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other people's work, performance writing, reflections, Thoughts

Ghost Dance

Thanks in no small part to Deborah Pearson, YouTube and the joy of the internet generally, I was able to watch Ghost Dance last night (it is work, not just DVD night).

I was really taken with quite a lot of it. I know it’s not literal. Philosophical, metaphorical…. odd then or perhaps coincidence, or perhaps simply that I’ve stuck my mind into all of this…… that a few weekends ago, on a walk in the countryside I wrote this:

“I got to thinking about the conversation I’d had this time last week and that it somehow foresaw this walk. I got to see how this conversation years ago foresaw this walk….. I thought again of that walk in the woods, that story told. I though I might’ve felt it. At least felt the bodies that came before me. Still we walked, I was alone. I was no longer me. I was no longer me. 

Did I know this? Was it my imagination? Is there really any difference between the two?

I can’t really say what happened next , it was as if everything sucked into me, all at once. Overpowered I stood. I simply contained. I felt like a vessel. I touched a stone. Flat. Cold. It became colder and I cried slowly. With my eyes closed the stone and I spoke in silent un-speaking conversation. 

I was aware where I was but I was surprised when I opened my eyes; the wall had grown. Our conversation over, we drifted back to our original states, no longer able to see each other, yet we knew each other now. I  know this walk.

There’s a section in the film, where the voice over narrates and uses both ‘me’ and ‘I’ to describe one person – it reminded me of how playing with the tense of the narration and the character and the experience of myself in ‘left luggage’ happened – I watch as a girl gets on at train vs I get on train….. I don’t know whether it was simple poetics or a way in…

…. thinking about trying to have a conversation with myself in the past and not simply just a retrospective, passive, remembering of who I think I was but somehow trying to access that person again, perhaps that ghost…. the use of ‘me’ and ‘I’ simultaneously being the same but different helped me think about this… I see what I want to and need to in the film for the place I am at the moment…. that’s not to disregard the moments last night when I felt as though I was understood, that the feelings the film evoked recognised some of the feelings I have, it was nice to be in agreement with something, to feel acknowledged somehow…I mean.


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