Saturday, April 19, 2014

An invitation...

The 3rd edition of Words and Violence an internationally recognized (140 countries)pedagogical resource on bullying in all its incarnations... from the playground to the tabloids to the mortuary-- and hosted at Voices Education Project, featured "Performance Arts" in 2013 because they are a quintessential communicator and change agent to impact contemporary culture. It is one of the places where mass change can occur, where minds are awakened, challenged and where a portal opens for the enlightenment of mass consciousness.

"Performance" is story and communicates with words or without, with photos and images, movement and art... it is often where the human first encounters the mirror of self reflection and the glint of (Aha!) possibility. The arts can paint both the horror and beauty of the human condition and make us Think! (capital T.) It inspires some things and expires others. The canvas of human imagination, this table rasa of potential and raw material of human evolution grows the psyche, breathes inspiration and creates the collective future earth narrative. We are, after all, what we imagine ourselves to be and what we make of ourselves and our ecosystems.

The current ecosystem supports bullying and does it in ways that we don't even imagine because they are so acculturated as to have become invisible to us. But they are there-- like background noise that we no longer hear because it is such a constant low drone. We are infected with a virus-- epidemic and pandemic and while we have identified the illness that the virus causes (despair, overwhelm, cynicism, intractable fatigue, adult and horribly-- youth suicide,) we haven't quarantined the virus nor found its true cause. Time to get into the lab and take a look under the microscopic eye of honest and fearless scrutiny. Here's how...

The tide of bullying has swept the earth like a great flood while we, like Noah, helplessly cling to our personal craft, violently reeling while watching the Tsunami size of the problem drown human dignity. We assign blame elsewhere instead of examining our own violence and our complicity with the ecosystem we are all swimming in.

The 4th edition will address the ways we bully the Earth. That subject is only limited by human imagination-- the economy, climate change, artificial agriculture and food production, political indifference or influence, the treatment of animals, land grabs and mismanagement, abuse of the Indigenous elders and their wisdom, collective psychic disconnection and denial, moral depravity, racism, double standards, the rising phenomenon of a spiritual vacuum, abuse of authority and power, the trampling of human and civil rights, slavery, conflict, genocide, war...

Yes the possibilities are unfortunately endless but fortunately for us-- they are now under our lens! There is beauty in that horror for it highlights the shadow thereby summoning the best of us and what we may call forth from the internal and deep well of the bright shadow of the brilliant Self.

If you would like to look at the "Words and Violence" compendium, email me. We publish the next edition just before the fall semester. Submission are welcome-- send us a proposal. If you have something to contribute, we would like to hear from you.

You may find the Program "Words and Violence" Here

and in the addendum a list of Writers, Designers and Contributors

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A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...