Desire has a voice

By Katie Chown; January 2013

Photography by Katie Chown

Katie Chown, Remnant Dance artist, is 5 weeks into a 7 week Curtin University Occupational Therapy (OT) placement in Yangon, Myanmar. What she has found most confronting about her experience has also been the most difficult to articulate for her OT Needs Analysis Report: the development of which has been the major focus of her trip.

Katie has noticed that the majority of people in Yangon are incredibly considerate of others, hospitable, welcoming, warm-hearted and generous. It has been a humbling experience for her, given the extreme poverty in a population of over 5.5 million where there are strict government controls and entrenched cultural traditions. She senses it is difficult for many of the locals to imagine how life could be any different from what they are confronted with on a daily basis.

From Katie’s perspective, it seems that many individuals have given up dreams of a future that they have now deemed unrealistic and travel their regular routes each day carrying a subliminal spirit of defeat.

The following piece of writing is a blessing for those in Yangon, and anywhere for that matter, who have buried their desires for a different kind of future. Katie’s hope is that as you read, those silenced will find a voice - and the courage to speak.


May the deepest desires within our souls ignite. It matters not how realistic they are.

May the yearning of our hearts unfold through every inch of our arms into our finger tips: ricochet from our heart to our gut, melt into our pelvis, shoot roots into our legs, causing us to run, leap and fly! Becoming impeccably grounded. Let the dance of desire move us from the depths of our core, billowing to the shore to rest for a while.

May the song of our longing be spritely, spilling out from our throats unexpectedly, regularly, singing high notes and low notes.

High notes and low notes, quick tempo, slow tempo, including all tones and tempos in between. Singing chords which open our skin, splaying rays up to the sun and the sky and cry! Chords running down the backs of our legs, seep into the ground and move soil. Let the song of our longing satisfy its self.

May our bellies respond to the drumming of our dreams. Our hair turn to flame and launch us: body, mind and soul into a corroboree. Roaring thunder into the night, It matters not, what the rules are.

Our stomping feet, flailing hands and fiery crown warn:

This spirit of desire will not be stifled. This spirit of desire has a voice of its own. This spirit of desire speaks freely. This spirit of desire is within me.


To read more about the charity MyKids' work with children in Myanmar, go to their website.