Sunday, September 30, 2007

The ribbon banner welcomes!

I had an absolutely wonderful time at the grand opening celebration for Touchstones interfaith spirituality center. It was outdoors in the new park in the Glen in Glenview, and they couldn't have ordered better weather. Bright, sunny, hopeful day. Singing, drumming, prayer stones and prayer bead stations set up around a fountain next to a small lake.
I changed into my red dress in the bathroom which was a little distance away. I put my red ribbons on my pole right there and then waved them as I walked over to the celebration as a way of creating interest among the soccer players and others in the park.
When I got to the celebration, Rev. Kathy Dale McNair had a big arms wide open welcome for me. She said the ribbons looked great, but I said they were short and stumpy looking. They were the length I use in churches, but outdoors, I could extend my telescoping pole and thus the ribbons could be much longer. Luckily, Rev. Phyllis Beattie had lots of extra ribbons from making the mini-ribbon banners, so I added some longer ribbons. It looked great, and then I was ready to go. Since the event was nestled in the park, the ribbons waving high on the pole beaconed to people, helping them find the celebration and encouraging them to come and see.
I had a great time dancing to the songs of peace - If I had a hammer, This land is your land, etc. - that Lynn Sanders led. To feel the hope of those songs, many of which I hadn't heard in years, reverberating through my body, was incredibly cathartic. The songs brought back happy childhood memories and so I was a child again, dancing my joy. I also danced to the sacred drumming of Mama Edie. The wind was strong, but it was great fun having unlimited space to move the pole and make the ribbons ripple and dance.
As a minister of movement, I know that the real issue, however, isn't my enjoyment, but others'. Did I communicate the joy of the day? Convey it to others in the visceral way in which movement communicates? Based on people's many comments, I'd say the answer is "yes." I was able to communicate God's joy to others in a way that was contagious. The ribbons are mesmerizing, meditative, like a fire, you can watch them for hours without getting bored. Just when you think you know the pattern, it changes, and you start all over again.
There's a picture of me, as well as the other activities, on the kick-off event page of the Touchstones website. Check it out for information on their upcoming workshops.

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