Thursday, July 29, 2010

contraptions

I am collaborating with Steven Hill and Jesse Garlick on a performance contraption that will be an intersection of clown, dance and architecture.

Jesse offered us Martin Heidegger's thoughts on dwellings: that a dwelling should address the sky, the earth, yourself and the divinities.
Hence, we are trying to construct a dwelling that does all that, plus ask: can you build a dwelling out of materials, obstacles and desires?

It feels like we are trying to build a utopia.
Like all utopias, it will be full of failures.
And failure is where the clown and the dancer meet.

Perhaps I shall finally learn how to be funny.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

peaches

Yesterday, I ate my first peach of the season. Blessedly, because it is rare to find a good peach even when in season, it was perfect. Thus, I announced, perhaps with a fair bit of hyperbole, that it was better than sex.

Junhong, who eats liver, sweetbreads, kidneys and chicken feet with gusto, but is fussy about fruit, tasted a sliver with trepidation and said, "THIS is better than SEX??? It's nasty!!!"

At 12, approaching puberty, he has a poor opinion of what lies ahead.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

arriving

Years ago, whenever I flew from the home that I knew - Malaysia - to the home I adopted - Vancouver - I would weep copious amounts of tears, my heart breaking painfully (for a loss of wholeness that never was) for most of the journey across the Pacific. Then I would arrive and the toilets at the airport would be clean, the salty air would seduce me, and it was as if Vancouver were an amnesia-inducing anesthetic.

"How can I tell if love of life is not a delusion? How can I tell whether a man who fears death is not like a man who has left home and dreads returning? Lady Li was the daughter of a border guard of Ai. When the Duke of Chin first took her captive, she wept until her dresss was soaked with tears. But once she was living in the Duke's palace, sharing his bed, and eating delicious food, she wondered why she ever cried. How can I tell whether the dead are not amazed that they ever clung to life? (Chuangzi)

Lately I feel as if the last 20 years of being in this place, I was really still leaving that place: unable to properly see this place from the clutter and tangle of the things I carried.

But now, finally, I am arriving in this land, into this land. I arrive into a beauty hewn by violent geological upheavals. I arrive into a present made by violent upheavals and displacement of peoples from their land.

I arrive into a clutter and tangle of violence and ruptures that are so painful that we long for the anesthesia. We long for amnesia.