Content warning for descriptions of being triggered around ableism and abuse.
I've been trying to write to you, the proverbial you, for ages.
The problem is that in the texts I write, whether plays or novellas or palmettos,
You is often me. And so I wind up talking to myself again.
Since the summer, I have been working on the second installment of my three show cycle (borrowing the word cycle from Sara Porkalob, my mentor, director, and good friend) Big River Not the Sea.. The second show, which is actually an elder sibling (as one of my world builders, Saira Barbaric would say) to Bet Ya UnGodly Things, which you may have seen at Gay City Arts last year. Nevertheless, it came second, as only prequels can. With hindsight, with that terrible thing known as, "Time to reflect and to remember", I bring it forth after after after.
Lover of Low Creatures is about my childhood. It's not everything about my childhood, but it's some very important things. It is about my mother, her brilliance, magic, and way with plants and animals. It is about my mother, her frustration and grief at not really my disability and mixed raceness, but the way that the world had already begun to respond to my disability and mixed raceness, and her lack of support in raising me and protecting me. It is about a trauma I experienced at the hands of a person who called themselves a healer, and a Christian. It is about the Gods I didn't have the chance to know as a child, but have gotten to know recently. It is about the morals of fairy tales, which my mama did very well to unpack for me. It is about friendship, allyship, kinship, and many other ships. Most importantly of all it is about a river, which all of the shows in this cycle are about, in the beginning and the end.
I have wanted so badly to promote and hype myself and my work so well these last few months, and I have fallen short of my own standards. In February I started a monthly newsletter via Mailchimp, and come March I began to wonder whether it shouldn't be a seasonal newsletter instead?
I do not have the attendant (access support) support that I need.
I am experiencing growing pains.
Writing and choreographing and composing and acting out this show, as well as teaching the choreography to my students, and teaching integrated contemporary improvisation to middle schoolers at a public school, have triggered me. I didn't mean for them to. But in all of these situations a few very simple things become abundantly clear over and over and over again:
I am very creative.
If the world were my only problem,
maybe people could trust me.
But my body is a problem
in need of solving
in front of so many eyes
who are not as creative as me.
Since I haven't solved myself,
How could I possibly make their lives better, more interesting, more free?
Once, a man tried to heal me.
Once, a man tried to drown me.
Once, a man tried to break me.
Tipped me over
spilled me out
turned me inside out
Can you walk now?
Are you free?
Can you walk now?
Are you free?
Can you breathe now?
Can you see?
I said, no thanks to you, but yes
I am free but no thanks to you.
Outside of that world of reflecting on and making dances of trauma, there is you. I do need you. I do give thanks to you. And so I hope you will buy tickets to Lover of Low Creatures. It is the creative child of so many, though it claims to be a solo show.