Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts — a photo documentary

April 22, 2013

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller emceed "Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts," Earth Day Weekend, April 20, 2013, at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, hosted by HIVE of Planet Loving Activity (see the HIVE  Facebook page.) Above Jerry plays his harmonica during the Streetbeet's benediction performance of his composition, "The Earth is a House." Participants' thoughts, prayers and haiku written on colored papers, hang in tree branches. They blow in the breeze to spread the messages of Earth healing into the world.

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller emceed “Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts,” Earth Day Weekend, April 20, 2013, at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, hosted by HIVE of Planet Loving Activity (see the HIVE Facebook page.) Above Jerry plays his harmonica during the Streetbeet’s benediction performance of his composition, “The Earth is a House.” Participants’ thoughts, prayers and haiku written on colored papers, hang in tree branches. They blow in the breeze to spread the messages of Earth healing into the world.

On a beautiful fresh spring day after a night of sweet rain, about 25 souls greeted each other and gathered in the sunlit sanctuary of the Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster to listen to the sweet music of Streetbeets (Jerry Lee Miller, Paul Montigny, Kati “Kanga” Gruber, and Tom Tucker;) to repeat affirmations and meditate silently together; to melt into the melodious poetry of Chris Hoover Seidel; to thrill with the excitement of the danced and chanted performance piece offered by Kesse Humphreys; and to wonder about the mysteries pictured in Kevin Miller’s large paintings. We laughed, cried, prayed, listened, chanted, spoke, danced, talked and shared ideas. Then we all wrote poems, prayers, haiku, thoughts, laments, and intentions on pieces of colored paper and moved into the garden to hang them in a young tree, allowing the wind to blow our hopes for earth healing  into the world. Four of the writers keep their thoughts private. The rest are copied here in bold italic among the photos of that day:

COLORED PAPER MESSAGES HANGING IN THE TREE OF HOPES AND  BLESSINGS (shown in bold italics throughout the photo essay — contributed by all the participants at “Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts”)

MUSIC A GATEWAY,

Opening our hearts to LOVE

In Loving we act…

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller (center) opens "Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts" with Streetbeets: Kati "Kanga" Gruber (left) and Tom Tucker (right.) Percussionist Paul Montigny is not shown in this photo.

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller (center) opens “Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts” with Streetbeets: Kati “Kanga” Gruber (left) and Tom Tucker (right.) Percussionist Paul Montigny is not shown in this photo.

Write songs of the Earth voicing her pain and her offer to help us…

Kevin Miller greets the group with a pranam, meaning, "My soul bows to your soul." Kevin's paintings, "Fallen Angels" and "The Flood" are displayed behind him.

Kevin Miller greets the group with a pranam, meaning, “My soul bows to your soul.” Kevin’s paintings, “Fallen Angels” and “The Flood” are displayed behind him.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you, for filling me with gratitude.

Kevin invites the group to join in repeating an affirmation, followed by a brief period of silent meditation.

Kevin invites the group to repeat an affirmation, followed by a brief period of silent meditation.

 I hope for a healing for myself and the Earth. To deal in hope and inspiration not despair and destruction. To remember the trail magic I experienced and take that into the world. To sing. To dance. To love the stories.

Kevin talks about creative action as a way of seeing, knowing, being, and healing. We are here to collaborate in "Healing Earth Pain" -- our own pain as we move through life on this Earth, and the pain of the Earth itself as it suffers the violence caused by human greed and ignorance.

Kevin talks about creative action as a way of seeing, knowing, being, and healing. We are here to collaborate in “Healing Earth Pain” — our own pain as we move through life on this Earth, and the pain of the Earth itself as it suffers the violence caused by human greed and ignorance.

 We must Change Hearts to Save the Earth from Global Warming.

Jerry greets the cubist egg containing performance artist Kesse Humphreys, before he emerges to dance and chant his compelling message.

Jerry greets the cubist egg containing performance artist Kesse Humphreys, before he emerges to dance and chant his compelling message.

 Everyone hears the sweet call of the Universe, feels their heart beating and moves swiftly to do the right thing.

Paul Montigny of Streetbeets provides percussion accompaniment to the moment of suspense leading to the hatching of Kesse Humphreys and his emergence into the world.

Paul Montigny of Streetbeets provides percussion accompaniment to the moment of suspense leading to the hatching of Kesse Humphreys and his emergence into the world.

Kesse hatches out of his incredible cubist egg, into the world.

Kesse hatches out of his incredible cubist egg, into the world.

BE THE CHANGE

(TAKE IT PERSONALLY)

Covered with the black dust of ashes and dirt, an exotic bird of black plumage rises to chant and dance "When the waters rise all around, forget not you have wings to fly!" -- Kesse Humphreys

Covered with the black dust of ashes and dirt, an exotic bird of black plumage rises to chant and dance “When the waters rise all around, forget not you have wings to fly!” — Kesse Humphreys

Kesse takes flight.

Kesse takes flight.

Ashes to Ashes

Resurrect

In the New Earth

IMGP0234 

Resurrection of the Phoenix.

Resurrection of the Phoenix.

From pain come the vision

From the vision come the people

From the people come the power

From their power come the change.

After the Phoenix flew, Chris Hoover Seidel calmed us with the melodious tones of her voice and the thoughtful notes of mystery and hope in her poetry.

After the Phoenix flew, Chris Hoover Seidel calmed us with the melodious tones of her voice and the thoughtful notes of mystery and hope in her poetry.

We are listening to the “yes”

          in yesterday.

We are composing an “or”

          for tomorrow.

By touching the egg of the Phoenix, Kevin finds the courage to lead participants in a 3-part round, singing "White Coral Bells upon a slender stalk. Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk. Oh, don't you wish that you could hear them ring? That will happen only when the faeries sing." (We sang, and they rang!)

By touching the egg of the Phoenix, Kevin finds the courage to lead participants in a 3-part round, singing “White Coral Bells upon a slender stalk. Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk. Oh, don’t you wish that you could hear them ring? That will happen only when the faeries sing.” (We sang, and they rang!)

“Heal the Earth,” she said,

“Why?” he said.

“Because it’s the best use of the time we have left,” she responded.

“But isn’t that God’s job?” he asked.

“He never meant it to be this way” she said sadly.

Kevin leads a lively  discussion about his 12 large canvases displayed in the sanctuary, and hears clues about some of the mysteries  he has pondered in the paintings over the years.

Kevin leads a lively discussion about his 12 large canvases displayed in the sanctuary, and hears clues about some of the mysteries he has pondered in the paintings over the years.

 First Snow Drops, crocus, Wind Flowers, Daffodils, Weeping Cherries, and Tulips. Soon Irises, Lilacs, and then the Roses of Summer.

Left to right, Kevin, Tovie Mirot and Fran Gouveia are part of the group discussing "Captain Agape" and "The Revelations of Eve and Adam."

Left to right, Kevin, Tovie Mirot and Fran Gouveia are part of the group discussing “Captain Agape” and “The Revelations of Eve and Adam.”

 Clean Water for All and Future Generations…

Kevin hears the thoughts of Fran Gouveia and the rest of the group, about what the meaning might be in some of the symbols and images in "The Musician and the Tree of Life."

Kevin hears the thoughts of Fran Gouveia and the rest of the group, about what the meaning might be in some of the symbols and images in “The Musician and the Tree of Life.”

 I will knit green hats –

          not green berets of the military

but soft, easy slouchy hats

All green, many hues,

          for my planet-loving friends.

Will you wear a hat with me?

 

Church people stand straight!

I wear sneakers and love my

Seven Sunday weeks!

 

“Etz Chayim!”

(Tree of Life)

Kevin explains how he and Robert Allen collaborated to paint "Deep Woods."

Kevin explains how he and Robert Allen collaborated to paint “Deep Woods.”

I pray “The Susquehanna is for Lovers (& ALL OTHERS!)” is Healing Earth’s Pain and Creator helps me (us) do it!

Kevin explains how he will expand this print of "Woodland Spirits" extensively to both sides and below, adding many more animals and figures to create a new painting called "Woodland Spirit Guides." Behind him is "Apple Man."

Kevin explains how he will expand this print of “Woodland Spirits” extensively to both sides and below, adding many more animals and figures to create a new painting called “Woodland Spirit Guides.” Behind him is “Apple Man.”

 Greed is manmade. Money, debt, hatred, intolerance – They don’t come from the earth, but we do. Amidst all of the destruction and pain, still we are born. Still we come into this world filled with beauty and light. They frack our water, they poison our soil, they patent our food – and STILL we fight for justice – STILL we wake up and love the world all over again. Lucky enough to be young, wild, and free, happy healthy, loved. We still exist. There is something still right in this world if people like us continue to be born into it.

At the end of our healing time together, we all wrote out thoughts, haiku, poems, lamentations and intentions on colored papers and hung them on a tree in the courtyard. Here Rich Humphreys (center) reads his thought before adding it to the tree.

At the end of our healing time together, we all wrote out thoughts, haiku, poems, lamentations and intentions on colored papers and hung them on a tree in the courtyard. Here Rich Humphreys (center) reads his thought before adding it to the tree.

 This Dandelion curled into a ring.

Reviled, More Delicate than gold and brown decay.

The mind wanders, Hope, base, distraction and despair.

Sounds good.

Jerry Lee Miller watches as all the participants share their writings and hang them on  the Tree of Hopes and Blessings.

Jerry Lee Miller watches as all the participants share their writings and hang them on the Tree of Hopes and Blessings.

 Blessed be the creator and the Creative Spirit that brings healing to our earth and our lives.

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller leads Streetbeets in a performance of his signature composition, "The Earth is a House," as our benediction for "Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts," and our beginning to Earth Day Weekend.

Rev. Jerry Lee Miller leads Streetbeets in a performance of his signature composition, “The Earth is a House,” as our benediction for “Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts,” and our beginning to Earth Day Weekend.

 Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Will Be Done

On Earth as it is in Heaven!

On this beautiful spring Earth Day evening, my wish for the world is that a miracle will happen and we will all wake up with the compelling conviction that we can arrest global climate change and save many of the life forms on Earth by immediately switching from fiossil fuel extraction and consumption to clean renewable energy. My prayer is that we will accept our moral responsibility to leave a habitable planet for future generations.

It is time to become our higher selves and take creative action for the sake of life on Earth.

Love, Wisdom, Peace, — Kevin

My thanks to Alison Stein for providing all the photos for this essay and for helping me so extensively with the logistics for my art display at “Healing Earth Pain Through the Arts.”

Our thanks to the Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster and its congregation for sharing their beautiful, sunlit facility with HIVE of Planet-Loving Activity to produce this event.

 

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