It has been quite a month, I feel physically and emotionally spent. I've had 2 minor surgeries (I'm good need not worry) and a few major emotional expenditures. I try to think about how much do I share with the "public" or community. I feel like people already have a lot of access but I'm super into investigating what choice, authentic choice is in the work and my life. So what's expected of the work and how do I assert my agency in feeling like I can refuse or choose to not share parts of my life.
I feel like I have a really strong immediate network of creators/friends that know what's going on with me and I'm so grateful for that but how do we embody these emotional truths with people outside of those immediate networks. I would like nothing else to be like "sorry I haven't gotten back to you Fred but my heart feels purdy broken today and I've been poked, probed and drilled into by multiple Western medicine practitioners this past week and I can't really take anymore white euro-centric intersections at the moment because I feel incredibly vulnerable and attacked."
With the work that we do we basically ask to be put and live in the emotional firing line. Consenting to explore these emotional journeys, investigate them and then keep them alive with truth and honesty and not let them manipulate into something completely understood. I had a really lovely coffee with Marcus yesterday, we were swapping keynote...notes and he was speaking about the need and humility it takes to just constantly be living in and landing on more questions. Also, I don't want to give anything away but his keynote for PACT is brilliant and you should all tune in this Thursday.
We as writers and creators are working against thousand year old survival tactics where when something emotional or physically threatening comes are nervous systems want to either fight it, shut it down or freeze in it - I call that last one "turtling" it's when you just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers and turtle the fucking day away. But I feel like as artists we have to meet those moments by fighting against all those instincts and disarm ourselves to see her, breathe in that truth and live in that discomfort as willing voyagers of emotional adversities.
One of the things that I really appreciate about Brown's BRAVING trust is the last one G - generous assumptions. I use to be really judgemental about people not getting back to me, especially in the time that I wanted and there is no trust in that. It's super colonial and actually quite egotistical to demand someone get back to me. I'm really working on not letting ego make any decisions for me because I don't believe that to be a choice of any free or sovereign will. I just become symptomatic of patriarchal colonialism and I am absolutely refusing that. I now make generous assumptions about others and what's going on in their lives because I have no fucking clue about it. I meet them with compassion because if I don't do that for others, I won't be doing that for myself.
So, May has been a bit of a rollercoaster and like pretty painful and quite vulnerable and I'm feeling it. After one of the surgeries, I went to go fill my 600mg advil prescription and I was keeled over in pain standing in line, coughed out some blood and got pity rushed to the front of the line. It was a ridiculous situation where in hindsight, I really should have asked a friend to come with me to help but I wanted to Indigenous warrior the shit out of this situation because sometimes as a displaced urban indian, I engage in absurdist behaviours just to prove to myself that I'm a real indian. Plus, I like to scare white people and nothing scarier to white folx than a Native woman coughing up blood because then ya'll might have to actually help us.
Anyways, I did have the fortune of participating as an adjudicator in the Arts Club LEAP playwriting program and it forced me to distill some of my pedagogies around how I approach my creative practice and I thought that I would share them with you here.
Writing is a painfully beautiful exploration and knowing I have to meet life without judgement, without projecting, without numbing it, makes me a more honest community member and I'm very grateful to writing for teaching me that.
After one of my surgeries the Dr wanted to prescribe me some crazy pain meds and I was like NO thank you! I can get some extra strength tylenol and advil and be jussssss fine. I think a part of writing and creating and living is to sit in those emotional truths which are sometimes painful but we need to honour them, explore them and thank them for their teachings.
So please keep your judgments to yourself if you see me crying on a run.
or writhing in pain at the pharmacy.
I'm just trying to become a more compelling and compassionate writer.
With Indigenous Love my slaxts,
I did a couple things with some amazing people and you can check out the article here. As well as here which links to a short interview at 17:20 with the talented and handsome Duncan McCue. Limelet to Steph and Hina.
Also, this is my song of the day.