Updates from Holy Fool Arts!

Let us remember the righteous beauty we create when we dream together! There is so much creativity to light our way!

Could the world be about to turn? 

We are praying for your health and that of your community. What times we inhabit! As critical as ever, we must compost lessons from our past and build resilience for an increasingly less certain future. Collectively, we’ve got the creativity to do this! We’ve got deep wells of compassion and wisdom to draw from. We’ve got community building skills that are lifelines and  so many comrades on the frontlines. The injustice and vulnerability of our systems are exposed as historically exploited labor is now deemed “essential”. The world is turning upside down and us topsy turvy followers of the unkingdom of God expect to be undone and rearranged, to look beyond the myths of progress and celebrate a wild new dream: a world where our health, well-being, and liberation are bound up with each other!

Some thoughts on the pandemic are below, but first an update. I’ve let time pass since my last newsletter and I want you clued in and connected to our work on the land and far afield. Our extended community is our encouragement and lifeline. So friend… enjoy this update.

Here’s what’s happenging at Dreaming Stone…

The watershed is getting our careful attention and action! A massive effort, led by my Papa, was sloping, treating, seeding and strawing “The Gash”! We’re slowing siltation as grass is growing! Earth sold from this site, by the previous owner, left clay cliffs immediately beside the wetland, for many years. Now, we are awaiting growth from native seed laid in the wetland and around the pond, hoping that wildlife will flourish in these grasses. Also, Jay’s morning ritual is beaver busting, rerouting them from the damming of our culvert with a trickster’s sensibility. 
Jay and I have named the part of Dreaming Stone where we live Turtle CampThis suits us as our homes (a bus and a yurt) are mobile, and because this little watershed is full of those beloved creatures. This is also the part of the land most heavily, and negatively, impacted by humans – with a vine covered hillside of old trash, structures that need demolition, and numerous invasive species vying for domination. And it’s beautiful. We have our work cut out for us… to support it’s restoration. And we have, so far, made a haven with our yurt, patio and first perennial garden patches. We’ve planted raspberries, a pear tree, an elderberry and lots of pollinator flowers. Turtle Camp is going to be a place for intimate gatherings, personal retreats, and artist residencies. And of course, the long term dream is even more ambitious. 
The community building, which we have nicknamed “The Mothership” is going under roof this week. This house will be primary hub for all our gathering and learning together. We are integrating ecological alternatives such as compost toilets and geothermal and plan to eventually power everything with a solar array, drawing upon the expertise of my brother. We will be starting a garden this year, and intend to have a robust permaculture demonstration and food production scene in the upper field by the Mothership in future years.

Pre-pandemic 2020 had us busy with friends far afield.

Who Holds the Devil was a success! Produced and directed by our friends at Afterculture Theatre, this gripping and timely production that will haunt and inspire all who saw it for a long time! It was an honor to play guest roles and see it come to life!
We had the privilege of practicing our first “Wilderness Vigil”, in the San Raphael Wilderness alongside dear friends (seen on left). This practice was convened and guided by David Pritchett, who along with Jonathan McRay, held space for the rest of us to fast, observe, pray, prod and seed transformation on our solo journeys.
Once again, Jay and I staffed the BKI Institute, this year titled Unsettling Histories | Decolonizing Discipleship | hukišunuškuy. Each participant became the subject of this decolonizing work, diving into the stories of our families. We remain convicted by and committed to the work of BCM
Lastly, my family dedicated 4 days in early March to reassess designs and 2020 goals for Dreaming Stone. We are honored to be guided by Chris Grataski, a friend and permaculturist, as we discern our way forward. The pandemic has brought obstacles to some plans, but underscored the relevance of it all. 

Thoughts on these strange times…

In this time of isolation, it is bizarre to be dedicating all of our time and energy towards building a place for folks to gather. It also feels strange to not be hosting visitors (which was a regular practice before the pandemic). However, we hope that Dreaming Stone will support critical learning and healing and be ready for the types of gatherings that we will need on the other side of this global pandemic. 

Through the years, Jay and I have been anything but subtle on our critique of civilization – our growing unease with the social dis-ease of privatizing creation, exploiting labor, exporting consequences, invisibilizing impact, and building perverse inequality that pushes many to the edge of survival. This time of crises is not new. The pandemic is exacerbating the pre-existing hardships of poverty and oppression.

Before now, our society has built a sort of tolerance for human suffering and ecological destruction.  Despite dire circumstances, we weren’t curbing our travel or dependencies on global markets. The world has long needed radical change so as to avoid a tipping point of carbon in the atmosphere or to flatten the curve of ecological meltdown. I’ve been looking at growth curves for over a decade – ocean dead zones, rates of extinction, deforestation, climate refugees. The rates of Covid 19 infection and related death are joining a whole host of warning signs that our modern ways of life are inextricably tied to our demise.

The wake up call has been long echoing through the chambers of time, but it also feels as if we are experiencing something new! There is opportunity now, to give some time to the conundrum of what type of recovery is needed. Do we want to go back to “normal”? Or is this a window into another world we dream is possible? Bayo Akomolafe, among many others, has been inspiring us to consider the layers of learning available to us at this time. Below are two quotes that inspire us…

“The coming down to Earth that needs to happen now is not just a rigorous rejection of absolute centrality, not just the humilitaion of Man, but the humiliation of god. The splintered divine. A coming down that sings “god is with us” in a way that makes the singer the sung and the sung the singer.”

“It is a matter of slowing down, where slowing down is not about reducing one’s speed but about lingering in the places we are not used to. Seeking new questions. Becoming accountable to more than what rests on the surface. Seeking roots. In a time when the air between us is not empty, where every available space is teaming with life, where touch involves making life – death calculations – invoking images of stealthy creatures making evasive maneuvers to flee predators – slowing down is about taking care of ghosts, hugging monsters, sharing silences, embracing the weird. Making sanctuary.”

We long to make Dreaming Stone a sanctuary for all of life. Toward that end, we will be attending The Wilds Beyond Climate Justice, an online gathering in early June. Let us know if you have interest in attending as well!

Thank you for your interest and support. We pray that we will be able to host you sooner than later!

Tevyn East
Director, Holy Fool Arts
Artistic Director, Carnival de Resistance

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