Recent events brought my prayer-poem “Give Away” to mind. The annual newcomers potluck with my Quaker community at Red Cedar Friends Meeting, as we enjoyed a round-robin gift exchange with stories. Also, the last workshop at Crow’s Nest Center USA, when I brought gifts for the community in celebration of my birthday and where this beautiful image presented itself for a picture.
The poem did not come into being, though, through the joys of gifting. It emerged during a writing workshop I presented for survivors of violence. Here give away is a release of pain, fear, suffering. This letting go serves as a transformation of old habits that replay old outcomes. In the context of trauma, one no longer is frozen on a web but freed up to face challenges. And the process can continue into reflection of what comes to pass after the fact — to see where change has taken place, even if baby steps.
In “Give Away, Revisited” I explore words in motion and in relation to the Earth. Respect is paid to the spiral dance: the spiral of living and dying; acts that create and destroy; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The spiral dance is about seeking balance; it is not always comfortable. Also, the spiral dance does not revolve around black-and-white notions of good and evil. Because the spiral dance encompasses all of the facets that we embody, as well as encounter along our path.
The wisdom of the spiral dance as balance first came to me through The Cherokee Full Circle: A Practical Guide to Sacred Ceremonies and Traditions. I am grateful to present-day teachers who flesh out the bones of these lessons. Each lesson takes on a new expression through partnering the healing and creative arts. The dance unfurls by following the lead of Spirit, image, word, materials. And every expression is a realization unto itself.
May “Give Away, Revisited” serve you somehow in the spiral dance!