Strangers

Karin Performing with Clothspins

Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

I do not know where I am from. Scottish moors, French and Canadian soil, Mohawk territory, mutt lands from vague corners of the world nestled closely together, and sometimes not… Maine. That magical mystical place where whispering bugs and the voices of trees unfold every secret I needed to know growing up. Part California by genetics: one bone is arguing about the primordial taste of stone fruits, and keeps reusable cloth menstrual pads about. I am a Pagan Savant, invoked in childhood as I lay full body draped on top of Earth and long warm grasses in summer. I knew hugeness in my chest, felt private and quiet and giggled softly at the secrets between my fluttering feelings and the soil, heat kissing my back and neck, my first unicorn experience. I am from my Mother, and her Mother before, and Hers, mixed in are men and Others covered up by the lies of papered identity I’ll never really know better than. These Others I come direct line down from too. Mixed in are the stories of Father, which sculpt the sand of my shape into walls, boundaries of flesh for my blood to flow through and around. Rumors abound that connection to this archetypal animation are real, but I don’t believe in Fathers. (Somewhere a game of chess just ended in stalemate. Clapping won’t resuscitate…) It’s like Tug ‘o War ropes knotted at center but far from fairly played, or plastic cups tethered with string, vibrating nonsense for the distance and corners in between. The space between myself and any other body holds a certain tension until it breaks. With no other end reining me in, I begin the bittersweet sad/angry shuffle of moving on.

I don’t know where I am from — all these photographs in boxes, tongues spoken, lullabies remembered, movements copied, and stories conjured in the dark — but I know where I am going. Like the rising of the Sun on a perfect morning, I was created to connect with you; to embrace what you hand over; to hold hope in the form of listening. Each time the magnetic pull of our bodies cement with dilated pupil, curled lips, and quick thoughts tumbling around and over each other, I am the Sun in this room warming your Earth. Our offspring are ideas grown from the heat and intensity of electric arcing ways. One outstretched hand meets prick-painful half startling jolt with another. We both jump, yet it is the overjoying wash of adrenaline from pain that piques interest to begin with. It cannot be denied — though excited lubrication, intrigue, passion, and monstrous desire thrive, there too lies sadomasochistic thrill — the realistic expectation not forever to hang about. We will create voraciously for a time and then divide. Each divorce a different story; riding similar emotional lines. I’ve grown studied on the path of infliction and healing, licking wounds through armor impenetrable, finding power within failure time and time again.

You see, only in opposition do I find myself at all; where I am.

Staring at the fairy tale mirror of forever, two-dimensional and far less physical than my three-dimensional navigations could ever have been. Standing on my side of things, I am still alive. In me, Sun-grown weeds overtake sculpted trajectory. My feral wilds, thorns protecting sweeter berries, articulated assassination of the norm darkening me within, all this in service to my perfectly natural instincts cultivated from anywhere-nowhere-everywhere: I am flesh and blood, sticky and not like. What impotent words have you for the wholeness that I am — estranged, stranger, strange.

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

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