I miss the risks I only take in the gravity of your presence.
As I write, and mindlessly metabolize my writing, I do not breathe very deeply. I am afraid to touch the loss that lies on the outer walls of my diaphragm, where courage can reach and love tickles. I do not send my breath to that tenderness in my belly; perhaps I save it for you.
I am tired of being both actor and crowd. I've gotten much better at filling a room with imagined spectators. I spent summer months evading illness and exploring clown’s physical language. I spent dampening, darkening months expanding this language, discovering its limits and boundaries. I used it to develop theoretical scaffolding from which I could jump or fall. I was pulling things into the landscape of clown, new forces, a looming presence that seeped into the energy of bodies and space in the form of articulate tension. As I became acquainted with the forces and presence that I can invoke, I realized my grief is too vast for my college to hold.
In this era of collective trauma, as the rift between people who perceive the disaster and those who deny it expands, what do we do with the treasure that is our ineptitude? Limits allow us to access our vulnerability, our strength, and touch one another with the only real touch that can happen without fingers and limbs.
I have witnessed tenderness affect people with the impact that terror might have on their nervous systems: pointed, immediate, a swell followed by undeniable aching and clarity. Gasps of surprise sting the air, impressively, and laughter reveals more than it meant to.
I have been touched by tenderness with the same impact that a wound might make and I’ve carried away glowing scars of it. I have witnessed my tenderness fade and seep into things. I have witnessed it seep into people. I learned this intricate way to feel and read touch in an era where physical touch is not possible.
I sincerely wish for you to find tenderness somewhere in this landscape of mine. I consider this virtual space an embodied disorganization of the ordinary, an inadequate map, which is the appropriate sort to bring into a place doomed by impossibility.
The pandemic did my homework for me in a way I did not choose. Making art in disaster is a wonderful thing; fantasy and expectation crumble very quickly to expose the subtlest vital elements. And here I am, my dissatisfaction will not be softened, my metabolism hunts like a river. I promise there is more to come, my dear audience; for the one thing I have remained certain of is my unconditional love of your presence.