A response to Clifton Duncan
I listened to an interview with Esther Perel a couple years ago; I think it's this one: https://tim.blog/2017/05/21/esther-perel/ in which she talks about growing up in the Jewish neighborhoods in Belgium after WWII, and how they were people who had only survived, and continued to live as if the war was ongoing, and others who chose to really live, to be fully present, and to take the risks of joy and love that had been so brutally shattered. It's an important story.
When the doctors told me I was in full remission (both times), I did not use the term "survivor" and I did not stay in the cancer "community." It felt to me then, as it does now, like a pharma-medico-fueled industry to keep people sick and dependent even as their bodies were recovered. I feel a huge responsibility right now to stand up with my face towards to sun and say, "However many times you try to tear it down, we will build it back up."
What an excellent response. Thank you for speaking to the quiet ripping cruelty that transpired.
"As much as the world needs food that is not poisonous, medical care that won’t kill us, and education that serves the student rather than the state, we need to be reminded why life is worth living. We need to see it, touch it, taste it. Being an artist in the world that is coming may look very different from how it has looked in the past. I don’t know precisely what it will look like, but I know that artists are going to be more important than ever for the wellbeing, and yes even survival, of humanity. And I hope Clifton will be a part of that."
Thank you so much for writing this.
I loved reading this so much, you touched me, Bretigne, speaking so much truth -- I know exactly what you are talking about. At 6yo, I sang Oh Holy Night acapella over the school microphone, perfect pitch soprano (I had no idea what any of that meant at the time). Spent my high school years in a dark living room singing into a hairbrush along with Dinah Washington and Barbara Streisand. Did every play in college and got a degree in drama, then spent my adult life doing musical comedy, singing in bands, comedy shows, singing pretty much all the time. In 2010, I had a near-death episode landing in a hospital with a ventilator. When it came out, my vocal cords were injured and I could no longer sing. I literally cried for years, aching for my voice to be restored and no help from the medical community (thank goodness, no telling what they would have done!) Today, I've gotten some of it back, thanks to my stumbling into a few alternative treatments. But singing was who I was... it's not like losing an arm or a husband. I lost me. Most people have no idea what that kind of loss is like, "ok you can't sing, most people can't sing, get over it"... I didn't know how to fully live without singing or theatre. So I'm determined to sing these days. Poor Hal has to listen to me belt out in my scratchy voice that can't hit a note above G.
The Covid Nonsense took that same type of life essence from us and I think most people won't even realize it. They won't be able to put their finger on what is missing, on the loss... I wrote a post called Tilted that touched on this: how life mostly looks the same now, but it's not the same. You totally dug down and brought that full circle, thank you.
Freakin' fabulous, Bretigne. My friends and I have talked of this, this brokenness that seems to go on and on. The THUD we have felt in our core over and over again as the crazy feeds on us. Aye, there's work to be done out there indeed!!
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because I am 98% full of don't-give-a-fucks, I was not subject to grief because vermin tried to fuck over most folks....I just used the rules that vermin promulgated as an opportunity to work around them when I could not break them. I think a lot of folks grieve because they just don't understand malicious compliance...treat the rules as a game played with malice. that's just me, though.
I do art for the sake of the well being of other people. I share the beauty God gave us. Nature provides respite for the soul. I take pictures of scenery, birds, flowers and other things and to get these pictures, I travel. I share them for people who cannot go where I went. I share God's mathematical beauty in my fractal art.
Having spent my life in the arts, I completely agree with much of what you have said. I remember how sweet and how difficult it was to see dancers on stage, first with masks and then without the masks. It was very moving. It feels like we are recovering, coming to, but at the same time the war is raging on. I find myself busy trying to find out as much as I can about who is behind everything but it feels so much of what is still going on is invisible, going on behind our backs and going on at full speed ahead. So although there is time to take a breath, I don’t feel confident that we will be allowed to continue forward to find a way to the past, to the “good old days”! It doesn’t feel that way to me, perhaps it is too soon? I envy those who are eternal optimists! I will say my faith in a God is even more important now than it has ever been. That is where my biggest sense of hope and truth comes from these days. But I agree the arts can help heal wounds.