Today I am grateful once again for the role of dance, dance/movement therapy and the arts in my life as I struggle to make sense of the senseless in the aftermath of the Patriots Day bombings in Boston.
I am grateful that, as far as I know, no one I know was hurt in the bombings. Yet that very thought causes me guilt and suffering, because I am not grateful, and in fact am very sad, about the innocent victims of this hate crime whom I did not know. Boston is my city; I was born, raised and am proud to live in this city, the scene of many patriotic events. I am pretty devastated that such a terrible display of cowardice should have caused so many people such pain and suffering.
To cope with my feelings of despair and discouragement (read that away or separated from the heart) I vowed to use my art (dance) and craft (dance/movement therapy) to remain connected to my heart as I taught the students in my 2nd year supervision class in dance/movement therapy at Lesley University.
In classes, we shared the feelings each person brought, whether about the Marathon Bombings or about other events in our lives. We shared these first through words and then through movement. We used the Octaband to feel through the fabric the innumerable ways we affect one another, whether through owning or disowning our "stuff", turning our backs on one another, detaching from feelings, leaning on one another, etc. We stretched, tangled, and turned as we shared deeply. In the end, it seems over and over again that it is our connection to one another that helps us to survive such blows if we can allow ourselves to reconnect to what hurts.
This image is not from my classes, but an international peace education conference.
The outpouring of support from friends and colleagues around the globe reminds me of how very wonderful people are, in fact. Networks through social media also provide lots of support. I would like to share some of these beautiful and inspiring images here:
"Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho once wrote, 'The most important experiences a man can have are those that take him to the very limit; that is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage.'"
The author of the article, Dr. Jeffrey Perrin, was speaking about Nando Parrado who "is a motivational speaker, writer, successful businessman, television producer". Dr. Perrin: "Only a small number of individuals have confronted the most severe and unqualifiedly desperate situations that stretch the limits of their psychological resolve." That may be true; however, the number is much greater when one considers that those who do survive such severe and desperate situations affect those in their sphere of influence, whether they do so with grace or suffering. Nando Parrado will address Lesley University's Boston Speakers Series on Wednesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall.
The Business Insider shares stories and photos of "People Being Awesome After The Attack On The Boston Marathon". One such report is of Marathon Runners who crossed the finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims.
On Sunday, April 21 there will be a special drum circle in Jamaica Plain for the Boston community to honor and begin the healing process in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosions. Find out more.
Dance/movement therapist, friend and colleague Heather Hill from Australia sent me photos of beauty "In dark times". Here's one:
I am deeply grateful to remember that people care, that the good significantly outweighs the bad. And I wonder, if the people who perpetrate such crimes felt cared for, seen and heard, would they no longer commit such atrocious crimes? Or are their minds so disconnected from hearts and bodies that love doesn't matter? I believe that a movement such as dance/movement therapy provides as a profession, that helps people connect to their suffering and integrates body, heart, mind and spirit ~ if there is any chance for such a hope ~ this could be a path toward healing. See www.adta.org for more about dance/movement therapy.