APPEARING Mar 22, 2013
by Jessica Jobaris
we leave in paradox.
We begin with “true self,” somehow,
My “false self” got this from Wikipedia:
“James F. Masterson argued that all the personality disorders crucially involve the conflict between a person’s two “selves”: the false self, which the very young child constructs to please the mother, and the true self. The psychotherapy of personality disorders is an attempt to put people back in touch with their real selves.”
Or... one makes a documentary performance of their mother's death.
Within the first five minutes, I was struck hard as Itai matter-of-factly speaks of his future,based on his mother's death,
“I will have children....I have to.”
His mother, seemingly having suffered orphanage, and being quite vulnerable/susceptible to Life's challenges, found her “strength to live” after having her children. Paradoxically, she implies using her own “strength of life” to decide her fate. In full conviction, perhaps dogma, she states that the purpose of life, especially as a woman, is to carry on yourself through another, and that the act of loving or being loved is what makes life worth living.
Yet Itai, comfortable as any man 20 years his senior, yet only in his late 30's, studies, and lives love through lights. He discusses throughout the work, in metaphors and practically speaking, about the grid lights above, describing which lights bring 3-dimensionality to the performer on a stage. So he does...he illuminates himself, the performer, on stage. I imagine he is illuminating his own 3-D complex life in notable contrasts to his mother's beliefs. Despite his perhaps “false self's” contribution to their mother/son enduring connection,i.e his mother's values, Itai lives alone, without children, and yet
FULL OF PURPOSE.
On the brink of his mother's death, he finds himself at a RAVE. His body in pulsing tempo and release, his mother's face becomes difficult to conjure, as he connects to his own joy of living. He can't remember his mother's eyes.
Living paradoxes, we resist at first, and if willing, find the insight of "other"… perhaps this is why he can't remember her…she is dying, he is living; he is in an expression of his “true self.” He is anything but dissappearing.
Itai's sibling offers another paradox: His sister seems to cry out against the weight we give to accuracy in memory of events. Valuing more the feeling of our childhood happenings, respecting the emotional remnants, she offers THIS gives the childhood its justification. In this paradox, we understand, phemonenologically, the value of the emotional memory in creating our perception of our inner world(s) based on our past. Many survivors of familial abuse, rape, etc. when reminded of these traumatic incidences are unable to recall it visually…and yet, feelings and sensations surface as it is told to the “grown, adult version of the child;” the rage, the anxiety, the helplessness, the confusion, the self-combustion, all become present in the room again.
Then again, there is the state of pure joy in our "beingness" that we so easily summoned as children, upheld even in the dark hours of our youth, that we struggle to return to. This "beingness" helped us endure the difficult moments of growing up.
My friend sent to me this while engrossed in a family reunion:
This Be the Verse- By Philip Larkin
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
Seems at 38, through innate honesty, a life's work/study of light, and surely because of his mother's passing,
Itai has designed himself a life-line between his "false/true self.”
Its possible he will find a wife, and bear a child, or two, like, tomorrow...
I am thankful for Itai's candor, humor, discreet vulnerability,
I am reassured.
From my own paradoxical "false/true self,”
whose gearing up for motherhood,
fuck you mom and dad. I love you.