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  • nancy willbern


Last night, my husband and I watched “Hamilton” on the Disney channel. If you have not seen it, now is the time! It is being offered on TV during the Covid shut-down because the production is not being performed on stage. And... to think you get front row seats!

The finale left me crying and speechless. I was inspired. I was awed. I was informed. I was deeply touched. And truth be told, I was envious of all that creative genius! Who are these people and what are they made of?!

I am sure you are all aware of the uniqueness of this piece of art, but I will point to some things that stand out in bold relief to me, in continuing our conversation on “Shadow Work.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, an American of Puerto Rican descent is a composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer and playwright. Miranda wrote the script, wrote the music and wrote the lyrics for the Broadway hit. (Yes, jaw-dropper!) The inspiration for the work came to Miranda while on vacation in 2008, when reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. What stood out in Miranda’s mind was that Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of American independence was of mixed-race, born out of wedlock, later orphaned and immigrated to this country as a teen-ager - not the traditional, high-brow, white-skinned, powdered wig portrayal we are so used to. The recognition of that humble and tainted beginning became the initial seed for all the creative genius that over the next few years burst into wild and crazy bloom.

The glorified Founding Fathers are not typically depicted as men of color with questionable heritage, but the truth is that Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of Finance was just that. Miranda took that often obscured fact and expanded it into a modern-day portrayal of the White-washed-traditional story and spray painted it with an eclectic array of extremely talented Brown and Black actors, singers and dancers, hip-hopping and rapping their way around a revolving inlaid stage.

While the pace of it is dizzying, the underlying paradigm shift cannot be missed. The field and background of the origins of our nation are flipped-flopped, exposing all sorts of collectively agreed upon assumptions and breaking open all sorts of unimaginable mutations. The shadow becomes foreground and when it does, new neural pathways are formed in the mind and new songs are heard in the heart.

The repetitive refrain in the final song comes in the form of a poignant and piercing question, “Who lives?… Who dies?… And who tells your story?” That question right there sums the whole thing up.


Would love to hear about your own experience with it. What did it stir in you? Expand your neurons? Make your heart sing?




Image by klimkin on Pixabay - Chess Pawn King Game


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For directions on how to post a comment, please see blog post - Comments, Please - dated June 27, 2020.


Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments - without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.

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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 29




ANNOUNCEMENT


I want to make a shift in my Blog posts from just me talking to more of a conversation. I have not highlighted the Comment option in the past, but I want to put that feature out there more boldly now. I would love to hear from YOU, get YOUR comments and YOUR questions.


I hear my own thoughts all the time. They rattle around in my head until I throw them on the page. In the past, I would type words into a blog post and then send them out into the ethers where they would just float away. I never really knew what happened to them. Did anybody pull them out of the air, put them in their pocket or just throw them in the trash? In response to the last couple of posts, I have gotten an actual comment in the Comment section and one from a reader who shared his thoughts with me through email. I have loved that exchange! And I want more of it! I want to know what rattles around in your head too. I want to feel more connected, to feel the synergy of an exchange. So, let's talk.


HOW TO LEAVE A COMMENT


But first, we have to get practical. This particular website design requires that you sign in before you can make a comment. BUT PLEASE NOTE: YOU ONLY HAVE TO SIGN IN ONCE ON YOUR PHONE AND ONCE ON YOUR COMPUTER. After that, you can comment automatically. That is, if you feel comfortable saving your log-in information. If you would rather not have your log-in information saved, that's cool. You will just have to sign in every time you want to comment.


Here's how this works. Some of it is not intuitive and there are slight differences on your computer as compared to your phone, so please follow the steps below for each device. I promise, this just takes 2 minutes.


Commenting from your computer:


1.) Just click on the word "Comment" at the end of the post that you would like to share your thoughts on. (Or it may say 3 Comments, for example if there are already 3 Comments related to that post. Also, disregard the comment bubble icon like the ones in the image above. That icon is just a tease.) This will automatically take you to a new page featuring that particular post again, but also showing the other posts in abbreviated form underneath that one.


2.) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT : Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this extended blog post page and click on "Log In" to leave a comment.


4.) You will then be taken to a new page for you to "Sign In" through facebook, google or email. For the social media accounts, you will simply log in using your regular log in information, including your password for that site. (Don't worry, that information is not exposed.)


If you choose to log in through email, you will be prompted to enter your email address and asked to create a password for this site. Then click "Sign In."


5.) Then you will have the option to save your log-in information. Click "yes" or "no," at your discretion. If you click "yes," the next time you want to comment on a blog post, you will simply just click on "Comment" and that section will be automatically open for you without your having to sign in again.


6.) After you sign in, you are then free to leave your comment.


To comment from your phone:


Mobilized blog posts may start on the extended page described in step #2 above. If so, scroll all the way down that page, past all of the abbreviated blog posts and click on "Log In" at the bottom of the page. Then follow the rest of the steps, as shown above.


If you run into any snags or have questions, just shoot me an email at: nwillbern@gmail.com


MAKING THE CONNECTION


So, now that you know how to leave a comment, I can't wait to read what sparks your interest, makes you wonder, touches your heart - what you agree with or what you don't. I want this blog site to come alive, to grow organically like the exchange of pollen. Let's do this. Let's do this together.



Image byAnnalise BatistafromPixabay


__________________________________________________________________________


Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments - without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.


  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 27


(Marketing image for the course by this name created by Brownicity)


Ever since the murder of George Floyd and the outpouring of reactions to it, I have taken my unconscious assumptions about race to heart. I am on Week 2 of an online class to learn as much as I can about how I have contributed to a White-biased culture. This series, spear-headed by Dr. Lucretia Berry is called What Lies Between Us and is offered by a consciousness-raising educational group Dr. Berry co-founded with her husband, Nathan Berry called Brownicity. I cannot recommend it more highly. So much has already been exposed about mass illusions that have been perpetuated by the system we are all swimming in.


It's so hard to understand how so many of us could remain so asleep for so long, who couldn't see what was right in front of us. I am shocked at myself! It might help to hear about a study done back in the day with two litters of kittens. One litter was raised in a room painted with vertical black and white stripes. The other was raised in a room painted with horizontal black and white stipes. When the kittens were gown, they were released out into the normal world - no more painted stripes. Amazingly enough, the kittens raised with vertical stripes, literally could not see anything that ran horizontally. They kept bumping their heads on the foot-rails of chairs. And conversely, the kittens raised with horizontal stripes kept running into the wooden legs. We have all been conditioned by our external environments, but thank God, as humans when that conditioning gets exposed, we can choose to see more around us. This class is graciously aware of the inherent, unrecognized biases in our culture. The point is not to shame, but simply to awaken through education, connection and dialogue.



(Marketing image for the documentary by this name - California Newsreel.)


One of the important features of the series is the showing of the three-part documentary called Race: the Power of an Illusion. The film was co-created by California Newsreel and Professor John A. Powell, from UT Berkely. The film series is both thoughtful and powerful. Each segment cracks open long-cherished ideologies held in the mind and the heart. Please watch it, even if you don't join What Lies Betwen Us.


Although much of this learning experience is wrenchingly painful, I can't tell you how glad I am to have finally opened a door that I didn't even know was there. Now that I know it is there, I can't keep it hidden anymore. And, I don't want to. This recognition both scares me and excites me.


__________________________________________________________________________



Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.

48 views3 comments

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