Dear Devotion: my perplexing problem

I’m working on a solo piece that I, and I alone, am creating. Like a sculptor alone in the studio facing a great slab of shapeless rock holding a chisel in one hand and a vision of possibility in the other. I am both sculptor & rock. Discoverer & discovered. I am navigating my body & mind in a way that is almost completely foreign to me. Total autonomy. It’s daunting.

My body is my instrument.

From which all work emerges. All ideas are expressed. Storytelling is in my veins, sinews, synapses. I, the artist, must learn to work every angle, control every aperture, understand the mechanics to take it apart & rebuild it. As a director of self my only option is to observe passively with gentle exacting focus as the performance comes through me. Let refinement arise in the commitment to discovery within. Trust my impulses.

My mind is a double edged sword.

It has baracaded itself inside behind enemy lines over analyzing all the ways I intersect with the world. Impulses that used to feel natural suddenly appear forgin under endless scrutiny. Without specific tasks & complex problems to latch onto my mind occupies itself in the most awful ways. When the anxiety rises I can barely quell the shakes. It surges through me like lightening and lingers for days. 

My heart has not healed.

There are memories stored in the muscles of my body that flinch when eyes linger there too long. Memories that tighten in my throat when certain songs play. Memories so heavy my bones ache with the weight of them on rainy days. My breath tries to balance the precipice between the world & I, but I’m still caught holding on to things I wish I could forget. 

My presence is the piece.

I am terrified of loosing myself in the work. I struggle to be present in my body & mind while even still I try to clutch onto some shade of normalcy. I am not creating in spite of these challenges but because of them. I am not a blank slate waiting to be filled with inspiration, I am the spark itself. The combined force of chisel point, skilled labour, and unrealized potential hidden in plain sight. The scariest part is the idea of being seen as broken, unredeemable, vulnerable. Of being seen & being hurt again. Rather than running away though I practice radical vulnerability in the studio, but how can I leave this raw open energy in the studio when this piece is also my life’s work?

My perplexing problem.

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