Thursday, May 05, 2016

"I Came Alive with Hope"

Celebrating 10 Years of The Wild Reed

I can think of no better way to mark the tenth anniversary of The Wild Reed than by sharing the following message I received from a young man in Ghana. With his permission I reprint (with added links) his January 12, 2015 message, accompanied by photos he subsequently e-mailed me.

Hello kind soul,

My name is Atsu Gadri, from Ghana.

I was researching about the dancer in the Alexander movie and was led to your blog. I was immediately drawn to your essays on dance and Sufi life.

I am a dancer myself, though I ceased dancing in 2011 due to depression. After reading the article on listening to the voice of the soul, and the other dance related articles, I came alive with hope. I found the balance you wrote about; I could get out of bed and take my daily class. I continued all the things that made my heart and soul soar.

You opened my eyes to another Catholicism, a sympathetic one.

I turned 24 last December, and my resolve to obey my calling to truly live with humility and colour was fired by accidentally coming across your blog.

Thank you, Mr Bayly, for making me dance again, for making me know how to feel again.

Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you, Atsu!

And my heartfelt love and gratitude to all who have contacted me over the years so as to let me know how much The Wild Reed has meant to them; how it has served as a source of strength, validation, and hope – a conduit of the transforming love of the Sacred Presence within and beyond us all.

I am deeply grateful that my writings – and my life and journey from which they emerge – have been such a conduit; that my creative endeavors have in their own unique ways embodied Jesus' "good news" of hope, compassion and human flourishing, of "life to the full."

And thanks again to Atsu for bringing all of this so beautifully and vibrantly to my awareness.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
One Thousand!
A Message of Heartfelt Gratitude
Better Late Than Never
The Soul of a Dancer
Soul Deep
Somewhere In Between
Liberated to Be Together
20 Years Stateside
The Australian Roots of My Progressive Catholicism
Michael Bayly: Changing the Church from Within
In the Footsteps of Spring
The Oak and the Reed (The very first Wild Reed post – May 5, 2006)

Images: On March 31, 2015 Atsu wrote: "[Recently] I performed as a dancer while painters worked on murals around the School of Performing Arts in the University of Ghana. A photographer captured some of the moments as, using music from The Rite Of Spring, I used movements to express an agonizing release from behavioral addictive patterns. This has been my first performance since I wrote to you. I hope you find them thrilling. Stay blessed. Cheers!"


AB India said...

Michael, as someone who has been touched by your writing... And look forward to each new post- I can only say this-keep writing. This blog is 'sacred space'and we are privileged to experience it... Much love and wishes

Michael J. Bayly said...

Heartfelt thanks, AB.

Joe Nix said...

Hi, Michael. Your 10th anniversary post is an especially beautiful story. And, I want you to know that I appreciate all your work at The Wild Reed. It is a source of spiritual nourishment for me. A few particular entries are saved as "favorites" in my browser, and I return to them periodically, to reflect on them again.

Mary Lynn Murphy said...

OMG, Michael! What a testimonial. You should feel very very good about your blog.

Joan Demeules said...

Oh my, what a gift you have been to each other. How very tender and moving his note is.

Mary Beth St Hilaire said...

Wow! This is lovely. I bet this kind of thing happens more often than we know. Keep up your good work!

Trish Vanni said...

Beautiful acknowledgment . . . and so deserved!

Amy Danzeisen said...

Oh, my. How wonderful! Reading this made it worth being online tonight!

Brent Vanderlinden said...

You are truly a channel of the Holy Spirit, Michael!

Anonymous said...

You give a voice to many, so please don't stop.