If You Lived in Your Body

4-5 violins or violas
spoken word

Description: In 2015, I embarked on the longest tour of my life, one that took me out of school and around the world for almost a year. During that time, I performed in nearly 100 arenas and lived on a bus with 10 other people. I was terrified to go, not because of the shows, but because I feared losing my sense of home.

When I told my therapist I was feeling ungrounded and dissociated, she offered the following mantra: If you lived in your body, you’d be home. I repeated this mantra every day for the next ten months, scribbled it in notebooks, analyzed the hell out of it. While it certainly brought some comfort, it was not a perfect salve; I have never felt at home in my body. Since childhood, I have experienced a great deal of dissociation, evicting my body from my consciousness in order to ignore pain. I typically prefer to operate as a floating brain in space. While this coping mechanism has been a powerful asset in times of need, it has inevitably resulted in great intrapersonal alienation. I do not always feel at home within myself, unless I am performing. Still, finding home in my body remains a solid aspiration.

"If You Lived in Your Body" - MFA Grad Recital - 4/25/17

Full text:

i’m going on the road
could be 6 months, maybe a year.

she asks how i feel.
i say i’m terrified.
that i’ll lose my center

i have no sense of home.

i’m going on the road,
living in bunks with people i barely know

she asks how i feel.
i say i already crave home. not the place, the feeling.

i’m traveling on a bus. could be 6 months, maybe a year. notice your body, she says.
i don’t want to notice my body, i say.
i’d like to pretend it doesn’t exist.

breathe, she says.
feel your body, she says.

why can’t i hide out in my brain? both places are inhospitable
but the brain i’m more used to.

where is home, really, where is it?
this has now become a pressing matter. i’ve moved 3 times in the past 3 months, and i need to figure this out.

she says, if you lived in your body, you’d be home now.”

if i lived in my body... if i lived in my body...

to live in my body
i would first need to move into my body...

breathe, she says.
i don’t want to, i say or maybe it’s hard to.

my body is a terrible host.
would you want to stay there?
why would i would want to live there?

it hurts...
this body
is not my body or worse, it is.

and yet, there it is.
“if you lived in your body, you’d be home.”
“if you lived in your body, you’d be home.”
“if my body is my home, home will always be with me.”

is that what i want? home, always with me?

i search my journal for the word “home.” i count 155 times in 243 pages
an average of 1.6 times per page.

i talk about going home, being at home, laying at home, working at home, loving home, hating home, escaping home, old homes, future homes, hiding at home, moving home, multiple homes, making a home, what is home?

“if i lived in my body, i’d be home” “if i lived in my body, i’d be home” i want
to be home

but then what?