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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sing Solstice Songs!

Are you interested in singing some songs about darkness and light? 

I posted on facebook a few months ago this soundcloud track by my friend and sparklighter, Barbara McAfee, and some of my church-y friends got excited when they listened to it.  They offer a winter solstice service and are always on the lookout for fresh music.  I volunteered to teach it at the service. 

Fast forward a couple months.  We are planning the service and I realize there's a few other darkness-light songs floating in my head.  One is definitely not northern European, another is has a rich texture, another a dance.  All are beautiful.  Me thinks, I'd like to plant a few singers in strategic congregational spots to ensure their success. 

So!  Consider yourself invited to the service (yummy poetry will be featured in addition to candles, quiet, and singing!) and to as many song practices you wish to attend.  I'm offering 4 times: 
  1. Mon, Dec 14, 5-6 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal, 1895 Laurel Ave, St. Paul - probably meeting in our new chapel space at the back of the sanctuary (beyond the altar)
  2. Wed, Dec 16, 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal (same as above)
  3. Sat, Dec 19, 10 a.m. at St. Anne's Episcopal, 2035 Charlton Rd, Sunfish Lake - we'll be in the sanctuary while pageant rehearsal is going on in the fellowship hall
  4. Mon, Dec 21, 6 p.m. at St. Anne's Episcopal - probably meeting in the choir room; watch for signs.
The Solstice Service is at 7 p.m. at St. Anne's Episcopal (2035 Charlton Rd, Sunfish Lake, MN) 
A Liturgy of Darkness and Light: honor the nurturing quiet of God found in the darkness, and celebrate growth and the return of the Light. A contemplative service of candles, music, poetry, silence, Scripture, prayer. Stay after the liturgy for cookies, cocoa, and an celebratory outdoor bonfire to welcome the return of the light! Family friendly, all are welcome.  (From Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/481133388678627/)
What songs are we singing? 
  • Light and darkness, a 3-word, 3-part round by a wonderful soul we'd love to acknowledge and thank
  • To know dark, go dark, a fun 4-part layer song by Barbara McAfee adapting the words of Wendell Berry
  • Jewels, a gorgeous 3-part layer song by Barbara.
  • Turning towards the light, a Dance of Universal Peace I learned from fellow dance leader friend, Zahir. 
  • and maybe Thy light is in all forms; Salaam aleikum/May peace be in our world; and other things that find their way to us...
I hope you join us! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

So much gratitude

It is after midnight on Fri, Nov 13th, and what a Give to the Max Day it has been. 

23 donors contributed
amounts from $10 to $101
for a total of $621. 

Springboard for the Arts, my awesome fiscal sponsor, promised to contribute $10 for each donor, so that's an extra $230 ...

for a grand Give to the Max Day total of $851. 

Alhumdulilah!  Ya Shakur! 
(That's Arabic for "All Praise Flows Back to God" and "O Appreciative"!)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It's Give to the Max Day!

It's here!  That big day to be generous in Minnesota! 

Contributions toward "Tales of a Roaming Catholic: a 12-Step Healing Dance Memoir" can be made at this GiveMN.org page

Our goal for "Roaming Catholic" today is to have 25 donors make online contributions today.  Our fiscal sponsor, Springboard for the Arts, promised to contribute $10 for every donor who contributes to an Incubator Project today for up to 25 donors.  Please share and/or nudge your friends, family, and neighbors to contribute to this worthy project. 

As of 5 p.m. Thu, Nov 12, seven contributions have been made for a total of $275.  Alhumdulilah!  (That's Arabic for "All Praise goes to God!").

A Vote of Confidence for "Roaming Catholic"

Mary Martin’s development of the Dances of Universal Peace as experienced through a Catholic Mass hit home for me. Instead of throwing out the baby with the wash water, I am able to honor my root tradition with fresh eyes: the eyes of a dancer of Universal Peace. The program is sincere and profound and very authentic. I can see its benefit to all those “former” Catholics as well as practicing ones. Blessings on the project.
Radha Tereska Buko
Senior Mentor of the Dances of Universal Peace
South Burlington, Vermont

Friday, November 6, 2015

Meet Mary Martin Lane

We'd like to introduce you to Mary Martin Lane, the creator of Tales of a Roaming Catholic: a 12-Step Healing Dance Memoir, and our partner in this new project.

The following is an excerpt from PeaceDanceMN.com

About Mary Martin Lane:  When I considered my introduction to Centering Prayer (1998) to be the equivalent of a Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae, the Holy One surprised me with “the cherry on top” of the Dances of Universal Peace embedded within my initial experiences of Saadi’s Aramaic Studies (2009). The healing power of Dance circles, with their unique “oneness” embodied through the dancers, left me shaken, weeping, laughing, and then gratefully reduced to silent awe before The Real Presence.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Root of the Root

I'm in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend attending "The Root of the Root" lead by Tasnim Fernandez and Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz.  These two folks birthed the Dances of Universal Peace organization into what it is today and have spread the Dances like Johnny Appleseed planted trees over the last 30 years.  I'm so grateful for their wisdom, leadership and dedication to the dances and look forward to what they have to share this weekend.

I hope to share a bit on twitter, but apologize in advance if I don't.  It is easy to get deeply immersed.  I suppose that is going to the root of the root. 
Blessings on your day and weekend. 

Support Roaming Catholic

As with any good work, doing it in community with others takes it farther. So I invite you to support my current project, Roaming Catholic, in whatever way suits you best at this time.

The first level of support is your interest. 

Knowing that you're interested in this project is important to me because it affirms that it is worthwhile and I'm not wondering off into La-la-land for no good reason. Also, if we were to seek grants and other financial sources, those funders like to see how many folks are on our email list because it gives them a sense of how well we connect with others. So, please sign up for the email list (see the form on the right side of this page) and select "Dances of Universal Peace." Or feel free to keep checking here for updates. We want to feel your love and light through subscriptions and website pings!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It has a name!

After much hemming and hawing (though more hemming and hawing is likely to be had ...) the new project has a name-title-moniker attached to it, so I don't have to call it "the thing I'm working on."

Please meet "Tales of a Roaming Catholic: a 12-Step Healing Dance Memoir."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Next Big Project!

I'm excited to be working on developing a participatory dance theater piece which incorporates child-like poetry with Dances of Universal Peace in the structure of the Latin Mass. It's a story of disheartened faith and how one person healed to a place of great joy and radiance. I think it is ubiquitous and I hope the experience with help others with their own liberation. More details about my partners in a future post! 

This work isn't possible without supporters who believe in the project. I'm working to setup my GiveMN page to take advantage of Give to the Max Day on Thu, Nov 12, 2015. Can you donate $10 that day? Think about it. Pray about it. Then watch for more details about how to contribute and, of course, more about the project itself and what the funds would be used for. 

Thanks for following and supporting the work of Points Of Light Music! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dance Retreat next weekend!

I'm co-hosting my first overnight retreat this coming weekend and I'm excited, nervous, anxious, and hopeful!  I'm wearing a few different hats, like leading a reflection segment within a larger program piece and coordinating all the dance leaders, so there's a lot of prep. 

All in all, I'm excited because this group of people used to gather annually at this retreat center about 20 years ago, and this is the first time since the mid-1990's that the Dances of Universal Peace will be returning to the Villa Maria in Frontenac, MN.  You can just walk in, but if you'd like a meal from the Villa kitchen or a bed/camp site, registering would be good so there's enough for all.  Details here

Programmatically, I'm leading reflection times during the Dance for the Healing of Memories through Prayers and Poems on Saturday morning.  This will include silence, discussion, and art!  Not super messy art, but inviting people to take the bodily and emotional experience of singing and dancing and impulsively transferring that to paper (you know, what I used to call Breaktime Doodles and now calling Visual Niguns, a twist on wordless sung prayers from the Jewish tradition).  The pictures I've included here are some that I've created. 

What I'm even more excited about is the context these reflections will be a part.  My LEAD cohort classmate and friend, Mary Martin Lane, has put together what I believe will be a powerful combination of dances, poems, and prayers to tell the story of how the Dances of Universal Peace transformed her life.  I can't wait to see it fully and hear how it is received.  I think it is universal.  Come and tell me what you think of it. 

Blessings on your day.  C~

Friday, June 19, 2015

Poem of Grace: Stephen and Ondrea Levine

By Stephen & Ondrea Levine.

There is a grace approaching that
we shun as much as death.
It is the completion of our birth.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Poem of Grace: Sheba's Hestitation by Rumi

This is the first poem I have ever memorized that wasn't a song.  Surprisingly it was easier than expected. Perhaps it was because I expected to not get it right for awhile, so that gave me permission to fail?  I also identified sections and memorable lines to frame the outline which helped pull me through.

It was after I memorized it and met another grace poem that I realized it was foretelling WotY 2015.  Here it is ...

Sheba's Hesitation by Rumi

tr. by Coleman Barks

Lovers of God, sometimes a door opens
and a human being because a way
for grace to come through.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Word of the Year, 2015: Grace

A few years ago, a friend told me about her Word of the Year (WOTY) where you consider what you want to focus on in the new year, find a good word to capsulate it, and then live with it. I liked the concept and adopted it myself. 

What I like is that it's like a long-term meditation practice. Unlike resolutions which seem to loose steam quickly and get forgotten, WOTY is intended to be long term remembering and forgetting. Without the guilt of having been forgotten. It expects to be forgotten and distracted. But if it was a good word that seems ripe for you during this period of time, it will revisit you as well.

My word this year is Grace. Being more graceful with myself, for others.  It will be challenging, but aren't all growth areas?

I first ran into grace in a Rumi poem in Nov 2014. It kicked me in the pants so I decided to memorize it. The doodle above is inspired by it. I'll share it and other grace poems that have crossed my path soon. (I'm up to 3 poems now) 

I've shared the concept with others and they seem to love it. If you had a WOTY what would it be? Why?

Blessings on your year. -C

Monday, January 19, 2015

Can't beat them? Join 'em!

What do you do when your snow labyrinth attempts are thwarted by enthusiastic dogs, aloof or single-minded strangers who walk through your design (and not on the path you've created)?  Is the only answer to give up and not make one? 

Nah. You gotta work with it! 

This winter the walkers in my neighborhood have cut across the church yard as the aloof mailman and the hungry teens walking to Chipotle in the Village. It's funny. In past years I've seen their paths encounter the labyrinth path and they go around. This year not so much. Over New Year's I was walking on a frozen lake with friends' dogs and well, you can imagine their enthusiasm for being outside. 

So, what did I do? 

With the dogs, I realized two things. 1) I wasn't gonna be able to distract them away and 2) their tracks and my tracks are completely different! Unless the dogs were rolling around in the snow (and thankfully they weren't!), the trail I was blazing would be clear enough for anybody walking on the lake. If they could navigate the lakeshore, they could figure out and keep to the human path if that was their choice. In the picture below a 7-circuit classical is farther out on the lake (and harder to see) to the left of this noodly spaghetti spiral labyrinth. 

As for the church yard, short of putting up signs of invitation (which crosses my mind lots; I just get stuck on the wording:/), I realized this is just another classic public art design issue: knowing your site, how it's used, and deciding what kind of statement your installation will make as there are times to be harmonic and times to push the dissonance. 

Here I wanted to be harmonic so I incorporated the cutting paths into the walk to the labyrinth entrance and cut the number of circuits from the standard 7 to 5, so the modified Classical design would fit the smaller space. 

The design is now on a diagonal and seems more intimate. Previously the entrances were off the sidewalk and aligned with the cardinal directions. There's a few trees to the left of this picture which I previously thought were part of the "gateway" and now seems to act like privacy shield. 

I would love others to walk it and share their experiences.