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Associate Producer Holly L. Danyliw Reflects Upon "ONE: The Movie" & Her Experiences At Touchstone Farm
“ONE: The Movie” is not just a movie, -- it is an experience. A truly “moving” Experience…
When I first saw "One," in Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center, I came around a set of stairs to sit in a theatre facing a stain-glass Star of David, -- located in an archaic, now-renovated temple.
This reverential setting helped make the viewing of "One" an even more introspective experience than it already was!...
Ward Powers, the movie’s keenly-insightful director, led us on a kaleidoscopic journey, -- from its provocative conception onward through an intricate maze of ideas, philosophies & beliefs held by spiritual thinkers & religious leaders from around the world. And during this spiritual excursion, my heart and mind resonated to the participants' profound questions of fear; life after death; and what God looks like.
During each turn, my heart would feel joyous & hopeful, -- then suddenly quiet & reflective. Often, I would think, “where is the director going next?” -- Sometimes, it even felt like a dance. (No pun intended.)
But, mostly, while viewing "One," I thought of my own life and the percolating questions that ultimately bubbled up inside.
“How is what they are saying relevant to me?" I thought.
Then, moments later, an answer would pop into my head: “Oh, yes. This is very relevant to me.” I KNOW what it is like to feel intense fear; to question what will happen after my death; -- and to wonder what does God really look like?
(I often think He looks very much like a She. But, that’s another story.)
When I distilled the total experience of those amazing thinkers, movers & shakers of our age, so expertly captured on film, I came up with a simple, -- but, not very original, conclusion, -- I'm afraid.
It is true that I am the same as you. It is true that we are all human. It is true that we all have faults, -- making errors, -- or as some call them: “sins.” And we all have the same deep, red blood pulsing through our veins (...perhaps a different blood type, though).
It is really TRUE that it is as simple as that.
We ARE all One.
Ward Powers couldn’t have come to any other conclusion to his compelling, breathtaking smorgasbord of a documentary than that…
Holly Lynn Danyliw
[The official website of "ONE: The Movie" (which has been featured with "Touchstone: Dancing With Angels") is located at: http://www.OneTheProject.com]
How do you describe something that is indescribable? How the experiences and feelings of a time period in your life existed mostly in your subconscious mind?
When I think of all that happened to inspire me to document a place during a certain time with certain people on its land, -- the only word I can think of is: LOOK.
Look around you right now. Who are your teachers? Do they come
cloaked as your "lover," -- or bold and arrogant as your "enemy"?
Reality is, they are both your teachers.
This is where it all began for me when I stepped onto the land called "Touchstone" 17 years ago. ...Are we ever conscious of the influence certain individuals have on our lives?
I believe the answer is Yes and No.
I have been blessed to receive "teachers" in my life when I needed them
most. Shaker (Debbie) and Anja were those teachers.
I struggled, I fought, I despaired and they were there.
I could count on their presence if I drove to 132 West Street in Easthampton on a Friday or Saturday evening. My car would arrive in
Touchstone's parking lot and I would open my door and stand on its ground and take a deep breath.
I would then follow the winding, lighted path through Touchstone's gardens and find myself before the Dancing Barn. Pulling the door ajar and hearing the Christmas bells ring, I
would find my joy here.
Over and Over.
In the dance. In the community of people gathered. In the music so ancient from times past and present. In the stories woven by Shaker (Debbie) about Rumi; about oral traditions of tribes gone by; about the joys and pains of living.
Here is what I found over and over.
Touchstone's gift of certainty of people and place repeated like clockwork.
Time and Time again.
How does one ever repay a person, a place or a people for their gifts
given freely and unspoken?
I suspect only by love.
It has been done with blessings and beauty and time invested.
Nothing else to say...
With Love and Sincerity,
Holly Lynn Danyliw