Saturday, January 20, 2007

Post Reunion Integration

My thoughts have been meandering to places inside me in reflection of my post reunion experiences. What has come clearly to me is that at this time, the year following my reunion, I began to partake in different aspects of my self. I believe it was the self that I had abandoned so long ago in order to function safely within my adoptive family. My birth parents are creative people. My adoptive family are educated and intellectual people. Post reunion I began to write poetry as a means of understanding my experience. I also began to create art. Although not a particularly talented artist I began to understand my art as a healing tool that opened up the secrets of my past to me in regards to loss, trauma, and reclamation. I also began to write.

Within that first year post reunion I painted, wrote poetry, and wrote and created a 2 and half hour variety show as a fundraiser event that was focused on creating activities and programs for teens on Martha’s Vineyard. The variety show was a historical perspective of history, fashion, dance, theatre, and music. It covered the decades from the 1920s to the 1970s.

At the time I was very active as a costume designer through several venues. I had a very large costume inventory and business. In fact my collection was the largest, at the time, of any on the Cape and Islands. Within my costume inventory was a large collection of vintage costumes going back to the early 1900s. These inspired me like paint pigment inspires a painter.

I spent 4 months researching the history of the 1920s to the 1970s as well as the dance and music through these decades. I knew the costume, hair, and makeup and so the history and study of the dances of these times filled my days.

The show format was within each decade I created a video montage and narrative script to go with it, a costume showing, a dance presentation, and a theatrical short that reflected the decade. There was a live band that played music from each decade throughout each decade’s presentation. The decades were all tied together creating a trip back in time. It was an amazing experience to envision this show, write it, and then have it come alive on stage.

What my mind has been thinking about in regards to post reunion is that I find it interesting that I would, in my newly impassioned creative state, choose to create a variety show about history.

I have a guess as to why I needed to do this…and what I believe is that after finding my birth family I had many questions answered. Placing my self for the first time in a completed context I think the creating of this variety show was an attempt to place myself in the world.

Post reunion for me was about integrating new truths, new awareness’s, and this new permission I had to fully be that secret self that I had stuffed down for so many years. Creating this show was literally creating my own context for being in the world. It was as if I could actually feel that I was born into the world and not secretly hatched by aliens. I was a human being with a right to a history and the right to find my place in the broader context of the family of man.


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