performing in “Waiting For Lefty” by Clifford Odets. (The show runs through October 2 so be sure to get your tickets!) We had the opportunity on Monday to attend the welcome reception and rocking presentation of Victory Gardens’ new Artistic Director, Chay Yew. The theater was lovely, the crowd was gracious and the refreshments were of course divine – however the best part was hearing Chay’s vision forward for what he would like the Victory Gardens Theater to be for Chicago: A meeting hall for the diverse communities of our city to come together and begin a dialogue. His hope is that through championing new works, diversity and young writers, bridges can be built using the transformational nature of theater. He is taking such a beautiful stand for healing in our city. Here’s Chay, third from the left, with other directors and artists talking about plans for the future:Another highlight for us was hearing poet Kevin Coval read from his new book,L-Vis Lives. It was so great to hear him share about growing up in the suburbs of Chicago during the 80’s and 90’s. I guess it’s because all those memories of early hip-hop and trendy breakfast cereal seem for me to be hidden inside my own heart – but there he was, weaving my memories into a stunning piece of poetry. Check out his website:http://kevincoval.com/kc/.
One last thing to share about our evening….We had a great chat with a Chicago actor who shared with us the title of a book (which you may be familiar with if you’ve studied acting): The Actor and The Target by Declan Donnellan. I definitely want to pick it up soon – but in the meantime there was one point that stood out during our conversation. Donnellan explains that there is no actor with greater talent or lesser talent – there are only performers who are less blocked or more blocked. He writes in the introduction: “The talent is always pumping away, like the circulation of the blood. We just have to dissolve the clot.” (p.6) That piece of advice is something I try to remember and apply in my life as a mother and shaman – I have everything I need in each and every moment, all there is for me to do is remove what is no longer helpful – what is not me, and I see the Truth: That the Universe is full of beauty and abundance and I am an integral part of that.
All in all it was a wonderful evening of sharing, learning and connecting. We are so glad we attended the event, and really look forward to some excellent theater this year from Victory Gardens!
ClareShale Mountain Star – Empowerment Shaman
I was so moved by the energy created through the musicians’ mastery of their instruments. My three favorite parts were Larry Shneider’s spirit as he rocked the upright bass, Andy Miller’s ‘magic with the mandolin’ and of course the brilliant female presence of Jessica Slater, whose vocals filled the room with power. My favorite song from the set, Diving Duck Blues, sent me into another dimension! 🙂