This is an excerpt from my journal entry on the first day of Cambalacha classes in the new year. People write books about Why Art? People write essays on the social power of art. The power of art to change the world. I like to think that I will explore the details, images, colors, and complications of this question as the year continues. For now, this is neither the first page of a book or a well-formed essay. It is a journal entry exploring why I believe in this project -- perhaps just touching the surface of how Gabriela, the founder and director of La Cambalacha, has visioned, dreamed, manifested, written, drawn, built, sung, danced this place into existence. Perhaps just touching the surface of what I will learn and experience and write, paint, dance, sing into existence while I am here. With the collaboration and love of people from all over the world. Some just passing through. Some staying a longer while. This is an excerpt:
Blank pages. How beautiful you are. White. Spacious. Calm. Free. I arrive in this place, San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. I arrive. To live. To share. To participate heart and soul in this project Cambalacha that believes in the power of Art to change the world. Living Artfully -- what is this? Cooperating. Listening. Greeting one another with Respect. Love. An Open Heart. Expressing love means dissolving fear -- confronting the fears we have inherited from years of oppression, civil war, violence. Calming the storm in our humans souls with Love -- creating together, sharing together, understanding that we create unnecessary divisions between us -- entre humanos, entre culturas, entre religiones entre culturas, entre razas. El Arte cambia el mundo. This is why we are here, in La Cambalacha, because we believe that the more people close to Art, to the Creative Process, the more peaceful, free, loving this world will be. Breathing, Dancing, Painting, Singing Positive Energy into the world -- sharing especially with children. Seeds of Hope. And we begin each workshop reminding ourselves why we play, why we sing, why we dance and paint and listen to stories and cooperate and express ourselves. Because every time we sing, out heart grows a little bit bigger. And everytime we dance our heart grows a little bit bigger. And everytime we wash ourselves of fear and dare to participate and express ourselves, our heart grows a little bit bigger. And every time we share and laugh and play together, our heart grows a little bit bigger. Until our hearts are "Asi de grande" -- and we draw a heart with our hands. A heart that begins at our fingertips stretching toward the sky and ends where our toes meet the earth. Imagine the life force of a heart this big. Beating. Pulsing. Nourishing the earth and its creatures with oxygen as it pumps and pumps -- hearts resounding together.