WayFinders + Ceremony as Facilitation of Community Mourning

Before and after each piece Mattia and I spoke with our audience who we invited to be our community

We asked permission and blessing from the Massachuset nation that stewards this land each time before performing as a practice of acknowledging that this land we live on is stolen and that its original stewards have been and continue to actively resist a violent colonial state
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We invited people to be with us in community, remember and do the great work of honoring those whom we mourn and those especially lost to empire in the way we live our lives
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We invited friends to bring a dried flower, root, herb or a found object as offering. Have on their tongue the name of a person still living who is a warrior they wished to send blessings to, a person who was lost to state sanctioned violence, a person they miss

We asked questions that moved us to do these pieces and asked the audience to reflect on them

We asked: What does mourning mean to you and how does it show up in your life?

We asked: Who do you mourn with? + the last time you mourned, did you wish you had more support?

We chanted and meditatively danced to the lyrics Who holds us when we mourn? to which people were encouraged to offer names

We asked: How do we create spaces where community can hold us in our grief? What brings you comfort? What are some concrete things we can set up for in community to be in place next time someone grieves?

In ceremony we offered sweet tea and prasad and asked people to add seeds to and pick items from a basket of roots seeds flowers and found objects we have been collecting since late summer.  We centered the innocence of planting as a metaphor for the transitions in relationships:

We asked: What seeds do we carry forward that eventually fruit? We asked people to instinctively take some of the shared seeds home and plant them somewhere that needs some care. We acknowledged there were people in the space who could identify every plant and those who may not know one. That some will choose an object that would not seed.

People shared thoughts and asked questions about our pieces and process

They asked how the two characters were conceived

They asked how the ground was to dance on and whether we rehearsed on site

They offered how they mourn and what would help next time they do

Some hugged us after