Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Solstice Art, Spirit, and Babies....


Just a few notes from my weekend of Celebrating the Summer Solstice in and through the Arts. What follows are tid bits from three days of inspired cross-cultural experiences, relationships, and things coming forward with such life-potential!

1. Friday. After work at Ecolab, I had the great privilege of
attending "Hayayo Bibimma" - the Drumming and Dancing ensemble lead by Ghanaian Artist, Francis Kofi. It was amazing to witness the diversity of people and rhythms present. This was also where I encountered a small child I have come to think of as the "Dalai Lama of Dance" - Francis Kofi's son. This 4 or 5 year old was the exclamation point on each performance, moving in the most uninhibited and spirited manner conceivable. Lovely! Thanks to Pam Plagge for the invite and for her commitment to the group!

2. Prior to my Friday evening excursion, I took note of a robin's
nest being constructed atop the electric meter on the back wall of my
house. Right underneath the clamatis vine running up the wall, this
little nest was tucked. When I returned Friday night from the dance
and good post-show conversation, I noticed that one blue egg had been
laid. And one energetic and protective momma bird was busy flapping
and singing about my arrival home and her baby.

3. Saturday. Matt Peiken hooked me up with a free pass to the Walker Art Center's "Rock the Garden" music festival. Whoohoo! I scored a free parking spot 1/2 block from the entrance, and joined my friend, along with 7,500 other folks there for the collaborative production with Public Radio's 89.9 "The Currrent." The bands rocked. Running into a former pretty fellow that I dated was sweet. Better yet, was encountering the Martin Sisters of North Minneapolis Community Organizing days. (Peace Foundation and Folwell Center for Urban Initiative Work props go to both Michelle and Lauren.) It's good times to connect with such ensembles of heart-and-work-and-vision-anchored peeps! Amen! This was part one of my Saturday Solstice

4. Part Two: Later Saturday. At the King and I, I met up with my friends Reggie Prim and Usry Alleyne. I'm telling you, a woman doesn't get much luckier than to hold space with her guy friends as they crack open their dreams, their work-wishes, and talk about next steps. We are all so connected in our journeys, you know?

5. I return late in the eve/ early morning to find Momma Robin has laid egg numero dos!

6. Sunday. The Morning includes church - AMEN! (St. Phillip's gospel / homiletic theme: "BE NOT AFRAID!") My girl Antoinette Bennaars and I share a pew, while girlfriend Ann Shallbetter leads us in song, after her two -week absence and back surgery recovery. GOOD

7. I return home to egg numero TRES being laid in the nest!

8. Sunday Evening is the April Seller's Dance Collective Event, "Cherries." And here, atop latin-music-industry-host Jessica's condo roof top in Uptown Minneapolis, (where there is a flowing water fountain anchoring the space), are DJ Kool Hanz spinning songs, and a
mic system set up for more vocal performances. I take note of several things at this event, as a way to honor the power of the energy, the women, the art, the voices, the cultures, converging and inspiring all cells in my body:

-April Seller's gives voice to her Vision, shares her vulnerability
on the heels of being injured, and what life and making art has
entailed since last piece "V" was performed. Whew. I note the
choreography to the reggae music. I note Pam Plagge's beauty as
dancer, her beating heart, her exposed breast, and the Frida-Kahlo-esque-inspired inking on her body. It's all SO BREATHTAKING! I hear the Tanya Stephens soundtrack about war and no more war...and I cry. And we move into the Spanish/ English song and hip hop reggaetone performance of Maria Isa, and my heart feels like it might burst.

That such a revolution of love, of converging cultures, of art, of communities, of experiences, could be experienced in such a space? In one weekend?! It's amazing. Awesome. Abundance!

9. I return home, and discover Momma Robin has laid a fourth egg.

Abundance. Birth. Life potential, creation is everywhere.

I am thankful for it all.



brian mogren said...

Love the tales, love the photographs. Simply beautiful. And yes, such abundance. Thanks for sharing... Brian

Alisa B. said...

This is wonderful!

Alisa B.

Sr. Rafael Tilton said...

Dear Melissa,
The robin's eggs pictures are THE BEST!
You are busy and happy.
What else can you find to do?
Did I ever tell you about the student I quote: I said, "JOE, YOU HAVE TO STAY AFTER SCHOOL!"
He waved his hand at me, "Oh, that's okay, S'ter. I got not'in' else but time."
I always add, when I quote him, "And neither does any one of us."

You're using yours well, I believe.

Love and Peace,
Sr. Rafael

Jasmine Omorogbe said...

Love you Melis!!
Glad you are truly breathing in your summer!

Jasmine J. Omorogbe
Peer Advisor
Career and Community Learning Center University of Minnesota
Honors College of Liberal Arts

"You miss 100% of the chances you don't take!"