Wednesday, December 26, 2012

40 Dancing with the ancestors

40 Dancing with the ancestors
Wednesday October 31, 2012:
And here we are on Samhain. That time when the veils between the worlds are
thin. That time when our beloved dead are closest to us. I wonder if there's
something about the death of opportunity or the death of the world wanting
what I've been able to give by way of equality championship, good regulation
and all that, that I need to notice at least.
A part of me still doesn't want to give up, but I have to find a way of
getting something to do which will pay me enough to live on. I'm leading the
Samhain Walk with the Ancestors tonight, so I'd better get myself together.
The streets are filled with trickle-treaters. The posh houses are
elegantly decorated with intricately carved pumpkins. We "woo-woo" at
children who pass. Everyone is in good spirits.
In all nearly 15 gather to circle on the heath to ground and connect. We
walk quietly up the hill, circling the ash tree (It's an ash this year!)
Someone casts and we call direction, setting up sacred space
I call in the ancestors and begin by calling in my beloved dead.
I say:
"I call in Vijayatara who taught me the power of struggle.
I call in Rowen Jade, who taught me that stillness was strength.
I call in Nasa Begum who taught me that facts have power.
I call in Tina Grigg, who taught me to love trees.
I call in Dave Morris, who taught me that there's always another way.
I call in Sue Napolitano, who taught me the power of words.
I call in all my other beloved disabled dead... Come to me now, for I have
never needed you so much. Come to me now, for I need your strength to help
me in this fight for our lives as Disabled people. Come, beloved disabled
warriors, come!"
Others call in their beloved dead. Soon, we are surrounded. The energy is
strong. We form a line and are bound to each other by wool. Then we walk.
The snake moves slowly, swaying, pushing through the diaphanous veil into
the other world. Our beloved dead march beside us. I am surrounded.
Palpable is their energy. The drum beat slow and steady, we move on.
The beat picks up. The energy rises. We stop walking and in honour of
Gabrielle Roth, begin to dance. In front of me, my beloved dead dance. I
move in a silent tarantella of pride and love. I feel my head raised high;
my shoulders straighten as we dance together, our dance to set us all free.
I must do this more often", I think to myself. The beat slows. We move on,
wobbling as we pick up our feet. The earth beneath my feet is tuffety. It
is solid but soft, cushioned by the long rough grass. I pick up my feet and
step, my heart light, my beloved dead beside me.
The veil softly strokes my face. I turn; looking back in my mind to the
journey just taken my face framed like a bride, and bow a goodbye to my
beloved dead dance partners.
We circle under the protected embrace of the ash tree and give up our
prayers and thanks. I hang the holed stone on a red ribbon that I charged
during the Mayoral campaign. I give it to the tree to remind me of my
politics and my intent to change the world. I offer it as a reminder to
call in the support of my beloved dead when I feel need of them. The stone
swings in the breeze, banging softly into my hand, to remind me of my
The tree accepts other tokens of our love and resolve. We open the circle
and feast on delicious fairy cakes, pumpkin cake, dates, apricots and marsh
Someone has found an enormous leaf lying at the foot of the tree. We
speculate on where it came from and how it got here. It seems important
somehow but none knows what it signifies. No matter.
The pumpkin lantern is held high as some dance down the hill. Others like
me follow more slowly, singing quietly together. The heath is still. There
are no revellers. Some runners have been there, but that's all.
We gather by the maple tree to ground and let go of the circle finally,
taking with us the energy of our working. We are standing on a carpet of
enormous leaves. Aha! This is the source of the one under the Ash tree
yonder. Giving thanks to the tree of its bounty, we head for the pub.
I didn't know that the pub had a fire! In the other lounge, there it is,
burning merrily. And what's more, there's a free table and some seats.
Five of us settle down to drink, chat and be comfortable. I reach out my
hands to feel the fire.
"Changer, destroyer, transformer, stay with me," I whisper.


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