Monday, December 3, 2012

Pack Leader.

My husband and I decided this summer that we should invest ourselves more in our city:  Montreal.   My son is a musician (drummer) and after College it was extremely difficult for him to find ways to make an income in his field.  It was then, that ET and I felt called to support and encourage new artists:  Young people who are struggling to get their ideas and visions out there.   

There are quite a few venues in Montreal who offer live bands yet like in any fields the more experienced musicians get first pick.  Networking is definitely a must when it comes to music, acting and / or writing.  I remember how it was when I first came out of University.  I was looking for my chance to prove myself.  Unfortunately the opportunities are not always easy to find.  What’s most important to any artist is “an audience.”  So ET and I decided to make an extra effort towards applauding those who are trying to introduce something new to our World.

On November 17th, we went to a modern dance performance entitled:  Usually Beauty Fails by Frédérick Gravel.  The music and the dancers basically explored the concept of failing beauty.  If you’ve read a few of my stories or blog entries (wapeyit – you already know how much I like to look at life from different angles.  This particular dance show seemed to be right up my alley because like me it projected different perspectives of beauty and the human body.

I truly enjoy watching modern dance because it pauses certain movements and allows the audience to see the strain within the art.  Rather then emphasizing entertainment, modern dance seems to focus on something bigger then the dancer and the dancing.  You truly get the impression that you are being called to contemplate.  In this particular performance I was impressed with the fact that each dancer not only mastered each movement; but they also had to find a way to quiet the mind because in most scenes they were naked.

I was moved by the performance in so many different ways.  It got me feeling and thinking from so many different perspectives that I literally felt excited and inspired.  Personally I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth when I can sit with an experience for more then a few hours.  I like to be part of the moment (so to speak).  Being impacted by the World around me or impacting the World around me is definitely an important part of who I am. 

Yesterday, ET and I went to Cesar Millan’s seminar here, in Montreal.  I definitely wouldn’t compare Usually Beauty Fails to Wicked (a Broadway show we saw this summer) to Cesar’s performance last night.  It would be like comparing tomatoes to mint and nuts; and yet all three are products from the Earth.  No doubt it became clear to ET and I, why some shows are more popular then others. 

It all depends on the audience.

Cesar himself explained last night how a poor Mexican boy who jumped the border at the age of 23 and spend days homeless, living under the San Diego Bridge could grow into a famous television icon and writer.  For 2 minutes we watched as he rolled a clip where a series of images showed us toy dogs dressed as ballerinas cradled in purses.

“I’m here today on this stage,” he announced “because of YOU.”

Part of me cringed at the comment.  Suddenly, I was gathered into a group I definitely didn’t belong to.  And yet, here I was sitting in the VIP section along with a few thousand fans: People who evidently believed in Cesar.  In a mass meditation where Cesar Millan guided us to listen to sounds; which were meant to transport us back to urban living and its down falls all I could see was a Roman arena and the emperor Cesar looking at me, thumb’s down.  For a moment I felt like an impostor and stored away in archive the thought and lesson: “Be careful what you support and encourage.”

This isn’t to say that I don’t support Cesar’s vision of a better World for animals – quite the opposite.  Actually, for as long as I can remember I’ve lived my life by adopting many of the attitudes and behaviours that Cesar literally sells to his clients.  I guess in some ways I thought I’d be sitting amongst “my people”:  Individuals with a higher awareness who care for Creator and Creation.  Unfortunately, Cesar described his audience as the complete opposite:  Westerners or city people who have no knowledge of nature and who unconsciously abuse animals and contribute to dysfunctional psychology.

Many years ago as I was touring the Maritimes  (Canada) I had the opportunity to stay with BP, a First Nation Medicine Man and friend of mine.  At the time, he was caring for two wolf cubs.  BP explained how during one of the Caribou hunts, one of the hunters in his hunting troop had accidently killed the cubs’ mother.  Like in many traditional Native stories the animal that dies is often revered for blessing the hunter with its life. 

Spiritual traditional beliefs explore the idea of kinship when such experiences occur.  Without warning, BP and his troop were responsible for the cubs, chosen by the female hunter to care and educate her / the pack’s cubs to become wolves…  Unexpectedly each hunter became wolves, pack members. It took me by surprise when one of the cubs (the male) decided to mark me as “his mate”.  Suddenly I too was swooped into the story. 

“What does it mean to be pack leader?”  This was the only question that came to mind yesterday as I watched and listened to Cesar Millan.  Many of my own memories and experiences came to mind as the question spiralled in my mind.  I know that when it comes to my dogs – the question is totally answered; but how do I become a pack leader amongst humans and in my own life?

It somehow seemed clear today – that being a pack leader implies “devoting to the pack even if it cost me and my story / my life.   It means supporting and investing those part of my pack.  And most of all – it means learning, healing and growing with the help of the pack …” 

Now all I need to do is keep track of  “my pack”…  It’s not always easy to be clear and to be aware; but it’s simple to commit to try.