by Karen Christopher
I remember the teapot woman who saw me in a blade of grass, I remember hearing a cow laugh, I remember I arrived and lost all sensation for a moment. The wifi was down in my head, surrounded by carpet and new people and everyone insisted we were all individual entities with needs and I remember getting here and I remember seeing again and feeling and the rain splashed on my face like tears. I heard the owl but I was in a box and I’m fairly sure the owl did not hear me.
And we talked about the circus, and I said I might get confused and we went back to our rooms and then there was food and the size and shape of a table creates a particular atmosphere.
And I remembered the flowers she brought. And I remembered a rabbit stopped on the footpath. I remembered the size of the river and its location but it was all different now.
And this repetition makes it all seem as though I’ve been sent into a reverie and that I am experiencing everything as being all about me and that I am extremely self-conscious about it and maybe I am.
The bark was like paper on one side and the other held a forest in miniature or maybe it was a city park with a dynamic landscape considered experimental by the council. This park was the best part of the bark and filled with dogs.
This morning I saw two groups of cows greeting each other from opposite sides of the field. They know each other they’ve been together before. Later I saw them scatter for some reason I couldn’t detect. I was on the road then.
I saw a swollen river I saw a jogger emerge from it. He said hello. His legs were red. The road was a river and the field was a river and the river was a river and it was still raining into all these rivers and also into the old cattle drinking troughs which were covered in brambles and I’ve marked my calendar to come back and pick some berries in the summer time.
We talked about circus people. I reported the message that appeared on my phone. I reported a statement Ian Hamilton Finley painted on a lighthouse and I reported a message from a man on social media reporting on Ian Hamilton Finley’s lighthouse message and adding that yes, that was France behind the lighthouse in his posted photo and it said weather is a third to place and time and it said you have a new memory. And I told Chloë I forgot to say it and I said the smell of the branch had fragmented my brain. And this is not the performance I had in mind.
Karen Christopher is a collaborative performance maker, performer, and teacher. She recently relocated from London to her new studio in Faversham where her company, Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects, continues to focus on collaborative processes. She is devoted to paying attention as a practice of social cooperation. Karen was with Chicago-based Goat Island performance group for 20 years until the group disbanded in 2009. Her practice includes listening for the unnoticed, the almost invisible, and the very quiet.