Jigsaw Feet

Part of the thing I am struggling with, well…struggle is too dramatic a word – driving myself crazy with – is to make sure that every image used in the Executioner has a layer of applied meaning. Has a metaphor that relates to the poem. I promised myself, after I made “Requiem for a God,” that I would pay closer attention to the shots to make sure that there were no filler sequences.

Granted, there were none in the Demon and none in “Striking a Match,” both of those were very separate beasts. The Demon was much more narrative and Match much more intimate (as far as shot sequences).

This time around, as I keep jumping up and walking miles so I can listen to the soundtrack over and over, I am keeping a “shot notebook.” In it, I am planning out the sequences and checking and double checking that they match the weight and care of the words. There is far more planning going into this than I have done before. Then again, I have been working on the poem and the video since last May.

Sort of.

Since last December I have been more or less engaged in the project of losing my mind and it took until January of this year for me to complete the process and go through an intense and radical growth step in my life.  It is funny/strange to look back over the past year, nay, the past 14 months and see the entire downward slide. I have been moving towards a…step of growth for over three years, knowing there was an area of my life in which a decision had to be made and an action taken and yet – not only at a loss as to what to do, but also straining at the leads of habit and comfort (that was not comfort at all but at least I knew what to expect in the pattern) to try and break free.

I have spent the past year engaged in what can only be termed as self destructive patterns. Sometimes in the most subtle of ways. It is not until now, as the dust settles (for I have done the equivalent of burst through and break down a stone wall) can I look back and see the absolute subtleness and pervasiveness of my desire and effort to do anything but take this one step. I can see my absolute drive to ensure my demise by not just self sabatoging myself, but making sure I surrounded myself with people and situations who would provide a helping hand should my own efforts not be enough to do the job.

Yet threaded through the entire 14 months has also been a process of sowing seeds. Almost as if despite my best intentions to prevent the change, a part of me has been engaged in clandestine planting as I have gone along. As much as I picked people and situations to help with the demise, I also began carefully cultivating people and situations  who could help me grow.

And here I sit, today, covered in the dust of a broken prison, marveling at the things I have managed to grow along the way. I broke through a wall and landed in a garden.

Change sometimes is forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes the tsunami of change rises from within.

It is…a force of will that decides if we acknowledge and particpate in change or if we can hold ourselves within our darkness. It is a decision that first we make unconsciously and then, reach a point where we are forced into a conscious awareness of our decision.

What truth about yourself do you accept? The truth that others have defined about yourself? Or the truth you have found within you?

Dangerous and dark things occur when the “truth” we accept about ourselves is one that is defined by someone else. Ask me, I know, I have lived the majority of my adulthood under the weight of someone else’s definition of my self. Now I realize that “truth” is not a truth at all, it is a twisted story from someone else’s mind.

You would think, after all that time, to break free from it would leave me without any idea of what to do. The reality is, no matter what falsehoods and histories have ruled us, there is an indomitable part of our spirit that grows with integrity. That writes words of our truth of being on the walls of our soul and waits, candle in one hand and match in the other, for us to become interested in seeing what is there.

This….is going to be a great year.

Ugly Diamonds
(ctribe 2007 video link: http://www.youtube.com/cassandratribe#p/u/2/KueeYe4vuOk )

When I was a child,
I would look out into the darkness,
and think that somewhere,
held up by time
and trouble,
there was someone strong
riding to save me,
willing to overcome anything,
to see that I was safe.

And they’d slay the demons.
And bring me home.
Where all would cry,
for the things I’d been through,
and the things I’d survived.

When I was a child,
I thought these things.

And now.
Now,
I am older,
and the stones have become my bones.

We all have such ugly diamonds
hidden in our hearts.
Such precious memories.
Such beautiful things.
That no one else would think worthy to buy.
And these ugly diamonds,
that have been strung on hope,
are all that gets us through.

And I don’t want you to clean them.
I don’t want to trade them for something new.
I don’t want diamonds that sparkle and shine,
I want what is mine,
even if it is old and yellow,
it’s true.

Why do you ask me?
Why?
Why do you ask me
what it is I believe,
when as soon as I speak,
you want me to trade it for something new?

In this life,
we have only what we know,
what we learn,
and what we try to decide
is the way to be.

In this life,
at the end,
no matter who is asking,
how I have lived,
it is I,
who looks inside
to see what I have kept,
to read the things I have written
on the walls of my soul.
It is I,
who will give my history voice.

I will speak for my demons.
I will speak for my angels.
I will speak for my loves
and I will speak of my hate.

And all the while my words fall,
all the while my words fall,
my fingers will count,
the ugly diamonds I have kept,
strung on the thinnest of hope.

My ugly diamonds,
that remind me of where
I have been,
and where I wish to be.

I don’t want you to clean them.
I don’t want to trade them,
for something new.
I don’t want diamonds
that sparkle and shine,
I want what is mine.

Because even if,
even if
it is old and yellow,
it’s true.

c.2011 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved

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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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