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Bearing witness

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

Bearing witness is something I've associated with dance... sitting in a studio watching the choreographic process unfold, witnessing as movement emerges from the body, the mind racing to catch-up, to hold, to remember the phrases. The purest form often lost in needing to replicate it.

Sitting in isolation, I came across this great quote this morning in a newsletter subscription from Sounds True - Spiritual podcasts and audio programs. I've listened to many and they are always brilliant!

A good friend of mine said, "You are married to sorrow." And I looked at him and said, "I am not married to sorrow. I just choose not to look away."

And I think there is deep beauty in not averting our gaze.

No matter how hard it is, no matter how heartbreaking it can be. It is about presence. It is about bearing witness.

I used to think bearing witness was a passive act. I don't believe that anymore. I think that when we are present, when we bear witness, when we do not divert our gaze, something is revealed—the very marrow of life. We change. A transformation occurs. Our consciousness shifts.

—Terry Tempest Williams

Terry's podcast I found illuminating and I thought you might too. Finding Beauty in a Broken World

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