In the space of about an hour and a half next Saturday night, a mystic poet, a Mayan priestess and three musicians (playing between them the oud, cello, guitar and percussion) will band together and jam in frantic harmony under the Full Moon.
This festive event at Tortuga Gallery (901 Edith SE) in support of the poet Stewart Warren and humanKind—his new collection of poems—promises to be both subversive and spiritual as it revels in the dynamism of music wedded to the spoken word. Warren believes that with the big dizzying thwack it applies to the mind, the power of art can help us find our innate wisdom and divine purpose. “Poetry and other art forms, when not co-opted by materialism, have the ability to subliminally warp or crack the conventional constructs of [the] thinking mind,” Warren writes in the preface to humanKind.
One of Warren’s great art-induced revelations is our interconnectedness. “I delight in this world, this supreme opportunity to be in a body, in the moment, on a planet of tragedy, wonder and dynamic unfolding,” he affirmed recently. “And I honor our tribe, our humankind.” He complements his creative writing with reading Tarot cards because it allows him to enter into “the deeper mysteries of who I truly am. I am, therefore, in relationship with The All.”
Fellow spiritual seeker and marquee-sharer Cynthia Walker moved to New Mexico to study with Mayan elders after “a series of synchronicities.” Walker (who describes herself as a “clairaudient”) was driving in a spring rainstorm in New York when she heard the words, “Rise up, and all the people will have peace and be happy.” Shortly afterwards, she discovered that this was a line straight out of the Popol Vuh (or “Book of the People”)—the creation story of the Maya. This led her to seek out Mayan elder Don Alejandro Cirilio Perez Oxlaj, who initiated Walker as a priestess in the Mayan tradition at his home in the highlands of Guatemala in 1998.
In her Mayan prophesies talk on Aug. 9, Walker will discuss this moment in time as a call “to bring everything into balance.” In order to correct the scales, she says that “the feminine must come forward.” What’s more, the Full Moon that night will symbolize a new beginning. The event will serve as a “forgiveness pact” that allows us to assess how we’ve been doing since the New Moon and let go of any shortcomings. “Music, chanting and singing help to change our vibration,” she said, and the event will provide the opportunity to “come together to recognize our ability to heal.”
This call to unite mirrors the triumphant invitation of the last lines of Warren’s poem “humanKind” (after which his collection is named):
In a see-through city now resting in mud
we created a splendid future
and now it’s time to bring it home.
A celebration is at hand.
At Tortuga Gallery on Aug. 9, come “investigate, celebrate and enter into that dance we all secretly know, that deep dreaming dance we came here to live,” Warren wrote me. “There will be spontaneity as music and words weave, burn like water, quench like fire. It’ll be a groove. Join us.”