But on with the Tour.
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comments and stories)
Anja was our tour guide.
Little did any of us suspect what
an incredible journey Anja had created for us!
There were generally six to eight
of us traveling and dancing from community to community.
It was a journey of joy and wonder.
We visited old dancing circles and inspired new dancing circles.
We began the journey by visiting with
(and I meeting for the first time)
Anjaís mother, Helga, and her dad,
Werner, who live near Braunschwieg in central Germany.
While we were visiting with Anja's folks, Eugene from
Ireland joined with us.
We spent some of our days exploring the city of Braunscheig.
From there we went to what was once
East Germany, which is still very distinctly different than West Germany.
Down winding hill roads and up a long
one lane road that ended in a small village T
here we visited with Mascha who lives
in an old farm house in the village.
The next night a huge circle turned
out in the town social center
and we danced riotously and heartfully
and into the night.
A few days later we were in the Schwaebischen
Alb in Southern Germany.
We stayed with gracious Ina and her
We were there to offer a weekend event
in the LongDance,
which was held in a beautiful hall
in the local Waldorf School.
Many of you have heard Anja tell her
stories of the Tree Climbers,
a group of beautiful men who travel
the world teaching people to climb trees and to harvest seeds for reforestation.
One of them, Beddes, holds the title
as the fastest tree climber in the world. His partner said of this: "
It isnít that he tries to be fastest
in the competitions. Itís just that he loves to climb and ó zoop! ó up
he goes to the top while the other are still halfway up and trying to be
Beddes, Hartmut, Gerry, Mainrad ---
they were people of nature, music and a lovingly wild joy of life.
They easily lived up to Anjaís fantastic
stories about them.
Neehan, a noble Turkish woman of night
eyes and a passion for Dance, and Ina
are intending on carrying on the circle
of dance there in the Schwaebischen Alb.
On the way to the Frankfurt Hahn Airport,
we stopped at the church
in which Anja and and Hardmut and
their friends Recorded the CD MUSICAL
Some of the music recorded in this
church can also be heard on Anja's CD
That night we stayed with Tuja and
Winnie who together
will be one of the facilitators at
this Summerís Camp
To Holy Mountain ó July 25th to August 1st).
Tuja facilitates and teaches Sacred
dance, international folklore, symbolic and ritual dance, expressive dance
and Jeux Dramatiques, Qi Gong and
Yüan Dao = healing dance and meditation in movement
Our stay in their magic dance garden
was filled with lively conversation and joyous laughter.
The next day off we went to Frankfurt
Hahn Airport to enjoy a flight to Ireland which Anja had found for only
ten dollars. Trouble was --- the Frankfurt Hahn Airport is nowhere near
It is, in fact, over one hundred kilometers
from Frankfurt. We missed our flight.
That night we ended up in a nearby
small village in a beautiful classic German bed and breakfast.
The houses in the village were classically
beautifully well-built German.
The woman who owns the bed and breakfast
told us that about half her business comes from people who miss their flights
because they had assumed that the Frankfurt Hahn Airport was near Frankfurt.
It cost us about 20 Euro (thatís roughly
20 dollars American) to each have a comfortable private room with full
bath and a beautiful lovingly prepared scrumptious huge continental breakfast
of all sorts of delicacies the next morning ó all served to us in a charming
private dining room.
Since we had a full day to linger,
we drove up through green and rolling hill country and down into the River
Valley, known for itís fine wines. There we stopped at a house that said
"Wein". It was a mom and pop Winery. After purchasing one of their bottles
of wine (for three Euro fifty), they gave us a tour of their wine cellars.
There we sampled straight from the
vats their varieties of red and white wines.
Now I (Shaker) have to tell you that
when it comes to wine, I can hardly tell the difference between wine
and flat soda pop. But then there
was this wine!!!!
I had never tasted wine anything near
as perfectly balanced and delicious! It was like having orange juice from
concentrate your whole life --- and then having fresh squeezed.
We landed in Shannon Airport, Ireland,
early in the night.
There we were to rendezvous with the
folks of The Peace Camp.
The Peace Camp was a small group of
folks who had set up domes, huts and tents
at the gateway to Shannon Airport.
They were there to protest the fact that The US military was sending itís
planes to Shannon to re-fuel on their way to the maybe impending war on
the innocent Iraqi people.
Ireland, you see, by itís own Constitution
is supposed to be neutral.
The folks there were very interested
in how the American folks felt about Iraq
and about what much of Europe (including
the mainstream media) refers to as The Ayatollah Bush.
They were very relieved to find that
a goodly portion of the American population understands
just how criminal and corrupt the
Bush Regime is.
Late in the evening Anja shared some
of her ballads with the folks at The Peace Camp
and we also danced the peace dance
(which is on Anja's CD Journies
of the NightHeart)
"Spirit of Peace
To Your cause we give our strength
That Love may reign and war may
Mir Miru Mir."
A week later, on the night that we left Ireland,
little dark-eyed Mary,
who had put a lot of blood sweat and tears into organizing the Shannon
climbed over the Airport fence and
attacked a US Military plane with an ax!!!
This made many people upset.
She spent a week in jail.
(If she had been in America, she would have been locked up for decades!
Unfortunately, another five hot-headed Irish folk
(probably after a few Guiness, no doubt)
did the very same thing a few days later!
Of course, the news media in America would never dream of reporting
such actions by the Irish people in protest of the Bush Regime's War on
Southwestern Ireland, the native land
of my fatherís mother, Margaret Daly,
was unimaginatively hypnotically torturously
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We spent some few days in the area
- visiting with Christopher the shaman,
a pilgrimage to the land at Sheepís
visiting friends ó and ended our last
night near Shannon Airport in a town called Innes.
There we stayed at an old hostel.
A walk across the old arched stone bridge, just past the ruined Abby and
we found a nice little pub to sit by a roaring fire. We dined while we
listened to a local band of elder fellows play traditional tunes while
the folks in the pub danced and laughed and sang and swayed.
Just like youíd think an Irish pub
Yes, I (Shaker) did have about seven
pints that night, which is more than I drink in an entire year!
Strange, as cold and blisteringly
windy as it was that night,
I was quite warm as I walked very
slowly back to the Hostel.
I did not know.
I had no idea that I could love a city.
Now I know (though I canít say why)
so many artists have been attracted to Paris.
Anne graciously offered us an apartment
right in the center of town.
We spent most of our week there simply
walking the streets, stopping in cafes,
watching people, stopping in the many
and varied small shops.
Lesley made sure that we were able
to visit some of the
very beautiful Paris Cemetaries.
AND we were in town (in the chinese district) for the
Chinese New Years.
One day Lesley and I (Shaker) went
strolling through a Chinese district.
Lesley saw something in a window that
attracted her, so we went in. "
How much is this?" She asked the Chinese
"For you? Or for someone else?" He
asked in return.
"For me!" Lesley smiled.
"O no. I will not sell it to you,"
Confused, Lesley left the shop. I
A few doors later we wandered into
In this shop Lesley saw something
that made her gasp. It was a certain type of turban hat that she has been
looking for for a very long time. She fairly grabbed it off the shelf and
held it close to her chest
as she asked the Chinese clerk, "How
much is this?".
"For you? Or for someone else?" He
asked in return.
"For me!" Lesley smiled, but there
was a wee bit of a worried look on her face.
"O no. Not for you," he replied and
took the turban from her.
Confused, Lesley left the shop (walking,
I might mention, not exactly in a straight line) and I followed her.
Yet a few more doors down the narrow
cobbled lane lined with small shops we entered still another doorway.
In this third shop Lesley again saw
something that might interest her.
She pointed to it and said to the
Chinese clerk. "For me?" "
"Yes Ö ?" she protested with a question,
"for me Ö" "
Not for some one else?"
"No. No! For me!"
"No, not for you."
As we went out the door, Lesley noticed
a small paper sign on the door that said
We were in a wholesale district.
It was very interesting to experience
facilitating LongDance in a culture of another language.
Where-as in Germany I could speak
enough German (especially with Anjaís help)
to facilitate the innuendoes of dancing
into the Mystery,
in Paris we needed the total assistance
of a translator.
And the triple and echoed connotations
which I often use in order to drown people away from t
he steady land of their knowing minds
and into the sea of unknowing eternal breath
as we fall through an evening of LongDance
--- these tools were barely at my disposal.
But the circle was one of dancers
and we fell into the Dance laughing and leaping and then deeper and softer.
O, yes, while in Paris we found out
that little dark eyed Mary from the Peace Camp back in Shannon, Ireland,
had that night that we left Ireland decided that more needed to be done
to protest the American military presence
in her land against her landís constitution.
That night she jumped the airport
fence and, ax in hand, attacked an American military plane.
She caused about a half million dollars
in damage. She spent a week in jail
(It seems the general populous of
Ireland greatly supported the folks in the Peace Camp.)
I guess a few days later five more
folks ócatholic workers, I think - did the same thing.
The Irish government was forced into
tearing down the Peace Camp.
From Paris we returned to Germany and
the Braunschweig area.
About an hour away from there we were
to offer one more LongDance event in Germany.
The community we went to was a community
of strong women
who were steeped in dance, song, wisdom
Their dancing room was of stone.
The floor of was clay that they had
dug from under the gardens some years before and Ö.
in a long night of dancing barefoot,
some fifty women had danced the clay floor into being.
Other than the vestibule entry, there
was one room off of the dancing room.
In this other room was a circle of
about twenty pillows for sitting.
The floor was carpeted. The walls
and ceiling were of tapestry and fabric.
There was one blood red light. It
was the moon room. For women only.
The spirit in that community and in
that room was one of the strongest presences that
I have felt in any chamber in my life.
Strong and life-filled.
There was one little addendum to our
This was the weekend we spent offering
a LongDance event in Knowlton, Quebec,
at The Intitut du Development de la
Again, I found myself teaching in French.
At least now I could count to eight in French.
O, yes, and I could say "right" and
"left" in French. And "Breath".
(Based on our experiences in France
and in Quebec, I have decided to learn French.)
The community of folks who gathered
ó most of them not from the circle
dance community ó
were of life-filled and passionate
spirit. The tears and the laughter were blessedly bountiful.
Annie, the founder of the Institute,
has published a number of books on personal growth and
leads workshops at the Institute in
Both her teachings and the people
that her work attracts
have created a very special and strong
and light-filled community there.
We were fortunate to have two people
there ó Julie and Alain ó who had a deep poetic understanding
of both French and English.
Their insightful transliterations
of the LongDance facilitation was a gift to me and to us all.
On the way home from the weekend in
Knowlton, Lesley was driving her sweet maroon car along the Highway 91
just south of the US Canadian border at nightfall when
we hit BLACK ICE.
"Weíre on our way Ö " Lesleyís voice
lilted, and at about fifty miles an hour we spun slowly into a dream. Swirling
winds. Beautiful sunset. Car spinning and spinning. Remembering Fridaís
Beautiful snow-laden trees. Anja is
sleeping in the back seat.
Enchanting and soft sacred singing
on the tape player. All so dreamy.
No one, thank Spirit, was hurt.
The car was totaled.
We spent some three hours in a frigid
half-angled into the oncoming traffic
(who were also about to hit the black ice)
before we were finally towed away.
In the two other accidents that occurred
on the same hill that evening, they flipped and rolled.
No one was severely hurt.
And now we are home.
For next winter we are considering
touring again in Europe.
Visiting old friends. And also going
to other communities that have invited us.
Bringing the LongDance and the Breath
of The Dance to Turkey, Italy, Southern France and Spain.
We have also been invited to Hawaii
and are considering November for this journey,
perhaps stopping in the Northwest
on our way.
Tentatively interested in a magic journey?
Contact us and tell us.
or phone us at 413-527-8723
As Butterfly so often likes to remind
"The Winds of Grace are always
We need only to set our sails"