Excellent outing

I just got back from one of the more meaning-dense hours of my life. (And y’know, my life? It is not exactly lacking meaning-dense hours.)

One of our local churches – one with a long history of social justice, questioning ‘how it has to be’ and everything else – has been running a 10 day arts festival focusing on spiritual questions and covering a *wide* range of paths. I’ve managed to drive past this church regularly (it’s at the corner of the exit I get off the highway for for work) but hadn’t actually gotten around to going to the URL until yesterday.

(The festival is Spirit in the House. It runs through Sunday, June 1st, and if I’m still in the Twin Cities next year, I suspect I’ll be aiming at getting a festival pass because there really are about 10 things I’d like to see.)

When I did, I discovered that there was a performance of Invocation to Free Women based on material from Ruth Barrett (a Dianic priestess now living in Wisconsin) with some extra added stuff. Tickets were $12. I’m short on cash after having to buy two new tires yesterday (one of mine turned out to be unsafe when getting standard maintenance done). And then, this morning, had the sale of two gaming books to someone who will love them and use them.

I pay attention when the universe lines things up like that.

I had a chance to do a chant workshop with Ruth Barrett at the Mankato Women’s Spirituality Conference a few years ago: she’s a talented and thoughtful priestess, even if her path is not quite my path. One thing that I do find the Dianic community does particularly well, though, is the integration of music, dance, and other arts into ritual work. I own the CD the title of this piece comes from, which is a song that always makes me think.

The performance was fantastic. Six women, three musicians, a director, a tech guy. The women all have significant other acting credit and experience: one of them is a vocal and dramatic coach with a voice to die for (and the others were quite good singers, too.) The performance is an interweaving of music, dance, poetry, and spoken word, divided into short acts focusing on different aspects.

Some of the history’s a little suspect (mostly in the witch trial segment), but not by too much. The rest of it? Stunning. Gorgeous. Fascinating to watch six different women, evoking different goddesses, different moods, different modes. Very simple costuming and ‘set’ (fabric covered boxes to sit or stand on) and a double handful of small props. Very engaging. Visuals that are going to keep me thinking for a while.

I still can’t quite believe it was only an hour.

I was also amused that not long after I got there, so did my former housemates (and still friends), so I got to chat to them for a little bit after, before heading off home. Soon for the housecleaning and the eating of dinner, and the petting of cat, and maybe some not being productive for a bit as it’s been a productive day. Tomorrow for the farmer’s market, and some longer project time.

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  • patience

    Hey there.

    I am one of the actors you saw in Invocation to Free Women. I am happy to hear you thought the show was fantastic! This show was an amazing opening experience for me. All of the actors have different understandings and acceptances of religion or spirituality. This is because we are all just actors that showed up for the auditions. Still, we all had one thing in common. The ability and desire to embrace multiple emotions that culminated to affect others around us. I believe that the people who attended the show not only felt it, but understood it as well.

  • Jenett

    Patience –

    Thanks so much for commenting! It really was a great afternoon, and it was clear that all of the actors were having a fantastic time doing the show (definitely an important thing.)