I dance to pray, to contemplate, to connect as a living being with the Aliveness and Health of Soul. I dance to love God/Goddess.
The events at Standing Rock, and the call of indigenous elders at the Parliament of World Religions ask me to love Mother Earth. They ignite my desire to be public in this prayer.
“Tell Others To Love Mother Earth” said the Piute man.
If my dancing is how I love Mother Earth let me speak to others who will listen, and be present as our indigenous are doing, in their prayer actions.
Today I will colead an Art Response at 15th and Lakeshore on Lake Merritt. This site is where an Ohlone Burial Ground was removed. Villagers were removed and taken to “missions.”
There will be no photography. There will be no social media. This is a sacred act.
As Art Responders we will gather to pray and clarify our intentions. In the burial area we will walk, stop as we orient to the history of the land and people. Catherine Jolly will play cello as we move in shapes and stillness as listen and respond to to this place, its beauty and life. We will honor sorrow and respect what we can do and cannot do. But at least for today we will love Mother Earth and dance for her children, our ancestors, and the beauty of the Earth!
Beth Bagwell, Oakland wrote in The Story of a City (Novato: Presidio Press, 1982), 5-6.
Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone Indians… settled in a village along the banks of Indian Gulch Creek in an area that became known as Trestle Glenn. The Chochenyo fished the estuary, thanking Duck Hawk, the hero and benefactor who had made the earth a safe place for humans to live, for the food they took from it. By 1810, the Native Americans were… relocated to Mission San José by the Spaniards who had arrived with foreign presumptions: domination, possession, control. Title to the land passed, for the first time, into human hands.
Huchiun and Jalquin tribes of Ohlone Indians were also concentrated in the area surrounding Dimond Canyon. A village was located on the campus of Holy Names College. The hillsides of the canyon would have been great sites for harvesting acorns, berries, and edible plants, and hunting.
So beautiful and your work of lament and reclaiming earth for land based peoples whose voices and forms have been lost…of utmost importance Cynthia. Your prayer touched me where I live today. Thank you. Blessings. I miss you. I am well and the work is rolling.
Thank you Anita! I have been thinking of you and praying for your writing time. Glad to hear its rolling!
I echo Anita’s words. Thank you for this offering…for staying true to your self, promises made. I so appreciate the additional storied information about the land of the Ohlone peoples. These details bring your action to life. Sending love…receiving love.
Such a beautiful invitation to dance with and on behalf of Mother Earth. Thank you, Cynthia, for making dance accessible to all, and for encouraging all of us to find our ways to make public our love of HER.