Sunday, March 13, 2016

SAVORING SPRING: Our bodies, our voices, the light and the seed that rises from within

SONGBIRD EGGS. "You are given the questions of others to hold in the emptiness of your hands, songbird eggs that can still hatch if you keep them warm...." What questions are you holding in your hands today I asked the participants Saturday morning.  (photos by Ruth Schowalter)
Written by Ruth Schowalter, certified InterPlay leader and InterPlay Art & Soul Coach

and expressive...

...were the words we InterPlayers strung together at the conclusion of our 90 minutes together playing around with dancing our questions and telling our stories to celebrate the approaching spring and daylight savings time. Using the InterPlay forms, we savored our bodies, voices, the light and the seed that rises within us.
HANDFUL OF INTERPLAYERS. When one or more gather to play, the time together is invariably rich and full. We missed others in our InterPlay Atlanta family in Jennifer Denning's absence but found connection and joy in the quietness of our small group.
In Jennifer Denning's absence, the Second Saturday gathering was small; however, among the five of us we were given the mysterious of gift of a kind of STILLNESS. We moved at a gentle pace, almost like molasses, especially considering one of the regular InterPlay participants' foot injury. As I facilitated this March InterPlay session at the Mask Theatre in the Little Five Points Community Center, I found myself transported away from "chronos" or linear time into something called "kairos," a kind of indeterminate time which can be restorative to both body and spirit. 

I found myself  leaning into storytelling pairs curious to discover something of their savorings. Yet I could not hear the exchanges taking place in whispers....
What had caused these fairly raucous group of InterPlayers to speak so softly and such lilting rhythms their voices blended with the air conditioner on this warm March day?
Playing with BIBO (breathing in and breathing out), we visualized seeds planted at the base of our stomachs unfolding. As the seeds grew, so did our breaths. They became audible tones. Then personal songs, accompanied by one hand dances.... We savored our voices and bodies in this blended song dance.
Since Saturday night, we were moving our clocks forward, I asked everyone to think about the increasing light and longer days. "What might you be," I asked, "as the light expands and the seed(s) within you rises up?" After participants had popcorned back-and-forth numerous times "what they might be" and acquired a list of possibilities, they were invited to embody one or more of their imaginings.
We finished up our time together playing around with this question:

As the days grow longer, and the light increases, what do you want more of? 

Partcipants told their stories in a made-up language, danced them, led and ecstatically followed partners. They told their stories a second time savoring them while using only their body and voice (tones). Then it seemed appropriated to conclude with the InterPlay form, "Dance on Behalf of," open to whatever idea, person, event, etc, they wanted or were called to move on behalf of....

From the poem, How the Light Comes, by Mane Richardson:

 "...And so may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow th the arc it makes.
May we open 
and open more 
and open still 
to the blessed light
that comes." 


  1. While recovering from back problems, the InterPlay gentle movement forms and fun were what the doctor didn't order, but should have.