I cried in public today
On stage I stood
Before all those faces 
And I feel so proud
That I didn’t squash it down
But flowed
Staying on the thread.

Susan Merrick red and yellow
asked me do you want a hug?
“Yes please” I said and continued talking
with an embrace of support.
“I like hugs” I said.

Definitely not alone.
Perhaps when we use our voices
people will stand with us
Just enough to steady ourselves
Flowing on the tide.

I shared my experience
Pushing back
A “yes but…”
I pushed with my hands
Defining my space?

“Ooh I’m feeling quite emotional”
I admitted to the crowd.
That pushing action
Arms out, hands flat
Feeling that action

Am I on my soapbox?

(I didn’t think that then
I just felt the sensation)

Sometimes you need to push back I said
When you’ve taken on some much of the “other”.
A balancing act.

(I can’t remember what I was responding to.)

What just happened?
What did you see?

(Raw and loose
Contemplating me)

Published by Maija Liepins

Australian born, mixed-media artist, Maija Liepins focuses on the sensory and emotional experience in her visual dreamscapes. Repetitive actions such as dream journals or collecting visual impressions with her mobile phone generates material with which to reveal the subtle, ‘underneath’. Maija’s drawings and films allude to a symbolic mythology as if the intangible substance of dream is a material as real as ink and clay. Her practice is driven by a pursuit of freedom - to express, to create, and to collaborate without inculturated inhibition.

5 comments on “Flowing”

  1. More hugs whenever you need them Maija. What I realised today, in my bubble, is that in order to dissent we need two things. The reason to dissent (be it discomfort, outrage, injustice, pain,….. , humour maybe? Independent thinking or gut feeling!), but also we need to feel ‘safe’ enough to dissent.
    This group is about providing that too. That safety. Once we feel that then we can open and dissent, far more freely than if we simply attack.

    1. Yes, I am learning that I am responsible for my own safety. I think safety is part of the negotiation of spaces and participation (when, what, how much).

      Is it radical to take responsibility for our own safety, expression, contribution, experience? Sometimes I think so. The Laboratory of Dissent is a great opportunity to explore these things.

      My whisper group will be exploring this a lot, “What is my Dissent?” and “What does it take?” or at least that is one intention we have expressed so far.

      1. When we each are aware of our own response-ability, we can co-experience and co-create much more effectively and organically through exploratory and generative phases of collective growth.

        Thinking out loud…

        I am wondering if there is privilege in being in a position where freedom of expression is supported by the conditions we are in or have created. That doesn’t make it bad, but it does create a power dynamic that it helps to be aware of? Not everyone in a space will be in the head-space, mind-set, or circumstance to feel that safe and able in that moment. Just because I feel safe doesn’t mean that I can assume everyone is equally supported by the conditions to engage ‘equally’. This is where the dialogue is important. By doing this together, not as a sequence of isolated acts and experiences, but as part of an open conversation… we are able to listen, respond, adjust, and remake our relationships to fit the moment we are in. By having a conversation we don’t talk for others but with others.

  2. Not that I’m planning an attack! But it feels like dissent can feel like an attack. I don’t this this feeling is useful. So we need to implement spaces where we feel safe. And then we can more freely talk about dissent, and actually feel free to dissent …
    Although perhaps that’s just me.

    Maybe many relish the act of dissent when it does feel risky, fearful.

    Dont get me wrong, I have frequently dissented when there is risk involved. But because I felt able to. I felt confident or justified enough to.

    Maybe many others care far less than me about when or how their dissent happens…. maybe they need to dissent against my need for support and safety.
    If you do. Please be kind too. Or at least make me a cup of tea.

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