What Are Secrets Anyway?
Pre-Project– Some Context
I actively initiated my healing journey, or maybe it actively initiated me, in 2007.
Either way, something began then that I haven’t been able to stop. It’s not that I’ve
wanted to stop it (okay, perhaps at times); it’s that my life really has organized itself
around a perpetual healing since recognizing and owning that I even needed to be healed in the first place.
Almost-Project– Email to Erica
Subject: Even as I write this…
Message: I can feel the anxiousness welling up behind my throat, within my solar plexus.
I am struck by how clear it is that this seems like the next step for my healing. And I am
terrified. Which makes me want it more.
Before you take this amazing work on the road, may I request an interview?
Project Prelude– The Interview
I have no expectations. I feel surprisingly at ease. Things are unfolding. Layers are getting peeled back…
There’s my embodied story. It is a tale of pushing my body to do coordinated
things and agile things and strength things. And trying desperately TO gain positive
attention for “these” things.
There’s my disassociated embody story. It is a tale of pushing my body to do risky
things and harmful things and painful things. And trying desperately NOT to gain any
attention for “those” things.
And then there is the story I have about both of those experiences of my
embodiment, the story that suggests that one is “better” than the other, or the story
that one somehow absolves me of the other.
Project Composition– The Shoot
Again, I have no expectations…Or so I thought…leading into the shoot. Then it hits
me…about 2 minutes before Erica is due to arrive…My body feels dense and achy.
My mind races with: I can’t do this. How will I do this? Why am I doing this?
I do it nevertheless. And I feel curious while I am doing it. I ask myself: What does
any of it mean, or what will any of it mean?
Project Intermission– The Purging
Four hours after the shoot ends, the purging begins. Even though it’s a literal purge,
its figurative nature is unmistakable. The thought that holds me through it all (even
if it didn’t make it to my conscious awareness until now) is: I don’t have to continue
holding onto this story, to these stories.
Project Postlude– The Synthesis
Attempt to Write the Essay Two Days After the Shoot-
My body has its secrets. It always has. It probably always will…
In the healthy, lighter, more exuberant side of life, its secrets are… While
in the not-so healthy, darker, more shadowy side of life, its secrets are…
Attempt to Write the Essay Six Days After the Shoot-
My body had its secrets. It guarded them vigilantly. The “good” ones and the “bad”.
It doesn’t want that for itself anymore. It doesn’t want to see or describe itself in the
context of “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong”.
It wants a new language for its experiences, words and ideas that allow it to be what
it is, or, to put a twist on a poem Derek Walcott wrote, words and ideas that will allow
me to: greet myself arriving at my own door, in my own mirror, with elation.
Post-Project– To be continued…