In late summer, I was asked to participate in witnessing a rehearsal of Weave. Community witness is one aspect of the entire project, where different facets will be brought together to create the production. I went into the space with very little context so I would be able to fill my senses with the experience.
This particular rehearsal was held in the Ivy Arts building in South Minneapolis. As I found my way I noticed the halls were filled with offices and workspaces, many of them healers in some way or another – occupational therapy, bike repair, massage. The rehearsal space itself was the was warm with dark wood floors.
I was early so there was still pre-rehearsal prep going on – dancers were stretching, sound and projectors were being tested – I settled on a sofa in the corner of this large room and waited. Soon more people began to arrive and find seats. A hush settled as Rosy Simas walked to the front and explained to the audience what would be happening next.
In honor of what I witnessed that evening, I offer this poem which came from what I saw and heard and felt that night:
I once walked off
of an underwater cliff
As I looked into the
ocean’s great eye
a shadow appeared
from the deep azure
Rising over horizons of
black and purple
Shadow formed sea turtle
It began a dance
We moved along the lines of
each other’s curves
In the slow moving thunder
the current and wave
I let the turtle swallow me whole
Jamie Randall is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe in northern Wisconsin. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing from Augsburg University, while working at a community college and raising two amazing little people in Minnesota. Jamie is busy, but aren't we all?
Photo courtesy of the author, Jamie Randall