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7/23/06
Seeing Oneself in the Mirror

Dear Kim:

Thank you for the serious labor of compiling all of our emails. I will read them through this next week and then see about editing and formatting. But first, thank you.

I had another one of my sleepless nights. They are becoming more frequent.

Do yo have any problems sleeping?

(Kim: In the fifth grade I did a sleep over at a friend's house and he had a record that hypnotized me so I could always fall asleep.")

Have you ever? I mean, besides when you were sick?

Menopause is kicking my butt. I can be exhausted, organically tired, and I should have been last night.

(Kim: I think you can minimize the effects of menopause by feeding yourself better (i.e. no meat or dairy (and possibly no wheat).)

Worked most of the day and worked out and then performed at a concert with The DisAbility Project and Charis at the History Museum. A full day, a day well spent and presumably, a reasonably tiring day.

But I was wide awake for most of the night and finally just gave up, got up and said, let's put the body in motion, the mind is already active.

It makes me feel jittery and easily over stimulated. And I am already prone to that.

But I also think there are other reasons for my sleeplessness. Thank God, or any Right Wing fanatic (is that an oxymoron?) would use the natural process of menopause as an excuse for why women should not hold positions of responsibility and authority.

(Kim: I'm "right wing" in the sense that I hate big government . . . though in my (day) job I feel like big government.)

I often get nerved up before and after a performance. Before the performance there are concerns about just getting the basic stuff right. And yesterday, was a particularly trying example.

(Kim: You sound like your circumstances control you . . . you could turn that around if you wanted to.)

Ana thought she was supposed to pick up Tom, who is partially blind and epileptic and does not drive. But unbeknownst to her or me, he had made arrangements with Lori for a ride. So Ana stopped by his place and he didn't answer the phone. She could not access the stairs in her wheelchair to check with the doorman.

So she called me and I went flying over to Tom's to see where he was. He had already left. When we got to the parking lot, Ana had gotten a tee shirt caught in the back wheel of her wheelchair so we had to cut it off. Then, we got stuck in the elevator at the History Museum because the doors are not timed long enough for people who can't move into them slowly.

Etc., etc., etc.

At one point, Ana and I looked at each other and just started to laugh. What else could we do? And she said, "No one would believe my life if I described it to them." And I said, "Me, too."

(Kim: That's the meaning of Stranger than Fiction)

I couldn't even get the usual stage fright because I was so preoccupied with logistics. Good or bad thing, hard to say. It just was.

The concert was beautiful. The singing was rounded and precise, the stage looked beautiful. I love lighting. And the audience seemed happy to be there, pleased with their choice of evening.

After a major performance, I am often nerved up—my own personal description for it—and don't sleep well.

Sometimes, I rehearse moments that I wish I had done differently. Sometimes, I call up and relive moments that I loved. Not necessarily moments in which I was involved, but moments of pleasure that others provide. The color of the lights, the feelings of live music as it rings around and through me.

And then I can't sleep.

Does working on a drawing ever elicit that effect from you? Sleepness and a sense of hyper recollection? Anxiety?

(Kim: I don't make my drawings, though sometimes my arm or hands ache . . . or sometimes I just want to sleep.)

xJoan
Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

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