The act or process of being brought together again as a unified whole
RE·U·NITE /ˌrēyo͞oˈnīt/ to come together or cause to come together again after a period of separation or disunity
This last weekend seemed a perfect time to have attended a reunion, to put one's mind to the idea of reuniting, or coming out of separation and disunity into a unified whole.
The 50 or so people who united at a resort in my hometown of Tucson , Arizona were a random array of people thrown together back in the 70s and 80s to go through school. Some of them I've known since kindergarten, others only a few years in high school. Most of their faces were familiar, as were their voices and expressions. I knew them and they knew me at another point in time, in what feels like a completely different now-non-existent place.
We and the world have certainly changed in many ways in the 35 years since 1988, since we donned our ghastly purple gowns and said goodbye to Sabino High School, that boxy set of buildings set up against the Santa Catalina Mountains. We laughed about changes in our selves and each other, size changes, skin changes, hair changes, some differences in demeanor, though in some ways people seemed just exactly the same.
We marveled at the differences in the way we talked about things then, the way TV and movies portrayed things. We were a fairly homogenous group, mostly white, and we had grown up laughing uproariously at characters like Archie Bunker and Morris Buttermaker -- Walter Matthau's alcoholic ex-baseball player Little League coach of the Bears in Bad News Bears, thinking nothing of the racial slurs they had for all kinds of different groups. Oops. We know more now, are exposed to more maybe. Trends change. Is it just political correctness--polite cover-up of words we know better than to say--or is it maybe feasible, possibly possible, that we have shifted slightly in the right direction, that we have over the last few decades begun to focus more on the ways in which we are unified as opposed to how we're not?
I dug up an old article I wrote for the school paper back in high school noting the "war" waged through graffiti on the bathroom walls that separated the "bops" at the school (the more preppy chearleaders, student council leaders, joiners, etc.) from the "stoners," namely the girls who wore rock tshirts and met up in the dusty area across from the school to smoke pot. Even back then I was pushing for peace, for a detente from the silly monikers that separated us even though, fundamentally, elementally, we were the same. We had then, as we do now, all the tools to get along with one another and to quit the fear-based creation of Otherness, of Enmity. At this reunion it was clear that those who showed up did so in order to come together, to reunite, to put all those silly separations into the distant past. It was beautiful. I remembered with fondness the chant, "'88 IS GREAT!" and thought it highly apropos.
I had brought my instruments in a duffel bag on the plane, the percussion I use to create my Sacred Bloom sound bath, to try to bring people together through an exercise in deep listening. A couple people had asked, and I was excited at the prospect of leading a meditation where all are equal in the space, all offered the same opportunity to tune in to themselves, to find a place of relaxation and peace, to find unity with their minds and bodies. The practice is itself a reunion of sorts, a clearing out of any possible disunity, any separation that has occurred in oneself and with others through dealing with the stresses of daily life.
At some point on Saturday night, when many had gathered outside around the fire pit, I found a right moment and went back to my room for my instruments. I set them up on a table, handed out eye masks, led a body scan to find and release stress, and then began to make sounds. I was somewhat trepidatious as memories stirred of me during awkward adolescence, images of putting myself out and being embarrassed. But I pushed through, buoyed by my desire to offer something to those who had shared so much with me over time.
There were some open stares at my strange doings, some giggles, but many people seemed to sink into the sounds, to take in the calm rolling rumble of the ocean drum, to hear the rain from my new rainstick made out of local Ocotillo cactus. I smiled to see these faces turned up to the Full Hunter's Moon, to the clear Tucson sky set high above the dark shadowy lines of the tall mountain ranges. It seemed in those minutes like it was possible to put all differences aside, and to unite.
There is still disunity in the world, wars being waged as we speak that seem to speak to our continued fear of Other. And I am sad about this, sick in my heart and mind that we have not progressed enough as we need to to see the ridiculousness of seeing separation in one human from another. But we can do our part by coming together to listen deeply to the sound of our own loving heart, to tune in to the best in ourselves and each other, to show our solidarity with the idea of putting separation aside forever and coming together in a unified whole.
If you are local, JOIN ME AT MY HOME TOMORROW, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, at 7 PM for a Peaceful Union Sound Bath, to find a way to relax ourselves and put out into the world a message of unity. I am also happy to welcome people via Zoom. Peace. Shalom. Inshallah. Let the sound of peaceful union reign.
www.sacredbloomtribe.com/events to RSVP and get the Zoom link if you want to tune in remotely!