I went back to the Quarry this week. I swear I could still hear our music there. The flute’s enchanted breath, the rich hum of accordion lungs, rising from the water. I thought maybe I imagined it–it’s easy to hear things wrong, from the top of the observation deck with that great liquid bowl beneath you. But then, sudden, like the bursting of the sun from behind thick cloud, a current of wind shifted and I heard our voices. A swelling chorus, the first note of our orchestra. I saw us on the water, standing infinitesimal against the granite, our voices making monoliths in the air.
There are things I want in my life. Things I want my life to be like, or to contain, or to reach towards. Things like:
- I want to live in the mountains, away from the city, where the stars are brighter for the lack of streetlights. I want agriculture to be written into the calluses on my hands. I want work to be something beautiful again, something that’s real and hard and heavy and gorgeous and never-ending. I want to be fed by the ground I love.
- I want to live with momentum. I never want to feel held down or held back or held still. I want the space and freedom to run after the things that excite me, without a desk calling me back to it every day, to do work I don’t care about for people I don’t know.
- I want to live, at least sometimes, with someone who speaks in the same movement language I do. Maybe a different dialect–I’d like to learn from them, too–but someone who knows what it’s like to build a life around dance and movement art. I want to come home after work or rehearsal to someone my soul can speak to. I want to do things with them, have adventures, talk, be.
- I want to live in membership with my community, connected with the history of everyone who has come before, the great chain of legacy that reaches back and reaches back and gives us all the strength to reach forward.
Maybe I want the wrong things. A life of hard work and legacy, farms and art and knowledge passed down generation to generation, is perhaps too idealistic. Maybe it’s no longer possible. Maybe I just find myself, once more, standing here and looking back. The goodness of a thing does not render it immortal. I am hungry for something that is going, for a way of life that slips one step further away with every old soul lost. Maybe I ought not to cling so desperately to something that is ending. Maybe I am missing many beautiful and exciting things by staying here, staying home, staying close to the ground and to art. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I am just afraid to move forward.
And maybe I don’t care. Because maybe this is the most important thing in my life, in yours, in any of ours. Because maybe without membership, all we have is nothing.
The Quarry has taken etchings of us, rubbed itself into our skin and clung there, holding us together. We have never left this place. It has not let us go. I want this always. I want to belong to places like this for the rest of my life.