It has been 26 days since the stay-at-home order went into effect across California. DISCO RIOT company member, Jaime Nixon has shared a bit about what the last 26 days have been about for him. Jaime is an exceptionally creative person- – from his dancing to the way he eats his breakfast. Jaime is also an exceptionally thoughtful and open person, and we are grateful for his contribution to Creatives in Quarantine:
If you haven’t already:
I want to begin my saying that writing about my life and times during quarantine (name for an autobiography?…perhaps) has actually been incredibly therapeutic. To whomever is reading this, perhaps we already hold the voice and perspective to heal, and just need to put it into a different medium to listen to it. Take the time to write about how you are processing these times and listen to yourself.
These four walls I call my room:
My room is a mess….and I am writing this in the middle of that mess. I am telling you about this mess, not to say that I’m unique in my “expectation vs reality” of productivity in quarantine (I think we have all seen the memes out there and I think we can all relate), but because a mess is where I often feel like I can begin. It’s a conflict that requires a solution (aka cleaning) to have a conclusion. I’m interested in how people organize, how they make sense of the world, and how they make systems.
Most of my process when choreographing involves starting off with making “a mess.” That may be an attempt to make a mess of the environment, or a mess on our bodies, a mess of our bodies, a mess of our habits, social norms, or our memories. It disorganizes and disorients us and grants us the opportunity to “throw away,” categorize and form systems.
In quarantine I have had time to do this, make sense and organize my body and mind. This time that I have been given is a GIFT, and I’m choosing to relate to it that way. My body has been asking me to slow down for a while now, and I get to do that. To be frank I also don’t have this urge to fill my time with trying to be productive or have something to show for it. It’s my time to re-evaluate, organize and make sense.
Relaxing to let FEEDBACK in:
I’ve been taking this time to reflect on what it actually is that I have been doing and want to do. There was a point this last year that I found myself overworking… and I don’t think I actually knew what I was doing. Of course I’ve been trained to “make” and to “work hard,” and things were getting done. I can make something out of nothing, and I can layer meaning into it; I’m basically saying I’m really good at bullshitting. But…I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I had no idea how I was “being.” Ironically, I was doing so much that I was on autopilot, lost my sense of embodiment, and I actually wasn’t processing or DOING anything besides exhausting myself.
These walls I call “healthy boundaries”:
What I am “creating” these days, is less of a physical product and more of a way of thinking and seeing. It’s my way of finding freedom in quarantine. I believe that we need time of rest, reevaluation and establishing values with ourselves, and to fall in love with the world all over again. To: yearn, crave, taste even more clearly, look up more, feel distance and negative space in between everything…everyone. I think I needed this time to establish healthy boundaries, and I don’t think I’ve quite realized that yet but this has definitely been a reminder to set this practice into motion.
My work provides several benefits for me, one of which is funding for me to take online classes to further my education. So while I am not working at the moment, I have the opportunity and TIME to learn. These last few days I have spent fully in the role of student. I am also fortunate to have a beautiful partner whom I have spent most of my quarantine time with, and a kick ass roommate who is one of the most ambitious women I have ever met. They are humans I can touch (which is such an important action for me), and who touch me. And I believe that being in a relationship, may it be with a lover or a friend, is its own art in negotiating, empathy, and making… so thank you to all the beautiful companions and communities that we have made together. If at any point I question my value, they are reminders that value is something I do not lack.