"She is with me now as I tell you these stories."
Carol Patterson-Rudolph, Cultural Anthropologist
“Speak to the Earth and it shall teach thee.” Job XII:8
It's my privilege to have been awarded a fellowship at the Alden Dow Creativity Center, at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, to develop "Threads of the Spiderwoman" - a Cross-Disciplinary Community Arts Project exploring the legacy of the Spiderwoman, past, present and future. I'm also very grateful to the Puffin Foundation for the opportunity they have given me to further production of this as yet unmanifest work......so I'm doubly delighted at the opportunity to weave this tapestry of masks, storytelling, and community into a whole.
I'll also be attending their annual Creativity Conference , held at Northwood University July 12th through 15th. Alden Dow was one of the first architects to receive a fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, and was Michigan's architect laureate.
Spiderwoman's “Web” is what quantum physicists call “Entanglement Theory” - increasing evidence that everything , from stars to subatomic particles, is ultimately interdependent, timeless, one. Perhaps scientists are now telling what Native American storytellers long ago told - what we think and what we do affects everyone and everything. We are all Relations.
Perhaps one way to begin is to share here an excerpt from "Spiderwoman Speaks", last performed at "Restoring the Balance", a community ritual in Tucson, Arizona in 2004. I wrote the piece, and performed it myself back in 1999 when I was the creator of "Rites of Passage Gallery", in Berkeley, California. Just as in Tucson, we concluded our ritual theatre event with Spiderwoman extending a Web for all participants present to tie or hold, thus connecting with each other by literally "weaving" the audience into a web.
Be silent. Notice the shapes of things,
There are stories, here,
Roots, and stories,
Stories that wrap around old bones,
And cracks in the land
Once, you could see the Web
You don't need to climb a mountain
and twining roots
that go on forever
and all those who will come after you.
Call to me, I'll answer