The Patchwork Story Skin
Shouldn’t all times be unprecedented? Have we grown complacent in our assumptions that things never change, that each day will have the same motivations and intentions at it’s core?
They may look the same but that doesn’t mean they are.
My mind is swirling, there is so much wanting to be said but no clue of where to begin, what to say, and whose words it is that I speak.
I have been diving a little deeper into listening to the stories my body holds, feeling full and encased in a tangled mess.
Why does my knee say that?
Why does my elbow think this?
And where on earth did that memory of a pink teddy bear surface from?
When we start to unpick rather than repeat it becomes a murky pool of stories we cannot totally be sure of the origins. Did that weed grow naturally up out of the bed of the pool? Were these fish born here? Did someone rescue those tadpole and helpfully place them in the water? And where on earth did that plastic duck come from?
It can start to feel like an out of control house party.
And I find myself with, for now anyway, one of two options.
I can try to unstitch the stories that reveal themselves, neatly separate them-
oh yes, I remember that from when I was five. And how could I have forgotten the orange ball I had when I was ten. And this isn’t me that is what happened to my great grandmother. And wow how did that get in there, that’s the teacher from primary school. And I don’t even know what language they are speaking in this film playing out in my head now. And why is everyone covered in mud. And I think I am maybe making this up.
Just to add another layer of confusion to it all, what we find when we move with our body intentionally, what we actively seek out in these stories, what moves from arm to hand to pen to page in streams of consciousness are not always in harmony with what our dreaming unconscious self has to say.
The alternative is to look at the Patchwork of Me as a whole, that it perhaps doesn’t really matter what is a real memory, what is imagined, what is inherited. What matters is the point where all of these intersect and meet. What lies there?
Is it the individual squares of fabric or the stitches that hold them together that is most deserving of my focus or the entirety of the design?
But I forgot, in the soupy patchwork of ourselves, there is the internal and external too. Is there padding to the layers, has it been tea stained or had chocolate smeared across it? What comes from within me and what has been placed upon me from without?
It’s not a new line of enquiry, what makes up the me that is me – how am I the sum of my thoughts and where have these thoughts originated. Who are we when nobody sees us and are we still playing a role even then? It’s easy to spiral out of control. But a valid question, especially now I feel with how the world stage is playing itself into being or rather undoing.
What is left if I unpick all the pieces that only came from outside of me, what others believed I was or should be not what I feel from the inside that I am.
As a teenager, I was often mistaken for a boy. Does that mean I am one? Or should have been one? Or am unconsciously shaping myself externally into what I repress internally? Clearly other people all assume I am male so maybe that is who I am at the core? I identify as female, am proud of my womanhood, work with my menstrual blood ceremonially and artistically. But it has taken many many years of doubt and shaming to be able to type that, what will it be like when I actually perform and share the work? Will I even be allowed any more?
All of this creates my personal patchwork of skin stories whether I choose to pick it apart and exam it’s construction or not. But it feels like that choice is being taken from me. Or was it never there in the first place? No wonder we are all so confused, or is it simply me?
Does any of it matter really?
I keep circling back to this one thought – it’s not where the patches come from only that collectively they want to be heard and even if it is only one word, sitting and trying my best to listen to it is often enough to feel witnessed, for ourselves to feel seen.
I had intended to write all about how the meeting of the New Moon Solar Eclipse and the Summer Solstice is creating a great opportunity to look at what personal stories we are stuck in, what we want to give to the fire and what we want to build anew from the ashes of it. It really is an ‘unprecedented’ phoenix moment if we choose to embrace it.