Saturday, November 10, 2018

Veterans' Day 2018

Thank you. Welcome home.

"Happy" Veterans' Day.

I've struggled with writing and sharing this year, in part because of time (its hard to sit at a computer when there's a precious little one asking for my attention). And in part because I've been struggling with so many questions -

What is my role as a mother?
What is my role as a professional?
What is my role as an artist?
Where is our country going and how can I help shape my small piece of it?
Is it possible to protect, create safe spaces, and allow for vulnerability? How? Where is this appropriate?

In the past, I would listen to the trauma on NPR on my daily commute and walk into the studio with tears in my eyes and heart, but resolved that creating dance was a responsible answer. Through dance, I was honing my body and the body is a place of protest. The body is a place for joy. Dance making, performance, and viewing is a place where people come together. Art making is challenging and scary because it demands a sense of vulnerability and authenticity. It demands bowing to a personal truth and to something greater than the self.

Now, I want to hug my baby a little tighter and retreat to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Because of my own fear? A change of my own perspective? A shift in our cultural narrative? Am I responding the way that those in the highest offices want me to respond by shrinking back and away?

I've often been reminded of the importance of taking a step away from the noise and being quiet with oneself, one's family, and one's truths. Perhaps this is one of those times.

But, to that end, I've also been researching more in the wee hours of the night, after Little has fallen back asleep.
What can I do?
What is my role?
What is my worth?

To those who hold the line, Thank you.
You model strength and courage in the face of doubt and chaos.

To those who love those who hold the line, thank you.
You, too, model strength and courage in the face of doubt, fear, and chaos.

I've found and am sharing a list of resources that speak directly to family members of veterans (in no particular order and without compensation... I don't receive anything for sharing these, other than the possible satisfaction of helping someone else):

Road Home Program
5 Tips for a Healthy Relationship with a Combat Veteran
Top 10 Things your Combat Veteran Wants You to Know
What its Like to Love a Combat Veteran
What a Combat Veteran and His Wife Want You to Know about PTSD
Do You Love a Veteran?
Home/Front A New Musical

May you/ we find peace and reasons to dance.

Katherine Kiefer Stark exploring the silent trials and joys of being a family member of a veteran in my piece
"Unspoken: Everyday Hope". Pic by Bill Hebert