By April Nickell

I listen to a lot of podcasts and every now and then tears spring to my eyes on the subway. I am always surprised by this and try to figure out what has moved me. It is often because of human connection. I just listened to a Bill Moyers about activism where he interviews Howard Zinn. He tells about Janora Dalinger, a 23 yr. old woman who, while at a sit-in strike against unfair working conditions of the 1930’s, got on a loud speaker and rallied the crowed against the violent police. The men tried to stop her from getting involved but she pushed them away. Her speech made women walk into the chaos of the protest in order to help the powers that be see the violence of their acts. Men don’t like to hurt women. What is it that allows an individual to walk into violence in order to bring about change? It is connectedness. You may get hurt or die but you are part of something bigger than you. There is power when we realize we belong to each other.

This woman’s voice caused action and then the retelling of the story affected me. Encouraging people to tell their stories and listen to others stories is what Jaradoa is all about. I keep thinking about what Jaradoa has done on the very limited budgets we have and thinking that none of it is possible if we didn’t feel like we belonged together. (if any of you Lost fans are feeling like Rose in the final season thinking – “if you say ‘live together, die alone’ one more time, I’m going to hurt you!” rest assured – I leave that line to the high drama of Lost!)

Here we are heading into load in this week with very limited staff and funding but what happens is volunteers, members and friends show up to help make it happen. Some of my favorite memories are looking around the theater in the middle of load in and seeing, writers, actors, directors, designers, friends, my neighbors and even my parents working on something. I think this even playing field of everyone diving in and doing what they can for the production is what makes our play time like the Kicknick or ‘family’ potluck so much fun. I am not saying painting a set is the same as this woman’s rallying speech, but I am saying what makes either of them work is the same thing – knowing we belong to each other.

There is no outside, no other, only all. Jaradoa is a family now and hope everyone we encounter can become part of that family and remember this whole city, country and planet are part of that family. We belong to each other. We are on the same team. So we love. That is the team we are on. The loving body of the universe!

(Click here for a link to the Bill Moyers Thee Journal that made me cry! He interviews Howard Zinn around 28:00 minutes)

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