Kujichaguila & Wansalwara


WANSALWARA is a dance, literally and metaphorically.  It’s about the fact that we all live in One Salt Water. Wansalwara is a way they call this living planet, in Melanesian hip-hop terms.

Today is a day that self-determination is celebrated by people of African descent, during the festival of Kwanzaa. I’m reminded of my trip to the Pacific, where people of African/Aboriginal heritage are struggling for autonomy in the face of intense repression. By coming alongside them in the movement, I didn’t think I’d learn so much about how I want to self-determine in the world, but I sure did get two clues. One was through birth and birth justice work, and the other through continuing to support self-determination movements throughout the world. Write me if you want to see some great video footage from people rising up and doing nonviolent direct action there for justice. (I would link the  youtube vids into the blog, but that would mainly help those who are hired to cyber-attack and trace international activists working with grassroots leaders to change the oppressive systems).

And from Abbey of the Arts:

Looking ahead, February 1 will be the Celtic feast of Imbolc which means “in the belly.” It marks the first herald of spring when the earth begins to stir with the new life deep below the frozen ground.  In Christianity we’ve just celebrated what emerged from Mother Mary, consciousness birthed. To remember the significance of birth we keep coming back to it each year. What’s coming from you in this new year?

Take a few minutes to pay special attention to what God might be causing to stir within you.  Quiet your mind and focus on the blossoming within yourself.  Notice colors and the fragrance.  Imagine a blossom sprouting deep inside yourself.  Listen to the invitation calling you to new growth.

And, just as Mary shared her experience with her cousin Elizabeth, do share what’s stirring within you, with someone you love and trust.  Mary’s experience of victimization and survivorship inspired her to sing-out for a deep revolution: political, economic, and moral. How you sing-out is related to your kujichaguila (self-determination).


12/31/2016 Update: On the last day of Kwanzaa, I went to a Watchnight service curated by Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign revivers. Valerie Kaur, of Groundswell, said this there, and I wanted to share the encouragement, as it relates to the interplay of light and darkness, individual and collective self-determination, and a labor and birth that contains the revolution: “the darkness we are in may not be a tomb of American democracy, but a womb of American democracy. What if all that we’ve experienced up until this point are the labor pains of the America that we might birth?!”  It would be a healthier country, connected with the rest of the planet by the one salt water.

About SEN

Born on United Nations Day, I am actively involved in the process of figuring out how we can live together well on this planet, given our similar and different truth claims. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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