It started with "What If?..."

We’re making space for small happenings.
Allowing room for Little sparks to glow.
Lending our breath to tiny flames, and
Warming our bodies with
Laughter, and
Grief, and
Failure, and
— Poem: Beginning Fresh, Mickey Vranic

( Enrolment for the Play Incubator closes on June 8th. You coming? )

When we were dreaming into the play incubator being offered right now inside Rooted, the conversation went a little like this: (expanded over the course of several months and many coffee-fuelled play dates!)
What if....
We devoted just two hours, one Sunday a month to the realm of play?
Feels good.
What if....
We offered one mini quest each month, that would invite us to experiment in small ways in our everyday lives and worlds?
Yes please!
Oh! What if....
We made space for an exploratory art-making incubator within the program, where we could inspire each other to Disrupt. Activate. and Transform something locally?
That's sounds scary, enticing and exciting!
What if....
We sat together with scholar-activists, teachers, clown-activists, poets, and creatives, and tried on new ideas, perspectives, and ways into joy, creativity and imagination?

How might that kind of devotion to playfulness, creativity, and imagination foster new worlds in and through us?

This Play Incubator is meant to act as a collective portal into our birthright creativity, imagination, and joy

This focus on play was birthed by Rooted’s ongoing experimentation inside our Global Village Membership Space.

As a collective, we've been focused on shifting the lens from trauma and what binds life energy to what liberates life energy, and makes life-affirming and earth-honoring worlds possible.

The play curriculum has been designed and stewarded by two voices from our team in particular, Liz Deligio, and Karine Bell.

Liz Deligio is a community psychologist with over ten years of experience in the psycho-social accompaniment of impacted communities. She has worked with communities throughout Chicago and internationally. Her career accompanying communities impacted by the loss of public housing. As she pursued a Masters of Divinity and then later a Ph.D. in community psychology, her work became more expansive, focusing on state violence, memory, and collective healing.
Karine Bell is Rooted’s mama. She's a bi-cultural Black woman,  somatics educator and practitioner, and scholar-activist and clown-in-training focused on liberatory and decolonial approaches to kin-making and community building.  She feels most authentic, most joyful, when living from the heart and she embraces curiosity and wonder as compass points.  Her love and devotion to mothering fuel a fire for this orientation. She believes in the healing made possible at the personal and collective level by the work we do through transforming experience in our bodies today. She is a PhD candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute where she combines continued practice and study in somatics with studies in decolonial depth psychology with a focus on community, liberation, indigenous and eco-psychologies.

All of us in Rooted have other responsibilities beyond the walls of this Third Space. We have children, full time jobs, animals we love, families, sorrow, dentist appointments, and dreams.

Like you,

Our hearts have ached and rage has surged as we continue to bear witness to the violence and crises happening in our time.

We want to find ways to honor the immensity of what is too much to hold alone, and we are curious about centering play as a response.

Why insist on the joy? bell hooks said:

“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.
Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity.
Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.
– bell hooks: Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, 2003
Through play and joy, we might introduce movement and air into the most frightend, enraged and calcified parts.

What we want to experiment with together, is this:

What could be transformed, if you were reminded of and invited into the current of playfulness this year?

What would it mean for our collective body, and all we seek to dismantle, to embrace play as a liberatory portal?

And what would it mean to know others all around the world are doing the same?

For these reasons and more, we are called into relationship with playfulness — to allow this portal to open inside and between us. To enter and see what comes next.
If this calls you, too, consider joining us!
We’ve thoughtfully designed a non-academic curriculum that will allow you to engage with approaches and practices rooted in play and expanded creativity and imagination that won’t monopolize too much time (the core program is just one Sunday a month).
It aims to enrich our lives and foster our capacity to come together in the midst of what feels like an impossible task.
(plus it’s going to be a lot of fun!)

“More information is not going to motivate us to act, neither are representations or pictures of politics, what makes us move is tasting dreams of what could be, stepping into the cracks where another world is coming into view.”

A users guide for demanding the impossible

This is the experiment in Rooted this year - will you take the leap?

Our Gift from inside the Program - This month's Mini Quest

This article is part of our...

Planting the Seed

Rooted Public Letter Series

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About the author(s):

Mickey Vranic
Questioning contemplative, writer, project manager - Rooted support lead.

About the author(s):

Rooted Global Village

The Rooted Global Village Co-Dreaming Team is made up of 6 folks. Karine Bell, Mickey Vranic, Oceana Sawyer, Weena Pauly-Tarr, Liz Deligio, & Cliff Berrien.

Learn more about out team here.