Diving in

From a freewrite this morning, written in view of the freezing Columbia under a wide blue December sky:

I have become so full of experience that I must release it. In the alchemical crucible of ourselves, our bodies, we transmute our lives into new form. We digest, we express.

And where to begin? How to choose from the roiling sea of memory that swirls and churns in the gut, all color and texture and feeling? No matter how I second-guess, hesitate, dive headlong, give power or take or hold it, this river of life keeps rolling. Flowing. Wouldn’t it simply be better to let go into it? Isn’t this the aim of all my yoga training, music training, physical theatre, dance—to know the structure, the riverbanks, so as to release into the stream?

What is the structure of a life? There is the structure we are born with: bones, muscles, organs. There is the structure of family, of culture, of the land in which we’re raised—though these structures are more mutable, more subject to revision. We can choose to leave our families and find or create new ones but our bones are ours.

Through writing I wish to organize this sea of experience into some kind of body. To match like with like, to find what limb attaches to which joint, and what is the blood, and what is the flesh and lymph and fascia. What is the outside, what is the inside. Perhaps they are the same. Perhaps there is a pattern.

What was once visible, palpable, in-the-moment experience is now invisible, stored in the earth of my own body that walks and dances and sings and stretches and sits. Deep inside, it is changing, it organizes itself, it becomes new. I am gathering up my invisible insides in order to birth them again, birth these stories, birth myself. The old skin falls away as new life comes through, made from threads and waves and particles of the past, birthing itself, becoming its own body. Who knows what it will look like; who knows where it will go? It’s not up to me to say. Create, create, keep creating, says my grandfather. Release the dams from the river. Let it flow into the sea.


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