This is ridiculous. It has been a very busy week and I finally get time to blog and am I writing? No, I am looking through image after image searching for the one white Ralph Rucci dress I saw once that is…sublime…in order to use it as the pin board picture for this post on Pinterest. I did not find it. If you saw it, you would know why it has remained in my memory. The picture I am using is his of his graphite grey Infanta dress. Beautiful, but not an object of divinity like that white dress is.
Pinterest is funny. It is returning to me my joy at just looking at things. Which is also funny when I think that today, in the last of the “Art of Memory” classes, I realized that I don’t really see anymore. No, I am not going blind and have excellent vision but…as one of the final exercises, I had the class write a letter about themselves to be given to their great (or great great) grandchildren so that they would know who they were. They were to use their bodies as the means for telling the future who had they had been. A woman wrote of her hands, that it was with their arthritis that she finally learned that to let go of a tight hold on what you love, let it live and become even more. A man wrote of how the first thing people always noticed about him was his skin, but how he discovered that was the least thing that they eventually remembered.
The last struck me. I had not noticed his skin until the second or third session of the workshop. He had been burned over 70% of his body and was scarred (as well as missing bits and pieces) and yet, somehow I missed this.
This is no statement of how wonderful a person I am, I am not. This is a statement about how I see.
Somehow, over the past six months or so, my vision has changed.
I could tell you everything about the nature of that man after having spent two hours talking at him in the first session and reading his first writing assignment. But I could not have described to you how his fingers are missing and body is covered with very visible scars. I could have told you how his body shifts as he hears something that challenges him or affirms him. How clear his eyes are. How open he is to the world around him and yet cautious. But that the underneath of his face is a patchwork – no.
I have taken to seeing what is beneath. More and more I rely on my hands to see.
It is an indulgence…a hedonistic and decadent luxury for me to reach out and touch something and feel every inch of it. I would not be able to tell you of its shape, but I would be able to tell you if it belongs.
I find that I am talking less. Listening more, not to the words but to the meaning as it is revealed in the tone and how the tone is echoed within the body as the body shifts its shape and changes the air.
I have people near me that I have to behave around with great effort because all I want to do is reach out and see them with the tips of my fingers. I want to lean into them and feel the strain of their breath against the confines of their body as they shape and change the space around them – first becoming larger and then pulling in.
I feel as if my eyes are looking elsewhere.
I notice the sky more. Light. Placement. Pattern. Movement and stillness.
It is interesting. It is…like sweet fruit and cool water. As if after years of traveling with only the barest of sustenance, I have found a banquet.
It is the oddest sensation of being blind and yet, finally beginning to see. And maybe, just maybe, I am beginning to understand that song just a little bit more.
And now I know how the City of Love ends and why there are two characters left that are unresolved. And the future begins to unfold in a blossom I cannot see, but I can feel how it reorders the universe to hold its shape – its temporary and blooming then fading and seeding for growth again shape.
c.2012 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.