Writings

Throughout our research and development of Holding It Together, during April and May 2019, Chloë and Jassy and the collaborative team will be sharing words, thoughts and scores from the creative process.

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You can’t trace back through a person and all the things they were and have been.

I can’t remember the crease of their elbow or how a necklace fell on their collar bone. Sometimes I can. Sometimes there are parts.

In the trying to hold on, I have let more go. In my trying to keep a grasp the extra bits have fallen through my fingers.

I can’t remember the bend of your knee or know what it felt like for you to hear, or see, or be. I knew one version of you.

I don’t know if you saw the same things as me or if you meant to hide away so much. I knew you only as a parent, never as a person.

I didn’t look at you then, the way I do now.

Sometimes I remember the shape or the line but I can’t see the detail.

It’s mixed up with something else, somebody else, or somewhere else. I don’t know where one part ends and the other begins.

Just when I think I have it, it moves. It keeps moving.

There is the outline of where you were, but time has rubbed out the detail.

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the outline of it, of bubblewrap, to trace, have i forgotten you? i'm worried i have. your hair, the way you would flick it out of your eyes, jassy's fringe framing her eyes between the bubblewrap. a rope a tether a life ring. pull me in. keep me safe. the waves. my hands tracing, the curves, your body. physical body. gone. the comfort of it. i sink in, sink under it, in it. texture. bubbles. edges. plastic. plastic. plastic. on an island, how much of you do i know? i don't know if i can remember your voice. really remember it. what was your favourite food? stealing peppers as mum chopped them. custard. your favourite food was custard. nana custard when you were small. to trace it back. your life. those years i missed. i feel my way through. murky. opaque. unclear. i need a map, a path, a trail of breadcrumbs. a line. now you would be, um, 20. i think. 20. yes. 20. 21 in september. do you remember? i don't always feels sad now. sometimes i dance and it's full of joy. the sadness hiding. hiding but never gone. blankets. gary. warmth. safety. a nest of bubblewrap. seeing jassy in it. in it together. together. holding. holding your hand. holding your face. your eyelashes. the textures. the details. layer upon layer upon layer. heavy. light. something in between. 

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Sometimes its small and breaks off and fits inside one hand. It pops. It’s squishy and comfortable.

It feels warm and safe and I feel that I am held. By it, and them. I push against both, but they aren’t going away.

 My arm reaches out and reaches a hand.

We are friends in a boat. We are balanced on a rope. We are stuck. We are suffocated and crushed. We are at sea, amongst waves.

We are buried deep and sometimes conquered.

 We are lost. We are searching. We are balanced on top or hiding. We are dancing.

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a knot or ball or mass somewhere between my stomach and my back. it changes size. sometimes it becomes me, is larger than me, sometimes it is a grain of sand. minuscule but noticeable. uncomfortable but a background noise. i want to be separate from it but it is within me. physical distance is internal. it moves through my limbs, between organs. i'm not sure what colour it is, perhaps it's colourless. i curve, concave, convex, a circle, a scoop. it is in a toe. it is in my back. it is in my arm. not quite heavy. not quite light. it is something in between. it shape shifts. my body moves it. a marble in a marble run. a grain of rice in a homemade rain stick. sometimes it's so small i don't notice it. there. not there. one knee. one finger. i can shift it and it can shift me. my my my my my my my. where did it come from? did i let it in? can i remove it and place it somewhere else? a ball. a knot. a shape.

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Waves. A rocking. In and out. An expansion. An inhale. A pause. A pull.

Stillness.

Rest.

A new wave crashes ashore.