I’ve staked my tent at the burning bush and the dark night of my tradition. I dwell in a Vast center, wary to get any closer.
I dance a tight wire between the stakes of religious anxiety and a calm so deep it can’t be of my own doing but some kind of inheritance.
An angel sits on my soul who can make it difficult to move. I must be taught the way of no escape.
Things are happening
Hell breaks loose,
guns get centerstage
Empathy is weaponized
Youth and Teachers scream STOP!
Opioids and cell phones run the world.
Walls or bridges? Walls or bridges?
At the same time
A Civil Rights icon shows up to play.
A Doctor on retreat cries for her own body.
Congregationalists break out in Dance.
It is the decade of Embodiment.
“The old will dream new dreams
The young shall see a mighty vision
In the day that Love has made
We will end our hateful division
Oh Joy shall come to the city streets
Our hearts with life together beat
The rich ones, poor ones shall bow down
to the children who shall lead us.
O People come and sing your song
Sing your song together
Joy shall come to this strange land
when we love each other.”
Is love enough? Justice is what love looks like in public says Cornel West
I journey in the culvert of powerlessness.
The water is only knee deep.
But, this dance is completely underground, invisible.
No one can take this work away from me. I must do it.
There will be no more details to share for some time.
When horror and terror live one room away
It’s Hell for a body at home.
And for many bodies everywhere.
And yet bodies are rising, starving,
twitching to move everywhere I look.
Bodies are marching,
up in arms,
rocking loose from grey matter,
taking sides, singing too loud,
bursting forth with evolutionary fervor.
The body wants to move, to befriend, to heal!
I know the brain science for this.
I know the testaments and techniques.
This has nothing to do with that.
Knowing is just a way to map a territory.
What we have here is the earth working herself up.
Nature is paying us forward with birthright force.
Black lives, women lives, children’s lives, elders lives,
indigenous lives, gay lives, animal’s lives,
the living land and water.
It’s an earthquake of spirit.
The body will have its event
and we will have to choose.
This is where art comes back in.
Free will wants to grow,
but not without free, loving and beautiful people.
This is whyI’ II dance in the culvert of despair
just as I dance in the streets.
I pray in the studio, the office, and the recovery zone.
I am a first and a last responder,
I am a mother octopus suspended with her eggs
preparing to die.
A live reading by Cynthia Winton-Henry on zoom
Thursday, Sept 17, 6-7 pm Pacific
Friday, Sept 18, 6-7 pm Pacific
Sunday, Sept 20, 10-11 am Pacific
In this live reading, I take great care to share the facts about my boatload of extended family, led by a woman, and what happened after they landed in Boston in the early 1630s. It impacts America’s foundational relationship with land, gender, first people, morality, and white supremacy. Like us, they met up with
- Nature at its harshest
- A pandemic
- A legalistic, punishing, religiously fanatical body politic
- An unwavering, authoritarian male ego.
- The systemic crippling of female, indigenous and black cultures
- And, a undying Grace that ran through them like a river.
After the 30 minute reading we’ll reflect, notice, ask questions, and dance on behalf of grace activists everywhere!
Donations Welcome at paypal.me/cynthiawintonhenry or Venmo @Cynthia-Winton-Henry.
Come hold sacred the Wisdom of the Body.
Come move, sing, and honor each other’s bodyspirit in these times…
Times; 9:30 and 4:30 Pacific
Sunday’s 4:30 pm with Jane Siarny
Mondays 4:30 pm pst with Cynthia Winton-Henry
Tuesdays 9:30 pm with Rehana Tejpar
Tuesdays 4:30 pm pst with Stephanie Gesling & Greer Dokmanovich
Wednesdays 4:30 pm pst with Ruth Schowalter
Thursdays 9:30 am pst with Nancy Pfaltzgraf
Thursdays 4:30 pm with Coke Tani
Fridays 9:30 am pst with Monisha Mittal
Fridays 5:30 pm PST with Kaira Jewel Lingo
See world clock for your time.
Email Cynthia@interplay.org for the zoom link and to get
weekly notifications about chapels.
Email to unsubscribe anytime.
Here’s what you can expect in a chapel.
Light a candle, virtual or real, and bring your intention for family, community, and world.
Affirm and notice your body wisdom as you move, notice, and share.
Renew grace and gratitude in your week.
Hear and share inspiring poetry and wisdom.
Dance on behalf of others in the group.
Connect to global companions.
Drop-in at any time you need prayer, community, or support at no charge.
We welcome donations of $25–85/month and love offering anytime. Just click here.
Make checks to Cynthia Winton-Henry, 2273 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612.
If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me,
even the night shall be light about me…
The darkness and the light
are both alike to thee. – Howard Thurman
In 2002 I had a dream. I wrote about it in “The Lucky Dark” chapter in my book, Chasing the Dance of Life.
I don’t think dreams are only about the dreamer. I believe that human consciousness is communal. Modern people carry individual freedom to such an extreme that we forget how much we are of one piece. I believe that we dream for each other as well as ourselves. In the Bible, Jacob won a seat in the court of a foreign King for his ability to prophetically dream and translate their meaning to the powers that be. The only problem is that, like art, dreams are subjective. We have to decide whether to swallow dreams whole or take them with a grain of salt.
In the summer of 2002, I dreamt a world dream.
Suited up against the dark nights,
OUT OF NOWHERE
I looked up.
A rainbow stitched the night sky.
A night rainbow? I checked my lense,
elbowed my neighbor, “Did you see that?”
Suddenly the rainbow stitch
duplicated into multicolored
spherical, fractals of light,
each enwrapping an inner light
born from infinite, unlit sources.
Rainbow eggs torrentially divided,
multiplied, hailed down.
I was Unprepared
wearing high terrain boots,
the kind used for hard work
and cross country mountain climbing.
As I clod toward the village square
so many shoes lay abandoned by the road.
I took off my boots and ran light-footed
toward the center of the city,
an aurora borealis flood
consuming and swallowing the world.
When I woke, I wondered, “Is this how it will happen? A future coming at us over which we have no control? Apocalyptic death? Or? Apocalyptic hope.”
Something enormously “other” is at the center of every miracle. Strike us dead or let us dance, I don’t know how well we’ll do, but I know bodies will be altered and offered up every time. A rainbow world is coming. And it may not depend on us.
Since that dream, I’ve thought that something outside human consciousness may be needed to create the shift we need. A trillion inner suns illuminating our darkness? Coronas?
Are we collectively open to help from beyond? Strange question. Strange dream. My life may or may not be saved. This is not a time for individuals. I bow to the storm.
If I think of the world as a body, it can’t be reduced to a problem or disease. Life is a web of health. The more health we grant ourselves the more we create a healthy world body. Violent methods put off healing and health. Things like war are surgical. Who wants surgery? Recovery is hard.
What leads to peace and healing? Creative Contributions, Play and Rest. That’s CPR of body wisdom.
Play is the genius of consciousness. Play builds up bodies, fosters health and transforms trauma. The sooner we play, dance, share our story, song, and spirit, the quicker we stabilize and open up our bodyspirits to relief, curiosity, love, energy, power, and crazy encounters.
If you’d like to read the introduction to Chasing the Dance of Life link here. I wrote it to companion the mystics, poets, visionaries, and dancers who feel weird. In it, I offer my quest to understand why something as expansive, visionary, heart-opening and socially healing as the Dance of Life could be so hard to claim. Fortunately, there are voices that say, “Fear not.” On discouraging days I cling to incantations like poet Muriel Rukeyser’s,
Let poems and bodies love and be given to air,
Earth having us real in her seasons, our fire and savor;
And reader, love well, imagine forward, for
All of the testaments are in your favor.
Dance when you are broken open. Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance and you’re perfectly free. Rumi
Here’s to rainbows in your night sky or at your roots.