Originally published on Art Circulation here.
I was lucky enough to participate in Montréal Danse’s Choreographic Workshops with dancers Marie-Claire Forte and Rachel Harris in December 2022. The experience was like dropping a glitter bomb into olive oil. It will take a while for the scintillating pieces to land, but a few thoughts have settled enough to be written down.
I don’t begin or end so much as accumulate. Silt at the tide’s edge.
I know because I’ve written and rewritten versions of the same ideas in my journals for years on end. They are desires, principles, lessons learned often forgotten, daydreams. Among them:
- arrive gently to love this place; homesickness is a feeling not to be confused with having made a mistake;
- I miss my sister and her geological understanding of what lies beneath;
- let’s find the smell of curiosity, that it be contagious, joyful and embracing of fear;
- move tangibly, obviously, sculpting with the material of what’s here.
The daydreams coalesce into a path. I barely see it: remind myself to put what I learn and love in my coat pocket like a beach pebble. I forget how it feels until the next time I wear that coat. The stone’s familiarity surprises me. I turn it between my fingers as I walk.
It’s a dance built in layers of circumstance, iterations. It forms vertically, intentionally resting on the ones before, which compress, infiltrating each other. They sometimes collapse in sink holes left gaping. Or they are eroded by tourists taking rocks from the beach. I’m not a tourist, but I’ve taken them, too.
Deeper down, the layers get threaded with a new vein: quartz slices across the memory and carves a thin milky line. How could I have not noticed the stripe in my little grey pebble before, worried by the sea?
I’m not trying to be vague, but these empty spaces shouldn’t be filled with answers. If they stay open, they’ll keep breathing. I want them to keep breathing, unsettled. I hope others will also walk here. I don’t know where we are going. The grey stones look familiar now that they’re wet with rain. I think I’ve been here before.