No matter how self-aware we are (lights and shadows included), there´s always an untouched space where ignorance rules, a dead angle we simply cannot see, no matter how many mirrors we point at ourselves. Voids like these keep us on our toes, never quite sure where we stand and how free, strong and fragile we really are.
I´ve always thought of myself as brave, strong, impulsive, ready for action and for battle (if needed): I loved the cliffs, those familiar cliffs I never ran away from. Until now.
When, exactly, does Life knock us down – so hard and spot on our core that we immediately retreat into a cave from where many of us never leave again?! When and how does it happen, I wonder? The Dragon whips our courage away and we hide, backbent, shivering, eyes stuck to the floor, becoming afraid (not afraid: terrified) to dare grabbing Life by the horns again.
You can´t feel the exact moment of the blow – especially if your character is strong and you swore you would never allow your fire to go off. You deny it, perhaps, or you don´t see it – it´s an invisible blow, so deep and fast your eyes cannot catch it. The awareness – oh, my God…the blood…I´ve been mortally attacked…- comes after, eventually, months or years later. Many of us have their spirit broken and never realize it until we´ve become a perfect copy of Notre Dame hunchback.
–Too late...- They whisper to themselves, hands down defeated.
According to appearances, I´ve never retreated into that damned Cave or – God forbid! – suffered a mortal blow. I´ve never stopped rocking it. Come rain or come shine, I´ve kicked enemies, snakes, obstacles and ghosts in the butt and kept flying high. My life´s a brilliant roller coaster made of dreams coming true, new dreams on the horizon and travels around the world doing exactly what I love. Come on! How could I have retreated into that cave or beaten down? NO WAY.
I hadn´t realized it but it finally dawned on me: what a punch in the stomach: what a bleeding wound…it´s incredible how I managed to keep breathing and moving ahead. I may have kept rocking the world on a professional, creative, exterior level but I´ve become a fugitive, a frightened little girl where my personal life is concerned. The idea of opening my heart once more and getting hurt the way I was in the past seems unbearable.
Art is a safe zone; my work is the safest country in the universe – I got it under control; no one can touch or hurt me there. Life, outside that safe zone, is scarier than the boogie man to little children.
It´s almost comic – if it wasn´t tragic: how I started to run away from life itself, someone who passes through everyone but doesn´t really touch anyone in depth. Go here; go there; do this and that; touch and run; kiss, embrace, love but not too much, not totally. Totality is the danger – the open wound seems to remind me.
There I go retreating again to a beautiful world of ideas, art, passion, words, dance, dreams – a beautiful world indeed but sterile, an emotional dark, damp, empty valley where I keep people at a safe distance in order to avoid new shocks, new blows, new daggers stuck in my stomach, new breaking points and an even deeper retreat into that cave I can – only now – see so clearly.
How to conquer a city? I´ll let you know how. How to get out of this cave?! No idea. Here is the paradox that keeps me stuck to the ground, unaware of many things and painfully aware of my human condition.