Reflections from the 2018 Let It Be Workshop
Guest bloggers: Jo Grazide and Kendre Kehde, Core of Fire
Yoga/Snow/Dance – Let it Be
While my most challenging, and longest gym class is yoga, dance is a different challenge altogether. This day, the effort continues with a dance workshop with beloved community.
This day, snow is everywhere. An avalanche has come and stayed. All is achieved through a frozen tunnel with spots of gray under white lace. (So the streets look to me.) It’s cold. But the Let it Be workshop is warm and I could forget the temperatures for a while.
I left the down dogs and triangle poses for a trip through movement of another kind. A dance troupe in a well-organized day walks me through the goal – to learn a new way to move. To meet others in this new circle. To move with them.
The snow is still here. It may be a part of our landscape for quite a while. Its gray-spotted corridors a challenge for all. As we finish the program with our new-found movements, we have created a new
emory, a new dance. One that can carry us through the remainder of a long, cold winter.
Like frozen tracks in the ever-present snow, this day will remain to show me not only where I’ve been, but where I’m going.
The Inner Dance
A work of art sustains many layers of interpretation, and over time evolves new forms or new meanings that suddenly express within the old form, even as the other resonances shimmer in place. The choreography for Core of Fire’s “Amazing Grace” was originally intended as a ghostly evocation of the loss and dehumanization experienced by Africans during the brutal Middle Passage between kidnapping and slavery in a new land. For November’s service on the work still to be done for UU racial equality, our contemplative music and gentle movements were spliced with the powerful words of activist Ella Baker. And two weeks ago on the winter solstice we performed it for Waterspirit in Rumson as a fluid partnered homage to the dark and light that dance together across the yearly cycle, creating the amazing grace of all things.
Today, we invite one to consider this dance as a meditation on the shifting interplay of perceived ‘dark’ and ‘light’ within the individual self, each one of us an amazing grace. We always intend to be our best selves, but in the pressure of life conditioned responses often arise, those repeating patterns of thought and behavior we are not so proud of. Growth comes in the awareness that this dance between the two is a necessity, not a failure (as John Newton–the former slave trader who wrote the original hymn–might attest). And we can extend the metaphor beyond the simple duality of light and dark or intention and response to a family of inner parts working together inside each one of us, contributing to our unique and multifaceted expression through both joyful times and arduous passages. These parts continually evolve in the flow of life, sometimes meeting, sometimes missing, but no piece is left behind or less worthy in the arc of personal experience or in the ineffable perfection of the Whole.
Kendra Kehde, Core of Fire