24 Mar 2008
Positive Energy: creative community responses to peak oil and climate change. Day 3, Session 2. The Bowl of Tears
Session Two began with a very moving piece where four people read out a list of endangered or extinct species while Joanna played a drum slowly. This then led into an extraordinarily powerful exercise called The Bowl of Tears. Three large bowls of water were placed in the middle of the floor, representing the tears of Gaia, and a musical lament was played to accompany a slide show of images of social and ecological breakdown, deforestation, pollution and so on.
We were invited to go to a bowl, and to voice what our tears are for, for what it is that we weep, and then to dip our hands into the water and place it on our face. This went on for a while until everyone had done it, and it was a deeply moving experience.
Once everyone had done it, everyone made an avenue of people and the three bowls were passed gently along, and then we all gathered, in the driving snow, where with some words from Joanna, it was returned to a pond. It was a deeply touching exercise, really touching the depth of feeling we so often keep hidden or suppressed. One of the great powers of Joanna’s work is her ability to allow expression for that, and to see that within it are the tools for our true effectiveness.