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A New Frontier

January 31, 2017

 

I set out to write this piece with a new take on things, a different spin, trying to make sense of a world that feels upside down, tie the work we do into the bigger picture and have it all make some coherent sense. I also set out to write a piece covering the March on Washington- how invigorating and moving the march was, a reminder that when a clear commitment is present, SO much can happen. 

 

Not an easy task(s).

 

It sure has been a week and a half. The onslaught of environmental deregulation, the war on science, the fight on abortion, shutdown of the EPA, censorship across the board, the infamous wall, bans on immigration, and the latest heartbreaking news of turning our backs on refugees feels like an all out war on what really makes America great. And really all I’ve been doing is staring at the news, dumbfounded at the horror show unfolding each day, the unraveling of the very foundation of this country, or maybe an unveiling of what has been brewing for some time.

 

Each Tiny Move is A Movement. Something that has served as a small grounding force among the chaos and a gem I keep returning to is “ each tiny move is a movement”. What makes this simple saying so relevant in more then just the obvious is that it evolved out of a piece we created together (mind you spontaneously and in the moment) on our last day at MICI in 2015 with our mentors, the Architects.  And has stuck with me ever since. Each tiny move is a movement. EACH TINY MOVE IS A MOVEMENT. Each tiny move is a movement. A reminder that when each and every one of us uses our voice in an intentional way while staying connected with the bigger picture, movement happens. CHANGE HAPPENS.

 

In compositional improvisation, we are literally composing, making decisions in the moment that impact and influence the piece as whole. We often use the term "zoom in, zoom out" as a way to hold the space. If we are unclear about our own choices or completely oblivious to what others are doing on stage, the piece doesn’t really come together. Our most successful pieces are when each of us has clear, specific intentions with our own material (zoom in) while simultaneously staying aware/tending to what's happening in the bigger picture (zoom out). IT IS SO CHALLENGING. But when we drop into that space, magic happens.

 

That similar 'dropping into' was present on Saturday January 21st when over 500,000 people showed up to the Washington Mall. People came for a host of different reasons whether it be women's rights, immigration, the environment, health care, gay rights, science, democracy as we know it among so many issues at stake. Everyone was there with a purpose, intention, a gathering of massive proportions.

This march was not just a march- it was the sign of a movement, a movement that if we stay committed, will continue to grow.

 

In zooming out looking at the bigger picture at play, consider that Trump is a symptom of something much bigger going on in the world. Look what’s happening in Great Britain with Brexit and Russia with Putin.  As Peter Leyden says (link below) “They are not driving the change, they are reacting to the change. They are not showing the way forward, they are making desperate attempts to cling to the past, a past that is gone forever.” With that in mind, I am choosing to stay focused on movement forward~ to be the catalyst for change.

 

Remember when millions of people all over the world gathered for a single Saturday in solidarity. Remember that power. Now imagine what would be possible if every single person who marched dropped into action right now and continued that momentum, that movement? It’s so easy to become paralyzed when each day brings another new fire to put out. Pick two issues to fight for. Stay informed about the rest. This doesn’t mean we don’t care about everything that’s going on, it’s in service of the bigger picture.  Otherwise we will be so distracted, so burnt out, we will eventually shut down. And we need your voice, your power, your ability to enact change more than ever. I am saying this as a reminder to myself as much as anyone.

There will be dark days ahead but keep in mind the larger framework at play.

 

It is our mission, our opportunity, our responsibility, to get really clear on what we value, what we care about, and to stand like never before. As our 44th President so eloquently expressed, "America is not the project of any one person. The single most important part of a democracy is the word "we". "We the people". "We shall overcome". "Yes we can". 

 

 

Resources:

 

A spin on looking at what’s happening from a ‘zoom out’ perspective:

https://shift.newco.co/https-medium-com-peteleyden-why-trumps-inauguration-is-not-the-beginning-of-an-era-but-the-end-72a86833f0a3#.cwxi7hhz0

 

How to stay outraged with out losing your mind:

https://medium.com/the-coffeelicious/how-to-stayoutraged-without-losing-your-mind-fc0c41aa68f3#.h7czn5d3o

 

Get involved at local level with 2018 in mind:

http://swingleft.org

 

Direct Daily action texted to your phone:

http://dailyaction.org 

 

Contact your Representatives directly/stay informed with the Free app: http://countable.us/

 

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