The “Red” Layer

Friend and yoga student Stephanie Crabtree who is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at WSU, read my post on the naming of KivaSpace, and added the following:  “After reading your description of kivas on your webpage I would like to add that they are not just ceremonial, but functioned as multi-use spaces for not only important religious rituals, but also offered places to get out of the hot sun or the cold winter, to dance (thus many of them have footdrums, like at Aztec) and to reconnect with the ancestors. :)”

I love this.  My vision of the space includes the possibilities of a multi-use space, a space to create community, and (goes without saying), a space to dance!  And a bit ago, as I worked in the space, I had my own personal moment of “reconnecting with ancestors.”

Gladish Community Center used to be the high school in Pullman.  Both of my parents attended high school in this building — it’s where they met and began dating.  In fact, the building is named after the man who was Principal when they were students — Oscar Gladish.  Mr. Gladish loved my mother (she was very bright and very socially active).  He had concerns about my Dad (Also very bright, but only taking band, shop, and typing his Senior Year, and frequently found sneaking out of the band room window to go down and play pool at the City Club — Guess Gladish has always had good windows to climb in and out of!).  So Mr. Gladish would lecture my mother, urging caution about dating and getting serious about that “Zakarison boy.”

Advance forward about twenty some years.  Gladish was turned into one of 2 local middle schools, and it was the one I attended (I can still sing the “Fight Song” . . . just ask!).  The little corner where KivaSpace is now coming to life was the P.E. teacher’s office and girl’s locker room.  As I was working on the space recently, scraping off layers of paint, I hit the “red layer” that you see in the picture.  Bam! I was transported to a memory I must haved buried a looong time ago.  For those of you that don’t know, I have epilepsy, and it turns out I had my very first grand mal seizure in this very same space, then the P.E. teacher’s office.  I had forgotten all about this until I hit the red layer of paint, which figures prominently in my memory as I hit that same paint while hitting the floor during the seizure.

I now have sympathy for that teacher.  Imagine an adolescent girl, walking into your office, telling you that she feels “really weird.”  The teacher suggested that maybe I was about to begin menstruating or having some sort of “personal/emotional issue.”  I then dropped onto her floor and had a seizure.  I remember coming back around, with her demanding that I quit “acting out for attention” and get back into the gym.  I remember being really scared because I felt really strange and I didn’t know what had happened.  And then I tried to walk out of her door, fell over, and got sick on her floor (Yes, the red one!).  She wasn’t pleased, I felt like a freak, and my epilepsy went undiagnosed for five more years.

So now that same space becomes a place for healing.  How’s that for calling up the ancestors and creating a space for loving forgiveness?  Here’s to all your healing journeys.  I hope that KivaSpace will be a part of them.

Hands that hurt (a bit), thoughts that heal

So, I’ve been working on the new space (now officially called “Kiva Space,” because it feels like a kiva to me — a Native American dwelling used for spiritual purposes, that one usually climbs into via a ladder!).  Rather than painting the walls, I’ve been using 3 colors of a beautiful product called American Clay.  It’s fabulous to work with, in a labor-intensive kind of way — you put it on with a roller and a trowel, and then you lovingly go over it, many times, with trowel and hands, to compress it and shape it to the wall.  If you were going for quick, it would be an aggravation.  However, I decided awhile ago that touching every part of every wall in Kiva Space would be a loving practice of intention, meditation, and prayer.  So, as I’ve worked, I’ve thought and dreamed to the lively and healing community space I want to bring to life in this funny, L-shaped space.  I’ve thought/held/prayed for many I know who have been in need of . . . well, the things we all need, trusting the beautiful place where we all connect to one another and far beyond our individual selves.  I’ve simply allowed myself to be intentionally open to yes, as I work in this little southeastern corner of Gladish.  As you can see, my hands are a bit weary, but my heart is full of the beauty of many of you.  The rainbow walls hold lots of love, and are waiting to hold the community we will become!  With a heart full of love and gratitude today — Kristine