Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Swan Song

I've been living in a blanket fort for most of the past two months. I'm hibernating, nursing a neck strain and a cold that have beyond overstayed their welcome, and trying to figure out what Life Plan B is. No matter how wonderful, difficult, or tragic my life-shaping events have been, the broad goal has always been "My life will have meaning as long as I am making art and am not under-stimulated". I aim to thrive above surviving. It's a luxury I rarely experience, but I'm resourceful and stubborn about striving to achieve it.

The life I had to leave behind earlier this year is the one I've lived my entire adult life. Over almost 18 years, I built and attempted to maintain an existence filled with non-boring, often collaborative art making that incorporated my disability. For the last few years, key parts of my body that make these things happen have been cooperating in an incredibly inconsistent manner. Delicately planning a deliverable act, performing anything live, writing with regularity, etc. - everything I do is adversely affected. The sudden onset of a range of ruinous symptoms has been inconvenient, disappointing, and dangerous. It's like standing thigh high in quicksand and trying to push my skull through a steel wall while artistic plans, ideas, and commitments zoom around until they fizzle and settle weakly underfoot.

This brings me to the point of accepting something of which I've been in staunch denial: Right now is a time when I have to let my previous life go. This is a Big Damn Deal. It's agonizing to admit and I am deeply mourning the loss. Maybe it won't always be this way, maybe it will. I'm going to stay in my cocoon as long as I need to while figuring out how to thrive in new ways.

This is one of those "active listening" situations where you don't have to feel obligated to give me advice. Thank you for listening. I don't need ideas about what artsy thing I can maybe do to keep myself occupied. I assure you, I have thought of it. I have a lot of time on my hands to think right now. Also, (and I count myself fortunate that this is not a regular occurrence in my life), I'm going to offer a "Freaky Friday" deal to the next person who even insinuates that I'm not "trying hard enough". I'm actively doing the best I can, which includes writing this blog - the thing that currently gives my life meaning.