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Be a part of Migritude's journey.
No contribution is too small - or too large. $2 buys coffee for a volunteer. $15 rents a rehearsal studio for an hour. $100 covers 2 hours of lighting / tech / set design. $500 helps fly Shailja to international festivals!!

You can also make a tax-deductible donation by check. Please email for details.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A real friend

is someone who will make you feel uncomfortable when you’re out of integrity.

Kobun Chino Roshi

Beauty does not make revolutions

but there will come a time when revolutions will have need of beauty.

Albert Camus

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More Than Your Own Safety

In one of her poems, Further Notes to Clark, Lucile Clifton asks:

What have you ever traveled toward / more than your own safety?

My deepest regrets are the places in my life where I experienced failures of love or failures of courage. Often, they were the same thing. What I did not say; what I did not do; what I saw and did not voice; what I heard and did not challenge.

Someone I dated once sent me a photo of himself jumping off a bridge, 143 feet high, with cables attached, towards a river below. I responded:

I’ve never been drawn to hurl my body off precipices – my work gives me all the adrenalin rushes I need.

My director says: I want to encourage you to go There. To FEEL in rehearsal, however scary, so you can access that feeling on stage.

What have I ever traveled toward more than my own safety?

A largeness I could not put a shape to. Something beyond the reality I live in. I want my life to have mattered on this earth – to be reflected in what I did - for justice, for beauty, for truth. Not in what I accumulated.

I think of 3 million Darfuris displaced, dispossessed. Of Lebanon in broken bleeding shards. Of Eddy Zheng in his prison cell.

The question is not what have I ever traveled toward. It is: Do I understand, each day, the hugeness, the wealth, of my freedom to choose my journey?

Reasons to keep at it

in this last crucial phase of the completion and making of Migritude.

There is a moment of insight that comes only after I’ve hauled myself to the studio, unpacked saris, plodded through motions of the script.

Keeping at it terrifies me. And compels me. I have this ideal of the one thing that will save me.

There is a poem by David Whyte about the digger wasp, who kisses the tarantula, digs its grave, lays an egg on its belly, then buries it. The twist is that the murderer is the digger wasp, when we all expect it to be the tarantula. I would keep at it if I could bury something every day, with my egg on its belly, my hatchling to feed on its body.

It seems though, that everything outside us is the opposite of keeping at it. Survival comes from adapting to constant change. From variegating, diverging, being the mutant strain. Keep at it and you die when the waters rise.

I try to keep at this business of being awake. Of meeting fear, again and again, noticing her colours. This morning I realized I don’t want to live without fear. Good thing that, because I have no choice.

I do want to overcome my aversion to fear – my freeze, duck, switch off, go to sleep response. I want to see fear for what she is, embrace her, let her move through me, feel and breathe what she brings. Let her set me in motion.

I'm back

It's amazing how challenging it is to be offline and disconnected from the cyberworld for a week. But also how liberating.
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