Wow wow wow
What an uplifting day we had yesterday on our participation day. Despite the rain a small and perfectly formed band of brave warrior souls rocked up to walk with us in the morning, with more joining at lunchtime and yet more walking from or waiting at West Bay to meet us.
We walked together (obvs), talked and took space to think and feel.
The sea was fierce and the cliffs were high and dramatic. On Freshwater beach we made the word RESTLESS from found objects - rocks, driftwood and seaweed. On the beach at West Bay we lit a fire, formed a circle and made the simple empowering statement that each of us was there to say no to abuse and violence. One participant sang to us. Her song, about the sea, traced a metaphor for deep emotions and returning to feeling after the numbness of shock and trauma. Another read to us from Marianne Williamson “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”
We made a dance together, each person contributing a movement inspired by their day - simple and beautiful gestures of crashing waves, soaring birds, reaching hands and open hearts.
Coming together as survivors and allies feels like a daunting prospect - isolation, secrecy and shame are hard wired into us - but the actual act of gathering, sharing and bearing witness was warm and affirming. I take my hat off - a very stupid cat hat with ears -to each one of us, to all living with this story and each transgressive step out of silence.
I'll be posting my personal reflections on creating work as an artist with mental health needs, my work with the wider sector and interesting developments in arts and mental health