Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring! God! NYC! and Women, Unite!

Vernal Equinox 2012.

I'm looking to turn over a new leaf, begin a new chapter, embrace my potential.

I'm not exactly sure how that is going to manifest but there has been a stirring inside me that has been building for some time and I feel it's time to release it.  Actually, it feels like it's going to happen no matter what.  It's not in my hands, so to speak - it feels bigger than I am.

This moment in time absolutely fits what I think I've been feeling.  I feel a sense of my physical and metaphysical selves wanting to come into harmony.  I am keenly aware of the duality of my humanness and my spirit trying to meet one another and go forward in unison, aiming for balance.  

I need to move.  I need to open.  I need to engage.  I feel a call to action.  All of these things are being answered by what's going on my life right now, so all I have to do is trust and follow this energy that is guiding me.

I'm involved with and currently rehearsing an intense and profound performance piece to be done at Santa Clara University the morning of April 16th, called What A Stranger May Know.

It is to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech.  It is almost impossible to describe, but each of the victims will be represented in poetic, liturgical texts that serve to honor their lives lost.  It is presented on the University's website like this:
A play commemorating the lives of the thirty-two victims of Virginia Tech.
By Erik Ehn
April 16, 2012 7:30 am
St. Ignatius LawnSanta Clara University is one of 24 universities presenting Erik Ehn’s ambitious “What a Stranger May Know” on that day. Erik Ehn, Director of Playwriting at Brown University and internationally recognized artist-activist, has written 32 plays, one for each of the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech and these will be performed as readings on the five-year anniversary of that day, April 16, 2012 across the United States.
Ehn is endeavouring to "write the unspeakable" and to make reflective, not informational works in which no one is impersonated.  He describes the simultaneous readings of these 32 scripts as "people thinking in time...a memorial action."  The goal being "to provide a community with imaginative access to mourning." Since the shootings took place in a hall where French, German and Hydrology were taught, there are many references to these three subjects in the monologues about both students and professors who lost their lives that day.
It's a hugely collaborative process and I'm so fortunate to be connected to this group of people.  The rehearsal has been inspiring yet arduous.  The words are dense and meaningful, the emotion is high.  I am moved to tears almost every time I enter the script.
An excerpt from the most recent email from my friend and director, playwright Eric Loo:
"this project is not just about what we experience or learn by doing this project.  It's about our spiritual carbon footprint that we're leaving, not only on the St. Ignatius lawn, but at the University and in the Universe."


This weekend I'm planning to attend my first service at a place of worship in a very long time.  I used to go to midnight mass when I was at SCU but to say that I've become a lay Catholic is an understatement.  I recently decided that I wanted to find a way to tap into my spirituality and the very next day my online email group of Holistic Moms had a thread about finding a place of worship.  The request was worded basically exactly how I would have asked:
"Hi Moms, I was wondering if any of you attend a church/spiritual group/meditation group that you really like and recommend? I'm open to attending most any church/religion -- because I've found that the people are what really make the difference."
The responses and recommendations were great, and I've picked one to try out.  Looking forward to it.

I've got a birthday-present-to-myself trip planned for the middle of April; I'm off to New York City for the first time since I lived there in 1999 and 2000.  Solo.  Should be a wonderful, whirlwind 3 days and 3 nights.  Staying with Holly and seeing Dan Korb and visiting with Xander & his crew.  (that will only mean something to you if you know me and/or them)
I'm *so* excited to hang in that magnificent city and I'm trying to get a loose outline of my itinerary sketched out because I know it will be such a short trip that I don't want to try to do too much.  I also don't want to be kicking myself on the flight home for not doing/going/seeing something or somewhere.  (Suggestions welcome!)  I'm sure it's going to be bittersweet leaving Andrew & the girls, but mama needs a break!

Finally, I have a new experience looming on my horizon.  The weekend after I get back from NYC, I'm doing my first ever organized political march.  My days of being "anti-political anything" are over.  I'm finally motivated enough by the utter nonsense going on with regard to women's health, contraception, and other women's issues, that I've decided to go to Sacramento to participate in the We Are Women march on April 28th.

There's quite a bit of back-story that led me to this decision, but let's just say it's been building.  I have some kick-ass feminist friends who have illuminated this topic for me recently, so I've been doing lots of late night reading online about it.  If you're interested, there are some great articles that I can point to.  Some of the bills that are passing or barely being voted down are absolutely mind boggling.  Forced trans-vaginal ultrasounds?!  Are.  You.  Kidding.  Me?!
I do realize that the reason for the recent resurgence of rhetoric surrounding all of this might be the simple fact that it's an election year, but it doesn't matter.  These "issues" were handled half a century ago.  We will not be dragged back in time when it comes to equality and dignity.  We will not have our reproductive rights even questioned, let alone revoked.  More on this later.

This post has gotten way longer than I intended.  Are you really still here?




C Lo said...

hey, are you on twitter yet, missy? if not, if you'd like to connect on FB, find me (http://facebook.com/cklo76)

I always feel like I miss out on so much between blog updates. :)

Melissa said...

Janine, I love this post--go girl! And I hope you go to the city tonight, too! xoxo