Thursday, June 7, 2012

Anima Still Here**, and a Gaian Eulogy

I'm pleased to learn that Anima in Reserve, N.M. is still there, and with the fire still just over the horizon, Wolf and family found time to make a eulogy for a friend who died.

There's something very powerful about living like that.

Although I did not know  Gioia Tama, who was a dancer, I  found his words beautiful and wanted to share them.  His Eulogy so much speaks to what I feel, and what I believe ancient peoples felt.......we add to the great Conversation, and return to "the important dark as well as the tribal fire."

"We often hear people say that so-and-so is “gone now”,  an expression partly intended to spare us the difficult vernacular of death, as if avoiding the word could somehow keep the reality at bay.  But, I say, the amazing Gioia has not left for anywhere, she remains evermore a part of the earth she had no desire to leave, ladled back into the anima soup, the vital elements and miraculous energy from which new people – and even new species – are born.  Her cosmology was as eclectic and diverse as any I’ve known, but in every way it was an embrace of the cycles of existence, connection and devotion to the living land.  In her work to contribute to a new culture, she taught the values that nature teaches, in all its wisdom, diversity and splendor.  And when she danced, she danced grounded, with the power of a sentient, ass-kicking planet in every sure flamenco step.  Gioia has not gone, she is here in the important dark as well as in the tribal fire by which we see the path ahead, hear the duende we call mystery, and the eruptions of wildflowers of her beloved Guadalupita homestead. Don’t say “Adios“… always say “Adelante!”

-Jesse Wolf Hardin, Anima Sanctuary, June of 2012
 As I write this morning, I see that Grandmother Spider Woman has sent one of her skilled representatives to leave a message in the window above my desk.  She sits at the very center of a round web made of concentric transparent threads that glisten like a rainbow as the wind causes her creation to vibrate.  Ho, Grandmother Spider Woman!  Thank you!

I've felt a special bond with Jesse Wolf Hardin and family because, like the Web shimmering before me, the friendship demonstrates the mysterious way we're all, truly, connected.

I learned about Jesse's work when I read an article he'd written in Green Egg Magazine in 2000, shortly after I moved to Arizona.  My own article on sacred masks followed his, and the publisher had failed to let me know it had been published, so I found out only by buying a magazine.  I wrote Jesse to congratulate him on his moving article, and to let him know it had been published, just in case his situation was like mine.

That summer was very difficult for me.  I was involved in a kind of love relationship that was very psychic, perhaps karmic,  in its nature, and the situation gave me no opportunity to talk about it, not with the person involved, nor did I have anyone to talk to in my isolation in Tucson.  I was confused, not sure of anything, and self-destructive.  Although Jesse knew nothing whatsoever about me, he began to send me articles he had written about truth, magic, and integrity.  It was as if he knew somehow what I needed to hear  - he sent me a life raft.

The soul connections between us all are stunning sometimes.  Years later I was invited to submit poetry to an e-zine based in Pennsylvania called "The Divine Animal", and the editor  published some of my art and my poetry about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.  We exchanged correspondence, and I loved the stories she sent me.  She had lived in Tucson, and when I was doing a cast call for "Restoring the Balance" I wrote and asked her if she knew anyone who was a dancer/ritualist in Tucson.  She did, and that was how I met one of the women who helped "Spider Woman" weave her web during the closing performance!

We lost touch and the magazine ceased publication, but a few years later, I got an email from her that she was moving to New Mexico.  That was Kiva Rose,  one of Jesse's partners!  I so often find myself telling these stories because, well, I see the links sometimes.  I find it so hopeful. 
“What might we see, how might we act, if  we saw the world with a webbed vision
The world seen through a web of relationships…as delicate as spider’s silk,
yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.”

Catherine Keller "From a Broken Web" (1989) 

**Whitewater-Baldy Wildfire Now 4 Miles Away
At 420 square miles, the fire continues growing, with its most persistent spread being towards the Northwest… and towards us.  Fortunately the movement is relatively slow, but its westward movement has now positioned it due south of the Anima Sanctuary and only 4 miles away.  It is impossible to know how much of the new burns (shown in red on the map) were deliberately set, but with the rains still 6 weeks or so away, we will continue to be in danger until then.  Dan’l hopes to be able to show up more often now, and with the help of our two WOOF volunteers Mattie and Gina, the water pipes are getting buried, and the huge amounts of hazardous dead brush are being gathered for removal.

Donations to the fire fund have stopped coming in, though not before enabling us to get the last of the pipe and fire hose needed (thank you Dennis, for making the difference!).  It looks like there will not be contributions to pay for foil wrapping for the Gaia and Gifting Lodges, however, and they will burn with the trees if and when this or a future fire sweeps through here.  At the least, our main home/office structures have a very good chance of surviving a conflagration now, and the work for this land, our students and community will be able to continue unabated.

Thank you to those who have been able to contribute to the protection of the School infrastructure, it would be impossible without the donations last year and now. Contributions accepted for further fire protection needs.  To contribute to the Anima Fire Fund, either send a postal money order in any amount to:

Gretchen Geggis (Loba!)
PO Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830
or make a PayPal instant payment by going to:
Enter the amount as a personal “gift” and send to:


Valerianna said...

Hi Lauren - glad to hear that Anima is still safe!! The eulogy is really wonderful. Sounds like the Anima center is full of people I would love!! Many blessings from the green, muddy, jungly forest!

Lauren said...

ah, how I envy that jungle! And remember the sheer magic of summers in Vermont..........