Monday, March 19, 2007

Eggshell Thoughts

I feel like I just unblocked something significant. I don't know what to do about it now, because it makes four years of my life a totally different me. I know right about now I'd be getting scared someone will involuntarily commit me again just because they don't know or don't remember how I really am. I mean, I've been voluminously blogging for a decade really, but it was mostly anonymous, so most people in my life never knew how much I blogged. I remember how it started too, because it had a purpose in the beginning that I forgot.

In first year at Emily Carr we had to do a site specific installation as part of our creative process class. We were randomly assigned neighborhoods and I got Downtown - Granville. I noticed it had so many fascinating little places and yet the people walked around in kind of a daze, like they had amnesia. And it felt like a really cold environment, people didn't know how to connect to each other. They didn't trust each other.

So I wrote out parts of my diaries onto tags, and I spent an afternoon breaking, washing, drying, and regluing eggs together. I took all my broken eggs that were hot glued back together attached to some of my most intense thoughts from my young life. And I just left them various places around Granville. It was kind of an experiment, I wanted to reflect how people felt so alone, with a little anonymous thought that also felt alone. And I noticed within hours people had taken every egg out of that place, because you couldn't leave an object like that on the streets.

So I was really interested in this idea of public diaries. And I mean diaries, like personal thoughts. In third year of my film program I made a devastating 16mm film of collections of writings from my time in an abusive relationship, and I was shocked at how well it worked. Every time I played it people spent four minutes crying their eyes out, and that kind of terrified me. I still have this film incidentally, I never got finishing money for it and I kind of didn't want to, because I felt guilty for making people cry so hard. But I'm thinking maybe I should release it.

At the time I was making the film I also started writing in various anonymous diary websites. It was funny because people were really instant in how they responded. And it made me feel better too because I realized all kinds of people were having eggshell thoughts. And people did argue a lot, because people do that, but there were also these beautiful transcendent moments when some particularly poignant voice spoke out about their lives in the most honest way. And I think it started sparking empathy in people, even though they squabbled a lot and tattled on various web masters and so on.

I don't quite know why I decided to do a public blog, except that the war was starting and I thought it was time to stand proudly next to my little eggshell thoughts. So I did, and it was scary at first, and then just whatever because no one seemed to visit anyway, but I hoped that once in a while someone else with a little eggshell thought would hang around.

And they have, and I've met them in various ways, even if it's just knowing someone in Prince Albert likes to visit. And I think my eggshell thoughts don't need to be glued together anymore, I think they're finally whole.

So yeah, that's the end of ten years of my career, and I still have more of my career left. I'm 29 in a month. I'm not sure what I'll do now, except that I was hoping someone would give me money to make a feature. But I'm not quite ready yet, I have some rewriting to do.

Eggshell Project, Vancouver BC, 1997, Granville St by Capitol Theatre

"God. This pain just intensifies. I don't know where it ends and I begin anymore. Maybe I am just pain now. Maybe there's no human left, only wounded animal, a wail, a sliver of bone and burnt flesh."

No comments: