September 30, 2007
team knitty

(or How I Learned to Bomb Through Nuit Blanche and Love the Run)

Artist's Statement:

In the rush of modern progress, our reliance on technology has passed from a coping strategy to a neurosis. The artist will put on a costume with no watch, leave the house with her cell phone turned off, and perform the piece. Scheduled movements include

The cumulative effect of these small performances is intended to show the struggle of an average woman resisting the expectations of her communication-crazed culture while still managing to make a number of complex meeting points despite her intentional technological crippling. The sheer number of participants makes this an unforgettable and unmissable performance.

I shouldn't take the piss, because Nuit Blanche was a truly unforgettable night. I started out alone, met up with a few choice members of the Gorgeous Ladies of Knitting at the new Tequila Bookworm, found the Boy while at a club, and wandered the streets with my knitsibs and him as long as we could stand it. The Boy, who was initially unenthused about the whole NB experience, opened up like a flower once he started seeing the various pieces along Queen West. We met 2 Bridesmaids, Pixie's ex-boyf & 3 of the Ferg res crew while milling about, an impressive total for a night boasting crowds of thousands.

(I even got to make a "date" with Casey to meet at the chocolate deer at 2 a.m. "Hey, I just made a date with your wife," he laughed to the Boy. And I have to admit that it gave a very petty part of me smug satisfaction to know that, after more than 10 years, I finally had a chance to stand Casey up. But I have to say, I was very close to sticking it out and making the date, so maybe standing him up is not what I always intended.)

We took an hour out in the middle of NB (were we blanching?) to try and enjoy ourselves at Panic. Problem was that we were too distracted by the possibilities of the night to really enjoy the possibilities of retro music. The only interesting part of it was my unexpected decoration. When the Boy showed up, he thought that we had been putting on glowing makeup at some installation.

"No," I said. "Where do I glow?"

It was only when we were back under black light that I remembered Blake colouring on me in yellow highlighter Friday night (see: too tired to suggest an alternative). When I woke up Saturday morning I no longer looked jaundiced, so I'd assumed that it was gone. Instead, I danced to Skinny Puppy with abstract squiggles on my arms, and a glowing tip to my nose. Cute.

The next morning I got up from Nad's soft futon at 7 a.m. so that I could do the breast cancer Walk for the Cure as a part of Team Knitty. I did the run "alone" (if that can be said when you're walking with a crowd in excess of 10 000), as various issues came up for all members of Team Knitty save myself and a woman named Michelle. We tried to meet up, but I was foiled by a very very slow transit system that kept chewing at me for more than an hour and a half before spitting me out at Osgoode. I wore my very noticeable bunny ears at first so she could recognize me, but aside from entertaining a number of small children, my ears did not serve much of a purpose. But.

The run itself, because I was alone, was so clarifying, so uncluttered. Instead of using my precious ergs of energy on chatting, making friends or announcing my weirder impulses or observations, I just kept it all for myself. All of my jokes, all of my ironies, all of my chafes and all of my problems; they all began and ended with me alone and that was incredibly freeing. Without a run buddy or buddies, I was like a lone tourist, and I was able to be open to so much more of the world around me. I talked to strangers and asked them for help. I took pictures of who and what pleased me without announcing my intentions and without the risk of appearing trivial or vain. I stopped and started and persisted, listening to the workings of my own internal clock. I knit, walking steadily, for at least a kilometre. And the best part was that it was all for me; I was watching and laughing and pondering each thing as if it was just one more installation in my own personal Matin Blanc.

How do you walk 5K on 5h? Maybe you just need to be in a huge crowd of happy, purposeful people on a beautiful morning, with the freedom to experience each thing on your own terms. And maybe the bunny ears help too.

Bonus! Something about being very overstimulated and very tired made me come up with a poem last night, as I was going to sleep on the futon. Here it goes:

Thy name is woman

Dave once told me that
"there would always be
an Aleta-sized hole
in his heart."
We haven't spoken in years
but I still wonder
if that hole
is still there.

And if,
by some miracle,
I could manage
to shake off those extra pounds
that dog my vanity,
would I still
fit in that hole?
Or would I
like the wrong key in the right lock,
able to slide in
but unable to turn usefully?

He's not the only one with
the impression of me
in him
like a noble seal
on good red wax.

And vanity aside,
I know that I have made holes
inside a good many people,
holes that
still expect me
to lie down quietly inside them
and unhole them for a time.

We haven't spoken about this, but
I sometimes wonder if
my teeth were straight and
my neck unstooped, if
my jaw was obvious and
my moles a fond memory,
would I still
fit into the place
I made inside you,
a snow angel in your memories?

Or would
the new me,
the beautiful me, the
perfectly pretty me,
mar the first perfection of that hole,
and be prevented from taking flight
and soaring in you forever?

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*