Vision

Angie Frank & Regina M. Laroche

Angie Frank & Regina M. Laroche

Oshkii Ghiizik Singers

Oshkii Ghiizik Singers

Shovel
Seeds
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Children join hands
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The Heart of Echoes of Peace
The heart of Echoes of Peace is bringing people together through song
Through story, puppets and poems, paintings and pictures
To sing in harmonious, cacophonous community together
 
The heart of bringing people together to sing is witnessing what happens
Beholding what begins, sensing what simmers
When a song is sung collectively
When we—in all our splendid, wondrous, irritating, frustrating and
glorious diversity—come together to sing as One Voice.
 
The singing is not about the song
The song is a vehicle, instrument, passageway
To propel us, move us, shake us, beckon and break us
open to wander where our hearts want to lead
Present, Open, Aware, Engaged, Caring
Able to witness the wondrous and horrific world
Around, within, and about us
 
The horrific world:
Where children are gunned down in public school,
Where entire peoples are targets of genocide—
Halabja, Auschwitz, Sandy Lake, Wounded Knee
A world where people are raped, lynched, tortured, kidnapped, killed
For their color of skin, religion, gender, sexual orientation.
Clayton, Jackson, McGhie. Matthew Shephard.
Homelessness, hunger, poverty, prisons
War, waste, oil spilling, honor killing
Invasion, denigration, degradation
There is no end to the bad news.
 
Our hearts turn to stone, shell-shocked souls despair
Stunned, inert, immobilized.

Echoing a song is somewhere to begin.

A song is a gardener
It picks up a shovel and starts to dig.
Tenderly tips the blade into the burnt and brazed,
Crusted, cranky, depleted, impenetrable soil
at the surface of the heart
 
Tosses and turns over and around all the scraps, remnants, remains,
All the crap, cruelty, and craziness
Amending, softening, sifting
Activating, aerating, enlivening
 
A song is a seed
It is not derailed, discouraged, deterred by gated, guarded hearts
It finds every shortcut, crack and crevice
It flits, floats, meanders, winds, works it’s way in
Wakes us up to what is and what can be
 
It will knock down the wall and fashion a bridge from sundered stone
Enter the soul’s secret garden
Subtly scatter seed
 
A song will not change a policy, re-write the laws, topple dictators,
End discrimination, stop deforestation
House the homeless, feed the hungry, heal the land
 
The singing of songs, the piping of poems,
The drumming, dancing, delving, digging, delighting, daring,
Beautiful boldness of art
Will merely crack open the hard shell
 of the dormant heart
 
And hearts awakened
are unstoppable.

 
May a song, a story, a poem, a painting, a puppet
Tap you on the shoulder
Trickle to your heart
Invite you to Dance
Ripple, rhyme, resound
a pebble tossed
an echo of peace
 
—poem by Sara Thomsen
Artistic Director, Echoes of Peace