Over the next few days, we will be featuring the reflections of our participants. Today we feature collaborator Caits Meissner as she shares her experience with CEZNJA:BORN LONGING.
Sarah rocks back and forth in dance, water. Sarah waves her body, water.
Miriam puts her hands over her face when she is overcome. She jokes to break the tension. I hand her my poem and she folds it up small and places it to her lips. She sings along to all the songs she grew up with on her tiny island. Water. “You people,” she says, “are really something.” Is that good or bad, I ask? “Good,” she days definitively, and then admires my ring. I tell her my birthday was yesterday. Her husband’s was the day before mine, her father’s today. This small realization brings me a tiny thrill of pleasure. The flame of connection.
II. Opening Night
The night of the show I look at Miriam when I say, “stir the polenta,” I am performing to the audience, but I am performing, mostly, for her. I speak maybe too quickly for each word to be grasped, but I see her light up at her stories translated, the recognition of herself in these young New York women. Connection. I know water is not the only thing we drink. When she reads her poem after ours, there is a different kind of emotion that arrives to the surface- sustenance. There is life. Life earned from living.
Water. Home. Family. Leaving. Heartache. Water. Connection. This show was an experience in humanity, in the magic of being alive with a beating heart and a ticking brain, with a bodies that will all fade, taking our stories with them. This experience with Miriam, a deep reminder that our stories are all the same stories, they just appear in different colors.