UNITY, DIVERSITY, INDIVIDUALITY
The Wide Sky Men’s Council was created by Ray Bunch and a group of men in 1990. The concept of the Council is inspired by the works Robert Bly, an American poet, author, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men's movement. He is most famous for his "Iron John: A Book About Men" (1990). We intend for Wide Sky to be a place where the unique expression of life that individual men are, will be acknowledged, listened to, recognized, empowered and most of all, appreciated. Wide Sky provides the safety of a ritualized container, bounded by honor, integrity and compassion. The wild and woolly raw energy of maleness via drumming, dancing and storytelling opens the door to authentic, heartfelt expression. The safety of the container allows for the full recognition of our shadow side, without even a hint of judgment or evaluation. The depths of love, rage, tenderness, humor, hurt and caring are permitted full expression.
The title, "Wide Sky Men's Council," comes from a passage from the Rainer Maria Rilke poem, “On Love and Other Difficulties”:
We hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people, that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other… once the realization is accepted that even between the closest Human Beings infinite distance continues to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and against a Wide Sky.
To express on a web page about the exquisiteness and poignancy of what occurs at a typical Saturday Wide Sky Men's Council gathering requires poetry of the highest nature. The joy and despair of life is allowed and encouraged but never forced. Individual autonomy is fully respected. Whether you hide out or act out, you will be loved and included.
Anywhere from 10 to 30 men may show up. Drums a plenty will be available for all. After drumming loud and long, individual sharing takes the form of passing the sacred "talking stick." Each Saturday gathering of men will have unique activities and stories planned by the designated leader of the day. The themes of each gathering tend to loosely follow the sacraments of the seasons in the spirit of our indigenous forefathers. The meetings are highly participatory. The leadership changes each month so everyone gets a chance to tell the story or conduct a ritual. There is no single "right way" to do anything. Each man infuses each activity with his own energy, intellect, and spirit.
The women in our life (the feminine energy) seem to love it that we do this. They participate in spirit only. However, they appreciate the additional testosterone that gets generated.
Our annual camp out in August is a three day epic story in itself and anyone who has been to one seems to always return. They are part bonding with each other and part exploring the natural park setting, with time left for solitude, reflection, rebooting, and healing. The Wide Sky Men's Council is a place to belong, a place to be heard, a place to be seen, and a place to be accepted and appreciated, no matter what.
Join us on the third Saturday of alternating months.