Monday, 21 October 2013

Reflections on sharing the dance and singing in Norwich Cathedral

On 17 October I led the dances (and sang for the dancing) for an annual event called 'Encircling the Land with Sacred Dance' which we initiated by the late Suzy Straw with chosen venues in and around the British landscape and marking an aspect of the Zodiac. So St Michael's line runs through Norwich and Libra's full moon, found me in a great vaulted building sharing, singing and serving the dance.

- - -

It is a unique experience for me to sing and teach and share the dance in such a context. While the living of something is simple - even if multithreaded and multidimensional! - talking about it can seem complex if approached in terms of the vocabularies used rather than the meaning shared.
I do have this sense though - that we can share inspiration and support at the simple level of our presence - so as to open to, and allow more of, what is truly here to our appreciation.

It is of course very different to being invited into Church communities to share the dance - but it still has an opportunity of blending and unifying energies within those of us who come.
The unified expression of Being does encircle and embrace us always - and in ways we may not guess or understand whilst busy within the dramas of a perhaps too easily distracted attention.

Sharing or acting out in what we love, because we love to, is not in itself difficult, but culturally there are so many blocks and inhibitions that seem to make it so!
I am glad we all aligned in a such a moment of expression and I am also glad that we were able to relax and enjoy it, despite - or because of some perhaps slightly more involved dances than in previous years.

One of the qualities of making music and singing in such a space is that of being extraordinarily exposed - although my sense is of not being able to push anything but that such attempt is exposed. Otherwise even the gentlest qualities are held and magnified, so it really is a lesson in yielding or trusting to the presence of life as it moves and not trying to add - or indeed to take away.

The uncovering of gracefulness or beauty in our being may or may not find welcome! I am grateful for meeting a grace of movement in circle dancing - and even more grateful for that I let it in. I ascribe that in part to what was moving in my life back then - but also to the open relaxed and accepting atmosphere that was evident in those early days which has always been integral to my sense of sharing the dance.

I feel a deep truth in that what we give out, is what we get back. As in the saying 'smile, and the world smiles with you'.
These things are forgotten when we lose our connectedness. We 'wait' for the world to smile… … … …
and the weighting makes us dense and heavy!
I feel the dance is a way to hold the remembering in our lives and thus live more fully.
I'm blabbing on a bit about it here because I feel these matters are often left out when we focus somewhat on the externals as if they were in themselves sacred. As if to get authority or validity from something outside our selves. I've always felt that sacred can become mixed up with scared, simply because we tend to call on the Divine when we are in need - when we have no answer to our predicament, and then become attached perhaps to the forms that Life found by which to gain our attention, trust and acceptance, and so make special or sacred to a truly felt experience.

I feel that we make all things sacred by using them only for Life, just as we lose sight of our Life by using them for purposes of division and personal wilfulness.
I was interested to note when researching 'fig leaves' recently, that they were associated with ancient priestly rites. Here then is another level of symbolism to the myth of the Fall - or Separation from our Divine Nature. For as surely all circle dancers discover, it is when we think we know that we err most blindly!

Our relation with our brother, sister and world is one with our relation with God/Our Divine Nature. Hence Jesus' choice of the two commandments - for they are one. The bit that was missed out is love …thy self, because unless we disallow and release our own self-judgements, we have no basis from which to truly recognize each other or our world.

I've never found a better vehicle for releasing self-judgement than circle dancing (not that I've gone off looking), but like so much that I hold dear about it - it is only there for those that are ready to embrace it.

I did have a moment's regret on driving home that evening - in a beauteous moonlight - and that was somehow omitting the dance and re-translated lyric I made for the Huron Carol. But I also trust 'what lines up' - including of course that which lined up to be missed - but the noticing of personal attachment is the opportunity to release it to a deeper root.
To all things their season!


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