things to think about

today i am thinking about: hope
February 3, 2010, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Fundamentally, at the core of it, I believe in hope. I believe that there is a world out there that is even better than what we have right now. I believe that we can get there if we work together, and I believe that we can get there if we just keep looking for glimpses of it. The way the sky turns electric blue before it gets dark at night. The way our feet make it easy for us to walk. The way we breathe thanks to air pressure differentials.

There is magic in the world but we have to know how to find it. This is what drives me as both an artist and an activist. We undergo a series of alienations as we grow up that make us believe we are not as good as we all secretly believe we are. We learn about violence and being kept in line. And yet under it all there is still a kernel of hope and it is my job as an activist, as an artist, as a professional hoper to remind us of that tiny kernel.

Today I was trying to write one of one hundred personal statements and I write, by accident, “As a survivor of abuse, blah, blah, blah.” I got to the end of the paragraph before I realized what I had written, and simultaneously I wanted to puke, cry, delete it, and celebrate myself.

There is something holy about surviving. There is something holy about having enough of an engine to fight through and get to the other side. My body is a holy thing that took me there. My guts got me through. It is not that I did the best I could. I am not a broken remnant of a hard situation. I am a survivor like granite or like an old mountain. Worn down but still so strong. We are all that strong.

The worlds I want to create in my work are worlds where that hope and magic is apparent. I want the transcendent moment of ego-less wonder. I want the moment where it gets good enough you forget what you are and where you are and say yes instead. That is what I strive for in my art. The absorbing, healing experience.

I never think about myself as a survivor because I have not thought I had it all that bad. No one hit me and everyone tried their best to love me. But something about this — the way I always know where the door is, the way I try not to “mess up,” the way I am waiting constantly for those I love to lash out and leave me — this is the mark of someone who had to survive. And I did, fuck the inelegance, here I am.

Once upon a time I was at Neighbor’s in Seattle and it was 4am. It was sweaty and afterhours dancing and suddenly the room quieted and a spotlight came up and some old queen started performing an electric remix of “The Greatest Love of All.” Everyone hugged and everyone sang and behind her, boys danced. She brought us all under her spell and held us there and while the disco ball twinkled, for one moment, we were all home — queer, straight, gay, lez, whatever, that moment where it was ok, scabby knees and all.

THAT is the moment I want to make. That is the hope I want to refresh. THAT. THAT. THAT.