Sunday, March 10, 2013

"... yea, the Trini girl with the accent from the slam team." end quote.

It's been an annoyance following me over the last week every time I acknowledge how I had not written here in such a long time. It's with an 11:05pm cup of coffee that I need to make work happen. I'm needing to relearn how to not always embrace the emotions surrounding things. Emotions are sometimes good compasses but they cannot be the only thing you listen too. I'm accepting more and more that the time will never avail itself to you. It is something that always depends on you seizing it and being an artist depends on grabbing time more than ever.

The one-woman show is moving with its own patience, and I surely need to relegate more time every week working with it, but I know that some of the uneasy and nervousness about it is my mind's own anticipation for an uncontrollable magic that is about to happen. My director is really engaging the piece and me here just noticing the unfolding of things and the ideas and poems and sensing how it is going to be the most beautiful plant that spring will blossom me. I am also directing a One Act that goes up in April at school, which thematically ties very closely into my solo show. Finding that script was a miracle in itself. It was one of those things that was bound to happen.

I've been thinking a lot lately about identity, (not only because of the gender class I'm taking this semester) in how my subconscious self has been awakening new ways of speaking and thinking about myself and who I consider myself to be right now. I recall a conversation we were having about Black Power in Trinidad in the 1970's when my artistic director, Camille said that after a while she gave up on wearing dashiki outfits and traditional Yoruba clothing usually associated with the movement, because she realized that the blackest part of her was her own skin. That no external thing could give a stronger indication of who she was than the embodiment of her own self.

That's mostly how I've been feeling about a number of things these days, particularly when it comes to a performance of gender and nationality. It happened today and it happened last week. It seems as though I've moved beyond having to identify myself as 'Trinidadian' when introducing myself to people. I tend to give my name and what I spend most of my time doing- schooling and working and writing. Also,this semester more than ever before, I've really tapped into exploring my 'feeling' side where I present myself in the way that I feel. If I feel like sweats, I'll wear sweats all week with bulky boy boots, I'd probably not comb my hair for a few days and don a wool hat to hide it. Winter is almost over and I haven't used my winter wedge heeled boots more than once, My sweater dresses have barely been touched (if at all) and my make-up kit looks as brimming as it did when I updated it last December.

That being said, more and more I'm interested in just being. It's not always easy to do that given social context, but the top of 2013 for me has been about being healthy, getting work done and being comfortably myself when doing it. There are parts of myself that I do not feel pressured to assert anymore. It might have to do with living in a huge city and constantly competing with people and always having to prove that you're the best this, or the best that, and I'm over it. I am inhabiting my body, and I've learnt that the truest parts of my identity will always be oozing out of me and there is no need to spotlight what is already glowing. I don't always need to call attention to my Caribbeanness and femininity to prove that they exist.

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