In late March I gathered with Mick Dodge, Pushkara Sally Ashford & her son, David, for a singing celebration just before her maiden off-island voyage of the new SingPeace Gypsy Wagon.
There is an immense grandmother maple tree in Pushkara's front yard that
I was immediately drawn to dance with. Mick filmed and pointed out a
huge dead branch hanging on its last limb over our heads. Mick was
musing happily for the day when "Maple would gift this beautiful staff
in her own time."
Well, with last Friday's crazy wind storm, the time came and Mick salvaged the limb and began fashioning staffs, including one for me. When I went to visit him today, I was feeling cold, stiff and in need of motion and building heat. He started a fire in his tent wood stove exclaiming how much he loved "freeing and receiving the gifts of sunshine, wind and rain from the burning wood."
As I listened to his orally transmitted teachings, I began a daily dance to
explore and train with the gifts of grandmother maple's staff and the
fire's heat. I had never so consciously attended to receiving the
elemental gifts of heat & light from the stored energy of the sun as
they were released though wood burning. My body and soul were warmed by
the physical heat as well as the living poetic story of it all. I felt
my connected place in a larger context and community of all life. Mick
showed a manuscript from his friend's book-in-progress about how
changing our bodies can change the world. He told me that he never
trusts the written word or "talk" of an author till he can see the life
and "walk" that s/he lives. I was honored that he continued to say my
blog writing worked well for him because he sees that it arises from the
way I LIVE and share directly from this embodied experience and not
from disembodied LOGOS--intellect, logic and rational ideas from the
thinking mind alone.
In the film below, you can listen to some of the teaching he delivered in the
way he prefers-- directly, spontaneously and orally. He is also
sometimes called "the barefoot bard" because he naturally exudes and
transmits poetic expression of his inner life and wisdom derived from
decades of practice and experience of inner and outer wilderness
landscapes. I am grateful for our growing collaboration, understanding
and support of one another's gifts and intentions to walk our talk
because this path can be a challenging and sometimes isolated one.
I look forward to seeing the carved maple wood staff emerging as an empowered
object over time and practice with it. Much as indigenous people have
done for ages with their sacred tools, this training object will contain
and reflect the lessons and gifts I receive while working with it and
eventually it will be passed on to the next generation full of this
wisdom. There is a clear grace and rightness to this natural progression
of passing on gifts.This practice has been lost in much of our modern
social life and education if we forget to honor elders and ancestors for
their profound contributions-we are literally living extensions and
transmissions of them. I hope I can continue to remember and receive
inspiration from grandmother maple, Sense Say Mick, Kazoo Ohno, and all
my relations that have truly walked their talk before me.
The theme sentence of the upcoming event sponsored by MomoButoh Dance
Company and LiveEdge Woodworks
upcoming event is "Ask not what the trees can do for you, but...." You are not what you think say or do...you are the sum total of your actions, ideas and words that come TRUE. What are YOU doing for the trees? If you are going to be anywhere near S. Whidbey Island on Friday May 7 do not miss the amazing benefit for Whidbey Camano Land Trust's Trillium Land Purchase at Woodland Hall. Contact Momo TODAY --entry by reservation only through MomoButoh info at maureenfreehill dot net!