One again I have offered a day of Meditative Dance, in the beautiful Meditation Centre in Dent.
This year I used both images and poetry as well, and we journeyed with Mary from the first visit by the Angel Gabriel through to her place at the foot of the Cross.
The intention was not to see this as looking back at History, but to connect with the emotions we feel, and situations that we, and others, face in the world today. For example here is a sonnet from Malcolm Guite's excellent "Sounding the Seasons"
We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
or cosy in a crib beside the font,
but he is with a million displaced people
on the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
fleeing the wrath of someone else's quarrel,
glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower,
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled.
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
and death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
to stand before the Lamb upon the throne
“What a huge amount of planning and work you must have put into the special day you provided for all of us. Thank you very much indeed. I didn’t know what to expect although I had thought it likely to be an Easter event with a difference! I have often heard of the Meditation Centre but hadn’t expected it to be such a lovely venue. “
“It was such a lovely day yesterday. All the music and dances were so well chosen and balanced and I really enjoyed every moment. I know how much you have spent your preparation time before putting everything together and I am so grateful, especially that you did it during Holy Week. Dance really can be our prayer and meditation and with all poems you used, it was just perfect.”
"Thank you for giving us such a beautiful day's dancing in Dent (the best yet?). I hope you were pleased with how it went. Such a lovely bunch of people too, didn't you think?
I enjoyed all the dances old and new and particularly loved David's poems.
Thank you for all the soul-energy you put into it."
What worth piety now?
How much it’s lost its thrust,
its endless duty, its heave, its thuds.
So I came a long way round to find
the plangent, aching sorrow,
that only death can handle wisely.
As Mary held her baby in her arms;
so now, again, the mother holds the son;
in death, and wonder, both.
David Scott. February 2015