“I USED TO WALK THIS BRIDGE TO GET TO YOU
Just as we heal from a physical wound, there is a time when the wound is sensitive to the touch, the wound needs a lot of care and attention, and then most likely it leaves a scar, healing from this trauma will not be without a scar. I consider this body of work to be a pilgrimage, and with each work I get closer to finding what it is that I need to move through this grief. “To You” is a love poem that I perform for my partner who passed away suddenly. The pieces within this body of work are all reliant on the body when language is not enough. I find that using performance and my body is the only way I can fully convey the pain that I feel.
“To You” is a durational performance in which I write my love poem across the entirety of the 18th Street Bridge in Chicago, IL. The bridge spans roughly 500 feet and crosses the south branch of the Chicago River. The bridge has great significance to me because when I first met my love, I would walk that bridge every time that I went to see him. I would be crossing that bridge, so excited to see him that I would practically run to him. It was always such a happy walk, with a view of the city like no other. Now I find myself melancholy when I am on that bridge. The performance, like many of my other work is meant to be a ritual. I hope that writing across the bridge, in meditation, these words meant for him, that I could start to forget to be melancholy and be back to that space when I was so happy to be on my way to him. Being on my knees throughout those hours was a humbling experience. I went in and out of a meditative state. Sometimes the pain was so severe I didn’t think that I could finish the performance. My hands and wrists went numb, my knees were in pain, my back was aching, and I was in agony. Even though the viewer cannot feel this, I think that they can evoke the pain that I felt on that bridge. For me it was a battle between my physical and mental pain. It was a way to prove to myself that I could get through this dark period in my life, no matter how painful it gets at times. This piece was a poetic act, a way for me to reclaim a once joyful space.