One Ceremony: Two Long Dances
The Long Dance 2023 at Hillyfield is complete – and what a long dance! Such beautiful, deep, deep medicine created by the whole, by all of the community. Thank you all. Hats off to every dancer who made this what it was. More to come on that soon.
And the long dance of Susannah’s father’s life, and of Susannah and Ya’Acov’s accompaniment of him in his last years, and months and weeks is also complete. Richard Darlington who, as one of his GPs (doctors) said, “taught us how to get old with grace and dignity, and who lived a full meaningful life as a driver not a passenger” is at rest.
This post was kept updated as Susannah wove between the Long Dance at Hillyfield and the long dance of being with her father in his process of letting go of this life. It follows on from “A Sacred Dance” .Two long dances and one ceremony of the heart.
Richard passed peacefully in the early hours of this morning. A few hours before Susannah was able to share a deep peaceful time with him and wish him a beautiful goodbye and goodnight.
The Marie Curie nurse was with him and called Thea (our dear family friend) when it looked as if things were changing. She was holding his hand when he passed, peacefully a little while later.
Susannah returned and they sat together with him for several hours in silence and remembering so many beautiful ties with him.
Later on Susannah was able to wash his body with the District Nurse and finally to wrap him in his mother’s crocheted blanket before he was taken away by the undertaker with so much love and care and respect.
Susannah is heading back to the Long Dance now ready to dance her socks off in the name if light, sustainability and love. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Susannah says: “The Long Dance ceremony itself has begun in very good order, exquisite alters, beautiful deep strong intimate space with 100 plus people. The gathering is happening. The deepening is happening. The band is happening. This is the band of dreams! I have been working with many from this band for over 30 years, making music together. With new faces joining the mix we are working together and combining in a beautiful way for which I have great gratitude. Also great gratitude to our dancers, what everyone is bringing, such beauty, such presence, such quiet, such dedication.
Manari, Belen and Ramiro – their words, their presence, from the amazon rainforest come to make this bridge together for the sake of the forest both there and here and for the whole planet, very exquisite. And then for me, Susannah, being able to weave back and forth between my father, whose journey with letting go of this life has taken another step. He is still here and still breathing, still conscious and comfortable and feels very present in himself, in his capacity now with the help of the extraordinary gifts of modern medicine to be able to relax in his condition and to be here until the gateway is found and it’s a very tender thing for me to spend time with him every day and that I can do that. I am right now driving back to the long dance and leaving this message for Laura to put up on the pst. he is him in the very good hands of our dear family friend, Thea. The Long Dance also being in good hands of everyone there.
There is a real feeling of team ship and togetherness, everyone sharing. If you have seen the video made with my father in February which is called “My road to Emmaus (Mossley)” you will know that this is very much a part of my father legacy and what he wanted to pass on at the end of his life about the power of togetherness and sharing our dreams and what working together can make possible. The last words of that were: “If you have a dream and if you have something that you wish to contribute to just work at it and just do it and if you work together and share your dream with others then you can achieve far more than you might have imagined”. I think that is the same with the Long Dance and we feel very proud, moved and grateful to be part of this co-creation with so many other deeply dedicated people to supporting life on earth with this prayer, dedicated in action.
Which is why it is so important to us that it is about prayer and dance and song but also raising money, as above so below. Please join us in supporting the Sacred Headquarters project through supporting the Fundacion Pachamama (Ecuadorian wing)- please do contribute where you can in the name of Summer Long Dance should you wish to be part of this gathering and focus of supporting in Indigenous people of the Amazon to protect their forest on behalf of all life alongside us and the Long Dance 2023. Thank you
We are edging closer… My father is in the final furlong (or that might be inches) of his long dance of this life. It’s been a rocky 24 hours as the Hospice team and the District Nurses and Thea and myself figure out what is needed to help him in this transition. Dad’s still right there, communicating in many ways, with his eyebrows and expressive face, nods and shakes of the head.
And at the Long Dance site we are getting ready for the ceremony with great heart and so much beauty. Feels really good. At the Long Dance we are one team, all hosted and hosting and so it is. Thank you all! Today we begin the ceremony at 12 noon. Do dance, pray, sing along with us. Today is about setting intention and dropping in deep to how you are and what you bring.
The Long Dance gathering has begun. There is a calm and a deep sense of peace and beauty there. The land, the infrastructure, the Hillyfield crew, people, Ramiro, Manari and Belen arriving. Beautiful. Meanwhile, lots of work being done behind the scenes to get everything flowing and in place ready for our wonderful dancers. So much love in a action by so many to make this dream prayer a reality.
At the same time the long dance with my father continues. Similarly, in a way, with peace and calm and some more pressured moments as we all orientate with a new stage and heeding a bit more support (pain relief and calming) through the driver, as we go through another level of transition in this process. Dad is still conscious and responding with hand squeezes and nods and occasional hard to make out words.
It’s a long dance. I’m hugely grateful to Thea for being such an incredible present holding this house and the situation of being “on the coal face” and leasing so beautifully with the District Nurse and Hospice team and the Marie Curie service. They are all so caring and careful, and at the same tine there are inevitably gaps when the situation develops and the people on the ground have to deal with it.
Love to all,
Dance with us….
Susannah (and Ya’Acov of course)