Part 1, on Sunday, May 6, I attended the 44th annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's MayDay parade in south Minneapolis.
This year's theme was "What You Feed, Grows! (It's All About Love)."
The words of wisdom and inspiration that accompany my photos are excerpted from the MayDay 2018 program guide. Enjoy!
Parade Story, Section 1: We Feed You Love
Young people from our neighborhood have great power. Young people across the country and around the world have great power and are stepping up to use it . . . for love, for joy, for concern and protection of each other and our world.
The three groups of young people we work with in our neighborhood all expressed wanting to feed people. They use their power, sharing positive messages and fun energy to feed and inspire us. Step up with us, share a slice of the power, speak your truth, and share in the love!
– HOBT's Phillips Project
Section 2: Tas'ina Wicahpi/Star Quilt
Star quilts are used by many Native people to honor community members and show gratitude and affection. A tas'ina wicahpi/star quilt is comprised of cloth diamonds that depict the morning star. In this section we feature cloth diamonds that carry stories from youth and families who have lost loved ones, and community words of encouragement. This large quilt is called Tas'ina Wicahpi Tewa'ila (Love Star Quilt).
Tas'ina Wicahpi draws attention to images of the cosmos in the hope that it will awaken the sensibility that we are all a part of a greater story and responsible for its flourishing.
Attention is a basic form of love.
Tas'ina Wicahpi Tewa'ila brings visibility to Native youth and holds up all youth.
We honor youth who have become ancestors all too soon. We are deeply disturbed by the increasing rate of youth suicide, particularly amid Native youth who are significantly, and often invisibly, plagued by this reality. Native Americans make up 1% of the nation's population, yet Native youth have greater rates of suicide than any other racial group, disproportionate to the general population.
We recognize these tragedies are entangled amid deeply rooted systems of oppression, a time of unprecedented extinction of life and profoundly disturbing fragmentation of community. We look to the youth, and to the stars, for renewal and guidance and we work to heal these leaders so that they may shine.
– Graci Horne, Madeline Helling and Laura Korynta
Section 3: The Ground On Which We Stand
We do not grow plants – we nourish soil so that the soil may grow plants. When the soil has nutrients, so does our food. When it is depleted, so are we. How may we regenerate the soil, restoring the ground we walk on, as we restore ourselves? Soil is a naturally occuring dynamic system at the interface of air and rock. Soil is the very skin of the earth – a living, breathing being – and its thriving ensures our surviving.
We evoke soil as a metaphor for ancestors; the ground in which we're planted; the "parent material" of which we're made – where our roots lie.
Soil is a symbol for the climate we inhabit; toxic colonial legacies and a broken ecosystem but perhaps more important, an underground resistance that has long been rising up with bold, irreverent and enduring movements for social and environmental justice.
– Allison Osberg, Mary Plaster and Shannon Kemp
Section 4: Growing Momentum
Growing Momentum celebrates the growing of the world we want to live in. The heart is a seed, waiting to spring forth. The earth holds both the perennial roots and the possibility for the better future we can create.
Community is the heart of our city and the heart of the parade. How we work together and support each other creates a network of roots that gives us strength, lessens the spaces between us , and brings nourishment to our communities, encouraging us to grow. We want to honor and bring visibility to the work that's happening right now – how the seeds of change are constantly being planted. There is wild growth happening all around us.
If we have given attention to the current state of the world, it's difficult not to feel a little despair. It's easy to get stuck in questions of why, and forget to ask what we can do to make the word we want to see, and how to embody it. We want to bring attention to want we can do now and the work being done by those around us, while remembering those who gre those first seeds that we build on each season.
Values are communicated and reinforced by attention. What ways can you make the world you want to see? Attention, like water, bring life. Where are you putting your attention? What are you growing?
– Andrew, Angie, Malia and Marcelo
Section 5: Nourish the Garden – Welcome to the Time of "One"
On a microcosmic level, the universe is as a garden, where laws of Harmony, Love, Polarity, Beauty and symbiotic frequencies serve as necessary nourishment among all elements and beings to thrive as ONE.
The Heart, in the center, radiates healing colostrum or essence. Sun, Spiral, and Calla Lily speak to the nourishment among all elements and necessary to thrive as ONE.
– Jim Cook, Dee Henry Williams and Edgar Bey III
Section 6: Bloom!
Bloom is the celebration! These splendid blossoms are why we stay optimistic, glimpsing the inspired future and the actualized community and world we long for. Bloom is an appreciation of living things, the work of healers and helpers, detoxifying masculinity, expressions of love, the sun, moon, and earth. We recognize the glorious result of working with natural systems of the earth to solve problems and sustain ourselves and other living creatures. The action of pollination is a reminder that everything we achieve is a result of interactions and interdependence. The blooming flower is the tangible result of feeding what you want to grow.
– Gustavo Boada, Lindsay McCaw and Ashlie Paulson
A circle is a healing and connecting prescription accessible to everyone. Every family, any group anywhere can form one.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Above: With my friend Mahad at the 44th annual MayDay parade – Minneapolis, Sunday, May 6, 2018.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• "What You Feed, Grows! (It's All About Love)" – Mayday 2018 (Part 1)
• Photo of the Day – May 6, 2018
• "Imagine, Heal, Resist" – MayDay 2017 (Part 1)
• Photo of the Day – May 7, 2017
• "Radical Returnings" – MayDay 2016 (Part 1)
• "Radical Returnings" – MayDay 2016 (Part 2)
• "Our New Possibility": Photo of the Day – May 1, 2016
• "And Still We Rise!" – MayDay 2015 (Part I)
• "And Still We Rise!" – MayDay 2015 (Part II)
• Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change (MayDay 2014 – Part 1)
• "The Spiritual Dialectic of WONDER?!" (MayDay 2014 – Part 2)
• See the World! (MayDay 2013)
• The End of the World as We Know It (2012)
• "Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 1 (2010)
• "Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 2 (2010)
• Getting Started: MayDay 2009 (Part 1)
• Celebrating Our Common Treasury: MayDay 2009 (Part 2)
• MayDay and a "New Bridge" (2008)
• The Time is Now! (2006)
Images: Michael J. Bayly.