Something fantastic happened at the Ebb & Flow Festival. While getting ready for the performance of and then actualizing “Rosario Despierta Recuerdos” I found it! And “it” goes like “this”:
I lost it when, like most things that happen to us when we are three or four, we are wrongfully punished, and we absolutely fear doing the thing again, but it was the right thing, the most righteous thing, the thing we absolutely needed to cultivate. So, three or four I was enrolled in pre-school, and I would get there early. I was the first one there, and when the kids would come in I would hug all of them.
Each kid would get a big, huge, hug from me as a greeting for their morning. Their parents would put them down, or they would run in to the classroom, and I would hug them just like any proper, indigenous, island child. I was happy to see my “friends” and wanted to show the big, stupid, stupendous love of a child. I was ecstatic to see kids, because I grew up in a very secluded, mountain home. So, when I saw other children they were automatically my brothers and sisters.
What happened next went to the tune of: “Some of the kids you go to pre-school with are either unloved or severely abused, because we were told that you had to stop hugging the children because it made some of them cry and upset them.” That story was retold to me by my Grandmother because I completely forgot that I hugged everyone! I think I forgot because the trauma of being told not to do something so loving was too profound for a 3/4 year old to understand. What I do remember is that I stayed until the end of the term, and then, whew, they enrolled me in Christian school. I never really hugged the kids anymore. Instead, I would fight with them, not in a bad way, but in a bite/kick/chase/name calling sort of way. I remembered those times well.
I never really regained that passion towards people. I had moments. Those moments tended to be fueled by alcohol where it was/is completely legitimate to express unsavory parts of one’s personality.
When a lovely meme/blogger named “Deborah Rosario” re-blogged and put the caption “Rosario Despierta Recuerdos” on one of our photos, I knew that there was some very exciting excavation happening.
Then I went to Pieter Performance Space and said, “Where, when and what movement made me feel most free?” The answer came back to gogo dancing in San Francisco, which was really a poor man’s improvisation, but way cooler than anything being done in concert dance. It was all of us creatures who were told that we could not hug each other coming together and hugging one another, so you know… freedom.
Next, I thought to myself, “the only way to escape this is to turn the other cheek” and then poof! The Knife came to me (a band, do yourself a favor and get on that).
I have to celebrate Cat Willis for being a loving and generous woman, who BELIEVES. She kick started my year with a generous bet on my art. I have to celebrate Carmela Woll for introducing us and saying, “You have GOT to know this woman.” Which leads me to the reason for this post- the Ebb and Flow Festival was in my hometown, and the festival took place on the San Lorenzo River, and gathered together artists who may, or may not have been performing prayers to water. In my case I performed a prayer to the “living water”. This water is always there, and will always replenish you, and will offer you unlimited chances.
I performed, it was awesome, the wind blew, and then I remembered. Ah. That moment in pre-school stopped me from letting people love the shit out of me, because it stopped me from loving the shit out of them.
And BAM! Just like that:
Rosario Despierta Recuerdos