ORGANIZER: David Gitin and Gloria Avner
DESCRIPTION OF EVENT:
Dear Michael and world-wide co-participants,
We loved joining with you.
There is a core group of friends in Key Largo who have celebrated Full Moons, New Moons, Equinoxes, and Solstices for years. A wonderful group answered the call to gather as part of the “Key Largo” portion of “100,000 Poets for Change.” They arrived at 6 pm with drums, rattles, conch shell trumpet, and loving excited intent at Tarpon Basin Dock, a peaceful wooden pier with a thatched-roof covered “cheekee” (Seminole building), extending into the Gulf of Mexico.
One hour before sunset, we began. A circle of women and one man (David Gitin, organizer of this event) gathered in a circle to sing a Navajo honoring song to the sun. With hand gestures and full voice we sang:
“Oh wah nah yah, ku wah nah yah, tsu wah nah yah, ooh wah nah yah.
Oh wah, ku wah, tsu wah, ooh wah; nah yah.”
Four times we raised our hands to the sun and lowered them to the sea; four times we swept our arms from East to West and in each of the cardinal directions and chanted our gratitude for the sun’s power to warm us, heal us, and make us and all life grow.
Then we recited the Apache “Beauty Way Blessing,” again using our arms and hands to indicate directions:
With Beauty before me, my future is bright and beautiful.
With Beauty behind me, my past is bright and beautiful; I forgive everyone and everyone forgives me.
With Beauty above me, I have all the guidance I need.
With Beauty below me, I have all the support I need.
May I walk in Beauty all the days of my life, and may every step I take this day be a blessing upon the earth, upon myself, and all I meet. Kadiishteh!
This was a group in touch with and grateful for the blessings of nature and the presence of Spirit. We talked about the gift and power of humility, about gratitude for the natural world. In myriad languages, in song and poetry, with instruments and without, we took turns around the circle. Two of the women are Sun Dancers. One is a Lakota pipe-carrier and Sweat-lodge Waterpourer. Three are singers of devotional songs. Several are artists as well as singers and poets. David, a nationally known poet, has just come out with his 10th book of poetry. All of us in that circle know that true, lasting, and meaningful change comes only from within, and that expressing gratitude is a powerful force.
David read from his new book of poems, “The Journey Home.” Gloria read a poem of Frank Parker’s, a friend who lives 2000 miles away in Tucson and is staying positive through poetry as he prepares to transition from this plane, still writing while adjusting to hospice care. The Sun Dancers sang their special thank you songs to Wakan Tonka, Great Spirit. Others both sang and recited their own poetry, including one spelling out the traits of her desired beloved: “I Want A Man to Call Me Babe.”
We laughed a lot. And trilled our primal ululation across the waters. Maryann blew her conch shell three times to mark the setting of the sun on this day of equal dark and light. In balance and beauty, we finished our event standing in circle, looking into each others eyes, singing a final song:
There is only one of us.
In your eyes it’s me I see.
There is only one of us.
You are my reflection.
There is only one.
Thanks for making this up Michael. We had a wonderful time, enhanced of course by knowing that people all over the world were celebrating in their own ways with their own words. We are not technologically facile however. This description and the photos attached, as well as the previously submitted flier, make up our total documentation gift to you, which you of course may upload any time any way you wish.
Whether you had 10,000 participants or 100,000, I am sure you have broken all records for a spoken (and sung) word event. Congratulations. We enjoyed sharing it with you.
All our best,
Gloria Avner, David Gitin and friends