SingPeace! A Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony Gypsy Wagon inaugural

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Comment by Pushkara Sally on December 27, 2009 at 9:53pm
'Tis the season. Let's pause to give thanks for the many blessings of 2009 and prepare for the coming year.

I spent a few hours, today, with Mick Dodge [Dee-oh-gee], the Barefoot Sensei, an "Exuberant Animal" who has now blessed SingPeace! A Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony with his deep footing and grin. I'm greatly refreshed and honored to be in the company of one who wends his way in the elemental wisdom of the "gated wild."

Over the years, Mick has sought out the "no-me" and the "no-mad" within himself. His mastery of the "land-uage" is unmistakable; his story brings me to my senses, and tears to my eyes. There are no labels or words - other than the ones Mick "foot-notes" in his spirited adventures - that adequately encompass his understanding of what it will take for us to let go of dominion and domination, thereby lightening the load of our sentient Earth Mother and sewing the quilt of peace and global harmony among us. I will save the telling for Mick, as he is the barefoot bard, an eloquent mythsinger.

"What's the first thing that happens when you take your shoes off? You start paying attention!"

"Sensei, my feet are just too sensitive to go barefoot outdoors."

"On the contrary, my young exuberant, they are not sensitive enough!"

Mick's vision is expressed in these images, an integrative union of three habitats: city ("sitty"), the wild mountain, and the hut. In this vision, each element has a place and a role to play. The city has its share of riches, but many dangers to mind, body and spirit. The wild mountain offers physical challenge, spiritual exhilaration and profound teachings.

In between lies the hut, a pivotal transition point of community, sharing and whole-body education. The figure 8 form symbolizes a continuous educational journey that integrates all three elements.

In line with Mick's vision to establish a series of huts and training practices that bring this integrative experience to more and more people, we've agreed that the SingPeace! gypsy wagon is a natural hut or hearth on wheels, where those of the sedentary "sitty," can safely, and in spirited yet sensible ways, come to touch the gated wild. The "young bucks," Mick trains with can act as "scouts" for the gypsy wagon singing pilgrimage. Our appearances along our route will serve to remind communities of ways to keep life simple, spirited, sustainable and smiling.

The SingPeace! gypsy wagon pretty much speaks for itself in its charm and fine craftsmanship. For my part, I've included in the design a solar electric panel, 12-volt LED lighting, a composting toilet and on-demand propane-fired hot water tank. Outdoor shower, folks. I'll be taking "spit baths" in the basin.

Traditionally, the Romany didn't actually live in their caravans; they saved them for social gatherings. But seasoned by nearly 7 decades, a grandmother living in the Pacific Northwest and traveling during the winter months inclines me toward greater "indoor livability." I'm still looking for a "green towing machine" for the dual axle trailer and a competent driver.

I'm seeing the possibility of using Mick's figure eight as a rough map and route for the first lap of our journey, tracing a wide loop from home on Whidbey Island up into B.C. to meet the international community at the Winter Olympics, and around the Olympic Peninsula, down through Portland and Eugene, OR, then making a second loop in figure eight fashion around the Cascade range to arrive home again on "middle island." Not to forget events already in the works, by the way: Rainy Camp in Carnation and the NW Regional Folklife Festival in Seattle. (see the Events page)

Today, Mick and I began to imagine what it would be like to pull into a town, the buckskinned guys heralding the arrival of the gypsy wagon. Who would be there to meet us? Would we be welcomed by community members and city authorities? Where would we gather and bed down? What could we offer? Mick has an amazing Earth Gym training program he brings in. The SingPeace! songweavers with their "songs for a culture of peace" enliven with Singing 'n Mingling style gatherings. Sharing resources and skills seems key. There's certainly a range of topics we could engage: clean air and water, permaculture and green technologies, a fresh look at ways to get along. Stories, poems, play and games for kids. Portland's City Repair project has been doing some very creative work toward sustainable communities.

Mick went off to run and train on it. I've been barefooting it in the grass - a vigorous reawakening of the senses and renewal of the secret bond we all share with Mother Nature.

These natural gifts of sense and song
Are ours to share and take along,
'Round rock and rill, 'mid stick and stone,
We'll foot and grin our way back home.

You can read Mick's blog at:

P,B and J (Peace, Blessings and Joy!)

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