I arrived in Mexico with an act about my mother's loneliness that had become my own. She came from a loving family of 8, cuddling together in a one room Adobe house high in the Andes. She now lives in one of the most isolating societies in history, the US, with ideals of individualism and self reliance. "so cold" she would say in the California sun, referring to the people not the weather. I grew up with a sense of something missing. I became an artist, looking for passion or meaning or something. Not until I did this tour in Mexico did I realize I was looking for love, not the romantic love our society values. Not the kind that sells fad diets and fancy cars. I longed for what my mother was missing, communal love, family love, societal love. Human love.
Growing up without video games, these kids know how to play better than we do. The circus won't save them. With my hula hoop act, I tried to connect with them. These kids in orphanages can all relate to abandonment. Before my act everyone dances off the stage, and I remain. I started asking kids to be my friend during my act, and if they said yes I would put the hoop around them too, then dance joyfully. Towards the end I would proclaim "amigos todos".
These kids were so loving. They would stick together. They would stand together, leaning on each other hugging each other, coming up after the show to give us hugs. Even after being abandoned under horrible circumstances, these orphanages swelled with love and community. I thanked them at the end, thanking them for their energy, for their smiles, for their love. I loved those kids. I can't pretend to understand what they go through. I can't even fathom their resilience. I just hope as they grow up they will remember a moment of love from an American citizen. I hope that we can learn the interconnection that they have, before we destroy each other and ourselves with self centered American policies.
By "helping " them we heal ourselves. I learned to enter a performance, and my life with love. Maybe if we can learn from these kids, someday we can stop destroying the environment, stop exploiting other cultures, stop making enemies. I hope we can learn to love before it is too late.