Unarchiving: Amnesia & Innocence
"Thank you for all the money I've been given throughout my life"
I had done a 21-day marathon on Gratitude formulated by Deepak Chopra. It was instigated by a colleague-friend as a whatsapp group. In the 5th day or so, this was the mantra. I wrote this down because it was mandated to do so in the Gratitude marathon, but I kept it because it speaks to an area of my life where I feel the most lacking in security and confidence.
I did some dances where I imagined the ground dropping out from beneath me or my energy suddenly failing or a limb suddenly stopping to function and keep me upright. I tried having my different forms of body supports failing on me or glitching. I would give myself a task of trying to dance to the other end of the room, but the glitches would glitch…either physically falling or stumbling or my motivation and mindset going low and dark or thin. In general, I felt feelings of defeat and struggle. Such glitches add up to being demoralized. I was essentially seeing what self-sabotage feels like and how it might be expressed in my movements.
To practice precarity does cultivate survival skills and a sense of resiliency though. Just to survive, one must endure, which is, therefore, building endurance. Once circumstances or situations improve, the way feels much more manageable.
I reflected on my first 2 years having moved to Berlin. I was in a pared-down and precarious state of survival during that time (financially, emotionally, psychologically). I had no plan except to establish myself somehow in a new city and country and scene. Despite struggle, I still had ambition as an artist trying to get somewhere valued. I had a few great opportunities that I succeeded at along with a few big failures. My new presence though in the scene was noticed. An elder colleague and curator at the time mentioned how they’ve noticed a lot of American expats succeeding when they arrive to Berlin / Europe. In the USA, artist need to hustle just to make a living and then extra to make their art. It’s not like Europe (especially Berlin) where an artist can make a living as an artist. Americans are used to working like a stereotypical New Yorker trying to make it big there and therefore anywhere.
I meditated again on gratitude for all the money that has gone into growing me and developing me in this world. A few million USD? More? Less? I focused on the practical numbers thinking how much my college cost, food and rent in my childhood, presents and travel and taxes that paid for infrastructure of cities in which I lived. Impossible to calculate, but the revenue streams do stream through me personally and specifically.
Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland