I am sorry that I have been so silent. Sometimes I find it hard to say the things I’m thinking—not because I don’t have the words, but because I don’t think others should have to hear them… As I may have let slip before, the best way I think I can put it right now is that I am wondering whether it is worth it to keep going through to graduation—to see my parents one last time. I seem to be entirely alone. I seem to keep ending up this way. I can’t seem to do anything about it. There’s this pattern that keeps cycling through in my life, with people, pursuits, everything really, —I know you are here, my parents, others, but so far away, so out of focus it seems, I can’t quite reach you, I can’t make things stick. And I don’t fault anyone, or anything. But apparently no matter what the relationship to me and my extreme generosity, we’ll call it, in the end, it is too much to sustain continued attachment. And so, as in my dances, I am so often reaching out for something absent, and it just feels like I wasn’t made for this world. That sounds so silly. But that’s how it feels. I just feel a big void.
I miss the days when I was happy. When my smile was big and grand and true. When my desire was so strong.
I was in the studio last weekend, painting the walls—we reoriented the stage space. It was a good distraction. The sun has been out here, but it’s not quite warm. I went out without my jacket to stand in the light, dancing in the park not caring who saw, feeling, just for a moment, free. I just want to feel free of this weight, of this loss, of this grieving I find myself stuck in. What good is wonder if there is no one to share it with? This is how it feels right now. I never want to be resolute in my solitude. Truly, I don’t think I understand what that would be, to feel that way. I can enjoy some quality “alone time” but not a solitary life. This life that I am leading now, is a solitary life… and I don’t want it. It hurts. Agonizingly.
So music, the sun, my morning routine, and dancing. These are the things keeping me going.
And here we are today, St. Patrick’s day. Again, a sunny day. I’ve been up since dawn, having to rush into the School to return a memory card and camera for my photographer. He kindly shot the performances we staged last night even though his BFA opening was only an hour later. After the errand downtown, I came back home and edited the footage from last night. The morning was dragging. I had actually begun to feel sad yesterday morning, the rush of the week finally waning. As I may have mentioned here and there last week, I did indeed deliver my lecture
, have rehearsals with the inflatable sculptures
, and then stage my own performances
. Every day was spent in preparation, both in the studio and also out on the street—you see, having no mirrors at the School, I’ve taken to dancing on the sidewalks in front of the large, vacant storefront windows here on Wabash Ave. I find I have a ready audience on these sunny days, so many people flocking to the outdoors. One gentleman, a fellow grad student who I’d seen around but did not know, came up to me on my second day out in front of the windows and told me he really enjoyed my performances out there… would I be doing them often? were they for something in particular? I told him that they were actually part of my preparation for my grad lecture and he asked where was it and when—and he came! How funny! I should dance on the street more often, it seems.
Back to today… as the day was dragging on, the house so quiet, I decided to nap—which I rarely do, and then awoke to a text message from another grad student who has become somewhat of an itinerant company member in A House Unbuilt. She is a sculptor and is working with refashioning these one-lipped buckets
to have two. They demand bodies. She is insecure with her own. When I move with her objects, it seems to give her permission to move, and good things come out of it all for both us. We will be staging a micro-performance with the two-lipped bucket this coming week in my space—that was part of her text, to request my time and space for that. Her other request was to accompany she and her mother on a shopping outing, for wedding gowns. She is engaged. Fabulous. You might say here I have a friend. And yet, it is so rare, so itinerant a friendship as well. There is nothing sticky.
After waking, I decided to try some job and apartment searching while watching a movie—Dirty Dancing! such a guilty pleasure. I’m not sure if I mentioned that I’ve actually been taking ballroom dancing lessons with this fellow I occasionally go out with. He is so nice, but we are a long way off from any kind of sustained relationship. At the least, our dancing provides an engaging distraction on Monday nights. I do so love the dancing. We are learning Rumba, Salsa, Tango, Foxtrot, Swing, and whatever else the instructor likes to throw in. Fortunately this guy has a good sense of rhythm—our bodies connected, moving in time so well together. And it seems he actually practices in the time between lessons, so nice that we can progress at a fast pace. I’ve always wanted to take lessons like this. And I need all the distractions I can get. Or, well, that’s one strategy.
And yet, my movie is over. I have showered, dressed, and am sitting now typing to you, considering dinner. I was supposed to have plans with an old friend and collaborator who recently contacted me out of the blue. He came to my talk on Wednesday and had to run right after. He suggested dinner this weekend, today, that he’d call this afternoon… the afternoon has come and gone. This is where it always seems to land for me. And of course, it’s not that there’s not work I could do, or another movie I could watch, …I’d love to read a book, but haven’t got one that doesn’t get me down, so that’s out. I really just want to sit at a table, over a nice meal, and a glass of wine or two, and share some good conversation, maybe go for a walk, rest my head on someone’s shoulder—my limbs so in need of rest—laugh, be silly, do something that gives a rush, and finally, fall into a deep satisfying sleep.
So, that’s probably enough for now. smile.
I’ll close out with the words I used to close my talk, quoting some of this past summer’s correspondence:
I will leave this now, as it seems to have turned into much more of a response than I intended. But, letting CARE have its way with me, many things unexpected do indeed tumble out. I am blue, it seems…
As Berger wrote to Christie’s blue:
Blue is sad, blue is memory and nostalgia, but blue is also affrontery and impudence. And this is what I love about the colour. The most expensive of colors. Blue is prize. No public one. Intimate prize. Blue says: outrageously and absurdly: I am yours or you are mine! And no other colour can judge us. No simple colour can judge jewel. There’s an impromptu by Schubert which talks of this. And Charlie Parker became Bird because he knew about blue.
Meet me in the middle of the ocean, dear friends. Meet me in a field of blue.
I will carry no net, no harpoon, no hook. Only this care, the blues of sky and sea meeting, and the hunger of a child after abandoning herself to a long swim.
Meet me where the usual is possible, and the impossible is not so difficult after all (as Matthew Goulish once said).
So, for now, I leave this, but I do not leave you.