Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A new spiral dance

There is a new spiral dance of shadows on the field of the Old School House Gallery here on Cortes Island.  This outdoor installation by artist Peter Schmidt and Noba Anderson has invited the elements to a sacred dance, even before the humans have a chance to play.  Many of us remember the spiral dances of the 60’s and 70’s with our flower children selves weaving in and out, passing streams of smiling, painted faces.  Now the sun is weaving light and shade through the reclaimed beauty of old machine parts, cables, poles and fibre sheeting.  There is something especially potent about finding magic in what we previously discarded as worthless, like the current phenomena of Stomp Musical Theatre which uses only common household items, like garbage cans and brooms, for sound-making instruments.

A new creation from castoffs is also an opportunity to create a new way of relating to those materials.  This sculpture spirals like a seashell, and seems to invite us to be the ocean filling its curves—pressing and flowing in and out with it and with each other—rather than using the form as a background for our relating only to each other.  I believe there is a lesson in this for how to be with natural forms and forces.  I sometimes hear people speaking of the need to connect in deeper relationship with the environment, and yet the action of that connection stays between people, and not with other-than-human people, like Sun and Shadow.

Creating the Journey Oracle Cards has given me 20 years of experience in having a relationship with the flickering glimmers of other than human wisdom from the elements and the substances they create.  In this new spiral dance, there is a lot to be learned from old machine parts, cables, poles and fibre sheeting.