I used to share an old wooden school house with two friends. My bedroom was the attic, and because we were all under 30 and single, there were countless noisy dinners, impromptu dance parties, and deep meaningful conversations from bath tub to kitchen (there was no door on either room).
Because we were all under 30 and single, there was also a lot of lovin’ and romance.
And because the house was very old, with thick wooden floorboards and rickety walls, chocked up on stumps to keep it out of flood waters, if any of us made love, the house would literally sway. Just a little, but enough to know.
On a wall near my mattress on the floor, under the green cotton mosquito net, I had a handwritten copy of something I’d found while researching ideas for a dance piece. I’d stuck it up and taken it down as I’d moved from house to house, so it was stained and somewhat torn. But it hummed with possibility for me; I read it quietly sometimes while the house gently rocked from below.
“What reconciles me to my own death more than anything else is the image of a place: a place where your bones and mine are buried, thrown, uncovered, together. They are strewn there pell-mell. One of your ribs leans against my skull. A metacarpal of my left hand lies inside your pelvis. (Against my broken ribs your breast like a flower.) The hundred bones of our feet are scattered like gravel. It is strange that this image of our proximity, concerning as it does mere phosphate of calcium, should bestow a sense of peace. Yet it does. With you I can imagine a place where to be phosphate of calcium is enough.”
― John Berger
17 years later, I’m still searching for that sense of peace.