Tal Shibi Summer 2016
Forbidden Fruits :
On the subtle connections between hunting and gathering, the many Gods, Adam and Eve, tending to the field, the traveling dancer, and Contact Improvisation.
The God is vengeful and serious The Gods are playful and have a rainbow of moods The God is sexless and disconnected to body and form The Gods and Goddesses are sexy and surprising. They can appear as flying monkeys and forest moon light. They dance and make love and steal each other’s lovers through schemes and trickery They are like us, full of petty jealousy and a desire for grand gestures. The God watches over you, judging, like an obsessed voyeur, to see if you keep up with his little tests and needs. The God wants you to only pay attention to him, he views all other gods as competition and a threat. The Gods don’t care who you worship, they are too busy living and engaging in their own affairs The God wants you to dance only if it is in praise and worship of him The Gods, the Gods are the dance, and any dancing will be a prayer.
Reclaiming “The Fall”
In Yuval Harrari’s excellent book: Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, we learn of agricultural revolution perhaps not being the success story we have been convinced of throughout the ages. Harrari describes the tale of the agricultural revolution as being history’s biggest fraud. He turns the tale of settling down to tame soil and sheep for a farm life, while leaving behind the difficult foraging lifestyle on its head. Harrari describes a change for the worse: he suggests that instead of living more comfortably, farming life entails a poorer a diet, less play time, and work less fitting for the abilities of our human body. Hold that thought for a moment. Is it possible that we inherited a stubborn pride in the hard toiling of the earth, similar to a father’s desire, upon moving up through the ranks of military, to have his son forged in a similar fashion? Could it be a somewhat daft instinct carried down through generations? Is this instinct possibly a cheap replacement to the initiation process which men in tribal cultures used to go through? An initiation ceremony which has been lost somewhere down the line, and manifests itself in present day through destructive impulses (such as joining a radical and often violent group; the military, a gang, an extremist group), which attempt to recreate that long lost rite of passage nutrient.
Men’s need to pass through a ceremony or ritual which carries them into the world of men is a healthy and constructive instinct. Robert Bly in his book Iron John, recalls the story of a tribe in which teenage boys, upon reaching the age of initiation, are kidnapped at night, while the woman play along with feigned shouts and screams, as if protesting the kidnapping. The women continue this play with acts of surprise the next morning and pretend to not recognize the returning sons, as now they are in the realm of men. Well now, let’s reach back to that dusty story of Eden, the manicured heavenly garden, where the plucking of fruit (hunting and gathering, oh the good life) of only one special tree is forbidden. In this rich story, after our susceptible woman listens to the devious snake and has a chat with Adam about it, they of course take a bite of the forbidden fruit, and realize they have been caught minus pants and underwear. Punishment being: “ By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground”. Cast out of the garden. Ouch. The true fall from Eden is not the guilty consciousness developed by disobedience, but the confusion which arises from stepping out of instinct. Not trusting your own voice. Listening to a God outside of yourself. The story here being that Adam and Eve are both ruled not by life in the garden, but by an outside voice which decides for them wrong and right, and sets rules for them to break, punishing them when they break them. Hunting and gathering epitomized our life lived in the domain of instinct, unbound by fear of being watched over in order to pass tests. God was not a singular entity removed from ourselves, waiting for us to do wrong, but a representation or extension of who we are manifested in all things and beings. In one amazingly dense story, we perceive and internalize both Eve’s role as the morally inferior woman (being convinced by a snake, a vilified ancient symbol of chaos, fertility, healing, and life), alongside the sentencing of Adam to toil the earth and eat his bread by the sweat of his brow. I suspect the new gluten free Paleo trend is an unconscious rebellion to our casting out of Eden, thrown into wheat enslavement from our paradise of foraging naked and dancing pleasures. Although there are as many interpretations to a story as there are people, and more enlightened interpretations do exist, when God asks man if he ate from the tree, the response is: “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” An answer depicting a lack of responsibility on Adams part in the play, and a lack of sensible collaboration between the first man and woman in the garden. Rather than celebrating feminine forces, this text assists in creating an atmosphere of suspicion towards women. So there we have it. The first droplet of brow sweat landing heavily onto the soil to forever cement our new relationship to justifying a stubborn “we must toil the earth at all costs” approach. Who are we to argue with a sentence delivered by the ultimate judge himself?
Wait, where are we in our story? Ah yes, our paradise was hunting and gathering and not noticing that we are dancing around the earth naked and free, and probably living in a similar fashion to the Bonobo monkeys; who practiced sexual freedom which the females promoted impressively to celebrate the everyday, to deflect tensions, to preserve relationships, and to groom friendship and community. Since this wondering band of gypsy nomads needed to move from place to place, the women were likely to give birth to only the number of children they were capable of traveling with. These select few would get more care and attention from tribe members. With no ability to claim ownership over land and livestock, women had an equally important role in the family and social structure, and yielded as much influence as men. In fact, it was more of an artistic collaboration of resources and power.
An improvisational performance, when executed well, has the sense that the moving parts create a whole which is bigger than the single parts involved could be individually. This larger organizational mind, comes with trusting each person’s autonomy and role playing in the whole. When performing improvisational dance with a dance ensamble, there is a sense of a shared heightened awareness encompassing information exchanged in the group. I wonder if traveling bands shared this sense of being together in a whole which serves their common interest, and I suspect this is the reason I so enjoy improvising with others in a performative state of a shared awareness. The states in which we can still come together in this “larger than ourselves” feeling of shared awareness, are the arenas which our masculine dominated culture seems to be obsessed with the most; sex, war, and sports. In the domain of a matriarchal society, the meaning is not a reversal of roles whereby woman seek to dominate in the manner that men do, but rather an approach of cooperation is established as a practiced form. This is not to say that when speaking of feminine attributes, the meaning is concerned solely with woman. As Robert Bly mentions in Iron John: “We know that the phrase “the feminine” is not interchangeable with the phrase “a woman”. Woman participate in the feminine as a water in a jar participates in the light when light passes through it.” I suspect that as a larger operating system the culture of hunter gatherer society was operating in the domain of the feminine, and with its transition into agriculture came the dominant approach of the masculine organizing principle, which to say was less comfortable with the concept of improvisational cooperation would be an understatement. This masculine oriented force was not channeled creatively to incorporate the skills and insights gained from years of experience in collaboration. Rather than a sensible cooperation of forces, when one is seeking dominance over another, this creates a constant fractured culture whereby masculine and feminine forces are not able to complement each other, but rather are forced to dual as opposing sides.
∞ According to scolarpedia, “Hunter-gatherers’ sense of autonomy is different from the individualism of modern Western capitalist cultures. Western individualism tends to pit each person against others in competition for resources and rewards. It includes the right to accumulate property and to use wealth to control the behavior of others. In contrast, as Tim Ingold (1999) has most explicitly emphasized, hunter-gathers’ sense of autonomy connects each person to others, in a way that does not create dependencies” This description would work well with describing responsibility taking in the improvisational field of dance. The dance is shared, but not in a way where ownership or control are encouraged. A dancer in an improvisational ensamble might take on the spotlight through a downstage solo, yet in this light he is doing it as a generous act, much in the same manner a skilled hunter would do so for his band, without any claims to more meat or status. If we were to further bring these ideas into the arena of dance, Contact Improvisation would spring to mind. A dance which allows both parties to embody strength and vulnerability, while its organizational structure throughout the world is shared by both men and woman in a spontaneous fashion. Without a “one and only” male identified authority figure, such as the God, the king, and the ruler, systems can operate with a natural checking and balancing such as what Richard Lee (1988) has called “fierce egalitarianism.” A system where little possessions are accumulated due to a nomadic life, producing a culture revolved around sharing. Now, even if this description sins by romanticizing our foraging past, it’s a good story isn’t it? Playful Pan the god of improvisation A story which might have been too free for some people in those olden days, who were inflicted with the worst case of taking it all too seriously. This malady, paired with an angry father complex, did not serve the tastiest of cocktails. These furrowed brow men, who invented an insecure dominating God in their own image, upon not understanding or being able to control their own emotions, desired of course to control, or at least make sense of their outer environment. In to the scene arrive ownership and control of woman and land. Our biblical best seller supports this theory through a vast collection of stories. Remember Moses coming down from Mount Sinai, ten commandments in hand, only to get a near heart attack at the sight of the Israelites dancing around a golden calf? Oh, there must have all kinds of pleasures and fun happening around that calf. As a boy, I failed to understand why dancing around the calf was in any way a wrong doing. No adult or child in sight could explain this mystery to me. The only answer supplied was that somewhere in the bible it is said “do not make an idol”. Well, this was not just any idol. This was a symbol of the Goddess. A symbol of the Goddess in all her abundance and radiance. Yes, this party was sexy and scary and unknown. This party was mystery and thick red menstrual blood flowing on tap. This party was a Goddess celebration. A performance ritual with many participants. The message here is clear; no more parties.
The Woman and the Field must be controlled, Men must work hard and listen to the angry Father. There is a new God on the block. This new God is not into dancing around free and naked. He has some serious principals etched in stone. He is the sheriff in the sky, always on the watch. I grew up with this Hebrew God, never quite trusting his style. Now, I can see that it was largely due to his lack of sense of play.
“Play” and “playful” refer to activity that is (1) self-chosen and self-directed; (2) intrinsically motivated; (3) structured by mental rules; (4) imaginative; and (5) produced in an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind. Playfulness can vary in degrees; the more fully an activity contains all of these characteristics, the more playful it is considered to be.”∞ Any improvisational dance score containing these elements would prove to be a satisfying experiment. An engagement of one or more peoples with a shared common interest is intrinsic to our felt sense of connectedness in fostering relations. The lack of Play then in the one God culture, primarily the Judeo, Christian, and Islamic religions, has injected a sour mood of heavy morals and judgement which run counter to the spirit of playfulness, which tends to arise when judgement is absent. The many Gods and spirts of the hunter- gatherer society were often times whimsical and surprising. The many Gods contain the wink which is the cosmic sense of humor. The giddiness which comes with relaxing the sense of purpose for a sense of play. Pan, the rustic Greek God, possessing strong hind quarters and horns of a goat, is the embodiment of that mischievous spirit. In Judeo Christian sentiments he is Satan. At a time of competition between Gods and attitudes toward life, turning Pan into Satan allowed for paving the road to unhealthy attitudes toward nature’s whimsical ways. Winter, rainstorms and death are not an interruption to life, they are life, and they are the power and humor of living in paradox.
A history of demonizing and suppressing the instinctual and improvisational nature of pan, has contributed to making populations easier to control through pushing an agenda of fear toward the unknown. The spirit of Pan and improvisation is about dancing with the unknown as an intelligent strategy to celebrate life. To go through it musically and fearlessly, ready and able to move with the tides. If we internalize the suspicious attitudes toward Pan, we will continue to fear life’s whimsical musical nature, and will be forever neurotic in our attempts to control it all. Pan is celebrated for his sexual power, and his greatest conquest is in seducing Selene, Goddess of the moon, by trickery of concealing his hairy back with sheepskin and seducing her from her room in the sky, down to his bed in the forest. Pan is an ancient trickster, living inside all of us. Our inner master of improvisation. “. A common character in the hunter-gatherer spirit world is what mythologists call the “trickster” (Guenther, 1999). The trickster is typically a partly clever, partly bumbling, morally ambivalent being who manages to interfere with the best-laid plans of the other deities and humans. The trickster character is not necessarily represented in just one deity; it may be an aspect of personality that runs through most or all of them.”
∞ It seems then, that letting go of some control, is beneficial to play. The feminine forces, as some of us have come to know, are the animation of life form on earth. Whether we are man or woman, we come into being through the space of womb. We come through Her. Attempting to control Her is a nice idea which does not work, as any ocean surfer will testify. How do you control the ocean? You don’t. Because you can’t. You can flow with Her, move with Her, practice being inside of It/Her. Sounds erotic? Indeed. Now that we have laid some of the framework for this puzzle, more and more pieces are starting to fit into place. The story of obsession with cultivating the field is the story of modern day confusion. The field of old promised us a modest yet meaningful sense of security in a scary world. This field which we toiled, which supplied us with bread on the table has been replaced by the notion of a modern day career. Career, stemming from the word carrus, or chariot, is the same chariot which puts us into motion and moves us forward in life. Field then, is our choice of work which will bear us fruit and continue to nourish us. Out of this notion we gather that fields which yield the most money in a predictable manner would be the most sought after fields. It isn’t a surprise then, to see that our modern day culture experiences an inflation of lawyers (Is this why we over value the energy being pooled in the head?), a sought after job, which tends to, of course, dispute over inheritance of fields. So having slaved and sweated over crops and wheat, naturally, we would like to make our children inherit our labor, and in order to do that we need many children. In other words: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land and conquer it” Genesis 1:28. The O.G (one god, original biblical gangster) tells us. This way we can conquer woman as well as the land, it’s the ancient two for one promotion.
The Old Testament is filled with stories concerning land and ownership. In many ways it depicts an obsession to notions of a promised land, which outcomes in conflicts and war to this present day. During this touchy transition time between a nomadic people dancing around the golden calf, to a society centered around a serious male authority figure in the spirt of Yaweh, we notice that keeping woman constantly impregnated while associating sex with shame was a tactic used in attempt to control those scary unknown forces so present in life on earth. These tensions between the two groups: those who wished to wear masks, dance around fires, and take pride in pleasure, and those new squinty agriculturists, bread, I mean bred, some interesting farmer ingenuity to g(r)ain new recruits. Namely, a handful of compelling stories. The Old Testament is beginning to feel a lot like a propaganda manifesto for our agricultural revolutionaries. To balance things out a bit, we must give credit to these soil pioneers, who in their sin of controlling mother nature, also bred a culture of leisure for those who due to class or luck did not need to toil in the fields, and instead took to star gazing, science, philosophy and religion. Therefore we probably would not have achieved our modern western lifestyle without the enslavement to wheat caretaking. Our superiority to “primitive” cultures can be seen through the tale of Esau in the Old book. Esau and Jacob were twin boys born to Rebekkah and Issak. They were famous for battling already in the womb, and prophesized by God to be struggling in competition with each other, where one will ultimately win. Esau came out of the womb first, with a mane of hair to boast, and Jacob came after holding on to the heel of his brother. Hairy baby Esau grew to become a skilled hunter, and upon returning from the field one day saw his brother stirring an aromatic lentil stew. He asked for a bite, and Jacob insisted that he sell him his birthright for it. As he was already hungry, seeing that the food was there, he agreed. The hunter is tricked into selling his birthright, and seen as impulsive and perhaps brutish, whereas Jacob is portrayed as being clever for his actions and is rewarded for his self-serving negotiation. The birthright, a title ensuring inheritance to the oldest brother, is given significant value, and the skilled hunter is devalued and depicted as impulsive. The value of physical skills is seen as inferior to the value of shrewd negotiation. I wonder if this sentiment is carried on to this day, where we live in a society which generally does not place high value on teaching embodied physical skills outside the norms of competitive sports. We have in these stories a transition illustrating the gradual shifts between cultures. Moving from the house of the great mother and the many Gods to the house of the mighty father one God was not an easy shift. The Old Testament is full of its own version of many Gods (mainly through the depiction of angels and prophets), and themes of destruction and creation, as these universal themes were far more encompassing than a religious system acting both as political and social court could contain. Stepping into House of the Mother I can remember my own encounters with the house of the mother as opening a new door way into experiencing life. I did not grow up with a context for feminine depictions of God.
I have fond memories of traveling in India, the land of the revered cow, and having images of Kali, Shakti, and Durga, flood my imagination. Later on I associated this “house of the mother” with a larger, vastly more poetic feminine approach, with an understanding that in this house one could not “do it wrong”. One could not fail in this experiment of living and dying. Through my own creative journey, the silent temple of the body kept calling me back home.(Somatics; a field of inquiry, practices and perspectives pertaining to embodied awareness, bodywork and movement studies which emphasize internal physical perception and experience.) The instincts of my body were calling out to me, my cells would whisper in the deep of the night, my unrest was inviting me into the mysterious garden path, which is the House of the Mother. I was craving embodiment. It was a call to reclaim that fall out of Eden. I was shepherding myself back to that enchanting garden of Soma. Allowing the houses in me to merge. It was painful to be away for so long. Taking a step further into the field of embodiment and dance, we can see how participation in the activity of improvisation invoke the smile of the many Gods on us. It is not something we can do wrong, but rather an engagement with a broader awareness to the space we are in. An awareness which creates a presence and a focus, which can be observed and felt, and I believe is heightened when taking part in performance. Part of the performative quality is the practice of allowing oneself to be seen by others. This sharing creates a bond, and the bond becomes an air of ritual. Remaining engaged within the body and surroundings while listening to what wants to move can become an improvisational practice on its own, fresh and unfolding. Our heart pumping blood, the rise and fall of the breath, the ebb and flow of tides, all happen without any effort on our part. Not getting ahead of where we are at the present moment is true for both mindfulness, meditation and improvisational practices. Every Body Can Dance Our dancing bodies are affected by the stories they carry, and all the while they are writing new living mythologies by how they choose to participate in Dance. The word dance has become too much of a barrier and disservice to the experience of dancing. It is a word which I often times observe people meet with a reaction to an idea of whether they “can dance” or “can’t dance’. This approach trickles down from a false sentiment that someone is constantly judging us. It is an abstraction and an idea. Dance as living practice, is accessible to all breathing bodies. It is joyfully partaking in the living art of engaging with your own moving living breathing form. Tracing these lines with a desire to merge the houses is where we find ourselves in present day. We have the technology and the science, potentially creating comfort and placing us well beyond survival, and yet much of the western approach to life is craving embodiment, and a connection to spirit. Although it would be convenient to continue to illustrate these houses of mother and father, the sun and the moon, one god and many gods, ballet and improvisation as separate lineages, in truth they have always been intertwined. We are born of their merging. Yin has always been flowing into Yang, and Yang can’t help but become Yin. An example of these intertwining of forces can be seen with Catherine De Medici, who was dubbed by poets as the new Artemisia II of Caria. She was the fierce woman and patron of the arts, who being an Italian Noble woman, began funding the arts in the French court. I believe she cunningly elevated herself to queen status through marriage to king Henry II of France, whereby she could yield influence on her own terms. This is the way of water shaping stone. Even when rigid systems are in place, there will always be ways around them. Her nick name, ever so suiting, as Artemisia, shines a light on the Goddess working her ways. Artemis in Greek Mythology is a bit like a Pan feminine counter- part. She is a rustic Goddess, celebrated in caves and fields by wild woman. She too has a band of loyal nyphets. She is the spirit of running wild and free, a Goddess of the hunt and of all things wild, she is Greek Kali, exhibiting both protective and destructive forces. It was through her court which ballet traveled from Italy to France, where with King Louis XIV coin, it continued to establish itself through the Royal academy of dance. Ballet was a dance shaped to match the eyes viewing it. It was presented to the king and queen, and it was paid for by king and queen. It suits the deck of kings in the sense that presentation trumped sensation. Generally speaking, how it looked mattered more than how it felt. In fact, effort was strenuously concealed and made to look effortless. Ballet followed an existing model of male ownership, and is to no surprise imbibing the serious tone acted out under supervising sky father eyes. This style of dance aided in establishing dance as a popular performance art, which became a system and carries on as part of dance fundamentals to this day. It also propelled the image and embodiment of the disempowered dancer. The unhealthy ballerina, who upon over concern with image, starves herself on a diet of salad and nicotine. Dance which seeks only to impress, often lacks the spirit so begging to animate it with life. Many dance academies are unconsciously breeding the disempowered artist, by neglecting to seek and question: who is the human behind the mask?
In movement, it is spirit moving. If we do not care for that aspect which nourishes our dance, we end up constantly craving approval and looking outside of ourselves for validation. Merging the Houses The parallel and intertwining lineage of dance trickling down from the house of the Mother can be observed anywhere dance is performed or enjoyed. It plays out through aspects of spontaneous ritual dance, ancient folk and tribal dance, the costumes of ballet and contemporary dance as modern adaptations of masks, and the exchange between viewer and performer replacing the ancient ceremonial aspect. In short, all that dance contains from the moment it erupted in the very first heartbeat. That dance, in its wild untamed splendor received a revival in the form of Isadora Duncan, who in her quest for beauty and in her adoration for mythology, took a stance against ballet. She viewed the system of ballet as being forced and rigid.” The real American type can never be a ballet dancer. The legs are too long, the body too supple and the spirit too free for this school of affected grace and toe walking.” Sometimes, a system to push against, to ignite the fires of spirt, is essential to catapulting creativity. Isadora, is in my eyes, the first feminist without calling herself one. A cross between the Goddess Artemis and Aphrodite, both wildly independent and possessing a radiance attracting many lovers. She was reclaiming and animating the Goddess through her movement. Her classes were improvised and her dances done with bare feet. “You were once wild here, don’t let them tame you”. Oh Isadora! Continuing with this deck of cards, we have Ruth St. Denis, who further explored the possibilities of performative dance, and it’s abilities to both embody and captivate the spirit of both viewer and mover. A Wikipedia description of her biography reads: “She was at a drugstore with another member of Belasco's company in Buffalo, New York, when she saw a poster advertising Egyptian Deities cigarettes. The poster portrayed the Egyptian Goddess Isis enthroned in a temple; this image captivated St. Denis on the spot and inspired her to create dances that expressed the mysticism that the Goddess's image conveyed.
The Great Goddess reveals herself. Just when you think she is long forgotten, she will appear. A rain storm, a sudden slap in the face, an unassuming pack of tobacco. She has always been here, with every breath and joyful shift of weight. Ruth St. Denis found her voice in dance through allowing the calling she felt to be seen. When culture seems to be lost, imagination coupled with attention to desire is needed to revive the soul. Some might accuse St. Denis of cultural appropriation. For her time and place, I would call it necessary burrowed inspiration. She went on performing dances which were her interpretation of the eastern spirit. But in truth, she was just dancing as the Goddess does. In her school, which she founded with Ted Shawn in 1915, we stumble across another high priestess of dance, Martha Graham. The teaching at the school was a blend of ballet movements without shoes, blending ethnic and folk dances, Dalcroze eurhythmics, and Delsarte gymnastics. The many Gods are smiling. Not one rigid system with one authority, but a flexible approach with many influences. Martha Graham, the great pioneer, was the one who took the performative dance back to house of the mother through the established mediums. Much like De Medici, She was a pioneer because she played in both houses. Quite symbolically, she was the first dancer to be invited into the White House. Artemis galloping through the house of kings. Her collaborative spirit led to the modern day Israeli dance company of Bat Sheva, which she founded with a patron in form of Baroness De Rothchild in 1964. Graham was able to found her own school and movement system. Her successful Ballet and only full length work in her career was “Clytemnestra”, based on the ancient Greek legend Clytemnestra. It premiered on April 1, 1958. April Fools day. Is the hand of Pan at work here? Some say April fool’s day originated as the celebrations culminating the ancient New Year date of late March. In Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian New Year is Nowruz, it is celebrated the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day. This religion is one of the world's oldest religions, "combining a cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism in a manner unique among the major religions of the world.”¥ For our purposes the middle point between night and day is the balance of the houses. It is the harmony of play and direction, chance and intension, space and content, drama and meditation, choreography and improvisation, Krishna and Radha, David and Batsheva, Adam and eve, one flowing into the other, a moment before tipping over.
Dancers today travel to exchange information. It is an accepted part of dance culture and performance to be able to cross pollinate with other styles and skills. Dance is no longer any one thing. I believe it is a thirst to connect through the autonomy of our own body, which drives dance and embodiment to be the widest common denominator we have as humans. It has the potential of being a unifying religion precisely because it manages to move beyond just the head. Beyond just a battle of ideas. Whether our Gods are here or not, right or wrong, existing or non-existing, we, with our breathing bodies are here. The houses are merging. The information is spreading. Workshops and diverse dance festivals and events are held worldwide. Contact Improvisation is a dance form which contributes to cultivating a culture of travel and sharing of information through dance and somatic practices. CI festivals and other dance oriented events are often international delights, creating a shared space to practice embodies arts, they manage to cross superficial land and language barriers. Many of the dancers are informed by various somatic schools, and engage in cross fertilization through collaboration and an openness to new influences. I wish to ask questions about how we live, and about the stories which are shaping us without our knowing. If we can participate in our own stories, understanding that it is our belief, which gives them power, than we can reshape how we further interact with all that is. Our bodies, other bodies, and the body of the earth. Some days, I feel the confusion of a displaced hunter-gatherer, I am weighted by societal expectation to grow out of my foraging phase. I am unsure of my role in the play. I have a sense of being far away from a garden where I can lay my head down. On these days, as well as all others, movement is the medicine. Sources: ∞ ¥ Influences: Midwifing Death: Returning to the Arms of the Ancient Mother by Leslene Della Madre (Author) Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives By Jean Shinoda Bolen (Author) Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins Iron John Robert Bly Work of Joseph Campbell Yuval Harrari’s excellent book: Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha